David Gemmell

Creator of Legend, never has a title been so appropriate for its author...

David Gemmell

Biography

Date of birth: 1 August 1948

Date of death: 28 July 2006

David Andrew Gemmell was a best-selling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels that explored themes of honour, loyalty, and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sell worldwide.

David Gemmell was born in 1948 in West London. Raised alone by his mother until the age of six, he experienced a harsh upbringing in a tough urban area, suffering bullying and taunts from his peers--partly due to the absence of his father. Gemmell was expelled from school at the age of 16 for organizing a gambling syndicate, and, as a youth, was arrested several times. He claimed that one psychologist's report at the time labelled him a psychopath. Eventually, after a string of unfulfilling jobs, Gemmell went on to work as a journalist.

Gemmell first attempted writing a novel in 1970, called The Man from Miami, but failed to find a publisher. In 1976, after becoming diagnosed with a cancer he believed to be terminal, he wrote The Siege of Dros Delnoch--both to take his mind off his illness, and to realise his ambition of having a novel published before he died. In 1982, after Gemmell had learnt that he had been misdiagnosed and was NOT going to die just yet, his novel was published as Legend, which went on to achieve considerable commercial success. Gemmell's journalism career overlapped with his novel-writing career until the publication of his third novel, Waylander, in 1986, when he was fired after using colleagues' names for characters in the book.

After the publication of Waylander, Gemmell became an author full-time, writing over 30 novels in total--some as part of a long-running series, others as stand-alone works. Black Swan, however, was a crime thriller, published under the pseudonym Ross Harding, and was Gemmell's only novel not to become a best-seller.

Gemmell passed away slumped over his computer, dead of coronary artery disease. At the time of his death, Gemmell had completed 70-thousand words of the final novel in an alternate-history trilogy based upon the legend of the siege of Troy--the first being Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow. Only hours after his death, Gemmell's wife Stella resolved to complete the novel based upon his chapter plan and notes, contacting Gemmell's publisher two weeks after his funeral in order to make the offer. Preparing for the task, she reread her husband's previous work, deconstructing the battle scenes in order to build her own. Troy: Fall of Kings was published in 2007, under joint authorship of David and Stella Gemmell.

In 2008, the David Gemmell Legend Award was established, intended to 'restory fantasy to it's proper place in the literary pantheon'. A steering group of 18 authors is chaired by writer Stan Nicholls and the award is decided by a public vote.

Similar authors to David Gemmell

George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Robert Jordan

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Hawk Queen: The Omnibus Edition

Hawk Queen: The Omnibus Edition

(Paperback)

After the bloody battle of Colden Moor the warlike highlanders had lost their independence. They lived in surly subservience to the Outlanders, and only a teenage girl survived to represent the line of kings: Sigarni. Sigarni the...
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More books by David Gemmell

Hawk Queen: The Omnibus Edition - Hawk Queen

Hawk Queen: The Omnibus Edition - Hawk Queen (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 656 pages
Published: 03/07/2014
Publisher: Orbit

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After the bloody battle of Colden Moor the warlike highlanders had lost their independence. They lived in surly subservience to the Outlanders, ... Read more

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Troy: Fall of Kings

Troy: Fall of Kings (Paperback)

by David Gemmell, et al.

Format: Paperback 672 pages
Published: 24/03/2008
Publisher: Corgi Books

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5 out of 5

Darkness falls on the Great Green, and the Ancient World is fiercely divided. On the killing fields outside the golden city of Troy, forces loyal to... Read more

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Legend - Drenai 1

Legend - Drenai 1 (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 352 pages
Published: 01/10/2009
Publisher: Orbit

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5 out of 5

The Legend Druss, Captain of the Axe: the stories of his life were told everywhere. Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed, he had... Read more

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Waylander - Drenai 3

Waylander - Drenai 3 (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 368 pages
Published: 03/05/2012
Publisher: Orbit

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The Drenai King is dead - murdered by a ruthless assassin. Enemy troops swarm into Drenai lands. Their orders are simple - kill every man, woman and... Read more

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Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow No.1: Lord of the Silver Bow (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 640 pages
Published: 03/04/2006
Publisher: Corgi Books

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4 out of 5

Three lives will change the destiny of nations. Helikaon, the young prince of Dardania, haunted by a scarred and traumatic childhood. The priestess... Read more

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Troy: Shield of Thunder

Troy: Shield of Thunder (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 640 pages
Published: 02/04/2007
Publisher: Corgi Books

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4 out of 5

The war of Troy is looming, and all the kings of the Great Green are gathering, friends and enemies, each with their own dark plans of conquest and... Read more

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The Swords of Night and Day (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 640 pages
Published: 01/04/2005
Publisher: Corgi Books

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A thousand years after they fell in battle, two heroes - Druss and Skilgannon - are revered throughout the war-torn lands of the Dernai, where men... Read more

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White Wolf

White Wolf (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 592 pages
Published: 01/04/2004
Publisher: Corgi Books

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Skilgannon the Damned had vanished from the pages of history. Following the terrible triumph at Perapolis, the General had taken the legendary... Read more

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The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend - Drenai 6

The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend - Drenai 6 (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 384 pages
Published: 07/06/2012
Publisher: Orbit

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5 out of 5

Druss. The Legend. Saviour of Skeln Pass. Protector of Dros Delnoch. The most famous - and dreaded - of Drenai's heroes. But before all men knew... Read more

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Lion of Macedon - Hawk Queen

Lion of Macedon - Hawk Queen (Paperback)

by David Gemmell

Format: Paperback 528 pages
Published: 17/07/2014
Publisher: Orbit

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His name is Parmenion. Despised by Spartans and Macedonians alike, he must fight for his place in the world. Yet he will survive. Dark forces have... Read more

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