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Esslemont releases latest Malazan novel

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Once upon a time in the 1980s, two friends in Winnipeg created a backdrop world for their role-playing game. As their interests, and the world of Malaz, became more refined, they divvied up ideas for potential fantasy novels. Steven Erickson has published 10 novels in his Malazan Book of the Fallen series, and Ian Cameron Esslemont has just released Orb, Sceptre, Throne, the fourth novel in his series, Novels of the Malazan Empire.

Esslemont, who now lives in Alaska, says "Orb, Sceptre, Throne, published by Bantam, is set just after the events of Steven Erikson's Toll the Hounds... It answers a number of abiding questions set in the southern regions of that particular continent."

The two friends continue to check in with one another, though story issues in each popular series have been few. "Some discontinuities have sneaked in, but not many considering that the world has had more than three million words published on it (and counting)."

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The widow of Winnipeg musical comedian Blair MacLean, of Juno-nominated musical comedy duo MacLean & MacLean, has self-published his memoir, Was it something we said?

Blair with younger brother Gary Maclean performed across Canada between 1972 and 1998. The duo was best known for their use of raunchy humour in renditions of folk and popular songs, such at the notorious, I've Got Pubic Hair. Gary died in 2001, and Blair in 2008.

"Blair wrote this book before he died in October 2008," says Marcia Maclean. Though he was legally blind, his nephew, Travis MacLean, transcribed.

Was it something we said? is available online from and

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The good book is on the agenda Wednesday, when Canadian Mennonite University professor Paul Dyck delivers the final lecture in a series celebrating the 100th anniversary of the King James Bible. The series began in October.

Dyck's talk will illuminate 16th- and 17th-century title pages, "from the Coverdale Bible of 1535 to the King James Bible of 1611," with special focus on how to read combinations of image and text.

The lecture takes place Wednesday, at noon at the University of Manitoba's Elizabeth Dafoe Library. For details call 474-9986.

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Magic Mike is returning to Winnipeg, but these days his magic is of a different sort than that featured on his 1980s-90s Winnipeg public access channel (VPW 11) program, Magic Mike's Castle. Michael Likey will be in Winnipeg on Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at McNally Robinson Booksellers, speaking and signing his book: The Science of the Soul: A Guide for Spiritual Growth.

Likey now makes his home in Vancouver where he works as a hypnotherapist, spiritual guide and metaphysical minister. The Science of the Soul promises practical tools for accessing inner power and potential. While in Winnipeg Likey will also participate in a VPW 11 reunion special at Aqua Books (March 23).

Likey has fond memories of Winnipeg and the television program cast and crew.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2012 J8

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