Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; immigrated to United States, 2004; married. Education: University of Sussex, M.A.
Home—New York, NY.
Taught school in southern Manitoba, Canada; teaches junior high school in New York, NY.
Grant, Manitoba Writer's Guild.
In the Eye of Heaven (novel), Tor (New York, NY), 2006.
In a Time of Treason (sequel to In the Eye of Heaven), Tor (New York, NY), 2008.
New York-based writer David Keck was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he spent much of his childhood drawing and writing stories. He studied English literature, history, and education with an eye toward becoming a teacher, but when one of his creative writing teachers insisted he pursue a writing career, Keck continued on to the University of Sussex in England to get a master's degree in creative writing. Although he does teach to support himself, first in Manitoba, and later in the Washington Heights section of New York, writing is his true love. His novel In the Eye of Heaven tells the story of Durand, a young man who has spent years preparing for a life as lord over a group of plowmen, but who instead finds himself thrown off the land and wandering alone down a road in the middle of winter. There is unrest brewing, and Durand ends up in the middle of a civil war, with his basic morals and beliefs challenged repeatedly throughout the struggle. Though the book is a fantasy, it relies heavily on the details Keck has accumulated through a lifetime of loving castles and stories of the Middle Ages. A contributor to Publishers Weekly called the book a "deftly told tale," and remarked: "One hopes there'll be further adventures of the memorable Durand." A reviewer for SFF World online found the pacing of the book on the slow side, but wrote: "The worldbuilding is a cut above what is currently the norm on the market nowadays. And although this novel only lets us catch a few glimpses, it doesn't take an astute reader to realize that the world of Errest shines by its authenticity." The reviewer concluded by commenting that the book "is a solid effort."
Keck followed with In a Time of Treason, the second book of a projected trilogy. Keck told the interviewer named Robert, who interviewed him for Fantasy Book Critic, that this book "is when everything really goes wild in poor Durand's life. There is open war in Errest the Old. The sky teems with carrion crows. Cities burn. Lands are laid waste. Good people die. And people are pushed to do things they must regret. There is also a nice bit where people row down a cold river and across a stormy lake in a perilously open boat. (An excuse to combine my limited canoeing experience, my memory of the Canadian reality program Quest for the Bay, and my love for nautical fiction)."
Durand must help restore Lamoric to the throne, but he is also in love with Deorwen, Lamoric's wife. Radomor, the Duke of Yrlac, continues to be a threat, and the story is filled with battles. Thomas M. Wagner reviewed In a Time of Treason for SF Reviews, commenting that Keck's work is "grim and unwelcoming. I think many readers will find him off-putting. I'm certainly not saying that good fantasy has to be all fluffy bunnies and sweetness and light—indeed, I prefer a risk-taking writer who's willing to flout expectations and explore the heart of darkness, as it were. But making that work involves not just intellectual involvement, but allowing the reader an emotional stake in the outcome as well. Once Keck has that down, he'll be producing fantasies to rank with the best of them."
A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that in writing this adventure, Keck avoids "the conventions and cliches that doom so many comparable fantasy epics to mediocrity." Booklist reviewer Roland Green called this installment an "excellent traditional fantasy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Roland Green, review of In the Eye of Heaven, p. 33; February 1, 2008, Roland Green, review of In a Time of Treason, p. 36.
Entertainment Weekly, April 28, 2006, Eric Kohn and others, review of In the Eye of Heaven, p. 140.
Publishers Weekly, February 6, 2006, review of In the Eye of Heaven, p. 48; December 3, 2007, review of In a Time of Treason, p. 54.
David Keck Home Page,http://www.keckbooks.com (June 16, 2008).
Fantasy Book Critic,http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com (February 15, 2008), Robert, "Interview with David Keck."
McNally Robinson Web site,http://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/ (March 11, 2008), Chadwick Ginther, "An Interview with David Keck."
SFF World,http://www.sffworld.com/ (April 10, 2006), Patrick, interview; (June 16, 2008), review of In the Eye of Heaven.
SF Reviews,http://www.sfreviews.net/ (June 16, 2008), Thomas M. Wagner, reviews of In the Eye of Heaven and In a Time of Treason.