May 12th, 2007

Nebulas Take Manhattan!

Last night I participated in the Borders mass book signing, in which, despite the presence of Ron Moore, the writers far outnumbered the fans. Still, it was fun to sit between Scott Edelman, who, I discovered, is the recipient of not one, not two, but three coveted No-Prizes, and Jennifer Stevenson, who thoughtfully brought chocolates for her fellow scribes and for the Borders employees. After the signing, it was off to Southwest, a restaurant perched at the edge of the island, with great views across the Hudson, for a dinner with the likes of Bill Shunn, Jim Mintz, Marc Zicree, Jim Freund, Craig Engler, and about 24 others . . . Then back to the hotel and the bar for milling and swilling . . .

     Chris Barzak, Jeff Ford, Ellen Kushner                                  Rick Bowes

   Power Couple Anne Groell and Dave Keck            Power Couple Jim Freund and Sheila Williams

Power Couple Bill Shunn and Jim Kelly                     Novel nominees, w/Ellen Kushner flashing!

Novella nominees:  The Superior Four?

Tonight, for the award festivities, I'll bring a better camera!

David Gemmell and Troy

One of my most pleasant and long-lasting professional relationships as a freelance writer has been with Del Rey Books and Random House, for whom I regularly conduct interviews with their authors.  I thought readers of theinferior4 might find some of these interviews interesting, so, with the gracious permission of Random House, I'm going to be posting them from time to time.

Over the years, a fringe benefit of doing these interviews has been exposure to writers I might otherwise never have read.  David Gemmell, who died almost a year ago at the age of 58, is a case in point.  Gemmell is a fierce plotter, and his prose is dynamic and muscular.  Most of his stories have fantasy elements, but really they are good old-fashioned adventures in which Errol Flynn would not be out of place . . . though over the course of his career, Gemmell's characters grew more complex and darker than anything Flynn ever performed on screen.

When he died, Gemmell was two books into a trilogy about the Trojan War.  These novels, Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow and Troy: Shield of Thunder, are inspired reimaginings of myth and history by a gifted writer working at the height of his powers.  Shield of Thunder is just coming out now.  The third and final book of the series, Troy: Fall of Kings, was mostly finished at his death, and has been completed by his wife, a talented writer in her own right.  That novel is due for publication in the fall, and it is entirely worthy of its predecessors.

I last interviewed Gemmell in 2005 upon publication of Lord of the Silver Bow.

PW:  Troy seems to represent something of a shift for you, both in genre and geography.  Instead of a fantasy set in an alternate world with recognizable connections to Celtic history and mythology, you’ve turned for inspiration to ancient Greece and Homer’s great epic, The Iliad.  What drew you to this material, and why now? 

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