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Waylander by David Gemmell
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Waylander by David Gemmell
Mass Market Paperback $7.99
Sep 27, 1995 | ISBN 9780345379078

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  • Jun 08, 2011 | ISBN 9780307797506

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Author Essay

David Gemmell is so committed to his work that he’s offered to leap naked out of an airplane if it would appeal to readers.  We haven’t taken him up on the offer.  However, David has also acknowledged that three of his major influences were Louis Lamour, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stan Lee.  Tolkien wrote back, Lamour passed away before David had any opportunity to contact him, and Stan Lee lived thousands of miles away from David’s British home.  One out of three wasn’t bad, but it could be improved upon.

We were at the San Diego ComicCon, rustling up new readers, and David had just finished a two-hour continuous signing. A friend of mine spotted a familiar face, so I excused myself and darted away, returning a few moments later to say, "David Gemmell, I’d like you to meet Stan Lee."  A tall, ruddy, and normally poised individual, David was struck speechless.  Here was the man who, through his Marvel Comics stories, had reinvented the relationship between heroes and villains, forever blurring the barriers between good and evil.  Before long the two fantasists were chatting away happily.  Stan’s wife, Joan, being British, was especially gracious to the London-born Gemmell.  And Stan quickly demanded an autographed copy of LEGEND.

David’s a dynamic storyteller.  His lands live and breathe.  His heroes are mighty swordsmen, ax-wielders, and post-apocalyptic adventurers.  In their prime they were the best in the business, but in David’s tales, they’ve often passed their prime, so all they really want is peace and quiet.  But life (and the author) aren’t that kind, and these heroes are forced out of retirement, forced to face bloody hordes of the undead, armies from Hell.  Worse, his heroes are generally saddled with young, green heroes.  (Nothing drives you crazy more than a cocky kid.)  But they overcome, and the cocky kids become heroes, too.  This is great reading.
                                                                        –Steve Saffel, Senior Editor

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