Dave Freer (1959 - ) was born in Durban to a teacher mother and an African Languages linguist father, who worked for the Durban municipality. He matriculated at St. Andrews School in Bloemfontein and went on to study Zoology, specialising in Ichthyology.
Freer worked as the chief scientist at the Western Cape Shark Fishery for the Dept. of Sea Fisheries and managed various aquaculture units. He has also done stints as a fisherman, a diver on mussel farms in Saldanha, a steeplejack and as the relief chef at several luxury game/eco-tourism lodges in KwaZulu-Natal. Freer sold his first book in 1998, while living in Eshowe.
He now lives between Mooi River and Nottingham Road on a small mountain somewhere near the middle of nowhere. His interests are mythology, illustrative fantasy and science fantasy (sf) art (he is the Art Director for Jim Baen’s Universe), food and preservation thereof by traditional means, and an infinite curiosity about the frontiers of science (with which he tries to keep up) and fish. He also dives, flyfishes and climbs cliffs and discovered South Africa’s premier Sea Cliff climbing area (Morgan Bay), and opened a large number of the routes there.
Freer has been a guest panelist at International SF/Fantasy Conferences in the US, New Zealand and Australia as well as GoH - a South African SFSA conference. Freer is a member of Science Fiction South Africa, The KZN Midlands Writers, Science Fiction Writers of America, Critters (online critique group), and Vision (Queensland, Australia writers group), and is part of the Editorial Board and Art Director for the Online Magazine Jim Baen’s Universe, and Editorial Advisor for the new online magazine Darwin's Evolutions.
With fourteen novels in print and a number of published shorter works, Freer is a prolific author, and a self-described doorstop, ichthyologist, buffoon, gastronome, part-time monkey and man of one letter. His writing is both contrarian and intrinsically anti-authoritarian, and - while often tailored to his principally United States audience - is visibly coloured by South Africa.
Humour and plausible characterisation within moral dilemmas, the ridiculousness of social mores, and elements of future social and scientific predictivity drive his stories. Satire is large part of what he writes, as well as fish. He works about 14 hours a day, regularly collaborating with NYT bestselling author Eric Flint.
Extract from Pyramid Power
In a remote corner of a wildlife reservation, some distance away, a winged dragon sighed gustily and licked his new white little teeth with a long red snaky tongue. They helped his speech as well as his chewing. “I feel as if my life is lacking something.”
His sibling, Bitar, licked his chops too. “Something of the flavor of life.”
“Could be ketchup?” said Smitar, after serious thought, and then concentrated on trying to reach an annoying itch between his shoulder blades.
“Or it could be hot sauce. Who would have thought that American maidens would be in such short supply that they’d have to be protected game?”
“Over hunted,” said Smitar, righteously. “Should have introduced a permit system. Or reservations. Or a minimum size limit.”
Bitar shook his vast armored head at the iniquity. “A bag limit.” He paused. “It wasn’t you, was it?” “Not unless I’m sleep-eating again,” said Smitar. “If it wasn’t me, was it you? And can you scratch this spot for me?”
“We need Cruz,” said Bitar, obliging. “He can give a decent scratch with an oar. Do you think we’re molting again?”
“Could be. It’s this foreign food. Very greasy. Fattening.” Smitar patted his midriff.
“You haven’t been eating these foreigners again?” demanded Bitar accusingly. “You know Medea told us not to. Anyway, you could have shared!”
“Phttt,” said Smitar. “He was barely a snack. And Cruz said that anyone from the INS was fair game. I still feel something’s missing in my life. I’ve got this sort of inner itch too.”
“Could be indigestion. But I have it as well. And I never even got a bite of the INS official,” Bitar sniffed dolefully. “Could use a good scratch with a pole from Cruz.”
Smitar wrinkled his scaly forehead in thought. “I think it is that time of life when a young dragon’s thoughts turn to love.”
“Could be. What time is that?” asked Bitar, tasting the idea.
“This century, I think.”
“Hmm. In that case I think we need some male advice on how to pull chicks.”
Smitar looked a bit puzzled. “I thought you just grabbed them and dragged?”
“Doesn’t that lack finesse?”
“Probably. It could work though.”
“We need to ask Cruz,” said Bitar, rubbing his back against a rock and shattering it. “It’s time he sat us down and gave us a little talk about the birds and the bees.”
Smitar tasted a piece of the rock. Chewed it thoughtfully and then asked: “Why?”
“I think it’s what you have to talk to girls about,” said Bitar knowledgeably. “Cruz will know.”
Smitar spat out rock fragments. “And he could give us a good scratch.”
As they took off and began searching for thermals, Smitar asked, “So what’s this finesse stuff? Some kind of sauce? Or a lubricant to help with the dragging?”
Bitar nodded. “Both. It’s got chocolate in it, too.”
1999. The Forlorn. New York: Baen Books.
2000. Rats Bats & Vats (with Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2001. Pyramid Scheme (with Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2002. Shadow of the Lion (with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2003. This Rough Magic (with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2004. Wizard of Karres (with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2004. The Rats, The Vats, and the Ugly (With Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2005. A Mankind Witch. New York: Baen Books.
2007. Pyramid Power (with Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2008. Slow Train to Arcturus (with Eric Flint). New York: Baen Books.
2009. Dragon's Ring. New York: Baen Books.
2010. The Sorceress of Karres. New York: Baen Books.
2010. Much Fall of Blood. New York: Baen Books.
2014. Stardogs. Self published.
2016. Changeling's Island. New York: Baen Books.
2005. The Red Fiddler (with Eric Flint). In Bedlam's Bard edited by Rosemary Edghill and Mercedes Lackey. New York: DAW Books.
2006. Candyblossom. In Probe, JBU Volume 1.1, and in The best of JBU 2006. New York: Baen Books.
2006. The Tinta falls catfish (fishII) (with Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis). JBU Volume 1.2.
2006. Flashing the Loch Ness monster (fishIII) (with Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis). JBU Volume 1.3 .
2007. Thin Ice. JBU Volume 2.1.
2007. The Yellow Submarine (fish VIII) (with Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis). JBU Volume 2.2.
2007. Love at first bite (fish XI) (with Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis). JBU Volume 2.3.
2007. Jack. In Fates Fantastic Anthology edited Dan Hoyt. New York: DAW Books .
2008. The End of Mankind (fish XIII) 2008 (with Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis). JBU Volume 2.5.
2008. Regency Fay. In Something Magic this Way Comes Antholgy edited Sarah Hoyt. New York: DAW Books.
2008. Boys. In The Future We Never Had Antholgy edited Rebecca Lickiss. New York: DAW Books.
2008. Wetware 2.0. In Transhuman, Approaching the Singularity Anthology edited by Mark Van Name and Toni Weisskoph. New York: Baen Books.
2008. The Witch’s Murder 2008 (with Eric Flint). In The dragon done it edited by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint. New York: Baen Books.
2008: The War, Me, Seventeen million dollars, and a Stripper. In Front Lines Antholgy edited Denise Little Techno Books.
2008: The Poet Gnawreate and the Taxman. In Better off Undead edited by Daniel M. Hoyt. Techno books.
2008: Pirates of the Suara Sea. (with Eric Flint): In Black Sails, Fast Ships edited by Jeff Vander Meer. Nightshade books.
2009: Soot. In Witch Way to the Mall edited by Esther Friesner. Baen Books.
2009: Wolfy Ladies. In Strip Mauled edited by Esther Friesner . New York: Baen Books.
2010: If Music be the Food of Love. In Fangs for the Mammaries edited by Esther Friesner. New York: Baen Books.
2010: Pinked Djinn. In Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 42 edited by Edwina Harvey.
2010: Neither Sleet, nor Snow, Nor Alien Monsters. In Citizens edited by John Ringo and Brian M Thompson. New York: Baen Books.
2003. A Lineman for the Country. In Ring of Fire edited E. Flint. New York: Baen Books.
2007 Crawlspace with Eric Flint (miltary/social satire) In JBU1.6 and Best of JBU 2007.
2005. Genie out of the Vat. In Adventures in Far Futures, Edited by T. Weisskoph. New York: Baen Books.
2008. Diving Belle 2008 (with Gunnar Dahlin). In Ring of Fire II. New York: Baen Books.
2010. Much Fall of Blood. New York: Baen.
2014. Crawlspace and Other Stories (with Eric Flint).