Steven Erikson is just a Glen Cook hack??

Lacedaemonian

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Steven Erikson is just a Glen Cook hack??

Having just read the first three volumes of The Black Company series by Glen Cook I was left feeling shocked and disappointed. How could Erikson use so much of this work and not feel abject guilt?

Do not get me wrong, there is almost enough original materials in the Malazan series to forgive Erikson for his weakness. However, the characters that appealed to me and got me hooked in Malazan can all be found parading around in the Black Company. The Bridge Burners are almost an exact replica of the Black Company . Even the major themes can be found detailed in The Black Company.

The Black Company are a set of crack soldiers. They are comical and a little off the wall, especially in the way they achieve their objectives.

They end up working for an Empress, who nobody seems to know much about. She is portrayed as an evil doer but questions remain about who is actually evil....

The Empress usurped the all powerful Emperor - who returns later as an all powerful creature and who it is later revealed has meddled in affairs.

The Empress has many interesting and poweful characters working beneath her, there are many twists and turns with regards their allegiances.....

Thoughts.
 

Rane Longfox

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Black Company is still on the to-read pile, so I can't really comment in detail, other than to say Erikson has stated Cook as one of his main inspirations many times. I don't find it suprising that there are similarities.

Of course, take the Bridgeburners out of Erikson's books and you've still got... well, all the other parts;) I imagine if you take the Black Company out of Cook's, you're kinda lacking much remaining content.

Add to it the Empress stuff - well, most rulers are portrayed as evil at some point or other if they're not main characters, though I would argue that Laseen is never really portrayed as such if you look at it properly - power-greedy, sure, but who isn't?



But a hack? Ouch. Kevin J Anderson is a hack. David Eddings is occasionally a hack. Terry Goodkind is a hack. Erikson is not a hack.
 

Lacedaemonian

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Read The Black Company, mate. It runs far deeper than the items that I mentioned. Erikson is a far greater writer and i will continue to read his work but I no longer hold him in such high esteem. That esteem has to be held in reserve for Glen Cook.
 

DeepThought

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Just started The Black Company. Obviously similarities, especially (as you mentioned); Bridgeburnner/Back Company...But I admit to not ably doing justice to a counter argument to that statement (thread-title) at this moment in time...though as Rane said, Erikson is no hack, anybody who's seriously read his books (at the least up to the fifth volume of Malazan) wouldn't be in doubt and can attest to that IMHO.

Cheers, DeepThought
 

Lacedaemonian

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I have read all of Erikson's Malazan series. He is a far more talented writer but the core of his work is not his. I suspect that the more I read by Glen Cook the more I will see of Eriksons genius....
 

GOLLUM

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Having read both Cook and Erikson Yes it is correct that Erikson draws upon Cook to a not insignificant extent and Cook is basically acknowledged as the modern father of so-called Military fantasy with added grit (a pioneer of sorts) but Erikson still has enough original elements in there to be recognised as an independent force IMO.

Personally I enjoy that style of writing but I agree that Erikson is the better writer.

In fairness Erikson has always cited Cook as a major influence and e authors just like other aritsts will always be influenced to some degree by those who went before.
 

hammerhead

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I have read both Cook and Erikson also, and like Gollum i agree.
But you will notice with Cook at least i did
the next two books ( books of the south ) are decent but the last four for me
has the same effect as Jordon and Goodkind drawn out way too much.
As far as Erikson every book has gotten better and he has never lost his punch so far
 

Lacedaemonian

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I say that Erikson lost his way a bit tbh but seems to be finding his feet again. I have not read Cook's latter books.
 

Rane Longfox

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Yeah, I wouldn't say Erikson is getting better and better. RG was dissapointing once you finished reading it and looked back... still, high hopes of Toll the Hounds, back in Darujhistan :D
 

Werthead

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The problem with the original question is that the Bridgeburners are only at the forefront of the action in Books 1 and 3. That's it. I imagine we'll see some of the shattered remnants of the group in Book 8, but the rest of them are all dead. The Bridgeburners aren't in Books 2, 4-7 or 9-10 (okay, a few former members of the group crop up but that's it).

From what I can tell, the Bonehunters, who sort of inherit the "Woah!" mantle of the Empire's most kickass legion, are a rather different kettle of fish to both the Bridgeburners and the Black Company.
 

nj1

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Written on the back of my paper back copy of The Bonehunters -

'I stand slack-jawed in awe of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This masterwork of the imagination may be the high watermark of epic fantasy' GLEN COOK

Seems Mr Cook doesn't hold the same sentiments as you do Lace ;)
 

Lacedaemonian

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I know that, mate. I just think Cook deserved to have somebody blow his trumpet a bit louder on these forums as he has had nowhere near the coverage he deserves. All of his Black Company books have been out of print for a long time until recently. His publisher must be terrible.

I think most people agree that Erikson is the best writer in modern fantasy. Martin, Erikson and Bakker have taken the genre to new heights.

Anyway, anybody involved in this thread prior to the crash will have seen a better level of discussion and my admission that I had an agenda to get people hooked on Glen Cook. I never once said that Erikson was a bad writer - simply that some of his early ideas and concepts were not entirely his. Not something I found easy to convey but anybody who has read both works would know what I was talking about. Unless they were liars. :)
 

viZion

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Does Erikson get better? After the first two books?

I could hardly stomach them to be totally honest.
I thought the first two were merely OK. They were just good enough for me to try the third book which many people said is one of the greatest fantasy books ever written. Unfortunately, for me the third book was just more of the same and even added a few more extremely tedious characters. The biggest culprit is the Mhybe who was just horrible and about halfway through the book I just started skipping her passages entirely. Skip anything written in italics as well.

Uh, long story short: no, it doesn't get any better/different after the first two books. I imagine that if you like the first two you'll like the rest and vice versa.
 

a|one

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I thought the first two were merely OK. They were just good enough for me to try the third book which many people said is one of the greatest fantasy books ever written. Unfortunately, for me the third book was just more of the same and even added a few more extremely tedious characters. The biggest culprit is the Mhybe who was just horrible and about halfway through the book I just started skipping her passages entirely. Skip anything written in italics as well.

Uh, long story short: no, it doesn't get any better/different after the first two books. I imagine that if you like the first two you'll like the rest and vice versa.
i hope you get shot
 
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