David Gemmell dead

Fantasy hero Gemmell remembered

Author David Gemmell, who has died aged 57, was recognised as the best – and bestselling – writer of heroic fantasy.

Neil Gaimain wrote of him:

“I just heard and was shocked stupid. “That can’t be right,” I thought, when I saw the headline at Locus Online. “He can’t be dead. I know him.”

My favourite David Gemmel conversation was about 16 years ago, in a bar in London. We were talking about writing and the freedoms of writing. And I’d just said that one of the things I liked best about writing was the freedom to write whenever I wanted. “Can you imagine,” I said, “there are writers out there who start at nine every morning, take a lunch hour and then type until five. And who won’t write on weekends. Why would anyone want to do that?”

And David, who was buying me a drink at the time, said, mildly, “That’s my working day, actually. But I start at eight thirty.”

Which taught me one of those lesson things, really. Nice man.”