David Gemmell has died.
July 28, 2006 8:48 AM   Subscribe

I am deeply saddened by this news. David Gemmell was at the peak of his career: he made an inspired start with Legend, and then worked diligently at his craft until he was the match of any action thriller writer. By the time of his latest novel, which was to be the first of a trilogy set during the Trojan era, he had made himself into a writer as accomplished as Bernard Cornwell. His stories were inspirational, and so was his career. My thoughts are with his family.
posted by MinPin at 9:30 AM on July 28, 2006

posted by Busithoth at 9:43 AM on July 28, 2006

posted by nickyskye at 10:09 AM on July 28, 2006

This is indeed sad news, and unquestionably a great loss to British fantasy. My condolences to his family.
posted by kaemaril at 10:13 AM on July 28, 2006


(Wow. Just rereading the Rigante series...)
posted by Samizdata at 10:49 AM on July 28, 2006

I've never heard of him, so, if I were to pick up something by him to check it out, what would be recommended? And, what can his work be compared to?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 11:06 AM on July 28, 2006

That's so sad. And only in his 50's!
posted by Fence at 11:12 AM on July 28, 2006

Unlike many of the current crop of writers out there who are content to extrude the same novel into new covers every few months, Gemmel was always on an upward curve. He never was a completely conventional fantasist. Though he started and indeed continued to write Howardesque novels, his Drenai series, he proved to be a writer of uncommon ability to improve. His Macedonian novels, Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince, were, perhaps, the first sign that he was somone to watch out for. His Rigante series of the recent past was just flat-out terrific (start with Stormrider). Lord of the Silver Bow, his latest, was his best work to date. One always felt that the best Gemmel book was the one coming next year.

It's a sad shock to hear of the death of someone so young, with so much still ahead of him. My thoughts are for his family.
posted by bonehead at 11:40 AM on July 28, 2006

posted by Sphinx at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2006


I was utterly shocked and saddened by this news.

David Gemmel is one of my top three favourite novelists. Not just for "fantasy", but overall. His style was crisp, clear, and direct. A pleasure to read.
posted by C.Batt at 12:35 PM on July 28, 2006

Joakim, that's an excellent comment by Bonehead: go for Stormrider or Troy, if you want a mixture of Sharpe and Tolkein. My favourite story (though it is not, by far, the best written of DG's books) is Legend, about the last-ditch defence of a mountain fortress by an ageing warrior against hundreds of thousands of barbarians (or is it about a never-admit-defeat battle against terminal cancer?) Another pick: Wolf In Shadow is a classic Western, transported into a ravaged future.
posted by MinPin at 12:46 PM on July 28, 2006

Legend made me all misty eyed

posted by Sparx at 3:44 PM on July 28, 2006


Gemmell is definitely on my top ten list of authors, even if his books are largely absurd fantasy fun.
posted by smackwich at 9:28 PM on July 28, 2006

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