I just learned that one of my favorite authors David Gemmell has passed away, he wrote Legend and Waylander and speaking as a guy who reads quite a bit, every word he wrote was quality stuff. Much of his work took place in different series, colorful detailed worlds that blossomed under his pen. Everything that Dave has written is on my shelves and he'll definitely be missed. While he does write epic fantasy, every book also stands alone, you can pick up any of his novels and start from there, so no strings left untied. His characters made you want to be more like them. If you want an insight into warrior creed, this guy had the inside scoop.
At least he didn't leave us on a cliff hanger like what could possibly happen if Robert Jordan kicks the bucket (sorry RJ). Robert brought us into his imagination and his worlds were so close to reality that I would wonder which world I woke up in when I hit the snooze button. The Wheel of Time is probably one of the biggest achievements in epic fantasy, millions of people are hanging on to each of his words waiting for the final battle and what happens? Right before he gets is last book written, he falls ill with some evil disease called Amyloidosis and is admitted into the Mayo Clinic. I'm praying for his recovery but investing months of my time on his alternate reality and having it collapse around me without the answers would be somewhat disheartening.
Other Authors who have died on me? Of course there is Douglas Adams who had actually stopped writing and was making movies and video games when he keeled over at age 49 in 2001. Two hard science fiction authors that I liked and close friends Robert L Forward and Charles Sheffield were taken out 42 days apart by two separate brain tumors, (anybody else think that's strange?) they were both working on space elevators, space tethers and different types of star drives, alas, they didn't get to see any of their work be put into production because they died in 2002.
But out of all of the writers in existence, no one has strung along as many fans for as long as Robert has, 16 years since Eye of the World came out and the next one (if it ever sees the light of day) is called A Memory of Light and rumored to be 1500 pages long (I might have to take leave to read that if and when it comes out). After spending so much of my life reading this guys work, stepping into a Wheel of Time novel is like returning to my home town and I pray he doesn't die before he finishes it.
I finished Terry Goodkind's Phantom which I thought was a vast improvement over the last two Sword of Truth novels, if a bit gory for the average reader, like the Wheel of Time series, only one more book left.