Friday, November 30, 2018

David Drake

The Army took David Drake from Duke Law School and sent him on a motorized tour of Viet Nam and Cambodia with the 11th Cav, the Blackhorse. He learned new skills, saw interesting sights, and met exotic people who hadn’t run fast enough to get away.

Drake returned to become Chapel Hill’s Assistant Town Attorney and to try to put his life back together through fiction making sense of his Army experiences.

He describes war from where he saw it: the loader’s hatch of a tank in Cambodia. Drake's military experience, combined with his formal education in history and Latin, has made him one of the foremost writers of realistic action SF and fantasy. His bestselling Hammer’s Slammers series is credited with creating the genre of modern Military SF. He often wishes he had a less interesting background.

Drake's new novel is The Spark.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Drake's reply:
Grand Illusions by David M. Lubin

A brilliant study of how American art reacted to World War I. This wide-ranging book (it covers film and literature as well as paintings, sculpture, and propaganda posters) considers not only the works but the artists who made them. These are subjects I know something about, but Lubin informs and enlightens me in every paragraph.

Don’t Eat Me by Colin Cotterill

Latest in a series of mysteries about a septuagenarian Lao coroner, the first set in 1975 immediately after independence at the end of the Viet Nam War. Cotterill is London-born but living in Thailand. The themes and subjects involve Southeast Asian cultures and the impact of Western cultures on them. They are a warts and all view of Third-World socialism and very funny among the bleakness.

Probably the next best thing to learning a foreign language for being introduced to an alien culture--and extremely entertaining as well.
Visit David Drake's website.

--Marshal Zeringue