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Michael Stackpole

Michael Stackpole is, among other things, 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.

From 1977 on, he worked as a designer of role-playing games for various gaming companies, and wrote dozens of magazine articles for the industry. During this time, in response to the accusations of Pat Pulling and a few others who felt that the "occult" elements of Dungeons & Dragons were driving people to Satanism, murder and suicide, Stackpole did a research study on all American legal cases where injury or death had been attributed to gaming, and 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. [1]

In the 1980s, Stackpole began designing computer games for Coleco and then Interplay Productions. The best known was Bard's Tale III.

In 1987 he began writing novels set in the BattleTech universe for FASA, 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.

Based on that popularity, he was selected to write several novels in the Star Wars universe for Bantam Books.

In addition, he has written several highly praised novels and short stories based in settings of his own creation. His most recent novels form a series called the DragonCrown War Cycle. Like many of his works, these books break many fantasy conventions: among other things, the stories feature the advent of firearms in a fantasy setting.