Steven Erikson

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It is said that only one's will can fight against chaos, that no other weapons are possible.

Steven Erikson (born 7 October 1959) is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian archaeologist, anthropologist and novelist.

Quotes[edit]

  • — all these Dark Lords intent on creating wastelands packed with enslaved victims ... for what?

Gardens of the Moon (1999)[edit]

The dead never interupt... They but arrive.
  • The dead never interupt...They but arrive.
  • Should you ever outrun the guilt within your past, Sorceress, you will have outrun your soul. When it finds you again it will kill you.
  • An item that passes without provenance, pursued by many who thirst for its cold kiss, on which life and all that lay within life are often gambled. Alone, a beggar's crown. In great numbers, a king's folly. Weighted with ruin, yet blood washes from it beneath the lightest rain, and to the next no hint of its cost.
Death cannot be struggled against, brother. It ever arrives, defiant of every hiding place, of every frantic attempt to escape. Death is every mortal's shadow, his true shadow, and time is its servant, spinning that shadow slowly round, until what stretched before one now stretched before him.

Memories of Ice (2001)[edit]

  • The tiger is humbled by memories of prey.
    • Final thoughts of Treach, the Tiger of Summer
  • 'They've had a long time to think,' Paran murmured. 'Sometimes, that's all there's needed. The heart of wisdom is tolerance. I think.'
  • Children were meant to be gifts. The physical manifestation of love between a man and a woman. And for that love all manner of sacrifice could be borne.
  • Memories belong in the soil, in stone, in wind. They are the land's unseen meaning, such that touches the soul of all who would look — truly look — upon it. Touches, in faintest whisper, old, almost shapeless echoes — to which a mortal life adds its own.
  • To grieve is the gift of the living — a gift so many of our kin have long lost

House of Chains (2002)[edit]

  • Wise words are like arrows flung at your forehead. What do you do? Why, you duck of course.
  • "There's little value in seeking to find reasons for why people do what they do, or feel the way they feel. Hatred is a most pernicious thing, finding root in any kind of soil. It feeds on itself."
    "With words."
  • From the sun-drenched south slopes of Gris, where grow the finest grapes this world has seen. Is mine an informed opinion, you are wondering? Most assuredly so, lass, since I hold a majority interest in said vineyards —
  • With ever greater frequency they annihilate themselves, for success breeds contempt for those very qualities that purchased it.
  • An army that waits is soon an army at war with itself.
  • The future can ever promise but one thing and one thing only: surprises.
  • But now Apsalar was trying to tell him that competence was not justification. That necessity demanded its own path and there was no virtue to be found at its heart.
  • Not that freedom ensured happiness. Indeed, to be free was to live in absence. Of responsibilities, of loyalties, of the pressures that expectation imposed.

Midnight Tides (2004)[edit]

Do not seek to find hope among your leaders. They are the repositories of poison. Their interest in you extends only so far as their ability to control you.
  • Death cannot be struggled against, brother. It ever arrives, defiant of every hiding place, of every frantic attempt to escape. Death is every mortal's shadow, his true shadow, and time is its servant, spinning that shadow slowly round, until what stretched before one now stretched before him.
  • "You leave me without hope," Brys said.
    "I am sorry for that. Do not seek to find hope among your leaders. They are the repositories of poison. Their interest in you extends only so far as their ability to control you. For you, they seek duty and obedience, and they will ply you with the language of stirring faith. They seek followers, and woe to those who question, or voice challenge."
  • Civilization after civilization, it is the same. The world falls to tyranny with a whisper. The frightened are ever keen to bow to a perceived necessity, in the belief that necessity forces conformity, and conformity a certain stability. In a world shaped into conformity, dissidents stand out, are easily branded and dealt with. There is no multitude of perspectives, no dialogue. The victim assumes the face of the tyrant, self-righteous and intransigent, and wars breed like vermin. And people die.
  • Destiny is a lie. Destiny is justification for atrocity. It is the means by which murderers armour themselves against reprimand. It is a word intended to stand in place of ethics, denying all moral context.
  • Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.
  • If one could always choose the right question, then every answer could be as obvious.
  • "What war is this?"
    "A pointless one."
    "They are all pointless Denier. Subjugation and defeat breed resentment and hatred, and such things cannot be bribed away."
    "Unless the spirit of the defeated is crushed," Trull said.
  • "Indeed Bugg. is it because, do you think, at the human core, we are naught but liars and cheats?"
    "Probably."
    "With no hope of ever overcoming our instinctive nastiness?"
    "Hard to say. How have we done so far?"

The Bonehunters (2006)[edit]

  • You cannot fight unreason, and as these dead multitudes will tell you — are telling you right now — certitude is the enemy.
  • "Keep a watch out, fools! There are things out there and you know what happens when things arrive!"
  • "I mean the only thing us dead soldiers got in common is that none of us was good enough or lucky enough to survive the fight. We're a host of failures."
  • "Oh," the figure settled back down, "those reasons. Well, yes. Clever, even. But still profoundly stupid."
  • The world, Ahlrada Ahn knew, was indifferent to the necessity of preservation. Of histories, of stories layered with meaning and import. It cared nothing for what was forgotten, for memory and knowledge had never been able to halt the endless repetition of wilful stupidity that so bound peoples and civilizations.
  • We are contrary creatures, us humans, but that isn't something we need be afraid of, or even much troubled by. And if you make a list of those people who worship consistency, you'll find they're one and all tyrants or would-be tyrants. Ruling over thousands, or over a husband or a wife, or some cowering child. Never fear contradiction, Cutter, it is the very heart of diversity.
  • Compassion existed when and only when one could step outside oneself, to suddenly see the bars from inside the cage.
  • So much had changed inside him. He was no believer in causes, not any more. Certainty was an illusion, a lie. Fanaticism was poison in the soul, and the first victim in its inexorable, ever-growing list was compassion. Who could speak of freedom, when one's soul was bound in chains?
  • Mappo Trell, I believe motivations prove, ultimately, irrelevant. Upon either side of the battlefield the face grins with blunt stupidity, even as smoke fills the sky from horizon to horizon, even as crops whither and die, even as sweet land turns to salt. Inequity ends, Trell, when no-one and no thing is left standing.
  • A civilization at war chooses only the most obvious enemy, and often also the one perceived, at first, to be the most easily defeatable. But that enemy is not the true enemy, nor is it the gravest threat to that civilisation. Thus a civilization at war often chooses the wrong enemy.
  • Discipline is as much facing the enemy within as the enemy before you; for without critical judgement, the weapon you wield delivers — and let us not be coy here — naught but murder. And its first victim is the moral probity of your cause.

Reaper's Gale (2007)[edit]

They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning. Words are the weapons used by those who see others with contempt.
  • 'For Hood's sake,' the foreigner muttered. 'What's wrong with words?'
    'With words,' said Redmask, turning away, 'meanings change.'
    'Well,' Anaster Toc said, following as Redmask made his way back to his army's camp, 'that is precisely the point. That's their value — their ability to adapt -'
    'Grow corrupt, you mean. The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning. Words are the weapons used by those who see others with contempt. A contempt which only deepens when they see how those others are deceived and made into fools because they choose to believe. Because in their naivety they thought the meaning of a word was fixed, immune to abuse.'

Toll the Hounds (2008)[edit]

  • Sometimes, mortals did indeed forget. Sometimes, mortals needed ... reminding.
  • Do mortal fools still measure the increments leading to their deaths, wagering pleasures against costs, persisting in the delusion that deeds have value, that the world and all the gods sit in judgment over every decision made or not made?
  • History meant nothing, because the only continuity was human stupidity. Oh, there were moments of greatness, of bright deeds, but how long did the light of such glory last? From one breath to the next, aye, and no more than that. No more than that. As for the rest, kick through the bones and wreckage for they are what remain, what lasts until all turn to dust.
  • Killers among your kind, among my kind, are just that — the savagery of beasts mated with intelligence, or what passes for intelligence. They dwell in a murky world, sir, confuse and fearful, stained dark with envy and malice. And in the end, they die as they lived. Frightened and alone, with every memory of power revealed as illusion, as farce.
  • The righteous will claim sole domain on judgment. The righteous are the first to make hands into fists, the first to shout down dissenters, the first to bully others into compliance.
  • Can you live without answers? All of you, ask that of yourself. Can you live without answers? Because if you cannot, then most assuredly you will invent your own answers and they will comfort you. And all those who do not share your view will by their very existence strike fear and hatred into your heart. What god blesses this?
  • When undeniable crime had been committed, justification was the act of a coward. And it was cowardice that permitted such crimes in the first place. No tyrant could thrive where every subject said no. The tyrant thrives when the first fucking fool salutes.
  • She walked alongside him, saying nothing. Thinking. At last, she sighed. 'It is said that only one's will can fight against chaos, that no other weapons are possible.'
  • 'Necessity, now there's a word to feed every outrage on decency.'
  • ‘I can see your reasons, my love. But won’t you get thirsty?’ — Inscription found beneath capstone of household well, Lakefront District, Darujhistan

Dust of Dreams (2009)[edit]

  • 'Just so,' agreed the King. 'So accept the escort, Adjunct, or I shall hold my breath until I achieve a most royal shade of purple.'
  • 'Now, it's just occurred to me that we're missing something crucial. Ah, yes, an artist! Bugg, have we a court artist? We need an artist! Find us an artist! Nobody move!'

The Crippled God (2011)[edit]

It is enough that in the place he calls home, he is no stranger.
  • No, do not look at me that way, you of smooth and subtle thought, you give your sympathy too quickly and therein hide your belief in your own superiority. I do not deny your cleverness, but I question your compassion.
  • We are sickened by the unknown, but knowledge can prove poisonous.
  • 'If by our sacrifice — yours and mine,' said Onos T'oolan, 'the pain of one life can be ended; if, by our deaths, this one can be guided home ... we will judge this a worthy cause.'
'This Crippled God — he is a stranger to us all.'
'It is enough that in the place he calls home, he is no stranger.'

External links[edit]

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