I’ve been out of the fantasy and science fiction — and quite frankly, the entire book — industry for quite a while now, so I’d missed the death last month of fantasy author and fellow Reed alum David Eddings. A story in today’s Oregonian notes that he left $18 million — about two-thirds of his estate — to the college, endowing an English professorship, an English department scholarship, and maintenance of his archives at the college, as well as “supporting students and faculty studying languages and literature.” It’s a goal that I hope to emulate one day. Of course, first I have to get something written that will make me a few million dollars. Mine would be the Darrel Plant Anti-Poetry Endowment.
I remember that Eddings got his start in fantasy in the early 1980s while I was still working in a genre bookstore. Looking back at his biography and chronology gives me some hope; Pawn of Prophecy and Queen of Sorcery, the initial two books in his Belgariad series were published in 1982, when he was about 50 years old. That still gives me a couple of years yet to get off my ass.