Steven Erikson is just a Glen Cook hack??

GOLLUM

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Not sure if I could have put it any better Nixie. As far as greats of military fantasy go, let us not forget one Paul Kearney...:)

More strictly speaking, the above comments obliviously depend upon what you mean by military fantasy of course. Plenty of authors before them had that element to their writing, in fact it could be argued since the beginnings of recorded time but in a contemporary sense Cook is certainly the father of a certain style of military fantasy where the military element is very much front and centre with Erikson and Kearney taking it to a higher level again IMO.
 

ddolan

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hello I'm new to the forum and just stumbled upon this site after finishing the 6th book of Erikson. I did a Google search to see what the Cook/Erikson relationship was. I still am not sure whether they are/were friends or if Erikson just followed the style. I have read all The Black Company Books at least 5 Times and I think I felt closer to One-Eye(My Favorite) and Co. after each reading. I even admit to tearing up a bit. As for Erikson, I'm just glad that I finally found something that even came close to Cooks novels. I have not gotten anything done in the last week as I rip through the series. For now Let me just say that Cook's Black Company made you feel like you were a member of the Vietnam War-like Acid Tab taking company, While Erikson seems to take a way broader view of things. I hope Glen Cook writes more and in my ignorance I have not Googled either writer to see what else they are up to. By the way, was it messed up of me to skip Book 5 just because I didn't see any Bridgeburners in it? anyway I guess I should do some more research both writers could be dead for all I know.
 

ddolan

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If I love Black Company so much can you guys suggest some other authors or books to me. I can't believe it took me 20 years to find out about Cook. Also did anyone like the Garrett P.I. Stuff? I know It was a little Young Adultish but I thought it a Welcome relief at the time, for me anyway
 

Clansman

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ddolan:

Midnight Tides
is something of a prequel to GotM, taking place just before the story with Crokus and the Bridgeburners starts in Darujhistan. It explains where the Tiste Edur Trull Sengar came from (you should remember him from House of Chains), and a bit of the history of the Tiste Edur and the Tiste Andii.

You also get introduced to the Crimson Guard.

I would read Midnight Tides next (you will like the characters, but there are no Bridgeburners at all), and then read the first two Esselmont novels, Night of Knives (a very quick read) and then Return of the Crimson Guard, which takes place immediately following the events of The Bonehunters. Then, move on with the next Erikson book.

The Erikson books and the Esselmont books are meant to be read together. RotCG is a fairly important part of the narrative. NoK gives you very important pieces of backstory regarding Surly's overthrow of Kallanved to become the Empress Laseen, and the ascension of Kallanved and Dancer to become Shadowthrone and Cotillion. Also, you find out what really happened to Dassem Ultor at Y'Ghatan. As I said, NoK is a very quick, enjoyable read.
 

Bugg

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I've read The Black Company, Shadows Linger and The White Rose and thought they were brilliant. There's something about Cook's economy with words, the short, sharp, punchy sentences which make me think he's fantasy's equivalent to James Ellroy. I liked the humour in them as well, particularly the ongoing pranks between the two mages.

I don't think there's any harm in Erikson drawing inspiration from such good books. He has, imo, taken the template and kicked it up several levels (without - it has to be said - the economy of words!!). I like both authors. I think it's kind of refreshing for a fantasy writer to be influenced by someone other than Tolkein :D

I've got several more of Cook's novels sitting on the shelf - this is encouraging me to get a move on and read them, thanks! :)
 

Koopa

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I've read the first three books of the black company resently. And whilst there are some similar ideas (Erikson admits he was inspired by glen cook), the books as whole though are very different.

As for the similarities, the execution of it all is very different. erikson writhing style imo is so much better. I mean Croaker description of the two mages going at each other wasn't that funny, and it was supposed to be. Just like other stuff didn't bring tears of laughter to my eyes, at best there was a haha funny. erikson though had me cracking up with hellian, with Fiddler fellow saboteur, with .... it actually was funny.
 

Bugg

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erikson though had me cracking up with hellian, with Fiddler fellow saboteur, with .... it actually was funny.
And don't forget Tehol and, um, Bugg. And Iskaral Pust and Mogora :D
 

Bunami

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And Telorast and Curdle :)
So many incredible characters. I'm about to start reading Glen Cook and am hoping there are some similarities to find tbh.
 

Bunami

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I am now about two thirds of the way through the third book in this Black Company series and am really enjoying it!
After finishing The Crippled God I have to say I really was struggling to find any kind of contact with the next few books I read. Greg Keyes Kingdom of Thorn & Bone series was a good read but just didn't grab me, then I read Feist's latest book and again was left feeling unexcited. Next was ADWD and yet again I found myself missing that 'Erikson' touch.

So thank heavens I have found what inspired Erikson to write the way he does through Glen Cooks Black Company and to see these similarities has done nothing to put me off his works in the least. Personally I have no trouble whatsoever in separating these two different works of wonderful fantasy.

Still seven more books to go yes! Plus another two more rounding out the series I believe which are yet to be written/released...
 
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Thundasnowz

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I've read all of The Black Company Books twice and all of Erikson's Malazan Books of the Fallen once. I love them both and certainly see Cook opening the gates for Erikson but do not see him as derivative.

Although the military angle and from the tench view likely comes to Erikson via Cook they also differ significantly. Cook's plots are fast moving and bare bones. Sure there are twists but it never seems like Erikson's writing that offers you a glacier of information ladled out in little incomplete bits and leaving you wondering what will come into play or not. Also Cook gives a pithy paragraph here and there examining a theme while Erikson infuses the theme into the story until it is oozing out the cracks.

Erikson can be a bit obtuse in his world building, culture building and such while Cook tells the story just letting you know what you need to know.

I love them both but find Erikson's robust style much more to my liking and very robust relative to Cook's.

No, Erikson is not a hack and I see as much anthropology, archaeology, modern liberalism, colonial guilt, environmentalism, etc. etc. as I see Cook in his work.
 

Brian G Turner

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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.

I haven't read any Glen Cook - however, I have read most of Sven Hassel's WWII novels about a group of abject downtrodden German infantrymen - and as soon as I met the Bridgeburners, I thought I was back in a Sven Hassel novel - just with fantasy overtones.

Except for Whiskeyjack, who to me is just another form of the gruff thoughtful and brilliant warrior archetype that we see in Pratchett's Vimes, Gemmell's Druss, and Abercrombie's Logen Ninefingers (and no doubt, many more)
 

Kaldaur

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They have vastly different writing styles, although some of the content may be similar. Glen Cook is a minimalist, using short, fragmented sentenced to convey his terse scenes. It's very effective. Erikson likes to ramble with his narrative. It's less effective.
 

svalbard

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20 pages into Glen Cook's Black Company series and I gave up. Hackneyed is the word I use to describe it, but then my brother(an avid Cook fan) is promising to use Gestapo tactics to get me to continue...not a chance!
 

Koopa

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After reading that Erikson was a glen cook hack, i decided to give him a go.
I too was dissapointed.
 

BAYLOR

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The Malazan Series is my favorite series. It's got everything.
 

BAYLOR

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Yes he remnds me a bit of Glen cook but so what . He's a terrific writer. Malazan is very interesting place .:):D
 

nixie

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Very, have you started his Kharkanas series yet. Although Forge of Darkness didn't capture my imagination the way GOTM did. It still leaves me wanting more, think second one Fall of Light will be released this year.
 

Bugg

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Very, have you started his Kharkanas series yet. Although Forge of Darkness didn't capture my imagination the way GOTM did. It still leaves me wanting more, think second one Fall of Light will be released this year.

I thought it was, too, but Amazon's got it down for February next year now. Probably just as well, as I'm currently on my third read through of the series (Deadhouse Gates at the moment . . . ).
 

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