Joe Dever, 1956-2016

This may not mean a lot to too many folks but Joe Dever, creator of the Lone Wolf books, died today at age 60. I was a huge fan of these choose your own adventure game books, they told a really cool overarching story plus you could carry forward your skills and items (like the crazy overpowered Summersword) that made it really cool to go through all of the books in sequence.

Oh man, Lone Wolf remains near and dear to my heart after all these years. Didn’t have much for video games on the Mac 512K we had, but I did grow up next door to a library that had most of the Lone Wolf books. RIP.

2016 continues to be an epically shitty year.

Easily the best of the gamebook series. Solid world design, generally fair choices and consequences, neat character creation options, cool long-term story arc… and quality writing! He took a weird, awkward literary form to its pinnacle. Thank you, Joe Dever.

Oh damn, that really sucks. Loved the books back in the day. Young too, damn.

I’m saddened to hear the news. I didn’t read (play?) his books in my youth, but I did experience them more recently in their mobile incarnation.

His family posted a lovely statement on Facebook:

We are sorry to be the bearers of such tremendously sad news, but our father passed away peacefully at 10:15 yesterday morning. This follows twelve years of an illness that he kept secret to all but those closest to him. We appreciate this news may be a shock to many.

He died as he lived - with colossal bravery and dignity - and held by those that loved him. He was working on the final three Lone Wolf books until Monday evening. His thoughts were with his work and thusly his fans until the last possible moments. His work clearly meant a lot to his fans, and your loyalty meant everything to him.

It is with enormous honour and great responsibility that these notes for the final three books of the saga, and the legacy of his incredible universe, are passed to us to complete.

Please allow us time to attend to the family, and his personal affairs. We will be in touch via this page and his website with further news about a memorial service that we hope to arrange for late January. We will also share how you can apply to attend the memorial, with full details of the time and location.

I forgot that these had been made into mobile games, though I did play the Sorcery! games (different author I know but same sort of game books). I need to look into the Lone Wolf games too then.

Just behind me, in my bookshelf:

These books must be at least 30 year old?

I think I might have gotten the Gray Star books before the Lone Wolf ones. Gray Star was darker, weirder in an absolutely fascinating way. I also think the books were more challenging to survive.

I remember playing the first trilogy of lone wolf books and cribbing it for my friends in DnD… they loved it. I loved how the Kai stuff was like a fantasy Jedi Order… made it so cool.

Anyway, here’s a good link for all things Joe Dever.

I actually planned to play some of the other books I never played. This site makes it possible. And its kind of cool how Joe Dever actually gave stuff to the site.