6:48 am Thursday December 12 2013
Gordon has a 'Kenneth Branagh moment' at the 60th anniversary dinner of the London Mountaineering Club
On Saturday Nov 30 Gordon was honoured to be the guest speaker at the 60th Anniversary Dinner of the London Mountaineering Club at the Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis.
After a fairly conventional after-dinner speech, Gordon cast aside his notes and recited the famous last three pages of Edward Whymper's classic 'Scrambles Amongst the Alps' (1871) by heart. This is by far the longest piece of writing (620 words) that Gordon has ever committed to memory ... and he got three words wrong. The audience was divided about half and half into those who knew it well, and those who'd never heard it before, and were duly baffled. When he'd finished, Gordon apologised for his 'Kenneth Branagh moment' ... but they appeared to take it in good heart, and some even enjoyed it.
See the last part of Gordon's speech (thanks, Frank Dunning)
Whymper's original text, as recited by Gordon, can be found here.
Gordon's sci-fi novel to be published January 27, 2014
Gordon Stainforth's extraordinary, shocking, ironic science-fiction novel, The Last Days of P-Ship, an allegory for our times - many years in the making - is to be published as an ebook in January by DirectAuthors.com. For a long time Gordon intended to publish the book under a pseudonym because of the nature of the material, but has now been persuaded by his publisher to let it go out under his own name. The ebook is illustrated (with 33 striking images) by the very talented German artist Tashina Jacob.
The first version of the book was written by Gordon in 1986-7, shortly after working with Stanley Kubrick on The Shining, and it inevitably has a very Kubrickian feel and tone. It has already been compared (very favourably) by several readers to A Clockwork Orange, 'only a lot more readable'.
Fiva was published in America on August 30.
The American edition of Gordon's UK best-selling mountaineering book, Fiva: An Adventure That Went Wrong was published in US and Canada by The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, on August 30.
Meanwhile, the Golden Arrow UK edition of Fiva continues to sell very strongly in Britain, with all the signs that it appeals to a wider readership than most mountaineering books.
THE BIG TROLL WAS ANGRY!
On Thursday July 11th, 44 years and 4 days after their epic near-death experience on the Fiva Route on Store Trolltind in Romsdal in Norway (described in Gordon's best-selling book 'Fiva'), Gordon and his twin brother John returned to the exit 'hole' at the top of the route with climber/reporter Iver Gjelstenli and guide Bjørn Bergsvik. They then completed the route to the summit of the mountain. But perhaps the Trolls were angry, because it came at a price! As a direct result of his poor eyesight, Gordon was badly affected by vertigo near the summit, something that had never happened before in 47 years of climbing.
On the most dangerous part of the descent, Gordon had to make two abseils and on each nearly passed out. During the remaining four hours of the descent he was having frequent dizzy spells with vomiting. Iver and Bjorn were absolutely superb throughout, and got us safely back to the road after a 13-hour round trip.
See all latest online comments about Fiva.
Gordon speaks at the Norwegian Mountain Festival
On Tuesday July 9th, Gordon spoke about his 1969 Fiva Route epic at the Norwegian Mountain Festival in Aandalsnes in Norway to a very appreciative audience. He was introduced by the famous Norwegian mountaineer and explorer Stein P. Aasheim. At the end of the talk, Gordons's twin brother John joined them on stage to take questions (right).
After the talk, Stein presented Gordon and John with very stylish 'Marius' Norwegian sweaters, which was particularly appropriate after Gordon had been telling them about his old Norwegian sweater having holes worn through it on the Fiva Route epic.
See original article, 'So This is Death', by Day Hagen, in Klatring magazine, 11 July. If it is opened in a Chrome browser it can be easily translated into (albeit whimsical) English - we particularly like the sentence: 'Man ends up first in a terrible watch, since some deadly steep and slippery slab.'
On March 11 2013, Alex Roddie interviewed Gordon about his work. Go to interview.
Gordon on BBC Radio Derby, Monday 30 April 2012
Gordon was interviewed by Andy Potter on BBC Radio Derby at 2.15-2.55pm on BBC Radio Derby.
Apart from discussing 'FIVA', Andy asked Gordon about his taste in reading and his previous careers in the film industry and as a landscape photographer. Click for archived complete interview.
May 17 2013 - FIVA receives its 46th ecstatic review on Amazon
That now makes the score 44 5-star reviews, and 2 4-star reviews on Amazon.co.uk, plus 3 5-star reviews on Amazon.com. What more could any writer wish for?
The raves just keep on coming ...
'A future classic of mountain literature'
'Best climbing book of 21st Century so far'
'THE most gripping book I have ever read!'
'The best mountaineering book I have ever read?'
'Fiva is a work of art, a superbly crafted story that once read will never be forgotten'
'Deserves to become a classic of the genre'
See ALL FIVA REVIEWS since publication
Nov 24 2012 - 6-page feature on Fiva appears in Norwegian press
On Saturday 24 November 2012, a huge six-page article on 'Fiva' appeared in the Norwegian Newspaper Romsdals Budstikke. It looks very fine indeed, except we can't understand a word! We hope to have an English translation in the next few days.
Download whole article (1.9 Mb pdf file).
Nov 2 2012 - Fiva wins BEST BOOK OF MOUNTAIN & WILDERNESS LITERATURE at the Banff Mountain Festival.
Gordon Stainforth's Fiva: An Adventure That Went Wrong won the coveted Jon Whyte Award for the Best Book of Mountain and Wilderness Literature at the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival in Canada against tough opposition among a particularly strong shortlist of five finalists.
The judges' citation described "the breathless teenage voice" of the narrator as "an unrelenting force, sweeping the reader ever higher … as events spiral out of control…. An evocative period piece, Fiva is human, innocent, and unflinchingly believable. This little, unassuming book stands among the classic tales of climbing 'epics.'"
The judges were:
Bruce Kirkby (Canada) - Traveler, adventurer, author of two bestselling books, and well-known outdoor columnist for Canadian Geographic, Explore Magazine and other journals.
Barbara Brownell (USA) - Former Editor-in-Chief for National Geographic Books and currently president of Rivanna Publishing Ventures.
Jim Perrin (UK) - prolific author of fourteen books, twice winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize, and twice winner of Banff Mountain Book Festival Awards. Fellow of the Welsh Academy and Honorary Fellow of Bangor University.
Gordon and his twin brother John (who played a major part in the Fiva epic in 1969) attended the Banff Mountain Festival for four days, and were given a wonderful time by their Canadian hosts.
Public reactions to the prize.
Click pictures to enlarge
July 6 2012 - Joe Simpson gives Fiva the big thumbs up
Joe Simpson, author of best-selling 'Touching the Void', gives this great accolade to 'Fiva' on Twitter:
Joe Simpson @TouchingTheVoid
FIVA by Gordon Stainforth - Wonderful, nostalgic, gripping, classic epic yarn with great humour deserves to win many many awards - read it :)
... and on July 20, Stephen Venables, mountaineer and author of 'Higher Than the Eagle Soars' etc., called it
the most intelligent disaster story to appear for years.
— Site last updated December 10, 2013 —
Internationally acclaimed award-winning author and mountain photographer Gordon Stainforth is perhaps best known for his lavishly illustrated photo-essays on the British hills and mountains: Eyes to the Hills, Lakeland, The Cuillin, and The Peak: Past and Present, and for his gripping true life story Fiva: An Adventure That Went Wrong, which won the coveted Best Book of Mountain and Wilderness Literature at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in November 2012. In the course of his career, however, Gordon has been involved in a wide range of other creative pursuits - film and music editor (notably on Stanley Kubrick's The Shining), book and exhibition designer, and novelist (see Biography). He now works full-time as a writer. He is currently putting the finishing touches to his science-fiction novel, many years in the making, The Last Days of P-Ship, which is being published as an ebook in the autumn.
Other projects in the pipeline include: a biography of Gordon's great uncle, George Stainforth, aviator extraordinary, who broke the world speed record in 1931; a book on his experiences of working in the film industry, and particularly with Stanley Kubrick; and a major work on philosophy aimed at the intelligent layman.
Click images to enlarge