L. Sprague de Camp, born in New York City and educated there, in the South, and in California, received his BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Cal Tech in 1930 and earned his MS from Stevens Institute three years later. He served as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve in WWII. For the last half-century, he has spent his life pounding a hot typewriter, first in Suburban Philadelphia and then in Texas.
Now author of over 120 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books and several hundred short stories, he is also well-known for many non-fiction works in history, science, and biography.
Among his numerous awards is The Gandalf, the Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement in Fantasy, presented in 1976. Two years later Sprague received from the Science Fiction Writers of America their Grand Master Nebula Award.
L. Sprague de Camp is a master of that rare animal, humorous fantasy. As a young writer collaborating with the late Fletcher Pratt, he began the world-hopping adventures of Harold Shea. These magical adventures of The Complete Enchanter are still being written today by de Camp and Christopher Stasheff.
One of de Camp's recent books Rivers of Time tells about Reginald Rivers, a twenty-first century time-safari guide who takes his clients back to former geological periods to hunt dinosaurs. The settings are so deftly described that the reader feels he is walking among the inhabitants of untold eons past.
Among de Camp's important non-fiction works are: The Ancient Engineers, Great Cities of the Ancient World, The Day of the Dinosaur, Darwin and his Great Discovery, The Great Monkey Trial (The Scopes Evolution Trial), and comprehensive biographies of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard titled HP Lovecraft and Dark Valley Destiny respectively.
Sprague de Camp speaks several languages and has traveled world-wide to get material for his books. He has been chased by a hippopotamus in Uganda and by sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, seen tiger and rhinoceros from elephant back in India, and been bitten by a lizard in the jungles of Guatemala. In 1994, de Camp spent Easter on Easter Island in the South Pacific, doing research for his non-fiction book The Ape-Man Within, published November, 1995. Sprague's long-awaited autobiography, Time and Chance, published by Donald M. Grant in 1996 won the 1997 Hugo Award for best non-fiction.
The de Camps' long-time friend Isaac Asimov often referred to Catherine Crook de Camp as "Sprague's lovely wife", although she considered herself "Sprague's rewrite gal" or "dragon at the gate." Her double major in English and economics from Barnard College has proved enormously valuable to the 60-year-old team of de Camp and de Camp. A former teacher, Catherine has written books on economics such as The Money Tree, and Teach Your Children to Manage Money. She has compiled three anthologies of science fiction stories for young readers: Creatures of the Cosmos, 3,000 Years of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Tales Beyond Time.
In the 1960's Catherine began collaborating with Sprague. Currently, her name often appears with her distinguished mate's on such novels as The Bones of Zora, The Pixilated Peeress, The Day of the Dinosaur, and Citadels of Mystery.