?

Log in

The Past | The Previous

David Gemmell

David Gemmell has died at the age of 57.

Gemmell was the author of the books Waylander, Legend, Wolf in Shadow, The Lion of Macedon, and most recently, Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow. I found his books when I was round fifteen, I think, and liked the simple, plain language they were written in, and the simple, plain violence they came with. There was a lot of repetition in his work--most of his characters were, in one shape or another, merely repetitions of characters from previous books. But every now and then he could rise above that, and it was always good to see. I had actually drifted out of reading his books for that reason, but ended up picking up Lord of the Silver Bow last year when i needed something light during thesis pain, and I really dug it. Gemmell had worked out a nice structure to the book, and he look set to do a good historical/fantasy series that would probably match some of his stronger earlier work, specifically The Lion of Macedon and its sequel Dark Prince, which were constructed around ancient Greek figures.

Anyhow, it's sad to hear this. He died after finishing the second book in his Troy saga, but not the third, since this was a rare planned trilogy for him.

Comments

( 10 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )
crookfactory
Jul. 29th, 2006 06:23 am (UTC)
I was shocked to find out about it this morning.

I haven't read any Gemmell but I appreciate the fact, for a lot of people, he was their entry point into the world of fantasy and reading. It's like having a significant marker of your youth being taken away.
benpeek
Jul. 29th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
some of those early books, such as WAYLANDER, LEGEND, and KING BEYOND THE GATE, are i think still worth reading. i'm particularly fond of those three, teenage memories of reading them taken into account and everything. he had the little epilogues at that stage, which he fazed out later, but which i kind of liked.
ataxi
Jul. 29th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
"the simple, plain violence they came with"

That kind of writing isn't a trivial art either.

I haven't read any Gemmell since I was about fifteen or sixteen - I remember being pretty gripped by Knights of Dark Renown which was a bloody, quasi-Celtic thing.

I've been re-reading a bit of Moorcock lately and for quality of writing, I don't think Gemmell is any worse, if perhaps not as original (and certainly not as adept at garnering credibility).
benpeek
Jul. 30th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I haven't read any Gemmell since I was about fifteen or sixteen - I remember being pretty gripped by Knights of Dark Renown which was a bloody, quasi-Celtic thing.

yeah, i remember that. it wasn't so bad--not his worse book, but not his best, either, i don't think. of course i think i was about the same age as you when i read it, so i'm filtering it through those memories.

i tend to think moorcock has more range, and more versatility, but i must also admit that a lot of moorcock just doesn't appeal.
ataxi
Jul. 30th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC)
In Moorcock's work there's always this perceptible drive to affect the reader's concept of literature/genre that is interesting. Unfortunately in their other respects some of his books are drivel. But then for the worst of the Eternal Champion novels (most of which are only novella length anyway) he usually has "I wrote it in three weeks" as an excuse.

Gemmell was a likeable writer whose work was in an identifiably non-Tolkienish vein, that's enough for me to be sad to hear he has died so young.
benpeek
Jul. 30th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
Gemmell was a likeable writer whose work was in an identifiably non-Tolkienish vein, that's enough for me to be sad to hear he has died so young.

yeah, that's true. i dread what publishers will do to his third troy novel now. i feel a nasty thing coming on.
ataxi
Jul. 30th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC)
Just saw this. The mind boggles at the rejection letter quote.
benpeek
Jul. 31st, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
yeah, i saw that the other day. my favourite quote going round, however, is about gemmell trying to give up smoking. turns out he was smoking straight after his surgery.
iagor
Jul. 29th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
Om my God. He is one of my favorite authors. Gordon will be crushed.
black13
Jul. 29th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
I met him at a con once -- I think it was WorldCon in 1997. He was a very very nice guy. Friendly, courteous...

57's too young to die.
( 10 Soaking Up Bandwidth — Soak Up Bandwidth )