I’ve hunted for this news for the last four months, after about two months of delay on the original deadline The Crippled God is complete and now going in the hands of the publisher.
The current estimation for the release is the 20th January, but it may as well be anticipated (it happened before) or postponed. Now it depends entirely on the publisher, hoping they’ll do a great job since Erikson deserves it.
Announce that came from Erikson’s Facebook page (but it is private and not open to fans):
“GASP! That would be me, coming up for air. How long was I down there? About twenty years, from conception to completion. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is done. Sure, editing and all that crap to follow. But … done. I don’t know who I am. Who am I again? What planet is this? Three months of butterflies … maybe this double whiskey will fix that. Hmm. No. Delayed reaction going on here.”
According to my wordcount list the complete series will be around 3 millions 3 thousands words.
It’s a monumental achievement in literature in general. No one can realistically embark for a 10-books series and expect to be successful, because no one can realistically plan ahead 20 years of his life, even more insane if this sort of plan is artistic in nature, and so more capricious and out of control. Erikson succeeded in the only way possible: sticking to deadlines and keep delivering without losing focus. He survived his own staggering ambition.
He made it. It is done.
Here’s a pertinent quote from the recent introduction to Gardens of the Moon:
The journey ahead, of words on a screen and then paper, still awaited me in the idyllic state that was the future. Yet the publication of Gardens of the Moon was, for me, a momentous event; for it permitted me to sharpen my focus, as I slowly, almost disbelievingly, comprehended that what was now coming to pass was indeed possible. These things could be reached. The import of that statement cannot be overemphasized. They can be reached.
I am now on the cusp of the tenth and final novel in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Almost ten thousand pages span the gulf from Gardens to The Crippled God, a detail even more numbing than the decade it took to compose them. I am often asked; how do you sustain it? A difficult question to answer. How do I not? I have a tale to tell and until it is done an inexorable momentum drives me, an impatience against which I still struggle, knowing I need to do it right, and that haste is my deadliest enemy. Especially now.
I cannot claim any prescience with that opening; perhaps, indeed, I was aware on some subconscious level that I was fighting the very thing that confounds many readers with this series. For me, it was the push to advance the story versus the pull to keep it under control, to hold tight on the reins no matter how wild the bucking beast. For the reader, the whole thing reverses: the story pulls, the details prod, claw and tug.
Prod and pull, ‘this the way of the gods …
I can only say that I’m glad I found these books, I feel like I’ve waited all my life just to read them :)