->"''The use of force is '''always''' an answer to problems. Whether or not it's a satisfactory answer depends on a number of things, not least the personality of the person making the determination. Force isn't an attractive answer, though. I would not be true to myself or to the people I served with in 1970 if I did not make that realization clear.''"
-->-- '''David Drake'''

One of the current gods of Military SF, along with Jerry Pournelle, Creator/SMStirling, and Creator/DavidWeber -- in spite of not writing any military SF anymore. (Unless you count Naval SpaceOpera.) Known for his explicit and graphic depictions of the effects of warfare on both human bodies and human societies.

[[http://www.david-drake.com/ David Drake]] is the author of several sci-fi series, and has a major fantasy series, ''Literature/TheLordOfTheIsles'' which finished in late 2008 with ''The Gods Return''. Has numerous other works.
* ''Literature/{{RCN}}''
* ''Literature/TheGeneral'', with S.M. Stirling
* ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' with Eric Flint
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheIsles''
* ''Literature/HammersSlammers''
* ''Northworld''
* ''The Reaches''

Drake is, as described in the book jacket for ''[[Literature/BelisariusSeries The Dance of Time]]'':

"Vietnam veteran, former lawyer, former bus driver, and now best-selling author..." \\
"Drake graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa, majoring in history (with honors) and Latin."\\
"His stint at Duke University Law School was interrupted for two years by the U. S. Army, where he served as an enlisted interrogator with the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_ACR 11th Armored Cavalry]] in Vietnam and Cambodia."


!!Major Series:

* The ''Literature/{{RCN}}'' series is loosely based off the 18th century British navy, complete with spaceships that travel through hyperspace using sails. However, the sails are handled fairly realistically: stripping a ship's sails with a plasma cannon is a quick and easy way to keep it from escaping into hyperspace, the sails need to be furled and stowed before entering an atmosphere, and when deployed, interfere with the ship's realspace maneuvering and combat.
** Also known as
*** the ''Republic of Cinnabar'' series
*** the Leary/Mundy (after the main characters) series
*** the ''Lt. Leary, Commanding'' (after the title of the second book) series.
** Author's note from ''The Way to Glory'', third book in the series: "The general political background of the RCN series is that of Europe in the mid-eighteenth century, with admixtures of late-Republican Rome. (There's a surprising degree of congruence between British and Roman society in those periods.)"
** In the same way that Honor Harrington is Hornblower/Nelson InSpace, the RCN books are Patrick O'Brian InSpace, with Daniel O'Leary in the role of Jack Aubrey and Adele Mundy as Stephen Maturin (only with her being the ship's comms officer rather than its surgeon). And a right deadly comms officer she is, too.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheIsles'': Heroic fantasy series. Ended in late 2008 with ''The Gods Return'', which was the last of the ''Crown of the Isles'' trilogy. You read that right. The last three books in the series are known as ''The Crown of the Isle'' series.
* ''Literature/HammersSlammers'' - short stories about futuristic mercenaries under Colonel Alois Hammer. The toughest mercs who ever killed for a dollar. According to WordOfGod, partly based on the French Foreign Legion in the 1950s, when that service had a large proportion of former [=SS=] in its ranks, but also loosely based on the Vietnam-Era [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11th_ACR 11th Armored Cavalry regiment]], with fusion-powered hovercraft "panzers" replacing tanks and smaller combat cars replacing M113 cavalry vehicles.
** Several collections of short stories, ''Hammer's Slammers'', ''At Any Price'', ''The Warrior'', ''The Tank Lords'', ''The Butcher's Bill''
** ''Paying the Piper'' - The Macedonians against the Aetolian League InSpace! Okay, on a planetary surface. (Happy now?)
** ''The Sharp End'' - Rewrite of Creator/DashiellHammett's ''Literature/RedHarvest'' on a CrapsackWorld in the Slammerverse, except that one of Colonel Hammer's contract teams serves as the collective hero.
** ''Rolling Hot'' - The Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War retold in the Slammerverse.
** ''Counting the Cost'' - The suppression of the Nika ('Victory') riots in Constantinople under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 532.
** ''Cross the Stars'': a retelling of the Odyssey InSpace with former Slammer Major Donald 'Mad Dog' Slade as the Odysseus character. Colonel Hammer plays Zeus off-screen.
** ''The Voyage'': Re-write of the Jason and the Argonauts myth in the Slammerverse. The Jason character is female. The nephew of 'Mad Dog' Slade from ''Cross the Stars'' is the viewpoint character. Colonel Hammer again is cast as Zeus, but with only a brief message as an appearance.
* ''Literature/TheGeneral'' series with S. M. Stirling. (This is ''not'' his ''Literature/BelisariusSeries''. See the next entry.) A retelling of the life of the Byzantine General Belisarius in a sci-fi setting on a world after the fall of civilization. The world, Bellevue, has rebuilt itself to approximately 1900 technology. Aka the ''Raj Whitehall'' series, and the ''Raj Whitehall and Center'' series. After the fifth book (''The Sword'' in 1995) the stories shifted to other worlds.
** ''The Chosen'' - World War 1.5 on another world. Crammed with references to real-world military events. "The Chosen" themselves are expies of Stirling's own ''Draka.''
** ''The Reformer'' and ''The Tyrant'' continued on yet another world in the same Universe with Raj existing as a computer simulation. This time it's the Roman Civil War(?). ''The Tyrant'' was co-written with Eric Flint in 2002. Later the series was continued with ''The Heretic'', co-written with Tony Daniel. This one's Egypt.
* The ''Literature/BelisariusSeries'' with Eric Flint. The life of the Byzantine General Belisarius as an alternate history, where the two great powers from the far future have each sent an emissary to alter the past in Belisarius' lifetime.
* ''Northworld'' series. Retelling of selected Norse myth as sci fi using powered armor. The name's a pun. North for a cold world like the frozen north of Norse myth. "Norse" itself probably ultimately derived from Middle Dutch ''nort'' for, what else, "north." Also for "North's World" for the expy of Odin, who in the books is named North and commanded a team sent to explore the planet.
* ''The Reaches'': ''Igniting the Reaches'', ''Through the Breach'', and ''Fireships''. Set a thousand years after the collapse of an interstellar government, and based on the period when Spanish and British exploration and exploitation were colliding in the New World, with particular inspiration from the exploits of Sir Francis Drake (no relation). The planet Venus fills the role of Britain (ruled by [[UsefulNotes/ElizabethI Governor Halys]]), while Spain is played by the Canada-based government of North America.

!!Selected Other Works:

* ''Literature/RanksOfBronze'': The campaigns of an ancient Roman Legion captured by aliens who survive as a mercenary army used on low-tech planets.
* ''Patriots'': Sci-fi retelling of Ethan Allen's capture of the British Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolutionary War. In the book the Ethan Allen character was described as the type of person who could charge into machine gun fire and survive. This made him dangerous to be around, because the people around him would still get slaughtered.
-->"I've met his type before."\\
"Type? He's a ''type''?"\\
"Like the Mars Diamond is a type. It's just that all the others aren't flawless and weigh 32 pounds."
* ''TheBooksOfTheElements'': Ancient Rome [[RecycledInSpace With Magic]]!
* ''Literature/{{Redliners}}'': Science fiction story of a burnt out elite unit assigned to guard involuntary colonists on a DeathWorld. In a weird way, it mixes a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming with horror by taking WarIsHell to its logical conclusion--what do you do with, and how can you help, the ShellShockedVeteran, when the war is over?
* ''Forlorn Hope'' - Sci-fi foreign mercenaries fight their way out of encirclement and then fight their way off-world when their employers betray them.
* ''All the Way to the Gallows'' - GallowsHumor short stories. Includes
** ''Mom and the Kids'', with Creator/LarryNiven.
** ''The Noble Savages'': a sci-fi sendup of special ops force operating under PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad.
** ''A Very Offensive Weapon'': Novella in which Fantasy Quest tropes are mercilessly slaughtered.
* ''Vettius and Friends'': Short stories of gritty fantasy around the time of Ancient Rome.
* ''Killer'': ''Franchise/{{Alien}}''-like aliens come up against retired veteran of the Roman Gladiatorial games. Veteran trained killer vs natural born killers. Think ''Predator vs Aliens'' without the sci-fi equipment.
* ''The Dragon Lord'' - Gritty retelling of the story of KingArthur; Drake described the personality of his Arthur as a cross between Alexander the Great and UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler. This novel was originally intended as a pastiche novel of Robert E. Howard's historical adventure character Cormac Mac Art, but Drake re-wrote it when the pastiche was declined.
* The March Up Country: Xenophon RecycledInSpace.


[[http://www.david-drake.com/bibliography.html Full Bibliography]] at David Drake's website.

!His works provide examples of:

* TheQuietOne: Tovera, Adele Mundy's aide. Subverted in that she's a tiny female. So self-effacing she's ignored by police responding to murderous violence at a society garden party in ''Lt. Leary, Commanding'', despite the fact that she's holding a sub-machine gun. Deadlier than her mistress, the BadassBookworm. ''Much'' deadlier.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Adele Mundy from ''Literature/{{RCN}}'', Joachim Steuben from ''Literature/HammersSlammers'', Hussein ben Mehdi from ''The Forlorn Hope'', Stephen Gregg from ''The Reaches''.... And that's not counting how, in ''The General'' and its follow-ons, Center can augment someone's marksmanship to levels that leave hardened soldiers staring in awe.
* RecycledInSpace: Drake makes no bones about the fact that many of his writings are based on translating historical events and circumstances into futuristic stories, and in the afterwords of full novels will even discuss the source of the basic storyline for the novel in question.
* ShoutOut: Occasionally drops Shout Outs to modern culture into his work. A punning one was in ''The Sharp End'' when a ship from the Marvelan Confederacy was known as the ''[[ComicBook/SilverSurfer Argent Server]]''.
* TakeThatCritics: ''Literature/HammersSlammers'' was reviewed unfavorably early in his career by reviewer Charles Platt, who said that if Drake had ever seen war he wouldn't have written [[http://david-drake.com/2010/platt/ "such queasy voyeurism".]] As previously mentioned, [[CowboyBeBopAtHisComputer Drake is a US Army Vietnam veteran.]] In response, many of Drake's works feature a reprehensible character named "Platt" who typically dies violently. About the best any "Platt" can hope for is to be stupid.
* WalkingTechbane: Drake has discussed, in the forewords to the ''RCN'' books, that he has a terrible time with computers dying on him in the middle of writing his next work, for no discernible reason. He credits the tireless efforts of tech-savvy friends as the primary reason these computer failures haven't resulted in more than a minimal loss of material.