William H. Keith, Jr.
|William H. Keith, Jr.
|8 August 1950
William H. "Bill" Keith, Jr. (born August 8, 1950) is an author, illustrator and game designer who has been writing for and working on a multitude of wargaming and science fiction settings. He was one of the earliest authors to flesh out the BattleTech universe, having written three out of the first four BattleTech novels published plus additional content for the Shrapnel anthology and BattleTechnology magazine.
William H. Keith grew up in the wooded mountains of western Pennsylvania. He joined the Navy and served as a hospital corpsman during the Vietnam era, then worked in the civilian medical field.
With his brother J. Andrew Keith, with whom he would coauthor some of his works, he went to work for FASA in 1980 and became a full-time writer in 1984, after having worked as freelancer since about 1979. William Keith's 1984 novel Decision at Thunder Rift was not only the first BattleTech novel, but also the first novel ever published by FASA. (The Sword and the Dagger may have been commissioned earlier, but it took longer to write as Ardath Mayhar only took over the writing contract after the initial authors backed out of the deal, and it thus became the second BattleTech novel to be published.)
Keith has been writing for BattleTech under his real name. He also writes under various pseudonyms and "house names", including Bill Keith, Keith William Andrews, Robert Cain, Keith Douglass, Ian Douglas and H. Jay Riker, and was the ghostwriter of several books "by" celebrities.
Keith's first nonfiction book, The Science of the Craft, was published in 2005. It is about the link between witchcraft and science. Keith, a Wiccan and a Reiki master, is also a member of Western Pennsylvania Mensa.
- Works by William H. Keith, Jr. on BattleTechWiki