Balefires is the long awaited collection of David Drake's weird and fantastic fiction. Before Drake was a best-selling author of military science fiction, he was a prolific writer of horror and fantasy short fiction. Balefires collects some of his earliest professional sales (including his first sale to Arkham House). In addition Balefires brings together many stories set in the worlds of his fantasy novels (Ranks of Bronze, Lord of the Isles, etc). More than just a collection of stories, Balefires features extensive story notes that chronicles the development of the writing career of one of science fiction's most popular writers, and provides detailed snapshots of the larger-than-life editors, publishers, and writers with whom Drake has worked throughout his career. David Drake was born on September 24, 1945, in Dubuque, Iowa. In 1967 he graduated from the University of Iowa with a BA in History and Latin. In the same year he was married and entered Duke Law School. Drake was drafted out of law school and served in the army from 1969-1971, spending most of 1970 as an interrogator with the 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, the Blackhorse, in Vietnam and Cambodia. Drake returned from Vietnam and finished law school, after which he spent eight years as Assistant Town Attorney of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In 1980 he resigned and drove a city bus part-time for a year while doing more writing. He's been a full-time freelance writer since 1981. Drake sold his first story ( a Lovecraftian pastiche which on rereading isn't as bad as he thought it was) to August Derleth in 1966 while still an undergraduate. He continued to sell stories in law school, the army, and while working as an attorney. His first book was published in 1979 and he has had over 60 books published since then.