Michael Z. Williamson

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Michael Z. Williamson
Williamson in December 2009.
Williamson in December 2009.
Born1967 (age 51–52)
Birkenhead, England
OccupationAuthor, writer, bladesmith
GenreScience fiction, military science fiction, military fiction, political thrillers

Michael Z. Williamson is a science fiction and military fiction author.[2] Born in Birkenhead, England, he and his family emigrated to Canada, then the United States in 1978. Williamson frequently utilizes the pen names "Mad Mike" and "Crazy Einar". He is retired from the United States Air Force.[3]


Williamson's first book, Freehold, was released in January 2004. It tells the story of Kendra Pacelli, a young woman forced to flee from Earth after being accused of a crime she didn't commit. She flees to the planet Grainne and struggles to adapt to the new climate and culture of the ultra-libertarian planet, where the government administers the courts, the military, and literally nothing else. She eventually joins the Freehold military and soon finds herself defending her new home from her old one when the UN invades.

Both The Weapon and Angeleyes cover the conflict between Grainne and Earth but are told from a different point of view. Angeleyes is a spy-thriller set in the space stations and interstellar ships; the protagonist, Angie Kaneshiro, is recruited as a contractor to assist a team of SF Operatives as they wage clandestine war on the UN's ships in space. The Weapon begins before Freehold and explains just how tough (and more than a little crazy) the Freehold's special forces really are. Rogue continues Ken Chinran's story from The Weapon as he hunts down one of his own. Contact With Chaos advances the timeline several years and is the story of humankind's first encounter with a sentient alien species where humans are the space aliens initiating contact with a less technologically advanced race.

Williamson was both Editor and a Contributing Author for Forged In Blood, released in September 2017. This short-story anthology is one continuous story written by more than a dozen different authors, including Baen authors Larry Correia, Tom Kratman, Mike Massa, Christopher L. Smith, Jason Cordova and Kacey Ezell. The anthology charts several thousand years of history/future, following one particular sword and its' many bearers from Feudal Japan to Freehold and then centuries beyond.

Better to Beg Forgiveness is set in the Freehold universe but is a prequel series set well before the Grainne war. It tells the story of a team of professional bodyguards as they protect the President of an fractious planet against all manner of threats. There are two follow-on books, Do Unto Others and When Diplomacy Fails starring the same characters. The trio of books are collectively known as the Ripple Creek series.

Williamson's second novel, The Hero, was written with John Ringo and takes place within the universe of Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series. Michael has also written the Target: Terror series, which thus far includes The Scope of Justice, Targets of Opportunity, and Confirmed Kill. These cover the story of two U.S. Army Rangers, engaged in black operations against terrorist groups threatening the United States.

He is also the Editor at Large of SurvivalBlog.com, a blog on disaster preparedness topics.[4]

Michael also owns and operates SharpPointyThings.com where he sells antique, commercially made, or hand-forged knives and swords.

Personal life[edit]

Michael and his first wife Gail had two children.[3] They separated in 2014 and divorced in October 2016. Michael has since remarried and he and his wife Jessica have a daughter.[5]


Williamson in July 2011, from a photo for a PSA by Oleg Volk.

Grainne War/Aftermath (Freehold Universe)[edit]

  • Freehold (Baen Books, ISBN 0-7434-7179-2, January 2004)
  • The Weapon (Baen Books, ISBN 1-4165-0894-5, August 2005)
  • Rogue (Baen Books, ISBN 978-1-4391-3462-7, September 2011)
  • Contact with Chaos (Baen Books, ISBN 1-4165-9154-0 (Hardback), April 2009; ISBN 1-4391-3373-5 (Paperback), July 2010)
  • Angeleyes (Baen Books, ISBN 978-1-4767-8186-0, November 2016)
  • Forged in Blood (Baen Books, ISBN 978-1481482707, September 2017) (anthology editor and contributing author)

Ripple Creek (Freehold Universe)[edit]

Target: Terror series[edit]

Legacy of the Aldenata (with John Ringo)[edit]

Other work[edit]

Short stories[edit]

Michael Z. Williamson in July 2003


Year Film Role Notes
2008 First They Came for... Red Star Police No. 1 Short Film
2009 The Best Defense Himself TV
2011 When Aliens Attack Military Advisor—Armorer Film
2013 Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses Production Crew—Armorer Film (Post-production)


  1. ^ Williamson, Michael Z. (2013). Tour of Duty. USA: Baen Books. pp. 9–10. ISBN 978-1-4767-3676-1.
  2. ^ "Interview by Travis Clemmons". Buzznews.net Archived 9 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Williamson, Michael Z. "Michael Z. Williamson: Writer: Bio page". Retrieved 13 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Our Domestic Correspondents and Editors" Archived 21 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. SurvivalBlog.com. Retrieved August 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Williamson, Michael Z. (5 November 2016). "Advice About Other People's Divorces: Don't Get Involved". The Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse. Retrieved 24 April 2017.

External links[edit]