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The Steel Remains
By Richard K. Morgan

Discussed January 2011

Buy from Amazon.com

Characters

Heroes

  • Ringil Eskiath
  • Lady kir-Archeth (half-Kiriath)
  • Egar (Dragonbane)

Other Key Influences

  • Jelim (deceased)
  • Ishil Eskiath (Ringil’s mother)
  • Seethlaw (the dwenda)

Questions

  1. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
  2. What other books that you’ve read did this most bring to mind? Fantasy? Noir? Military? Science fiction? Other?
  3. Ringil, Archeth and Egar are heroic veterans of the last great world endangering war, yet all seem to be somewhat on the edges of society, living lives that are shadows of their former glory. What does Morgan seem to be saying about the shelf life of heroes?
  4. None of the societies presented in The Steel Remains are the idyllic visions often found in fantasy fiction – corruption, tyranny, violence… with nary a beloved “High King” or equivalent ruler among the elite. What does Morgan seem to be saying about the societies we often see in fantasy literature?
  5. There are a number of magic-seeming/supernatural elements in the novel… yet many of them Morgan seems to suggest are more a matter of a vastly superior technology. What did you think of his use of this “sufficiently advanced technology” form of magic? How consistent did you think its use was?
  6. There are hints and suggestions that the dwenda may be a far-evolved future version of the humanity presented in The Steel Remains… what did you think of the use of these elements?
  7. The title of the novel The Steel Remains refers to many things – the steel resolve remaining in heroes after they are put out to pasture, the detritus on a battlefield after a war, the remnants of a civilization after time has elapsed. In what ways did the title seem to resonate for you?
  8. The novel is certainly not sex-shy – in fact it includes some rather graphic sex scenes to go along with some graphic scenes of violence. Did you find the graphic nature of parts of the story effective? Off-putting?
  9. The Steel Remains was selected as the Gaylactic Spectrum Award winner for Best Novel in 2010. What did you think of the GLBT content in the book? Is this a book you would have chosen to win an award recognizing outstanding speculative fiction with significant positive GLBT content?
  10. Is there anything else you found in The Steel Remains that *you* wanted to discuss?
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