|Michael A. Stackpole|
Michael A. Stackpole at Dragon Con 2007
|Born||November 27, 1957
Wausau, Wisconsin, United States
|Occupation||writer, game designer|
|Genres||role-playing games, fantasy, science fiction|
Michael A. Stackpole (born November 27, 1957) is a science fiction and fantasy author best known for his Star Wars and Battletech books. He was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, but raised in Vermont. He has a BA in history from the University of Vermont.
From 1977 on, he worked as a designer of role-playing games for various gaming companies, and wrote dozens of magazine articles with limited distribution within the industry. During this time, in response to the accusations of Patricia Pulling (among others) who felt that the "occult" elements of Dungeons & Dragons were driving people to Satanism, murder and suicide, perhaps even as part of a vast Satanic ritual abuse conspiracy, Stackpole did a research study on all American legal cases where injury or death had been attributed to gaming. He found that not only were the links to gaming very weak, but that even if all of the reports had been valid, they showed that gamers were violent or suicidal far less often than the general public (see External links below).
In the 1980s, Stackpole began designing computer games for Coleco and then Interplay Productions. His work at Interplay included Bard's Tale III, Wasteland, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. He also created the role-playing game Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes, which provided the game mechanics for Wasteland.
In 1986 Stackpole wrote his first novel, the fantasy story Talion: Revenant. However, the manuscript would not be published until 1997 by Bantam Books. His editors believed that a 175,000 word book was too long for an unknown author and that the story wasn't particularly engaging. The story remained unpublished for the next 11 years until reworked by Stackpole's editor, Anne Lesley Groell. Stackpole clarifies these issues himself in the afterword of the published version of Talion.
Considered by some to be a talented writer, Stackpole has found his greatest success in serialed works that continue the characters and plot lines developed by other authors. In 1987 he began writing novels set in the BattleTech universe for FASA Corporation, and became one of the most popular authors in that genre. Some of his Battletech books were used as the source for a televised animated series. He was then selected to write several novels in the Star Wars universe for Bantam Books. He also wrote several comics based in the Star Wars universe for Dark Horse Comics. Initially these covered the period just before his X-Wing novels. Later he also covered the marriage of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in Union and collaborated with Timothy Zahn on Mara Jade's early career.
In addition, he has written several novels and short stories with original settings. One of his recent series is the DragonCrown War Cycle. These books attempt to break fantasy conventions, including the introduction of firearms in a fantasy setting which is not universally considered a positive advancement.
Stackpole contributed one of the four stories in Roger Zelazny's shared world anthology called Forever After. Baen Books published Forever After in 1995. He was also a contributor in the 1998 anthology Lord of the Fantastic commemorating Zelazny.
The Age of Discovery trilogy is his latest complete series, with A New World released mid-2007. The trilogy is set in a fantasy world, with an attempt at an unconventional approach to magic and mastery.
Michael Stackpole also writes and publishes an online newsletter titled The Secrets, which offers tips, tricks, and tidbits about writing (focusing on, but not limited to, science fiction and fantasy). It is aimed towards the serious fan fiction writer and some casual writers, and includes information about getting books published..
The Secrets newsletter requires a subscription, and issues are released every two weeks.
The Secrets Newsletter has an "audio companion" in The Secrets Podcast. The first ten podcasts were based on material from the first ten issues of The Secrets newsletter. After the first series ended, the content of the podcast diverged from the newsletter. The podcasts average twenty-five minutes long and are voiced and produced by Stackpole.
The podcasts are free and require no subscription, but older episodes have been retired and are no longer available on the main archive.
Stackpole has been the executive director of the Phoenix Skeptics since 1988 and is listed as the contact for the group in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer.
Published by Bantam Books.
Published by Bantam Books.
Originally Published by FASA Corporation. Later published by Penguin Group/ROCuntil 2007. Catalyst Game Labs in June 2008 announced Mr. Stackpole would be publishing new Core Line - Battletech novel in 2009.
Published by GDW.
Michael A. Stackpole (born 1957) is a science fiction author best known for his Star Wars and Battletech books. He was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, but raised in Vermont. He has a BA in history from the University of Vermont.