Dave Freer is far from your usual fantasy author — certainly not a normal writer of “epic” fantasy, some times known as the Big Fat Fantasy novel, or BFF.
His work has more of the feel of classic Heinlein with a dash of Gordon R. Dickson’s Dragon and the George, thrown in for humorous measure.
Dave, Monkey to his friends, is a rather interesting character all on his own.
His high fantasy novels Dragon’s Ring and the recent Dog and Dragon, which I review over at Otherwhere Gazette, are a wicked twist on the usual fantasy tropes. In fact, he used just about every standard BFF meme and then proceeded to turn them on their head.
Dragons become the main characters, rather than supporting cast or beasts of burden. They even fall in love with odd human girls.
Dr. David Freer, PhD, is an ichthyologist (fish scientist) originally from South Africa now resident in Tasmania, Australia. Somewhere along the way he’s also managed to be an army medic, gourmet chef, rock climber, commercial diver, bad fly fisherman and all around renaissance man who feeds his family mostly off of food he catches or grows himself. The sort of guy, who, if someone actually wrote him as a character people would be scream “Mary Sue.”
He’s written several novels with Eric Flint in a fairly standard practice for Baen in which they pair an up and comer with an established talent like Flint or David Drake or David Weber in order to put on a little polish and get their name out there. It usually works fairly well, although in Monkey’s case it’s his solo novels which really shine. Out from behind the shadow cast by the bigger names, Dave’s work showcases his brilliant, if slightly bent, talents.
You should also go and buy every bloody thing Dave Freer has ever written. He’s one of the most underrated talents writing today with a wicked wit and a penchant for puns.