Cook at Utopiales in 2011
|Born||July 9, 1944|
New York City, New York, United States
|Genre||Science fiction, fantasy|
|Notable works||The Black Company|
Cook was born in New York City. Cook spent time in the United States Navy and later worked his way through college. Cook began to write in earnest while working for General Motors at an auto assembly plant in a job which was "hard to learn, but [involved] almost no mental effort", writing as many as three books per year.
Cook wrote The Black Company, a novel published by Tor Fantasy in May 1984. It began a gritty fantasy series of the same name (or Chronicles of the Black Company) following an elite mercenary unit through several decades of its history. As of 2016, it comprises the novels published in three subseries 1984-85, 1989-90, and 1996-2000, plus recent short fiction. It has become something of a cult classic, especially among current and former members of the military. When asked about the series' popularity among soldiers, Cook replied: "The characters act like the guys actually behave. It doesn't glorify war; it's just people getting on with the job. The characters are real soldiers. They're not soldiers as imagined by people who've never been in the service. That's why service guys like it." Cook is also known for his Garrett P.I. series, which tells the haphazard adventures of hardboiled detective Garrett, and his Dread Empire series.