Whoo! Any writer out there who pays no attention to his or her readers should be shot (no, don't take me literally). Hello one and all, I've spent more than a few hours the last couple of days reading this thread and that, finishing here on this one. To those of you who took time to reply to my query, my heartfelt thanks. Are all fan sites like this one? Anyway, you've swept aside my uncertainty and as for future acknowledgement of this site, count on it.
All right, some questions to go through, but first, some news (reward time, in gratitude for your commantary). Blood Follows will appear in a four novella trilogy coming out soon, so those of you who missed it first time round, hang in there. Now, there's been plenty of speculation about Midnight Tides, and I have no wish to take the wind out of any sails, so all I'll say is, you'll recognise a few names in the first half of the prologue, and another you'll know as soon as you see him in the second part of the prologue. Apart from that, there's one and only one: Trull Sengar. I could give you a character list but he's the only name you'll recognise.
Before there's wild panic, the abandonment of other characters is a temporary one, this book only. The Bonehunters centres on Tavore's new army. Toll the Hounds takes us back to Darujhistan. Reaper's Gale -- well, I'll hold back on the rest for now. You can expect to see a lot of the old cast reappearing -- I don't intend to leave anyone behind, honest.
So, for Midnight Tides, you'll just have to trust me. The new take on the pantheon is more of a variation than something entirely disconnected from what you already know. I've just sent off a 225 word blurb thing to my editor, so it should appear on the publisher's site sooner rather than later. I'm 300 pages into the novel, smooth sailing so far (touch wood), on chapter 10, which begins in the city of Letheras, with a visit to a brothel to retrieve a dead woman. That won't seem so strange when you reach that scene. Really.
Okay, some questions already touched on. To the others....
Coltaine reborn, will he have a role in future books? Not in this series, I don't think. I may change my mind, but don't put money on it.
Platoon and influences on my characters? Hmm, you know, that film would have worked better if Stone hadn't lost his stones at the end when the Sheen character voice-overs what's been obvious for the previous two hours, that he had two directions in which to go, each embodied by the two rival soldiers in the squad. Well, yeah, no kidding, mate! I'll take Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket over Platoon any day, and in a lot of ways Apocalpyse Now was a real influence in my fantasy writing, that surreal juxtaposition of in-the-dirt grunt point of view and overwhelming firepower raining down from the sky -- that's the siege of Pale in a nutshell.
The deragoth mystery will be revealed in due course. Thus far, all that's been revealed (maybe) is that the two hounds Rake killed who escaped the sword ended up conjoined with the Deragoth in those statues. Either that or the Hounds of Shadow and those of Darkness are diametrically opposed -- if one's around its opposite can't be. The secret lies in Dessimbelackis (no connection to Dassem, btw).
Malazan weapons and armour. No real plate armour. Banded or scaled or chain. Longswords are more Norse or Saxon than a spartha. Normally one-handed. Longknives are usually single-edged, with a slight downward taper beginning two-thirds of the way down. Thin-bladed, the blade itself about thirty inches long.
Finding character names seems, on reflection, pretty damned random. Although I'll occasionally do the Dickensian trick of creating one perfectly suited to that character's personality. I could tell you the origin of Quick Ben but it might take the allure off the character, so I won't.
Is Tiam male or female. Female, sometimes a mother, sometimes a lover, sometimes a daughter, and sometimes all three, but always female. The next book will have in the glossary Baruk's interpretation of the Draconic family tree ... all three versions.
Heboric's healing of Scillara reversed the circumcision, yes.
Apsalar most certainly will return. Lady Atheilen, how old are you again? You write better than fellow students of mine at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. UVic has a very good writing program btw....
The ascendant Whiskeyjack? All rightie, this ties in with concerns I've seen expressed about resurrections in the novels. Curious. Paran is the only character truly resurrected, because in his re-animation he is essentially the same person he was before. Maybe Duiker, too. Tattersail was reborn, as was Nightchill, but Silverfox is a very different creature. Baudin as a servant of Hood is perforce very dead, and will remain so. The Bridgeburners who make a re-appearance in HoC are ghosts. Ascended, yes, resurrected, no. Coltaine is a month old and his mother still has to hold him out when he pees. No fast return there. Felisin is gone. Toc's just inhabiting a different body. Will there be any more resurrections? Only one, and it's what all the others are leading to.
Will my stuff ever get adapted into an RPG computer game? Beats me, no one's asked.
Jaghut as a word has no earthly influence by way of origin. I just liked the way it looks on the page. I pronounce it Jag-goot but accenting the first syllable and falling off on the last syllable.
The realm of Shadow. More will be revealed in due course, especially in Toll the Hounds.
Dessembrae -- the cult sees their god as male, but his grief as female.
A few more things ... there was more than one chaining of the crippled god. The account that Kruppe reads has merged all of them into one (hence his comment about finding his grandmother's name in the list -- had he read further, he just might have). One of the things that always fascinated me in my readings of recorded people's histories has been the strange notion of time, especially the way it's sometimes compressed, other times stretched out. There's a history of the Goths I once read that does this again and again; as do a few versions of the Norse creation myth. As a writer of fiction, I realised this was exceedingly useful, particularly in the way it could mislead. Yeah, I'm a mean bastard, ain't I just. Anyway, The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a compiled history, warts and all. It's not above brazen manipulation of events and facts, because, well, that's the nature of the beast. By this, do I mean it as a way of squirming out of things? No, you'd all never let me get off that easily. I just love the feel of an uncertain history, as all histories are. If none of you had any questions, then I'd be worried.
Enough to chew on for a while? I hope so. Cheers to you all.