My first novel, and, I think, not bad for a first novel. Written in late 1980 and early 1981, as I recall. I’d just gotten laid off from a programming job, and my wife said, “Why don’t you take six months off and write a book?” so I did. I really like the cover.
[go to the Jhereg Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: bn.com | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
To Reign In Hell
My second novel, this is a novelization of the revolt of the angels. It was rather ambitious for me, and I could probably do a much better job of it now, but a lot of people seem to like it, which pleases me. I didn’t have an outline as I was writing it, and I remember getting about 4/5 of the way through it and saying, “Geez, Satan is going to win. That’s interesting.” I shrugged and kept writing to see how it came out. The introduction by Roger Zelazny amazed and delighted me. I still haul it out and read it when I’m in a funk.
[go to the To Reign In Hell Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]
My least favorite book. It was such a relief to get back to Vlad after struggling with To Reign In Hell that I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing—I just wrote a straight-ahead story with nothing much else to it. That’s fine, in my opinion, if it’s a Really Good Story. But Yendi is only an okay story. I’d love to be able write this one over.
[go to the Yendi Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: bn.com or Powell’s | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
Your basic combination of Hungarian Folktales and Grateful Dead song lyrics. It took eighteen very difficult months to write, and is the only time (so far) that I’ve used a full plot outline. I’m pretty happy with it, though. The names on the map are Hungarian translations of Grateful Dead song titles.
[go to the Brokedown Palace Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]
This, my fifth novel, was where I finally realized (or admitted to myself) that I was writing a series, and I had to ask myself some hard questions about what I was doing. This is reflected in the book. I also had to keep Vlad interesting enough that I wouldn’t get tired reading (and writing) about him. I know there are many people who don’t like it. Tough.
[go to the Teckla Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Jhereg omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
I think at a certain point, every writer has to ask himself why he writes, and what he’s hoping to do. I wrote this one to answer that question and to explore other questions about art that had been troubling me. I have mixed feelings about it—I think I did all right with it, but it is too personal to have a very wide appeal. Still, I’m glad I wrote it, and I’m always pleased to run into people who like it.
[go to the The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com ]
Another novel about Vlad Taltos, the assassin-hero of Jhereg and some others. This one was fun and scary to write, because I was working with three different time lines, and I wanted them to all make oblique comments on each other, and to all come together at the end, and I had no idea if they were going to. I was very relieved when it worked out. I’m pretty happy with it.
[go to the Taltos Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Taltos omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille
Not one of my better efforts, I think, but there are bits of it I like. It started out to be funny, developed a serious side, and I was never able to get the elements to blend the way I wanted them to. Grumble grumble. It’s always pleasant to run into someone who liked this book; it means that I can still do all right when I’m not on my game.
[go to the Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]
This one came out more or less the way I wanted it to. It was going to be the last Vlad novel, at least for a while, but then Athyra came up and bit me. The drummer is based on Robin Anders, my drum teacher, and he really is like that. Honest. You can always tell a drummer, but, uh…what was the question?
[go to the Phoenix Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Taltos omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
The Phoenix Guards
My homage to Alexandre Dumas, one of my favorite writers. It is a blatant ripoff of The Three Musketeers. It all started when we were sitting around assigning people we knew to Dragaeran Great Houses, and I mentioned that a the archetypal Lyorn was Athos in Dumas’ work. Then I said, “Aramis is a Yendi, and Porthos is a Dzur, and…hmm. That’s interesting.” I really never expected this one to be published. I wrote it for the sheer joy of writing it—I giggled all the way through. No one was more surprised than me that, not only was it published, but a lot of other people seem to like it. Cool. Great cover, isn’t it?
[go to the Phoenix Guards Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]
By Megan Lindholm and Steven Brust.
Megan and I first worked together on the Liavek anthology, though I’ve been a fan of her work since her first novel. This actually started as a bunch of songs I wrote with Adam Stemple (guitarist for Cats Laughing and Boiled in Lead), and then turned into the chapter of a book. I had no idea where the thing went after the first chapter (which ended up as the prologue), and I ended up sending it to Megan. We played tennis with it after that, and got together twice for editing sessions after it was done. I’ve never enjoyed working on a book more. I’m very happy with how it came out.
[go to the Gypsy Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Barnes & Noble]
I think this is my best book to date. It was written in six weeks, which is damn fast for me. It came out pretty much the way I wanted it to, though. It’s about as close as I’m ever likely to come to horror. I’m happy with this one. Great cover, too; but I’ve always been lucky with covers.
[go to the Agyar Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook]
After Phoenix, I thought I’d take a break from Vlad for a while, but I kept getting this image of Vlad, wearing a poncho and smoking a cheroot, walking into a bar. The image wouldn’t go away so I wrote this one to exorcise it.
[go to the Athyra Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Athyra omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
Five Hundred Years After
A sequel to The Phoenix Guards. I had a blast writing it, and I think it came out all right. These books are almost more fun than I can stand.
[go to the Five Hundred Years After Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]
Another in the series. This is the book I wanted Yendi to be: I’m very happy with this one.
[go to the Orca Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | The Book of Athyra omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
Freedom and Necessity
By Emma Bull and Steven Brust.
This was a joy to write, and I even like how it came out. Emma is a wonderful writer, and it was honor to work with her. We wrote it just as it appears, by writing letters to each other, and let it develop as it went along. It’s a Victorian epistolary novel, or I suppose you could call it a fantasy for Hegelians.
[go to the Freedom and Necessity Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com]
Another Vlad novel, and one I’m pretty happy with. I have a lot of sympathy with people who want to read the books in chronological order, so I wrote this one to help them out: it falls before and after Yendi. Heh heh heh. It also provided me with an excuse to read Clausewitz, which was actually fairly entertaining. The character of Napper is loosely based on the late Bruce Beesman, a guy I played a lot of poker with, and whom I miss.
[go to the Dragon Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dragon omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
Once more, back to Vlad. This one was fun to write, and I think it came out okay. So far, Vlad is keeping me entertained.
[go to the Issola Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dragon omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
The Paths of the Dead
The Lord of Castle Black
This is a good place to explain that The Viscount of Adrilankha is not a trilogy, it is a three volume novel. That is, it should be thought of as a single book. The Khaavren Romances are, in fact, a trilogy, of which Viscout is the third novel. Therefore, these five books are clearly seen to be a triolgy consisting two one-part novels and one three-part novel. Each part consists of two “books.” Therefore, chapter four of book two of part three of the third book is easily seen to be chapter fifty two of the third novel, or chapter one hundred and twenty of….
Okay, to hell with it. Call it a trilogy. I don’t care.
[go to the The Paths of the Dead Discussion Page]
[The Paths of the Dead purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]
[go to The Lord of Castle Black Discussion Page]
[The Lord of Castle Black purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]
[go to Sethra Lavode Discussion Page]
[Sethra Lavode purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Ebook: kindle or nook | Audible]
Vlad is back, and this time he’s hungry. I mean, really hungry. I could explain the plot of this one, but I think I’m going to eat, instead.
[go to the Dzur Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dzur omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
My Own Kind of Freedom
My Firefly novel, released under a creative commons license. You are free to download it and share it with your friends as long as it is not used for commercial purposes.
The novel is currently available in multiple formats. Click below to download:
epub [330KB] | kindle/mobi [427KB] | PDF [1.1MB]
[go to the My Own Kind of Freedom Discussion Page]
I really wanted to do Vlad as Nero Wolfe with Loiosh as Archie Goodwin, so I did. I’m fairly happy with it. And, as usual, I love the cover.
[go to the Jhegaala Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook | The Book of Dzur omnibus: Powell’s or bn.com]
I got to read the Code Napoleon when researching this one. It was strange and weird and much more interesting than I thought it would be. I guess the same could be said about the experience of writing about law and lawyers.
[go to the Iorich Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook]
I’ve always wanted to see if I could put together fully independent short stories that, when brought together, make a novel. Turns out I can’t. But looking at the final result, this is one I’m happy with. I loved writing Paarfi again. And bringing Vlad and Khaavren together geeked my inner fanboy. Can I be a fanboy about my own stuff? Oh, right. That’s why I do it.
[go to the Tiassa Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | Ebook: kindle or nook]
Steven Brust & Skyler White
What can I say about this one? I love it, I’m proud of it, I’m kind of nuts about it. Almost certainly too much, but them’s the breaks.
[go to The Incrementalists Discussion Page]
[Purchase links: Powell’s or bn.com | Audible | ebook: kindle or nook ]
Forthcoming Fall 2014
Hawk was a difficult book to write, because I was consciously playing with plot structure–usually not something I think about. In the end, I’m quite happy with how it came out. And I’m never going to do that again.
[go to Hawk Discussion Page]
[Pre-order links: Powell’s or bn.com]
229 thoughts on “Books”
Just a suggestion, though it may seem a bit too self-serving for your taste: You might consider putting links to sites that the books can be purchased in this area. If I were to do it, I would have the picture of the cover be a clickable link to the Discussion Page for that book, and on the Discussion Page, that is where I would list the links of locations, which will take me directly to the site that I can purchase the book.
Also, I don’t know if you did it on purpose, but you haven’t listed “The Desecrator”.
I love the site upgrade! One thing: the thumbnail image for Jhegaala is actually Gypsy again.
Are there any plans for the next Vlad Taltos book?^^
I’m working on Hawk now; about a third of the way through the first draft. Thanks for asking.
I’ve been an avid consumer of your books since 1985. Throughout all of those years I’ve built relationships with many of your creations. For the last decade or so a sadness has crept into my heart. …..I miss Kragar!
I would think that Vlad probably feels the same way only more so.
I have thought that while the mystery surrounding Kragar is in and of itself an enjoyable enigma. I am wondering if one day before #18 (17 houses +Taltos) I will have an opportunity to know my favorite supporting character of all time.
30 years is a long time to wait, but oh what a ride!
Thanks. So far, there appears to be a fair bit of Kragar in Hawk.
I was perusing the bookstore one day when someone recommended the Vlad Taltos novels. Not wanting to commit myself to a purchase yet, I borrowed the whole series from the library (which I read through in about two weeks). I loved them so much that I now have all 5 of the printed anthologies, but my question is, are there plans to release “The Book of Iorich” any time soon?
Thanks kindly. I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised, but I haven’t yet heard anything.
The Vlad Taltos series is far and away my favorite series of books. I’m very much looking forward to the release of Hawk. I’m glad the series didn’t end with Pheonix, as mentioned above, or I wouldn’t have been able to read my favorite of the series, Issola.
I realise it says “books”, but it would be immensely helpful for completists like me to have a list of your short fiction that has appeared elsewhere. That fascinating poker piece in the Roger Zelazny anthology, the “Nightslayer” piece on Tor and no doubt others I haven’t read!
P.S.: Minor typo, “Clauswitz” -> Clausewitz
Nuncupatory: Thanks for the correction. If someone has a list of the stories, I could post a link, but the idea of putting one together is too daunting. As a note, the character in the Zelazny anothology is a protagonist in The Incrementalists (Tor, September 2013), and in another story for another Zelazny anthology, scheduled for, uh, I’m not sure.
I don’t know if this list is complete, but I guess it’s a good place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust#Short_stories
Much appreciated. I’ll see if Corwin or Felix wants to put a link on my front page.
I’ll take care of that sometime this weekend.
I love your books. Anyway unfortunately few have been published in Spanish, do you know if there is any plan to publish them in Spanish? .
Thanks, Carlos. I’m sorry, but I don’t know who might be planning what regarding publication.
…just curious (and some of the participants act like reminding them that they have participated in this series is like grinding lemon into an open wound with sandpaper made out of salt, infused with gasoline — if this includes you, then … well, sorry!), but I wonder why you left out your foray into the Thieves World series? Personally, I enjoyed your contribution quite a bit, and not “just” because I was nostalgic for another romp through Sanctuary…
If you mean “left out” of a list of short stories, I didn’t make the list, so if something is missing from it, I don’t know why. But I was fairly pleased with that story, and have no reason to disavow it.
thank you. I’ve enjoyed all your novels and short stories for years. As I enter the second half of my fifth decade I enjoy rereading Vlad’s journey most of all. If you never write another past Hawk, I would owe you a great debt, but I wistfully hope to see some burning questions answered in time. I find your comments on your own works fascinating and enjoy your website as much as any I can remember visiting. My hope is a long life for you sir*twinkle* ,and a hard , hard work ethic ;)
I was curious why some but not all of your novels are available in eBook format. You are one of my favorite authors and I would very much like to have all your works in electronic form.
It has to do with what I have rights to, and what Berkely wants to do. I’m checking into it.
That makes sense. I always marvel why any rights holder wouldn’t want their works available in as many formats as possible. Why limit your readership? Seems crazy.
Has there been any demand for your books to be translated into Japanese?
No idea. I don’t pay much attention to marketing.
Love your writing. I have turned many friends to the Vlad series and all have been hooked like I was. Keep them coming…
I drive for work a great deal and have become a user of Audible; several of your works are there already – any chance that your non-Vlad, non-Dragaeran works will go to Audible…(say yes)?
Hello Mr Brust. Been a fan for many years. Thank you for the hours of entertainment. How is the first draft of Hawk coming along?
Thanks. Update coming soon.
I have been an avid reader of your works since i was in my 20’s and have introduced many a fan to your works. but I am worried… I cant seem to find any info on anything new you have coming out, and it is March!! This is the time I usually get the thrill of the count down till the new Vlad book!!
Just wanted to say how much I adore your writing style from the Viscount of Andrilanka series. That series is something else me and my Ex will always have in common and can actually agree on and laugh about! I love the evolution of your epic characters and am waiting with bated breath for your latest twisty and turny plot shift!! xxoo
Thanks for the kind words, Mia. This will be out in September: http://www.amazon.com/The-Incrementalists-Steven-Brust/dp/0765334224/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362955577&sr=8-1&keywords=incrementalists
I’m working on Hawk now, but can’t say when it’ll be out.
I’ve read your books to tatters several times over.
I’ve read almost all of your books to actual pieces, replaced them and eventually replaced those too (friendly theft and gifting seems to be common when a friend gets a sample). Yet I still manage to find something new, something I missed or something I finally understood the right way every time. Thank you for your amazing story telling! I look forward to Hawk when it lands.
Many thanks; that’s nice to hear.
I love the Talos books. I read them all multiple times.
I can’t wait untill hawk is out. It’s a shame that writing takes more time then reading.
But maby it’s also a good thing so it is something special to look out for.
I have read a lot of books and i find the Talos story the best i ever read in my live.
If wish they would make movies of them instead of the hobbit.
many thx and good luck writing,
Hi Steven, all i can say is that you have an ability to write books that can be re-read and still be fresh .. i first bought the sun the moon and the stars then the Vlad series and then all your others.. thanks so much for the reads and entertainment!! my fave book is Issola.. its magnificent
Wouter and Richard: Thanks kindly.
I have loved this series since the first book. Many things that happened in my life seemed to parallel Vlad, y marriage my divorce, my kid being raised without me being in his life, I thank you for your insight into the character and helping me to gain better insight into myself. By far this has been one of the most unique settings I have ever read about. For years I wanted to make a dungeons and dragons type of game based on this world to share it with my friends who though they are fantasy fans are not as avid readers as myself. I am curious why you have not yourself either attempted to create some sort of RPG or be willing to work with someone else to do so. I know I would enjoy the experience of roleplaying in Vlad’s world. Anyway, thank you once again for you dedication and I hope you finish the series while i can still read (age and time do bad things to eyes).
The audible books are great, but they have the wrong art up for some showing your collections as a single work (I have both so I know).
Always a pleasure to read (and now listen) to your work.
May the days of joy be slow and eternal and those not so great at the pace you desire,
Was curious about the progress of the next Vlad novel, which brought me to the dream cafe. I’m glad to see that you are working on Hawk, hope for its release in 2013. Until then I will daydream about a good meal and fine wine at Valabar & Sons.
I am so glad that your sister is doing so much better. I have all of your books and find myself re-reading the old ones until the new one comes out. I am looking forward to Hawk, but understand that the release might be delayed due to the current circumstances. I wish you and your family well and hope for the best of outcomes.
Hi, I laughed at the comment that said “I’ve read almost all your books to actual pieces” because yeah, totally. I think I would have been cool with letting go of Vlad until I read Issola. That ending wrecked me so hard I dreamed about it for weeks. The beginning of Tiassa had me itchy because of the chronology, but oh man did that turn out fine. So yeah, now I am with all these other fiends checking your webpage for hints about Hawk :D
Just had this thought: Who would be the optimal reader for any work by Paarfi? All possibilities are making me laugh, and none seem to work. Makes for a fun mental game, though. Can’t imagine another narrative voice so challenging.
I’m not remembering the name of the guy they got, but he’s very good.
@JP – I suggest Ian McKellen, being as dramatic as possible. That would be entertaining!
@SKZB – I recently tried John Scalzi due to your association with him. I picked up “Old Man’s War”, and now I’m about half way through it. So far, I find it predictable and too complimentary of the main character. Those two combine to make reading it a little boring. I’m hoping that he matured as an author since then, as you did with your writing, but you started out at much higher quality (IMHO) than he did.
I was wondering – can you perhaps get a message to Vlad for me? I have an offer for him should he decide to perhaps resume his old profession. A certain acquaintance of mine, upon having skimmed through (not read) Jhereg, called it “childishly absurd.” I find this insulting, and would like to give him reason to understand that his attitude is unacceptable.
If Vlad won’t be available, perhaps you could see if Kragar could contact Mario?
Aside from that, though, I must say I am one of the multitudes that wait impatiently for the next Dragaeran book, either the next in the story of Vlad’s life, or even another of Paarfi’s – ummmm… “historical” books. Perhaps Paarfi could write something on the even earlier history of the Dragaeran world: say, perhaps, when Verra and the other servants of the Jenoine rebelled and overthrew their masters? (Talk about a saga!)
I have been on holiday, running Pirate’s Alley, otherwise known as the Gulf of Aden, under a security regime which included blacking out the ship’s visible lights, and banning us from our balconies and the open decks, after dark.
I had a lot of fun considering the probable reactions of your characters in similar circumstances…
Dunno about my characters, but I’d have been hiding under the bed, whimpering.
No, you wouldn’t; there wasn’t enough room for the hat. I checked it out.
Besides, I was not in any danger; I had a pleasant chat with the security team leader, in which I mentioned that my father had put in 35 years in the RAF. He had put in a mere 24 years in the Marines, and thus he would literally rather have died than see me raising an eye brow in his direction as I was hauled off as a hostage.
For those unaccustomed to the military, I should explain that only civilians believe that the enemy are the people you are shooting at. The real enemy are the other armed forces on your own side….
Now When you are done with the entire Vlad Series, I do hope that you pick my pocket by selling a leather bound set of the entire series! =) After that we can talk about me starring in the HBO adaptation… =p
I’m good with that.
I miss Kragar too. Hope that the draft is still on track, and any health issues with you and yours are well under control.
Just wanted to thank you for the Taltos series, although it won’t be translated into German anymore. Guess I will start buying and trying to understand & enjoy the English ones.
I read The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars almost 20 years ago and loved it, but unfortunately lost track of it. More recently my boyfriend (now husband) introduced me to your other books and I became a huge fan. Slightly later I discovered that the author of the Taltos books and The Sun, The Moon, and the Stars was the same person, and was quite excited to rediscover it, since it inspires me to do more creative things whenever I read it.
I also love that you describe the Paarfi books as being almost too much fun to write, since I tend to feel that way about reading them. I’ve read the chapter near the beginning of The Phoenix Guards where Khaavren and Co describe their first day’s mentorship in the Phoenix Guards to the captain to a number of people as an example of just how darn funny the books are.
Anyway, I hope you keep writing for many years, I want to learn as much as you can tell us about what happens to the characters and Dragaria. I am very much looking forward to reading Hawk!
First: It took me seconds to realize where To Reign In Hell was going, and my immediate thought was “Ballsy as hell,..can he pull this off?” And, you did so, stunningly and beautifully. I have been reading your books since 1983 when I first discovered them, and must say quite frankly that Zelazny’s statement about you – which led me to you in the beginning – was fully warranted. Really found interesting Vlad’s encounters with the future child of Aliera. You have been a bringer of wonder, and delight, andyes, damnit, I am one of those who loved Cowboy Feng’s most because of the off the wall and eclectic associations from the time jumping, and the underlying plot wove it together well. The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars..actually for some weird reason reminded me of John Meyers-Meyers (Tell me you have read Silverlock),,? Brokedown Palace was simply superlative, and the point of it being placed across the barrier from the location of Vlad, was a subtle background bit. All that aside, I have fallen a few books behind and will have to rectify that, but I lost my whole collection and am starting over. Agyar was so beautifully written that it never really admits openly that he is …well..undead. I love your writing, and look forward to re(x 6 to 9) discovering your prior books and the new ones. Appreciate the hours of entertainment, and will have to find your music soon. Thanks!
Thank you kindly!
Mr. Brust, been a huge fan since 1992 or so when I was 14. I’ve read Jhereg at least twice a year since then and keep extra copies of Book of Jhereg and the Book of Taltos to give to people who don’t normally read fantasy, they are such engrossing and perfectly paced and voiced works that everyone I’ve given a copy loves them. Was completely enthralled while reading To Reign In Hell and Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grille.
I’ve used the name Taaltos for nearly all my main characters online games and several other things such as SteamID and what have you, I always meet other fans of your work in doing so.
I’m writing this to express my gratitude for your amazing work, and also for permission.
I’ve recently set up a twitch.tv account in which I stream a vast amount if games while I play them called ‘Taaltos plays…’, over 600 games on Steam, and I’d love to get more people into you writing by doing a livestream over several days reading the book Jhereg. I love reading outloud and making the characters come to life and sharing amazing stories.
I’m asking for your blessing and permission. It’s not for profit or any monetary gain, just a way to get people into your amazing storytelling.
Thanks for your time and some of the best books I’ve ever read,
Joseph (Taaltos) Gilligan
Thanks kindly. And, sure, go ahead; sounds like a cool thing. And thank you for asking.
How’s the next Taltos book coming along?
I am curious if there was ever an attempt to create an RPG based on drageara. Each of the 17 houses granting different attribute bonuses. A break down of available weapons, psionics, the three types of magic (witchcraft, sorcery and pre-empire sorcery). I would enjoy playing in that kind of a world. I tired to run a D&D equivalent years back but lost all the notes i used to create my makeshift version of the city. I know dragon magazine put a psuedo character at one point for Vlad and his jhereg. Anyway, it would be cool to own an RPG based on this world.
There’s been talk of it now and then.
I just wanted to comment that I started reading the Vlad books in the 80s, not too long after you first started writing them. It’s now 30 years later. Dude, get a move on! I figure there should be 20 books in the series, right? One for each animal of the cycle plus ‘Taltos’. That means you’ve still got 6 to go! If you don’t hurry up and bring the whole series to a dramatic climax with all the loose ends wrapped up, one of us will be dead before you finish! That would irritate me!
Seriously, I enjoy your writing. Keep it up. (Just hurry up, already!)
Whilst I recognise the anguish expressed by Carpus, I have concluded that the best way to deal with this is to radically upgrade my exercise programme to improve my cardio respiratory efficiency, and thus to materially improve my chances of surviving until the final volume emerges.
Incidentally, bouncing up and down on my trampette whilst reading the hardback of ‘The Incrementalists’ really did produce excellent results; I can thoroughly recommend it. The book was pretty good as well…
Take your time Steve.
Who would ever want the best series I have had the pleasure to enjoy end?
I savor every book reading each book multiple times until the bindings give out. I don’t merely enjoy the storys I soak on the prose.
Don’t ….. Rush……a…..thing…….
I just re-read my copy of The Sun, The Moon and The Stars, and it’s still as enjoyable as when I first read it. (Which is to say, “very”.) It helps that I like works about the artistic process.
But it leads me to wonder if there is a “The Death of Uranus” painting to match what the narrator describes?
Thanks; glad you like it. Part of it appears as the cover of the original release, rendered by Tom Canty.
I have truely loved your books for the last 28 years since I was introduced to the Vlad series. Have you ever considered writing anything about Cawti and Norathar during their time as the Sword and Dagger of the Jhereg?
Thanks. It could happen someday if the mood takes me.
Hi. Love your books, and own most in hardcover or paperback. But I would very much like them in ebook format. My problem is I have multiple devices (kindle and others) which have competing, proprietary formats. You link to both Amazon and B&N, but is there someplace like baen ebooks that sells them in a format I can download and then convert such that I can read on my kindle, tablet, etc? Would be happy to pay, just preferring not to do it more than once for the same ebook.
Nothing that I’m aware of. If anyone would know, it would be someone at Tor. Sorry, wish I could be more helpful.
any news on when the next book, Hawk I believe it is called, will be released?
If you can buy it in one proprietary format and convert it to something portable, then you don’t have to buy it in a portable version which is probably not available yet.
I haven’t tried this and I don’t know whether it works. If it works it might work to varying degrees, some competing solutions may be better than others.
A quick search for “jhereg epub” turned up a number of links to services that claim to let you download it for free. I can imagine ethical ways to use those. Like for example, if you download the material that you can’t find a way to buy, and then send skzb a check for 50% of the cover price. You should be cautious about viruses etc, since people who offer to give you other people’s property for free might have ways to make you pay.
Hello Mr. Brust. Were your earlier Vlad books released in hardcover? I’m old school and like to turn pages, and I’d like to preserve your earlier work for my collection in HC. Sethra is my favorite character. Total bad ass.
Sorry, no, the early ones are paperback only. Maybe someday some nice small press will want to do hardcovers of them. Thanks for your interest and the kind words.
having a week of beach vacation before me, I was thinking about which books I want to read (what else is the use of a week of sitting at the beach?) my first thought of course was to read the whole taltos series again (for at least the fifth time) – but as there’s no new book in the series, this seems a rather pointless goal. please please please, I need to know how the story continues (especially about Lady Teldra). as I know this probably won’t happen this year, I’ll just stick to reading the malloreon and belgariad from dave duncan again, but maybe there’s a chance for the next vacation?
Hawk will be out in October.
Yay….good to have a firm date…now I can schedule my complete series re-read accordingly. :)
Woot woot!! Was looking for hawk release date and I see your last comment. Cant wait for a new adventure in dragaera!! Although my poor wife is going to have to endure months of Vlad talk since I have to reread them all to prep for hawk.
Steven – So I just discovered that an old college friend of mine has never read your work. Sorry about that. You can fire me as a publicist. Anyway, I was speaking highly of your writing, particularly your mastery of “voice,” and he asked for a recommendation. I described your entire corpus, which wasn’t, I think, especially helpful.
So people must ask you this all the time – what to read first? What do you say? Just the most recent thing? Or back to Jhereg and work all the way through? Or what? Particularly with the Vlad books, it’s hard to know what to recommend.
Last year you had mentioned looking into eBook release for your earlier books. You had indicated you were talking to Berkeley. Any word yet on eBook release after this discussion? Love Vlad’s series and would like to have the entire series in eBook format.
Mr. Brust, is it true that you completely rule?
No, that would be Jenphalian.. I only rule when she’s busy.
David: Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. When people ask me of which book of mine to read first, my answer depends on what sort of stuff they like. But my default answer is Jhereg, because it was my first novel, and if the guy doesn’t like it I can say, “Well, geez, it was only a first novel.”
I second (or third or fourth or Nth) the curiosity about the availability of the whole Vlad Taltos series in electronic form. I know Google Play books has the later books in the series available, but I’ve been holding off buying them there until the earlier books were available as well. I wouldn’t be opposed to buying them from Amazon for the Kindle app (although with their current shenanigans, maybe that’s not the best option) or some other location.
I have the books in paperback, but being able to carry them and many, many more (Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire, Dresden Files, Foundation, to name a few series) in a package (my tablet) that doesn’t require a back brace is convenient and I’m okay paying a couple bucks for the convenience.
Dear Mr. Brust,
One day, when I was twelve, my dad, older sister, and I were in a Chapters bookstore. It was our favorite place to go when my dad visited, and we would spend hours checking out new books, old books, weird books…
I picked up Jhereg and read the back, was intrigued by the cover, and managed to snipe a seat on one of the comfy chairs. I started to read, and fell in love with the sarcasm and style. My sis came up, grabbed the book, flipped through it, and said “you won’t like this book, and also it doesn’t look very good”.
My dad had such a hard time getting me to put the novel down to go home that he ended up just buying it for me. “waste of money”, my sis said.
Now I’m a spiteful little cuss (or at least I was back then), so I was determine to like it even if I thought it sucked. Thankfully, I didn’t have to try or pretend, because I loved it, and have loved everything else you have written. Anytime I read some olde time-y book like Jane Austen or even John Carter of Mars, I read it in the voice my brain assigned to Paarfi, and I cannot take those books seriously anymore because I’m reduced to stitches (although I still love them).
Thank you for providing me and countless others with distractions on long public transit commutes, lazy days with vats of tea, and a perpetually salivating mouth anytime Vlad mentions food.
Most of all, thanks for letting me stick it to my sister, who will never appreciate klava or the joy that comes from reading your books. She’s missing out.
Ps: have you ever actually made klava??
That was a delightful story. Thanks.
My attempts at klava have always resulted in something more bitter than coffee, rather than less. But I haven’t given up yet.
Sometimes everything looks like a knee cap, and sometimes the Bitch Patrol just won’t stop putting up teleport blocks around my house. So I take my right hand and slap the organization and then take my left hand and shove a six inch stiletto into the right eye.
That’ll make them see.
Will Dark Star and Krager have an adventure together? I’d pay to read that.
–A young writer you inspired over 17 years ago.
PS: Vlad’s book Dzur made me hungry.
Good to hear from you again. And I dunno; could happen. No promises.
Any chance you could create an a series of single volume of everything you created ? One volume for Taltos, another for short stories, another for …
Would that be impossible due to an issue on who holds on the rights of certain products that you created?
Rights might be an issue, but a bigger issue is that I’m not a publisher. I don’t decide about volumes and such, I just write the words.
So where did you learn about plot, character development, pacing, and other Writer Skills that you’ve mentioned on the blog? Did you just intuit them from favourite works, study them before diving into the pool, or what? As someone who is considering the waters, I was wondering how much of the craft you knew when you first drafted Jarhead. Did you do writing for a writers group before then? Cause, well damn, Jarhead is a nice first try >< :-)
When I first drafted Jarhead, I knew fuck-all except what I’d picked up from reading. I was lucky to have a very, very good critique group at the time I finished it. And thanks.
Downloaded ‘Hawk’. Started reading. Finished reading. Sooo … what’s/when’s the next (smile)? THANKS, SKZB!
I just finished Hawk, and it has me more excited then ever for what is to come. I’ve been reading the Vlad Taltos books since I was about 12, and my dad bought me jhereg teckla and Taltos, and I have been anxiously awaiting to see how it all ends. I have re read the entire series more time than I thought I had the patience for. I hope you continue the series as you have been doing. I wish there was a way to properly express my love for your writing. Thank you for everything so far!
I’m halfway on Hawk and I’m allready thinking about starting to read the series from the beginning or get the books I don’t have like Khaavren Romances etc. or do it both. I guess It’s gonna take at least 2 years to hear again from Vlad, am I right?
Something like, I guess. Working on the next one now, but don’t know how long it’ll take.
Merry Christmas Sir, and Happy New Year. :)
I’ve been a huge fan of Vlad and company since I started reading them in the early 90s. I know taht every good series comes to an end eventually but I hope to never see the end of Vlad and Loiosh. They’ve been very good friends through the years. I’ve visited the Dragaera many times and will come back time and again. Thanks for the great times
Many thanks, Adam.
What are the chances that all the Vlad books will eventually get released in ebook formats? I’m especially interested in Nook format, since that’s what I own.
All the Tor ones are out, and I’m waiting on the contracts for the Ace ones to arrive in the mail. (Of course, I’ve been waiting for two months now, but I haven’t lost hope).
Oh! That’s fantastic news! I have the first 8 or so in paperback, but I’d like to read them all again from the very beginning on my Nook, since it’s been so long since I read them the first time.
I’ll keep watch!
Your writing inspires my imagination.Vlad is a trophy of a character.
Looking forward to more.
Most importantly, thank you.
I just read Hawk. As per my usual Vlad experience, Loved it.
Now kindly remember, when eventually the mini series is eventually cast,charismatic, but not pretty. Can you see someone like a young Brad Pitt as Vlad? yeeesh! :-)
I very much am looking forward to your next installment on the life of Vlad and his shenaniganss with odd assorted compatriots.
http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/ii88/varyok/jhereg.jpg kind of looks like a jhereg. don’t you think?
Huh. Yeah, kinda does.
darn. The only books I don’t have that you wrote in either ebook format or paperback is
“The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars” and “Gyspy.” Darn publishers not releasing them in ebook format.
Sorry, I didn’t know there was a dedicated thread about your books. Reposting my question here…
I just noticed that Book of Athyra and Book of Taltos are available for Kindle now, presumably with Book of Jhereg coming soon (I *DO* wish they’d published them as individual novels, but it’s better than never having them at all)…
I just wanted to know if the source of these was scanned from hardcopy (I presume so, unless you have some VERY dedicated folks re-typing everything), and if so, if there have been any reports of errors creeping into the process. I’ve had some favorite authors with older works practically RUINED by cheap scanning and no error-checking…
Thanks, and looking forward to finally getting to reread the older Vlad stories in my preferred format… :)
Actually, is there any particular reason for the “Book of” collections (both in the first place, and now that we’re getting them in e-book form for the first time)? Their titles cause confusion with the individual novels, and being forced to have half of my collection in each form disturbs me in a “hobgoblin of little minds” kind of way. :)
Thanks for your patience… :)
Reed: I don’t know. I’ve wondered about that myself. It isn’t how I’d have preferred it, but I trust publishers (generally) know their business. As for the first three ebooks, after about three years of struggle getting them out there (don’t ask), I’m just happy they exist.
Hi there :)
I met Vlad, Loiosh and Human beings in French. Kind of breakfast.
Then, I had to learn reading English in order to follow the stream…
I just finished Hawk, and felt here looking for some more Bitch Patrol kickin’ :)
Thank you so much, Mr Brust, for the good times, past and coming !
That’s wonderful to hear, Giles. Thank you.
Mr Brust, I just wanted to drop a line that I loved your Firefly story. It absolutely felt like the real deal; I don’t think you could have nailed the feel of the show nor the personalities of the characters any better. If only they’d restart the series… I don’t care if I have seen the movie.
I’m feeling the need to visit Vlad and Loiosh and all their friends again… but beggars have to settle for what they can get. Best of health to you sir, and eagerly awaiting the next adventure!
Thanks for the adventure. I reread the Taltos books once per year religiously, although Robin Hobb has encroached on some of the fantasy time allotted.
I recently purchased Brokedown Palace and was swept away by the poetical style used. Is this typical of Hungarian prose? And will you be revisiting our friends in the east again?
Thank you for the years of entertainment.
Thanks for the kind words. I’d say that the style is pretty typical of English translations of Hungarian folktales. I don’t know if I’ll be going back there; nothing currently planned, but who knows?
I am a devoted fan of your work and, like Scott above, work my way through the Taltos series at least once a year. I would first like to express my appreciation for the hours of enjoyment you have brought to me. Second I am curious if there are any plans for a full length novel to continue or fill in the Khaavarden Romance storyline
thankyou for many years of incredible reading
If I may sir, I have loved your novels since I was 13. Vlad has to be my favourite character in any series I’ve read. He’s such a smart ass it kills me. Anyway, a few years back my husband managed to get a signed copy of Taltos for me and I am quite proud to say it sits on my self of collectables so I can brag about it when people are over. You have a wonderful mind and I’m looking forward to what comes after Vallista!
You’re very kind. Thank you.
Read the entire library de Vlad over the last two months.
As an old SF reader I skew a little away from fantasy. – but my favorite long time author, Roger Zelazny bridged whatever separation there might be between genres. And he liked you. As do I. Picked you up due to that connection and Jo Walton’s paean to you in her What Makes This Book Great, (that I just picked up).
Actually read Cowboy Feng— more than a couple of decades ago.
I question and admire how you have maintained a feel for a character over decades. Probably a unique achievement.
Also, as a socialist, I appreciate your inclusion of class in the books, without making them didactic.
Anyway. Thank you.
Thank you kindly! And sorry about the delay in approving your posts; I’ve been traveling and neglecting my blog. Mea culpa.
I have been reading your chronicles of Vlad Taltos since the early 80’s, ever since Roger Zelazny said “Watch Steven Brust. He’s good. He moves fast. He surprises you.”
I have been buying your books as they were published, first in paperback, then as hardcovers when you moved to Tor, for over 30 years. I have even (eventually) tracked down a hardcover edition of To Reign in Hell.
Even after many readings, I still cannot help but giggle in pleasure while (re)reading To Reign in Hell or The Phoenix Guards. Probably the only books to actually make me giggle while reading.
And after 30 years, I cannot even guess how many times I have gone back and reread the adventures of Vlad and his friends. A dozen? Two dozen? “Doesn’t matter!” as Napper used to say. The stories are always good and will eventually be read again (and again).
I know that both I and others have asked about ever seeing the Vlad Taltos series reissued in leather clad editions some day. Now that we are in the age of Kickstarter and Amazon’s Independent Publishing Platform and other Print on Demand websites, would there be more of a chance that these might become a reality?
Of course, I am trying to patiently wait for Tsalmoth (tentatively) and The Baron of Magister Valley…..
Was just browsing the list as I’m fairly interested in checking your work in English because not much has been published in French yet and… hey, the latest ones are not in the list !
Yeah, just send my remarks on those to Corwin a few days ago. He or Felix will probably update the page soon.
Love them all, but a special place in my heart for Agyar, the best of its kind and always a treat around Halloween.
I have been a fan of yours since I stole my roommates paperback of To Reign in Hell. I disagree that you could do better, it is inspired. I named my Golden Retriever Baez in honor of this book. I didn’t want to have to explain how I am not a Satanist and give her the longer name.
That led me to the Vlad books and the Khavren Romances. I am going to buy Agyar tomorrow since you think it is your best work.
You have two of my favorite books of all time, the third being Get Shorty, what can I say, Elmore Leonard is funny and a bit perverse.
Can you give (or post) when your next Vkad book is expected? I want to order it.
Mr. Brust I have enjoyed your Vlad Taltosh series for years since I was young. I have a question. Will you ever write a book about that world that explains the universe in a cohesive whole? I mean you have hinted at pieces of it in the books, about humans, where they came from, where the dragerian humans (elves) came from and pieces about gods, demons, the Great Weapons and their purpose and the uber aliens that enslaved everyone to do experiments on them, on chaos magic and other things. I would just like before you pass from writing at all to write one book that ties it all together as a mostly cohesive whole from beginning to current day. Trying to piece it all together and figure out what the real history is over decades has been frustrating.
Thank you, Scott. I’m sorry to tell you I almost certainly won’t do that. The sort of thing I love as a reader requires that I take the pieces the author has given me and try to make sense of them. I recognize that other readers enjoy things differently, but that’s one how I love to approach things (see the work of Wolfe and Zelazny for example), and of course, what I love as a reader informs what I do as a writer more than any other factor. I do understand, and I apologize, but that just isn’t my thing.
Scott, you might enjoy my (ongoing) attempts to “piece it all together and figure out what the real history is” at the Dragaera Timeline site: http://www.panix.com/~alexx/dragtime.html There’s another good fan-run site called The Lyorn Records.
Hi Steven, would be interested in when the nest vlad novel will be out and will it be this year 2019?? many many thanks for every book you have written since i first picked up to reign inhell..
Working on it now, Richard. There will be a Paarfi novel out in early 2020. Thanks for asking.
Good question and an even better answer! Looking forward to it!
Now the anticipation I must overcome.
Read the snippet on your facebook page skzb, and i`m yearning to read that as well. Treesaint i1m always doing what you said..
Steven, I have never left any kind of feedback or even attempted to communicate with an author. Who am I to critique an author, who is anybody to critique any work or art, except the artist. However, I am compelled.
When I read Jhereg for the first time, I was impressed. Fantastic book, even more fantastic characters. Then you followed that up with Yendi, and had a follow up book that was as good as the first. In and of itself a difficult task. You are very clever, able to dive into the psyche of your characters like no other. The dialogue is both amusing as well as insightful. However, I just read Vallista, and I have to call you out. The last 4 books have been such a departure from the originals that I have to say that your cleverness is twisting the book itself into being a book about your cleverness, and not about the book itself. You don’t have to write a book that is so cleverly written, that there is no real reason to read the book.
Upon reading Jhereg, a person is richer for it. It is like reading the Hobbit. Yes, Jhereg is that good. Reading the Hobbit makes a person better for it. The same with Jhereg. Vallista is a book that once read, was just a book to read while killing time on a flight. Except for the part about Verra, the rest of the book did not propel the series in any direction. Hawk was similar, other than a couple of points, the rest was not very meaningful. These couple of books that occur over just a couple of days, do not resonate like Jhereg and Yendi did.
I ask you as an appreciative reader, that you return to the style of Jhereg when you write the next few books to complete the Cycle.
Nothing that I am writing is intended in any way shape or form to be disrespectful or unappreciative of your efforts. No matter what occurs, Jhereg and Yendi are two of my favorite books.
It’s been 27 years since a middle school acquaintance first got me hooked on your writing back in 7th grade. The early works were awesome, but I think your writing has gotten much more cerebral and complex over the years and it’s great that it isn’t formulaic. Your books have gotten me through some tough times, and have provided a lot of joy also in good times. Are there any plans for Vlad and Cawti to fully reconcile ? Or a new love interest ? I’m hoping Vlad has a daughter some day to help him explore his more sensitive side. I agree with one of the posters that it would be interesting to hear more about Cawti but I’d be more interested in what she has been thinking and doing during Vlad’s nomadic existence.
Anyway, it must be annoying when your readers make suggestions – we trust that you’ll continue to lead us down exciting paths.
Many thanks for the kind words!
The Vlad Taltos series I discovered recently taught me again the joy of reading at a moment where I could no more bring myself to open even a short story.
I could go for ages describing exaclty how much I love Dragaera and the characters and the style, but I’ll try to make this a little briever than the Viscount of Adrilanka (well, I’ll do my best…).
As an eastern European, all those references about Eastern European culture and food are a pure delight to read.
An even greater delight is to notice how your work seem to be inspired by one of my favorite authors Roger Zelany. The ending of Phoenix is comparable to the ending of the “Courts of Chaos” (Chronicles of Amber) and I could not make a bigger compliment. Your statement at Tor.com that Zelasny inspired you to write is just… so relatable.
Just a question: when you wrote the Khaavren Romances I am reading right now, did it occur to you the theurapetical effect of discovering one of your favorite authors totally fanboying about another one of your favorite authors?
Despite having appreciated Iorich’s melancholic beauty, I was the happiest finding the old Vlad, snarky and determined, in Hawk and Vallista, so I’m intensely looking forward for the last four novels. Actually, even more intensely since I learned you plan Tsalmoth to happen between Yendi and Jhereg, my favorite timeline of the series (this is the moment of me ridiculously fangirling over the chance to see more of Aliera e’Kieron and especially Morrolan e’Drien, totally not my all-time favorite supporting character).
And the last thing, I am more than surprised you dislike Yendi, which I found beyond brilliant and probably my favorite of the series. I doubt whether it’s my lack cultural taste or you judging your work too severely.
Anyway, thank you so much for offering us the world of Dragaera and I am looking forward to attack your other works!
Well, this is very kind. Thank you. And, no, that never occurred to me; but I was too busy cackling while writing that one to think about much of anything. :-) Thank you!
For me it was seeing a comment by Zelazny on one of your book covers.
Reader, I bought it.
I am reading FHYA for about the 18th time right now, and I am cackling while reading it. So there.
The first few times I read FHYA I thought I was simply enjoying escapist entertainment. Now that I am more familiar with skzb’s views on human nature and the mechanisms of power, I am enjoying the book on another level. There are several nuggets of ideas related to the class struggle sprinkled in, but they fit in so naturally that they do not spoil the story. Indeed, they are the story.
Khaavren, a loyal servant of the ruling elite, has no interest in helping the populace organize. But he does have an understanding of the circumstances under which the population might do so. And he counsels the emporer away from policies that would needlessly antagonize the people.
It’s really quite fascinating.
:-) We can’t help knowing what we know.
so its 2020 and i am going on 75 and hoping to make it long enuff to read the rest of Vlad. any way you can write the last 4 books this year or two????
thanx for almost 40 years of joy. Peace and Love!!
I’ll do my best. :-)
Thanks for the many years of laughs! Every couple of months or so on a day off I grab one of your books from my shelf and spend a few hours having a great time. I’m looking forward to adding another book to my Brust shelf soon!
Book Cover Question: I am in the process of publishing my first novel and my agent let me know that I wrote the book and to let the publisher worry about the marketing. Do you have input on book covers? You have always had great covers and I have always loved the painted covers all my favorite authors had (Yes you are in the club), but I am being told that those are no longer popular with readers. I trust that my people know what they are talking about, but…Any insight?
I think I am now at the point in my career that, if I really really hated a cover, they’d at least listen to me. In general, no, I have no input on the cover. I’ve just gotten very lucky. Also, congratulations!
Fan from when I read Jhereg in ’83 (yep, the cover drew me in – and even as a kid I knew covers were a poor reason to pick a book. But Something has to grab your attention..). My email includes one the novels – so, yeah, I love Brust and the joy his books have brought me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. – mm
Baron of Magister Valley pre-ordered through my local brick and mortar bookstore.
Any chance of a nice leather bound set, the Vlad Taltos novels beg to be an heirloom item. I’ve read them so many times on my kindle that I took all the ebooks and put them in word and organized then in chronological order just so I can read a few thousand pages without having to stop and remember which book comes next. I start at the beginning every time a new novel comes out.
That would be up to a publisher–I don’t have any control over things like that.
I agree with the OP and understand your reply, but wouldn’t your suggestion bare some weight ?
I know I would covet a collection. My current volumes look atrocious due to my reading and both my sons.
A reasonable question, but, no, it really wouldn’t.
And I am guessing skzb would be contractually barred from authorizing a definitive leather-bound set, crafted at ruinous expense by an artisinal book-wright?
Huh. You might be, I don’t actually know. Erm….I THINK I own the rights to anything like that, but I’d have to check.
Holidays, extreme interest.
Is an audiobook version of Baron of Magister Valley planned?
Not yet, alas. I hope there will be one eventually.
Well if it happens skzb needs to be the one reading it.
Who is Tukko? where are the rest the great weapons? will Vlad ever talk to Lady Teldra? will Vlad find his soulmate? who will the final contract be? Zerika? Vera? Noish-pa?
Inquiring minds want to know.
In all seriousness the Vlad Taltos series has to be the one I’ve read and reread the most, and its older than I am! Thank you for the wonderful world you’ve created that I can lost in.
Thanks kindly. :-)
I do myself the honor of posing two brief, though I daresay, important questions: 1. In 500 Years, Sethra draws on ‘the power of Dzur Mountain’ to teleport Aliera, the Orb, Mario (?!) and herself. Will there be any further explanation of this? 2. Do you hope to see Vlad and Co. come to the big screen? Any thoughts? Best regards.
I would love to see this series turned into a netflix series like the Witcher. I am hoping better minds than me are trying to pitch this idea to netflix, amazon or any of the streaming sevices.
Hello Mr Brust, I just wanted to drop a thank you for all the wonderfully entertaining stories. I’ve been following Vlad and Loiosh for over 30 years now. Yendi was long my favorite up until The Phoenix Guards was published, and I think I’ve read that ten times or more. Then Issola. Dzur. So damn fun! I also enjoyed Hawk immensely.
I recalled the main plot points of both the Count of MC and the Baron of MV to my wife while on hikes in the Rockies; it’s a good way to not just fill up time, but we also inevitably wander down conversational trails that we both find rewarding.
I look forward to each new Vlad book with anticipation and trepidation, as we get closer to the inevitable series finale. I hope you continue to find Vlad fun to write, and that we find out the answers to a few more questions (but not to all of them!) Just fair warning, that I’ll never forgive you if I don’t hear from Lady Teldra before it’s over; I think I’m in love with her too. Don’t tell my wife. I have this three-way convo between her, Vlad and Loiosh battering around in my imagination, hearkening back to the wilderness scenes in Issola.
By the way, I still have a beat-up old copy of the ‘choose your own adventure’ booklet published back in the late 80’s, I think? I’m not sure how much of a role you had in it, because the plot doesn’t seem to quite match the characteristics of the houses, but it’s a blast to revisit now and then.
Many thanks for all the kind words. Other than the intro, I didn’t have a lot to do with that.
I kind of hate you. I read Phoenix when it went to paperback at the local library at about 8yo. It was the first book after the mind blowing LOTR(lotr at 8 is mind blowing) and it was life changing. I asked for more of your books for my birthday and got a the previous Vlad books but my brother and sister stole them and proceeded to gift them to their friends after reading them. I finally got to read Jhereg Yendi and Tekla after getting a paper route and buying them(I didn’t know interlibrary loans existed). Those 3 altered my life. I wanted to be Vlad, and loved Sethra with all my heart. Then came The Phoenix Gaurds and 500 Years after which changed me to something else. I wanted to be the best traits of all the characters. Orca and Athyra are not fun. They are good books but are not enjoyable. Paths of the Dead, Lord of Castle Black, and Sethra Lavode were heart breaking. Dragon is a great read. Issola is the most enjoyable book I’ve ever read. Dzur is great. It’s been rough since then. I miss the fun so much. Please write to be fun again. It makes my life better when you bring the fun. Also please continue the fucking plot. What happens between the Gods and the Jenoine?? I need to know. I have Lavode tattooed on my arm along with a dragon and an exact replica of the Phoenix from that cover art. I spent several years learning martial arts with a fairly good MMA record trying to be more Lavode like. I’m getting older and life is rough right now, it’s 3 am and I’m fairly drunk, and I’d like you to bring back the fun. I want magic and the orb and the gods and Vlad to finally work things through. I want Lady Teldra to wake up! Please
I respectfully disagree.
Hawk was amazing, probably my favorite so far.
Jhegaala was also very good. Iorich also was good. The most recent one Vallista was different but not in a bad way, just took a reread for me
to fully appreciate it. I struggled a bit with Tiassa but I blame myself. I think the newer books are just as good if not better than than older ones.
Issola was outstanding- that I agree with.
With the revamped web page (looks good), I was hoping we would get entries here for the books written since (Vallista, Baron, Incr II, Heroes, etc).
My only gripe is that “recent comments” no longer display at the bottom. At least not on my “smart” phone.
Oh, there they are. I switched to desktop view, and there they are. Carry on.
Kragar: On Mobile, the sidebar content is displayed when clicking/touching the “hamburger” menu at the top right.
In Jhegaala you make mention of Tereza’s flaisl and even make a footnote about it mentioning it as “a warm abstract patterned fabric used by prairie prostitutes”. Is the term something you made up? Is it based on something that historically existed or existed in someone else’s fiction? If so, could you expand a bit upon that?
I’m going to ask the question you want to answer first: What are you currently working on?
Now I’m going to ask the question to which I really want an answer: When is the next damn Vlad book coming out? Ok, two questions: What House will it be?
I’m working on Lyorn.
The next one to come out is Tsalmoth, currently scheduled (I’m sorry to say) for April 2023.
that long.. just make copies of the uncorrected proof(about 1-200 please.. we all thank you for whats been done so far..
April of 2023? Nice. Now I have something more to look forward to.
And I think there was a thread on flaisl. There was a fairly mundane explanation iirc. Maybe a typo. Sorry it isn’t more fun.
Hello! I read Jhereg when first published back in high school and I’ve been a fan ever since. Thank you!
I do wish to add that I recently listened to the entire Vlad series on audiobook and Bernard Setaro Clark did an excellent job. Angele Masters as Kiera was also a delight in Orca. Though, I always read Vlad’s response to Loiosh as if said very quickly and playfully, “shut-up-Loiosh” rather than each word spread out. But I can live with that. ;) Readers choice!
In Steve’s (and his publisher’s) defense, please keep in mind that there are massive supply-chain issues that are globally affecting multiple different markets right now. One of them, according to many articles I’ve read in the last few months, is the book market. Even though Steve, and many other authors I’m aware of, have turned in first, and in some cases final, drafts, the publishing industry has warned the market at large that they will not be publishing said drafts as quickly as they would like. As with so many other industries at the moment, COVID has had a massive impact on how quickly we will be receiving the books we are frothing at the mouth over…
So looking forward to “Tsalmoth,” and so glad you’re making progress on “Lyorn!”
What about releasing the books on kindle or as pdfs while we wait for the physical copies to be made? I would not argue with reading them on my computer or a tablet.
I’m sure all this modern tech we now have was supposed to speed things up. On the other hand the 1980’s version of me would not have been able to imagine thanking you and having the chance to tick off the months to April 2023.
Still don’t suppose you can get Vlad to persuade your publisher to speed things up a bit?
Yeah once skzb finishes a book, a lot has to happen that he has no control over before we get it into our hot little hands.
So far, every single damn one of them has been well worth the wait.
actually one of them was bad ( i would use a brittish euphemism but that would be bad word play). The wandering around a house book was just bad. after a lifetime of waiting to finish the series brust and Jordan both convinced me never to start a series that doesnt already have an ending. I like open and shut stories not neverending paragraphs that meander like George martin’s thrones series. Seriously, bad play. I may die before this series ends and seriously that is a sad thing. I liked vlad and I wanted to play an rpg in that world. never quite worked out when I tried to imitate it myself.
Vallista? Actually, read it again. During the second reading, you no longer have to devote brain energy to solving the puzzle, and you can pick up more of the nuance.
That was my experience, anyway.
I’m with Kragar here. The first read on Vallista was a bit of a slowdown and a slog at times after the fast pace of the previous few, but on successive reads I found my enjoyment of it increasing each time. There are some wonderful scenes, notably with the Dancer, the Demon, the Warlock, and Verra, some of which touched on important information as we head into the final few here.
The only Vlad book that I don’t re-read frequently, and enjoy, is Jhegaala, but I still don’t think of it as “bad,” not at all. I don’t finish “bad” books. Period. My time is too precious to do so.
There’s a few comments about passing over to the other side before the series gets written (not to mention published)
But it occurred to me that if we do pass over before the series is completed it is said that being freed from the physical dimensions of time and space we can read the completed series finally (and funnily enough anything our dear “scriptor extraordinair” has ever and will ever write) lol
Something to look forward to.
Please form an orderly queue.
Am I the only person who likes Orca? The one that broke my heart was Issola.
What Derek said. It’s a global supply chain issue, and there’s nothing I or the publisher can do about it, I’m afraid. Believe me, I hate it too.
I really like Orca. skzb does, too.
That probably should count for something.
Ken: Huh. I’m pretty sure they’re all available on Kindle now. At least, I thought they were. Hell, what do I know?
Privateiron – You’re definitely not alone in loving Orca, nor are you alone in being heartbroken by Issola ;-)~ If it means anything at all, I will tell you that Orca is one of the 4 Vlad books that I enjoy, and re-read, the most.
skzb; ken lewis – I imagine that ken was asking about the possibility of releasing Tsalmoth in digital format before releasing it in print (please correct me if I’m wrong ken).
That’s a complicated question and one that I’ve seen many different answers to, from both authors and publishers, so I don’t feel qualified to give a response to it.
Anyone else feel like taking that one on?
The easiest answer is that, due to events outside of skzb’s control, Tsalmoth is not yet ready in either format. I am speculating, not reporting. Heh.
Yeah, that’s about it.
I have no problem waiting until 2023 to read Tsalmoth. Especially if skzb is currently cooking something else up, hopefully to be published in 2024.
Tsalmoth book drop is obviously being timed for the super-secret release of the new HBO series, House of the Tsalmoth, a cinematic retelling of Adron’s Disaster through the eyes of Deleen, the Tsalmoth librarian.
I would love that so much
My theory is, the publisher won’t issue the Kindle version a year (plus) in advance of the physical book; presumably, because this would likely cannibalize sales too much. I could be wrong but…doesn’t the hardback usually come out first?
My hardbacks are Tor, so unless skzb’s changed recently, I’d assume Tor has the initial publication rights, and they have the policy-making authority.
I liked Orca. Granted: one of the most enjoyable aspects of the books is the byplay, and in Orca, that’s limited to Kiera. Even then their dialogs are often plot-related.
Funny but serious scenario – my wife has been using my paperbook copies of Taltos and Teckla as bases underneath her dresser to level it out. Every time I would walk past it I would find myself getting annoyed that two classics were being put to this use. I even asked her to take them out which she rebuffed. Being torn between my heart and head on what to do next I decided to buy extra copies of both online and in the process made sure I had at least one copy of every Vlad book. Problem solved ! I’m rereading Jhegaala right now and got my 3 year old to spell it ! That’s one of the most underrated ones.
I love Jhegaala even though some very sad and upsetting things happen in that story.
The excerpts from the play are brilliant.
I’ve been a huge fan of yours since the 90’s, thanks for all the wonderful worlds and dreamscapes. I’ve been collecting your books and leaving them in my bookshelf while purposely not telling my kids about them in hopes that they will immediately read them, when I picked up a couple of rarities that caught my interest; The Dzurlord choose your own adventure, which has the most straight forward explanation of Vlad’s world I’ve ever read, and the Jhereg graphic novel. I know you only wrote the forward to each but I was wondering if you would deign to offer your opinion of how they both turned out. Thanks again!
Stoked. A cover, a release date (April 25, 2023 on the Kindle). https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0765382849/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1651360388&sr=8-3
A question for Steven – with all of the intricate chronology of events in your books, and with some books having a much different place in that plot timeline than their publication date, do you have a giant timeline with everything marked down, or how do you keep track of everything that has happened and will happen ? It seems really complicated to me to get all of the order of things right but you do a great job of it.
So Tsalmoth is almost a year away? Sigh.
I’m afraid I’m not much of fan of either one.
Tsalmoth can be pre-ordered now! And the cover looks great! Yay!
Schuyler: Actually, I do that for him :-) (And for my own pleasure, and the benefit of other readers.) It *is* complicated, but I started back when there were many fewer books…
So… Wednesday I found out the Phil Dragash audioscape of LoTR is on Spotify. Thursday, I peeked into my Audible library and found the new Guy Gavriel Kay book, which I had pre-ordered but hadn’t marked the date. Happiness!
Today, on a whim, I decide to see if my luck will hold. Are you kidding me? There’s a release date for my absolute all time favorite assassin and he’s getting married?! Having Covid for a week has been no fun at all, but if it ends with me marking my calendar with a reminder next year for Vladsday, all’s well that ends better. It’s been an excellent week in the world of literary brain candy dropping on my phone is all I’m saying.
For the record Vladsday is an actual holiday on my calendar. I have taken it off of work now for over a decade. In the past, before I realized I needed to actually schedule the day off, it was an impromptu sick day following the squee of finding new Vlad or new Paarfi randomly at the bookstore and scraping up all the pennies.
Now? I schedule *well* in advance, cook a lot of good food the day before, lay out in a hammock with delicious adult beverages, and devour the book on release day. I might remember to eat, but it’s very optional until finished. This is the only series I do this with.
Thank you for all the joy!
Also, any plans to followup with more Incrementalists? I recognize that this means Vladsdays are less frequent, but I’m imagining Ren watching Dr. DeShawn Taylor on the evening news talking about reproductive rights and I’d love to see her reaction. Or at the very least, her rants.
Thank you so very much. To answer your question about The Incrementalists–I don’t know. Marketing-wise, the books tanked, so there’s no way to interest a publisher. There is the possibility of self-publishing, which I can only say we’re looking into. I remain very, very much attached to those characters and that world.
It really is brilliant world building, thank you for creating them! On a possibly amusing note, those audiobooks were along with me for a road trip through Kansas last September, and I absolutely wound up making a day of decision to make a stop in Osawatomie.
The level of detail to history you gave is just… chef’s kiss. Thank you!
Dear Steven Brust,
I discovered your writing through To Reign In Hell, back when I was a student. On I went to read all your standalone titles – amazed that you could make me care about a painting, and loving how Agyar never said the word – to finally get started on Jhereg. Now, I’ve read ample short fantasy to had have to do a mental double-take about the writing quality: every time I come back to your writing is a relief for how cleverly suprising the plot and sometimes humanly unclever the main character is. (Did that make sense?)
Thank you for all you’ve written. I hope for many more, but don’t want to apply pressure. Still, I have to honestly admit you’re my favourite author – any genre you write takes me to another world, and I gladly share that when asked for reading recommendations.
I do have one question, hoping you’ll answer…
I love needing to put the pieces together when reading, which your writing really invites. As such, I’ve been trying to unravel who Vlad is telling his stories to. (Not everything is written from his perspective, such as Kiera narrating most of Orca, but I’m talking about the parts he does.) Yes, he speaks to the recorder most of the time. But some of his accounts contain inconsistencies, suggesting to me that he regales some tales to another audience. Take for example how he tells different stories about losing his finger.
Now here comes my question: Am I seeing phantoms here and is Vlad just showcasing some of his dark humour or memory issues when he’s being inconsistent, or am I onto something with the different audiences theory? I do love myself a puzzle, but would love a confirmation whether this is one here. XD
Oh, and while I’ve screwed up my courage to type here. Is there any connection to the mythical Táltos having more than ten fingers and Vlad losing one?
Thank you for all the stories!
Will there be an audiobook for Tsalmoth, or is Tor abandoning the audio versions? My wife adores the Vlad Taltos series above all others, but she somehow has never managed to read Baron of Magister Valley or any of the others not on Audible. Her favorite series releasing an installment exclusively in her non-preferred medium would create quite some conflict for her I suspect .
I THINK they’re still doing audio books of the Vlad novels. Although Lyorn will present, um difficulties.
Now why might that be? Pictures? Multiple narrators?
You ördög! Dropping an intriguing comment like that about Lyorn, still years away from publication. Sigh. All right, I will settle in.
Clearly, it will be written entirely in Jenoine and is thus unpronounceable to humans.
This is also the actual cause of the paper shortages plaguing publishing as committing the Jenoine to paper caused the disappearance of large stocks of supplies in the past timeframe relative to Lyorn.
Everything still on track for April 25 2023 for Tsalmoth? And we should do another soft release party via Zoom. The one for TBoMV was so super super fun.
That was a lot of fun.
Did the audio and print versions of Vallista release at the same time? I’m still seeing nothing on audible and feeling antsy; maybe I should write a letter to the publisher .
Can Bernard Setaro Clark can carry a tune?
Let’s hope so.
Was wondering that as well.