Saturday, July 29, 2006

David Gemmell & Dad

David Gemmell is very much an author of my young adult years, his early books, Legend, Waylander and King Beyond the Gate are perhaps my favourites. My signed copy of the later sits rather proudly on my bookcase. He was the master of the perfectly paced heroic fantasy, and if some of his books didn’t work as well as others, they were always entertaining.

David Gemmell was one of the few authors that my Dad and I shared in common. The moment I'd heard that David had died I called dad - they're of similar ages, and I can’t think of David Gemmell’s work without thinking of dad.

I met David once at a signing quite a few years back. He was touring the country with Terry Pratchett, and a bigger height disparity you couldn't imagine. David Gemmell was very tall, Terry Pratchett very short (on the other hand David Gemmell’s signing queues were pretty good, but Terry's stretched for miles). I was there to get my copy of King Beyond the Gate signed and to get a copy signed for my dad. I handed my books over, and, as usual when I go all fanboyish, my mind blanked and I mumbled something about his books being one of the few things dad and I had in common.

David smiled and told me about his dad, and how he hadn’t had that much in common with him, but that it didn’t really matter in the end. Well, it was something like that.

I’ll miss seeing his new books on the shelves at work, and I’ll miss buying them for my dad.

* though I really liked Knights of Dark Renown – kind of the seven samurai with vampires and knights.


ben peek said...

i kinda dug the two greece books he did, especially LION OF MACEDON. i think iwas doing year twelve ancient history when it came out though, so...

i did like the westerns, as well, and in one photo, i thought gemmell looked a bit like clint eastwood. maybe it was just the hat.

Trent Jamieson said...

Yeah, Lion of Macedon was cool, I thought the second book kind of lost it, but Lion was cool, what with its riffs on the battle of Thermopyle and all.

Gemmell liked Louis L'Amour, even if he was a better stylist, the Jon Shannow books were pure L'Amour - if L'Amour had written fantasies.

Now L'Amour may not have looked liked Clint Eastwood, but he sure could pull off the hat.