Category Archives: About Me

About Me

About Me

I was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. In 1967 I graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in History (with honors) and Latin; married my wife Jo (one son, Jonathan, born 1973); and entered Duke … Continue reading

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Biographies

The longer bio: While David Drake was studying at Duke Law School, the Army changed his immediate career path to a choice between interrogator or grunt. Dave chose interrogator. He was assigned to the 11th Cav, the Blackhorse, and spent … Continue reading

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Iowa Connections

Piedmont North Carolina has been my permanent home since 1967, when I moved to Durham to enter Duke University Law School. But as I get older I appreciate with increasing clarity how much I was shaped by being born and … Continue reading

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Dubuque Iowa

My parents graduated from the U of Dubuque, and my mother’s family all lived in Dubuque. Mom came home from Boca Raton where my folks were living during the war (Dad worked for the Navy) to have me. When the … Continue reading

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Clinton Iowa

In 1955, when I was ten, we moved 70 miles south along the river to Clinton. I was already a voracious reader, but in Clinton I was old enough to go to the public library on my own. At the … Continue reading

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The University of Iowa

Like many other bright Iowans, I never took the SAT. The U of Iowa accepts scores from the American College Test (based in Iowa City, like the U of I itself) for enrollment–and you could go a long way without … Continue reading

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Vietnam

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed Shall … Continue reading

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Early Influences – The Chickens

THE CHICKENS My parents read to me before I was able to read for myself. One of the books they read–and there were many–was The Big Golden Book of Poetry. The first edition was published in 1947 when I would’ve … Continue reading

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Early Influences – The Angry Planet

THE ANGRY PLANET by John Keir Cross I was fascinated by SF from a very early age–I’m not sure why–but there wasn’t very much real science fiction available for kids during the 1950s. I made do with books like Miss … Continue reading

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The Classics

The photograph is a ruined caravansary from southern Turkey, some days’ journey east of Adana. The building was constructed during the Seljuk period–old, probably from the 1st millennium AD, but post-classical. It’s a stopping place for caravans, where merchants could … Continue reading

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Rudyard Kipling

Kipling had a major influence on my writing and a lesser one on my life. The photo above is me in the garden of his house in Brattleboro in September, 1996. The one at the bottom of the essay is … Continue reading

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Whispers Magazine

In 1971 August Derleth died. He’d been publishing The Arkham Collector, a little magazine associated with his fantasy small press Arkham House. (My only published poem appeared in it.) Stu Schiff, a long-time collector and at that point a dentist … Continue reading

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My Motorcycles

I got my first motorcycle, a very battered Honda CL-175, in 1973 when we moved from town to a house in the country. I’d never much liked driving a car and a friend (whose youth was much more reckless and … Continue reading

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New Bike

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Suzuki DL650A

My new bike, a Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650A). It replaces the Bandit 1200 which I simply wasn’t running hard enough to keep the engine happy. The DL650 has fuel injection and ABS, both of which are very good. The seat … Continue reading

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Manly Wade Wellman

On March 17, 1970, I met Manly for the first time, in his writing office above a drugstore in the center of Chapel Hill. According to my journal for the day: Talked to Mr. Wellman (“My parents wrote my great-uncle … Continue reading

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Manly Wade Wellman, Reporter

In many respects, Manly was as much of a journalist as he was a fiction writer. He was close to his (two years older) brother Paul for all of their mutual lives. When Manly got out of college in the … Continue reading

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Vandy, Vandy

Manly traveled with Vance Randolph either during his time at Wichita University (now Wichita State University) or shortly after he graduated. He said that Randolph wanted him to settle in Arkansas. “Manly, you’ve got a hundred dollars. Half of it … Continue reading

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Jim Baen

Jim Baen called me on the afternoon of June 11. He generally phoned on weekends, and we’d usually talk a couple more times in the course of a week; but this was the last time. In the course of the … Continue reading

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About John Lambshead

John Lambshead is joint author with Dave of The Citizen Series from Baen Books. When John Lambshead was fourteen, he helped his mother carry lunch to the firemen spreading dispersants so that oil from the tanker Torrey Canyon did not … Continue reading

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A Martial Poem

When Tony Daniel, Baen editor, requested Dave to read a martial poem for the Baen Free Radio Hour podcast, Dave took it literally and recorded a poem by Marcus Valerius Martialis. He read the original Latin poem (Book 4 #18) … Continue reading

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Like the Man Said

For my birthday in 1975, John Squires (who had been taking a bookbinding class) gave me a book bound in one of my fatigue shirts (that Jo had given him) and containing (as tearsheets) Ranks of Bronze, Arclight, Contact!, Something … Continue reading

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‘Birds of Prey’ March

Kipling, and particularly Kipling’s verse, has been important to me ever since I encountered it when I started to read. (There was a copy of The Jungle Book on the folks’ shelves, along with the first three Hornblower novels and … Continue reading

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Joke Covers at Dave’s Roast

At Trinoc-con on Sunday, October 6, 2002, my friend Mark Van Name presided over what was billed as a David Drake Roast but was really a tribute. I was very embarrassed at the idea beforehand, but it turned out to … Continue reading

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