David C. Smith (author)

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David C. Smith
Born (1952-08-10) August 10, 1952 (age 67)
Youngstown, Ohio
OccupationAuthor, editor, essayist

David Claude Smith (born August 10, 1952) is an American author of fantasy, horror, and suspense fiction, medical editor, and essayist. He writes as David C. Smith. He is best known for his heroic fantasy novels, including his collaborations with Richard L. Tierney featuring characters created by Robert E. Howard, notably six novels featuring Red Sonja.

Life and family[edit]

Smith was born in Youngstown, Ohio,[1] and currently lives in Palatine, Illinois, with his wife, Janine, and daughter, Lily.


As a fiction writer, Smith has authored or coauthored twenty-four novels and numerous short stories. Smith's most active period as a writer was from the 1970s through the early 1990s; since then, he has concentrated on his primary career as a medical editor and currently is managing editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.[2]

In the 1970s, Smith was one of several young writers who reinvigorated the genre of sword-and-sorcery in such publications as Space and Time and The Diversifier. These authors included Richard L. Tierney, Charles R. Saunders, Karl Wagner, David Madison, Wayne Hooks, Gordon Hooks, and M. A. Washil, as well as Smith.[3]

Smith's collaborations with Tierney and some of his short fiction have been issued in German, and Oron has been translated into and reprinted in Czech.



Oron and the Tales of Attluma[edit]

Oron is a barbaric warrior whom Smith introduces in the novel Oron (1978). Oron and its chronological prequels---Mosutha's Magic (1982), The Valley of Ogrum (1982), and The Ghost Army (1983)---as well as the novel The Sorcerer's Shadow (1978) and 18 short stories and novelettes (1971–1984)are all set on the imaginary island-continent Attluma, for which Smith developed a detailed history,[4] similar to Robert E. Howard's essay in the 1930s on the Hyborian Age.[5] All five books are scheduled to be reprinted by Wildside/Borgo Press.

Most of the 18 Attluma stories appeared originally in fanzines and small-press publications of the 1970s and early 1980s. "Engor's Sword Arm" inspired the song "Sword Arm" by the Russian heavy metal band Blacksword.[6]

Red Sonja and the Howardian Pastiches[edit]

With coauthor Richard L. Tierney, Smith wrote six novels featuring the Hyrkanian warrior Red Sonja. The character, loosely based on Red Sonya created by Robert E. Howard, was adapted by Roy Thomas into stories for the Marvel line of Conan and Red Sonja comic magazines. The novels, published by Ace Books, are The Ring of Ikribu (1981), Demon Night (1982), When Hell Laughs (1982), Endithor's Daughter (1982), Against the Prince of Hell (1983), and Star of Doom (1983).[5]

Smith also wrote the novel The Witch of the Indies (1977), featuring the pirate Black Terence Vulmea, and For the Witch of the Mists (1978, with Richard L. Tierney), featuring the Pictish warrior Bran Mak Morn, both of them characters originally created by Roberet E. Howard.

The Fall of the First World trilogy[edit]

The Fall of the First World comprises the novels The Master of Evil (manuscript title, The West Is Dying), Sorrowing Vengeance, and The Passing of the Gods, all published by Pinnacle Books in 1983. The trilogy concerns the gradual escalation of tension between a western and an eastern empire in a remote time and interweaves legendary characters and devices that have persisted in Western legend and mythology: Queen Salia is based on Helen of Troy, for example, and the wandering prophet Asawas is a Christ figure. Smith has stated that he planned the trilogy as a fantasy War and Peace.[5]

David Trevisan[edit]

David Trevisan, a young sorcerer, appears in two novels: The Fair Rules of Evil (Avon Books, 1989) and The Eyes of Night (Avon Books, 1991).[5] Both are scheduled to be revised and reprinted by Wildside/Borgo Press.

Seasons of the Moon[edit]

Smith published this novel about a rural matriarchal society through iUniverse in October 2005.[7] It is also available as an ebook on Kindle.

Additional Novels[edit]

Call of Shadows (2009) Airship 27, Dark Muse (2012) Damnation Press, and Waters of Darkness (with Joe Bonadonna; 2013) Damnation Press.


Smith's postsecondary English grammar textbook/workbook, Understanding English: How Sentences Work, was published by South-Western/ITC in 1991. His essays include "Fantasy in the Silent Cinema" and "A Critical Appreciation of John Milius's Conan the Barbarian."

Additional nonfiction includes “The Writer’s Style: Sound and Syntax in Howard’s Sentences” in The Dark Man: The Journal of Robert E. Howard Studies Vol. 5, No. 2, February 2013; “At the Crossroads: Swords, Sorcery, and Heavy Metal,” in Metal & Fantasy, Vol. 1, Frantz-E. Petiteau, ed. Rosiéres-en-Haye, France, Camion Blanc, 2014 [tr]; and "Introduction," in Swords of Steel, Dave Ritzlin, ed. Chicago, Illinois, DMR Books, 2015.


  1. ^ David C. Smith: Summary Bibliography: Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  2. ^ "Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons".
  3. ^ Holmes M: "Thirty Years Ago": http://www.rehupa.com/?m=200805
  4. ^ Smith DC: Oron, Zebra Books, New York, NY, 1978
  5. ^ a b c d Jones H: Interview with David C. Smith: http://www.swordandsorcerey.org/int-david-c-smith.asp[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Stevens E: "A Taste of Siberian Steel . . . Interview with Alex Avdeev of Russian Metal Band, 'Blacksword'": http://xmetalundergroundx.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/blacksword_interview/
  7. ^ Smith DC: "Seasons of the Moon": http://www.davidcsmith.net/

External links[edit]