My new ebook, Gil, now available on kindle

Posted: August 5, 2020 in John Stammers Page

The Penguin Classics edition of the Gilgamesh story identifies five different and fragmentary versions, from different time periods. None are complete.
Another fragment has been found since publication.
Notice that all are fragments, that there is no complete version.
Not only that but many of the fragments are from different time periods, of different periods within both Sumerian and Babylonian periods.

My novel is an urban fantasy using these fragments as a springboard.

This fragmentary nature of the Gilgamesh story, with its newer episodes interleaved with older text, gave a great amount of freedom to create. Although I have kept abbreviated names and city names from the Gilgamesh story, the characters, setting, cultures, histories, even geography, are entirely fictional.

It was enjoyable to write. I hope that carries through into the story.

It all started with a comment by Stephen King in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. He commented that only one of his novels – up to that point – had been consciously structured; all the others had been allowed to develop as they would.

I thought I’d try a structured piece.
I’d done an amount of research on the Gilgamesh story for my Rings book: Gifts of Rings and Gold

I had intended to write a ringed and chiasmus-laden piece, but the story took over.
You could say the story is an amalgam of structured and free-form development.

It begins:
First Things

‘First thing they did. I mean I was already pretty freaked by then,’ he was saying. It was a warm, calm night in The City, and they were sat on the old river wall, a part not closed off, a part not structurally unsafe. ‘They took me up the Tower. You know…’ he nodded towards it in the distance, black on black in the night, its two upper floors dimly lit; watchful. 

‘I’d been running wild, getting into bother, just the usual sort of things. You’d know. Only, I kept getting told, I always took it too far. Then the Men in Suits called round. It was at my ma’s. I was trying to squeeze home nosh out of her, ok, but I was in. Knock at the door. Shapes outside the back door too. I was ready for shinning up the loft ladder, skylight onto the roof, and over. I had this all planned out. Just in case. Then a lamp post and down. And I had on my Angry Antonys; I was good. It was quite a jump; not sure I’d make it.’ He looked down at the river, watching slick after foamy slick coasting past. 

‘The daft… opens the door. And they were in. One grabbed my ankle on the loft ladder. He was a strong monkey, that one; built like an office block too. Yanked me clean off to his manly bosom.’ He paused, grinned, his teeth a sudden flash in the dim light from the street lamp below. ‘What was the point in struggling? Let him hold me.’ 

‘Boss wanted me.’ He looked across at his friend, his cheek, the line of his jaw, the slightly crooked nose, 

‘They gave my ma a funny look – and she stared them out.’ 

‘Let him see the lad.’ she said. ‘Then he’ll believe.’

‘What the…? What was all that about? I was thinking.’ He laughed.

Yup, what indeed?
To find out, the ebook is available on Amazon kindle:

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