William H. Keith, Jr.
William H. Keith (born August 8, 1950) is an American author.
William H. Keith served in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War era.
William H. Keith, Jr., and his brother J. Andrew Keith had seen ads in Journal of the Travellers Aid Society that stated that Game Designers' Workshop (GDW) was seeking authors; Loren Wiseman brought them on to begin freelancing for GDW in 1978 or 1979, and together the three of them set up a lot of the early tone for the Traveller universe.:56 William Keith also helped to define the graphical vision of that era of Traveller books.:56 The Keith brothers were making enough money that they were able to freelance full-time starting around 1979.:56 The Keith brothers began working for FASA by the end of 1980, with William Keith providing art for the magazine High Passage beginning in 1981.:119 FASA began getting into publishing adventures for Traveller beginning with Ordeal by Eshaar (1981) by the Keith brothers, who then wrote FASA's "Sky Raiders" trilogy (1981-1982).:119 William Keith designed the role-playing game Behind Enemy Lines (1982), the first RPG set in the 1940s.:120 When FASA ended its support of Traveller, the Keith brothers moved their Traveller writing to a new company called Gamelords, but continued working for FASA in other capacities.:120 The Keith brothers wrote seven supplements for Gamelords, including The Mountain Environment (1983), The Undersea Environment (1983), and The Desert Environment (1984).:131
The Keith brothers did some work on the Chivalry & Sorcery line in 1984, and in 1985 they expanded into Fantasy Games Unlimited's other lines including Aftermath!, Daredevils, Flashing Blades, and Psi World.:75 The Keith brothers also designed Freedom Fighters (1986), one of the last role-playing games published by FGU.:75 William Keith authored Delta Force: America Strikes Back! (1986), the first role-playing game from Task Force Games.:116 In 1986, FASA began publishing fiction, starting with William Keith's Decision at Thunder Rift (1986).:122 Digest Group Publications' final publication, The MegaTraveller Journal #4 (1993), featured a huge campaign for MegaTraveller set in the Gateway sector, authored by William Keith.:206
William Keith became a professional artist and writer, working in the game industry with his brother Andrew, particularly for Game Designers' Workshop and FASA for before becoming a full-time author. Much of his early work, including the Warstrider series, the Freedom's Rangers series, the Cybernarc series, and the Invaders of Charon series, is currently out of print; 'Warstrider' will be re-released in 2014. He was also an early author for BattleTech, writing the saga of the Gray Death Legion.
Keith also writes under various pseudonyms and "house names", including Ian Douglas and H. Jay Riker, and is a shadow author of several books "by" celebrities. He has written extensively in Keith Laumer's Bolo series, contributing several short stories to the Bolo anthologies, as well as three full length books, Bolo Brigade, Bolo Strike, and Bolo Rising. As Ian Douglas, he writes military science fiction: the Galactic Marines series (composed of the Heritage Trilogy, the Legacy Trilogy, and the Inheritance Trilogy), and the newer Star Carrier series. As H. Jay Riker he writes military fiction: a series about the United States Navy SEALs progression from World War II through the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom, and another series, The Silent Service, about the United States submarine service.
Other novels include Diplomatic Act with Peter Jurasik, and Two of Minds, nominated for a Newbery Award. He also continued Keith Laumer's Retief series with Retief's Peace. His first non-fiction book, The Science of the Craft, was published in 2005; it is about the link between witchcraft and science.
Keith's recent work includes three books in Stephen Coonts' Deep Black series; a police procedural/detective novel in the Android universe; and a new series about Navy Hospital Corpsmen in the future.
- Significant works
Writing as William H. Keith, Jr.
- Decision at Thunder Rift (1992) ISBN 978-0-451-45221-4; reprinted as ISBN 978-0-14-017549-3, ISBN 978-0-931787-69-0, ISBN 978-0-451-45184-2, and ISBN 978-3-453-03889-9
- Mercenary's Star (1987) ISBN 978-1-55560-030-3; reprinted as ISBN 978-0-451-45194-1 and ISBN 978-0-14-017550-9
- The Price of Glory (1987) ISBN 978-1-55560-038-9; reprinted as ISBN 978-0-451-45217-7, ISBN 978-0-14-017551-6, and ISBN 978-3-453-03891-2
- Blood of Heroes (with J. Andrew Keith) (1993) ISBN 978-0-451-45259-7
- Tactics of Duty (1995) ISBN 978-0-451-45382-2, reprinted as ISBN 978-0-451-45490-4
- Operation Excalibur (1996) ISBN 978-0-451-45526-0, reprinted as ISBN 978-3-453-10927-8
Writing as Ian Douglas.
- Semper Mars (1998) ISBN 978-0-380-78828-6
- Luna Marine (1999) ISBN 978-0-380-78829-3
- Europa Strike (2000) ISBN 978-0-380-78830-9
- Star Corps (2003) ISBN 978-0-380-81824-2
- Battlespace (2006) ISBN 978-0-380-81825-9
- Star Marines (2007) ISBN 978-0-380-81826-6
- Star Strike (2008) ISBN 978-0-06-123858-1
- Galactic Corps (2008) ISBN 978-0-06-123862-8
- Semper Human (2009) ISBN 978-0-06-123864-2
Star Carrier series
- Earth Strike (2010) ISBN 978-0-06-184025-8
- Center of Gravity (2011) ISBN 978-0-06-184026-5
- Singularity (2012) ISBN 978-0-06-184027-2
- Deep Space (2013) ISBN 978-0-06-218380-4
- Dark Matter (2014) ISBN 978-0-06-218399-6
Writing as Robert Cain.
- Cybernarc (1991) ISBN 978-0-06-100208-3
- Gold Dragon (1991) ISBN 978-0-06-100283-0
- Island Kill (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-100385-1
- Capo's Revenge (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-100461-2
- Shark Bait (1992) ISBN 978-0-06-100462-9
- End Game (1993) ISBN 978-0-06-100463-6