|Born||September 24, 1945|
|Alma mater||University of Iowa, Duke University School of Law|
|Genre||Science fiction, fantasy|
|Notable works||Hammer's Slammers, RCN Series|
David Drake (born September 24, 1945) is an American author of science fiction and fantasy literature. A Vietnam War veteran who has worked as a lawyer, he is now one of the major authors of the military science fiction genre.
Drake graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa, majoring in history (with honors) and Latin. His studies at Duke University School of Law were interrupted for two years when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry (The Black Horse Regiment) in Vietnam and Cambodia. With Karl Edward Wagner and Jim Groce, he was one of the initiators of Carcosa, a small press company. He now lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
His best-known non-collaborative work is the Hammer's Slammers series of military science fiction. His newer Republic of Cinnabar Navy (RCN) series are space operas inspired by the Aubrey–Maturin novels. During 1997, Drake began his largest fantasy series, Lord of the Isles, using elements of Sumerian religion and medieval technology. During 2007, Drake finished the series with its ninth volume.
In addition to his solo works, Drake has co-authored novels with authors such as Karl Edward Wagner, S.M. Stirling, and Eric Flint. Typically Drake provides plot outlines (5,000–15,000 words) and the co-author does "the real work of developing the outline into a novel". He doesn't "consider [his] involvement to be that of a real co-author." Drake also contributed to the Heroes in Hell series.
Drake's plots often use his extensive knowledge of history, literature, and mythology. Starting with Northworld in 1990, he has generally explained the background of each book in an afterword or preface. Additionally, Drake's plots frequently involve a contest of political systems.
Some of Drake's works are available for free download in the Baen Free Library.
- Mayfair Games produced the licensed Hammer's Slammers board game (1984) based on David Drake's novel Hammer's Slammers.:167
- Mongoose Publishing adapted Drake's novel as the licensed setting Hammer's Slammers (2009) for the Traveller role-playing game.:401
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