Dead writers - wish they weren't

Are there writers you wish hadn’t died so early, or had left a bigger oeuvre behind?

Me, I wish Roald Dahl had written more books. And Douglas Adams.
Jane Austen comes to mind, too, and ofcourse the Bronte sisters.

What about you?

How timely of you to ask! I had been making my way through Patrick O’Brian’s marvelous, majestic, wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series for 10 years. I was in the middle of the 18th book when O’Brian died. I put it aside then, still haven’t finished it, because I did not want the series to end. The just-released movie based on O’Brian’s books, Master and Commander, is a joy to watch.

I wish the poet ** Gerard Manley Hopkins** had lived more than 45 years.

Roger Zelazny had more work to do upon this earth. Give him back!

I wish that Stephen Crane, James Agee, and Thomas Wolfe had lasted 15 or so years longer than they did, that Ralph Ellison wrote more frequently, that the WWI trench poets had all survived the war, and that F. Scott Fitzgerald had complete “Love of The Last Tycoon”.

Are stage writers eligible? If so, I nominate Frank Loesser.

Oh, Byron and Shelley also come to mind.

V. C. Andrews. Seriously-her early work was really good-trash, yes, but oh so addicting!

Then she died, and her family got a ghostwriter to take over, and he sucks.

Instantly thought of - Douglas Adams

He wasn’t that old (was he?) and if he hadn’t died I am sure we would have seen some more very great books from him.

George Orwell. He died when he was only 46 years old. Just imagine some of the essays he could have written during the Cold War or the 1960s. In fact, he had already been planning another book and had some notes written for it when he died of TB in January of 1950.

Douglas Adams. And he was right in the middle of something new, too. :frowning:

St. John the Apostle-- what if he’d gone on to write a sequel to “Revelation”?

St. Gregory of Nyssa

And put down another vote for Douglas Adams

Richard Brautigan. When he committed suicide, he cut me off from the sixties.

However, I just found out that he is writing from beyond the grave, as 15 years after his death a collection of unpublished junk has been published: The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writing".

And The Richard Brautigan Library has been formed. Not Your Ordinary Library, either.

Anne George

Frank Herbert, a couple more Dune books would have been nice.

PK Dick, his books that were semi-autobiographical are compelling.

Jack Keroac.

Jean Plaidy, author of many wonderful fictionalized biographies of British historical figures.

I never enjoyed this genre until I started reading her books. I was a bit surprised to find out that she also wrote romances under the name Victoria Holt.

Adam yax, those were the exact two authors I had in mind when I clicked on this thread.:dubious:

The sad thing about Herbert is he had started on Dune 7 when he died. I know they found some of his notes and all but I wonder, how much of the story did he already have in his head? And now his son is planning on taking over where he left off. :frowning: Jr’s just not as good as the original (IMHO of course).

Dick, as the legend goes, had a stroke at his typewriter while working on his latest story. I don’t know if that’s fact or myth but it certainly fits in with the aura of abnormality surrounding the man. I wonder what kind of story he had to follow up on VALIS?

On a related note, this is why I haven’t started Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga yet. I think I’ll wait until he finishes first, just in case.

Douglas Adams

Brian Herbert and his writing partner will be doing a 7th book based on the notes, but we won’t see it for a few years yet because they have 2 more prequels to finish first.

As for Dick, Radio Free Albemuth was his last book and it expands on the whole Valis thing and to a degree A Scanner Darkly as well. I would love to see what he was working on as well.

Yet another vote for Douglas Adams.

Also, Robert Heinlein. Especially if he’d gone back to his lighthearted early works (Rolling Stones, Space Cadet, Rocket Ship Galileo…all that YA-oriented stuff that was just a good story, not Stranger in a Strange Land style tomes)

And in the obscure category…

H. Beam Piper

Killed himself thinking he was a failure and about to become a burden on his family.

But easily gave Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke a strong run for their money when it came to science fiction.

Hell, I like him so much I once named my band The Beam Pipers.

It works, doesn’t it?

Vladimir Nabokov. He was seventy-eight when he died, but I wish he’d completed The Original of Laura first. His widow Véra refused to publish it, though his son Dimitri insists his father would’ve wanted it published. Maybe he’ll do it since his mother is dead.