The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

David Drake, RIP

Posted on | December 12, 2023 | Comments Off on David Drake, RIP

— by Wombat-socho

Silicon Valley et Hamas delenda sunt.

David Drake, 9/24/1945-12/10/2023

Has it really been two years since I posted this? I guess it has. Twitter has had a fair chunk of tweets over the last day or two devoted to mourning David Drake, whose impact on science fiction, fantasy, and horror cannot be overstated. There is a wealth of autobiographical information and occasional comments on his writing at his website, which I cannot recommend highly enough. The various pages devoted to Dave and his works on are also worth reading, though I warn you that they’re loaded with spoilers.

My connection with Dave started when I was in high school in the late 1970s, reading the collection of Galaxy I’d been gifted by the school librarians, and discovering “Under The Hammer” and “But Loyal To His Own”. I wrote him some letters, to which he politely replied, and I kept an eye out as he began to become a Big Name in Baen’s stable of authors. A few years later, I joined the Army, and as most of you know, managed to wangle an assignment to the 340th ASA Company of the 11th ACR. This was not, strictly speaking, the same company Drake had been in during Vietnam, but it carried the lineage of that MI detachment, and when we finally met years later at Arcana, he was pleased that we had that connection. With the exception of his Cthulhu mythos stories (which were arguably more horror than fantasy) I was never that interested in his fantasy novels, but I read and/or bought just about every SF story he ever wrote. As others can testify, he was a fine writer, a great guest at conventions, and a wonderful human being. Not an officer, but definitely a gentleman, and a good friend, as Sarah Hoyt attests on her blog. We had hoped to have him as our Guest of Honor at the upcoming Son of Silvercon II, but as Stacie Collins reminds us, “You wanna hear God laugh? Tell him about your plans!”

See you at Fiddler’s Green, sir.

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