Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Dave!

My friend David Drake turned 70 today.  A small group of friends and family--really, extended family--celebrated the occasion with him at a very good local restaurant.  On Sunday, a much larger group will gather for his traditional birthday pig-picking.  A lot of folks like and care for Dave.

Dave and I met in 1984 and became friends in 1985.  That's 30+ years, half of my life, nearly half of his.  I owe Dave a lot for all his years of friendship.

The SF field also owes Dave, but not for friendship; he'd keep writing regardless of whether anyone liked his work.  No, the field owes him for telling the truth about his experiences in war and the experiences of other vets.  Dave's been accused of writing war porn, but only by those who either haven't read his books or weren't paying attention.  Showing the reader the way it really was and is in battle, as Dave does, is neither pro-war--quite the opposite--nor porn of any sort; it's the most serious way to create cautionary tales.  Dave knows exactly what war costs those on the sharp end, and he quite understandably wants the rest of us to have at least some inkling of the toll war takes on those we send to battle.

Dave's influence on other writers is what made it so easy to quickly fill the Onward, Drake! tribute anthology that I've discussed before and that goes on sale soon.  Check it out, if for no other reason than his two stories, and you will be glad you did.

I'm going to hope for 30 more years of friendship with Dave, 30 more years of hearing his amazing laugh, 30 more years of reading his work, 30 more years of having a friend who really gets the things that trouble us both--as unlikely as those hopes are to materialize.

Happy birthday, my old friend.


Cynthia Hyde said...

Long friendships are a blessing and having seen you and Dave together telling and talking of your lives and telling stories, I also hope there are many more such years to come. Happy Birthday to Davw🎈🎉🎂

Mark P said...

Like many of Dave's readers I'd like to wish him a happy birthday with many more to come.

Dave is my favorite author and having head his books for around 30 years it's been good to notice how his work is not as dark as it was. Following his newsletters you can see how his experience of combat affected him.

I enjoy Dave's work for it's interesting plots and concepts. Lord of the Isles is my favorite fantasy series.

My own view of war has been influenced by Dave's work. I'd agree Dave's work definitely does not glorify conflict, quite the contrary. It brings home the horror. Dave's books illustrated the affects of war on the combatants long before the current awareness of PTSD came to the public eye.

I look forward to hopefully many more decades of reading Dave's work.

Happy Birthday David Drake.

David Drake said...

Dear People,

Thank you both; thank you Mark, and thanks to everybody concerned with the tribute book.

Which still makes me feel odd, but that's me, I guess.

I like to tell stories. I found writing helped me deal with the anger in a socially acceptable way. And you know, 40-odd years down the road, I'm approaching being a normal human being. (Who laughs loudly, but so did the old version).

As always,
AKA The Legendary Dave on the new Baen on-line ad


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