11 December 2023

RIP David Drake - 24 September 1945 to 10 December 2023

Via Twitter and Mike Kupari we get the sad news.

I have been informed that David Drake, fellow @BaenBooks writer, fellow veteran, and author of the excellent Hammer's Slammers series, has passed away.

I met him in 2018 and told him that I understood his work more after returning home from Afghanistan. He seemed to appreciate that.

My wife, a long time volunteer at conventions, knew him better than I did. She says he was always a gentleman who appreciated his fans, loved to tell stories, but wasn’t afraid to (politely) tell someone to shut up if he was talking out of turn.

Take a moment to say a prayer and/or pour one out for one of the all-time greats of military science fiction.

I found this thanks to Wombat-socho, who took the news hard.

I will advert to you that I am not really in the mood to do this post tonight, as I have been informed that one of my favorite SF authors, David Drake, has died. Still, if he taught me nothing else, he taught me that when you have a job to do, you do it – no bullshit or excuses accepted.

I was not really a fan of David Drake's writing. I have read his Hammer's Slammers collection, or I should say I have read most of the 3 book set. (It is a "modern classic" of SF, after all.) I also read Ranks of Bronze, but that was because I had stumbled across The Excalibur Alternative by David Weber, which is sequel to Ranks, and thought I should read it first. I may have read a couple of other books by him, as he wrote a lot of stuff based on Hammer, but they didn't make an impression, or much of one.

I can appreciate the skill that went into the work, and apparently he wrote combat, even Sci-Fi combat, in a very real way. It just isn't my cup of tea.


  1. You might want to take a look at his Belisarius series (co-written with Eric Flint): alt-history based around the career of the Roman General of that name.
    And the RCN series is not terribly combat heavy - more intrigue, derived from events in the history of the Roman Republic, and with a nod to the Aubrey-Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian.


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