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 12:00 AM, 24-AUGUST-06
Dzur Is A Savory Meal

New York Times best-selling author Steven Brust, whose novel Dzur is August's SCI FI Essential title, told SCI FI Wire that the protagonist, the occasional assassin Vlad Taltos, started as a character in a fantasy role-playing game. "When I started writing him, the voice came quite easily and naturally," Brust said in an interview. "My second novel, To Reign In Hell, was pretty exhausting to write, so I returned to Vlad more or less just to relax. It was only while I was writing a third one that I realized—or, I suppose, admitted to myself—that I was writing a series."

In Dzur, Vlad returns to Adrilankha after years on the run, Brust said. "In spite of having a price on his head, [he] sits down to a good meal at his favorite restaurant," he said. "And he does get the meal. I guess the idea for this one came because I thought it would be fun to structure a book around a meal and have the experience of eating play off the events and themes of the book in fun ways."

Since food is important in Dzur, Brust said he had to get some culinary advice from a friend. "[I got] Jason Jones, who is a chef at Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens here in Las Vegas, to help me with the details of the food," he said. "Like Vlad, I eat better than I cook."

Dzur is the 10th Vlad Taltos novel. Brust said he keeps writing about the character because he just plain likes him. "He's fun to hang around with," he said. "Once or twice I thought I was done with him, but then he keeps showing up saying, 'Hey, guess what I've been doing lately?'"

Brust cites Roger Zelazny as his primary influence, but expressed a deep admiration for Alexandre Dumas and Mark Twain as well. "For [the Vlad Taltos] books, the voice comes from [Maltese Falcon author] Dashiell Hammett, the world from Fritz Leiber, the tropes from Michael Moorcock, and the general aesthetic—i.e., what's cool—from Zelazny. In short, I didn't invent anything." —John Joseph Adams


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©2007, SCI FI. All rights reserved.

Chris Hemsworth and Clifton Collins Jr. have joined the cast of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, Variety reported; Hemsworth will play Captain Kirk's father, George Kirk, while Collins will play Ayel, the cohort and general to Nero, played by Eric Bana.

Warner Brothers has created, a community Web site tied to its upcoming SF movie I Am Legend.

SyFy Portal quoted SF author Harlan Ellison addressing rumors that J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Trek movie may feature elements from Ellison's "City on the Edge of Forever" episode from the original TV series.


Stargate SG-1 1.0
Star Trek 1.0
Dead Zone 0.8
Stargate Atlantis 0.7
Regenesis 0.3

Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 10/22/07 - 10/28/07. Fewer than 10 listings appear because fewer than 10 different SF&F series aired in syndication this week.