Wednesday, January 20, 2016

All My Favorite Authors Are Dead

Ok, maybe not quite all. I quite like Diana Gabaldon, for example. And Marian Keyes books are both entertaining and though provoking, in a stealth kind of way, and she is still very much alive. I'm sure I could also think of a few others who have yet to depart from this mortal coil. But, unfortunately, it does seem that MANY of my favorite authors are no longer in the land of the living. Selfish though it is, it makes me sad that no new books will update me on the lives of my favorite characters, and I will never again laugh out loud at some of the witty descriptions found in these books.

Terry Pratchett

I've been tearing through the Discworld series in the past few months and I'm almost at the end. Which is awful. The fact that Terry Pratchett was able to write over 40 books about the same world, with many of the same characters, without becoming stale or repetitive is an amazing feat. His stories are hilarious but still have this grain of truth within them, not to mention an amazing understanding of human nature. Yesterday I found out that he passed away recently, at a relatively young age, and I am already mourning the lack of new books even while still finishing up the stash I have. 

Elizabeth Peters 

I discovered her books when I was still in middle school, and have read every single book she's published under this particular pseudonym since then. While she also wrote books as Barbara Michaels, those books have a thread of supernatural spookiness running through them that I don't enjoy quite as much. Her Elizabeth Peters books are a triumph of comedic genius, however. They are generally mysteries or adventure/mysteries, but the witty and charismatic characters are what take center stage.  In particular, her Amelia Peabody Emerson books and her Vicky Bliss novels were extremely entertaining, and I've reread 'Street of the Five Moons at least 10 times.  Alas, no more books will be forthcoming, as she passed away in 2013 at the age of 85. I still feel sad about this, as I used to await her annual release for months in advance.

Mirion Zimmer Bradley

Another fantasy author I have loved and lost. Many people will know her for 'The Mists of Avalon,' but my favorite of her literary works was her Darkover series.  'Exile's Song' in particular grabbed me, and I reread it several times. I got news of her passing while living abroad, and had a minor existential crisis at the thought of no longer getting updates on the Alton family.

P.G. Wodehouse  

This author died before I was even born, much less had read any of his books. Nevertheless, I wish I could look forward to new releases. Like many of the other authors on my list, he had a knack for writing stories that combined dry humor and spot on characterizations.  I'm hoping he was somehow reincarnated and is just now getting ready to start publishing new novels. 

There are probably others I'm blocking from memory for my own emotional well being.  When an author dies, in a sense all their characters die too, so it's a mini genocide.  On the other hand, they are also immortal, as these books will hopefully be around for generations to come.  Regardless, no more authors are allowed to die. I don't think I could handle it.  

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