Greg Hamerton (born in Cape Town in 1973) is a South African fantasy novelist and extreme sports writer.
He was educated at Waldorf school (based on the Rudolf Steiner system). He matriculated from South African College Schools (SACS) in 1991 and completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Cape Town in 1994. He qualified as a paragliding instructor and managed an active paragliding school in Cape Town. He worked in the film industry, and as a paragliding instructor in the UK. Upon returning to South Africa he began to write sports articles for various magazines, mostly to the international free-flying magazine Cross Country. He also worked at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (2008–2010).
His first novel Beyond The Invisible was published in 1998 by Eternity Press. This was followed by a non-fiction guidebook for Paragliding in South Africa (1999), The Fresh Air Site Guide. His epic fantasy series, The Tale of the Lifesong, began with The Riddler's Gift (published 2007) and continues with Second Sight (published 2010).
He mentions that his writing comes to him visually, and on his website he lists The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings as having been particularly memorable films (see profile). His work shows elements of magical realism and has a vivid visual style. Although taking some inspiration from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, he writes with a more contemporary approach similar to Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind. In an interview he referred to Stephen Donaldson and Robin Hobb as having influenced his work, as well as the satirical Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett.
In an interview (Something Wicked Magazine, Winter 2007) he commented on his motivation to write: "For me it's a very personal joy. I really enjoy being in the mental state one reaches when writing creatively. It's a kind of meditation, and one I find invigorating. It feels that I'm wiser when writing than in the normal everyday world."
He began flying in 1992, and took part in world record attempts in 1994 and 2007 in the X-SA Challenge. He flew in the Paragliding World Cup circuit in 1997. His passion for open-distance cross country flying has taken him to many countries around the world and seen him set site records in South Africa. His experience in exploration and bivouac flying led to the filming of Fresh Air Riders (2000), a collaboration with South African Hang-gliding Champion Johan Anderson, directed by extreme sports documentary film-maker Nic Good of the Fresh Air Crew. This was followed by his directorial debut The Journey produced by Eternity Press in 2008.
- Beyond the Invisible - Flying from fear to freedom. (Literary novel. English. Published by Eternity Press, 1998).
- Written in the first-person narrative style of Richard Bach, this loosely autobiographical story blends descriptive imagery of flying paragliders with meditations on the metaphysics of dealing with fear. A recurrent theme in this work is the enervating atmosphere of the modern city-life contrasted with the freedom of the wilderness tramp. Although there seem to be many references to real experiences, the reader is confronted with passages which tend towards the fantastical, but in the context of the story they serve to demonstrate a shift of perception. As a piece of fiction dealing with paragliding it is considered rare (Joe Schofield, Skywings Magazine review).
- Fresh Air Site Guide - Paragliding and Hanggliding in South Africa. (Guidebook. Non-fiction. English, German. Published by Eternity Press, 1999–2007).
- A directory of flying sites throughout Southern Africa, written from the author's personal experience as an instructor. Greg Hamerton travelled extensively to collect information and photographs before compiling this book in 1999. It is updated regularly, and the 5th edition (2007) was translated into German.
- The Riddler's Gift - First Tale of The Lifesong. (Fantasy fiction. English. Published by Eternity Press, June 2007).
- The Riddler's Gift Audiobook - as read by the author. (Fantasy fiction. English. Published by Eternity Press, August 2007).
- The Journey - a flying story (DVD). (Short adventure/philosophical film, 23 minutes. English. Directed and Produced by Greg Hamerton. Published by Eternity Press, January 2008).
- Second Sight - Second Tale of The Lifesong. (Fantasy fiction. English. Published by Eternity Press, August 2010).
- Official Site
- Greg Hamerton on MySpace
- Interview with author
- Greg Hamerton at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database