Born in London in 1954, David studied English & American Literature at the University of Kent, where he earned First Class Honours. He went on to work on his doctorate – on the works of Hardy, Lawrence and Golding – before abandoning it to concentrate on his own work.
Known initially for his critical writing, David edited Vector for two years, at the same time editing The Science Fiction Source Book and The Science Fiction Film Source Book. He was also co-author, with Brian Griffin, of Apertures: A Study of the Writings of Brian Aldiss, and, more prominently, was co-author, with Brian Aldiss, of Trillion Year Spree, The History of Science Fiction, which won the coveted Hugo award for best non-fiction work in SF in 1986.
Chung Kuo, which he researched and developed between 1983 and 1988 before selling it, was his first published fiction. The series enjoyed huge critical and popular success and – set in a future when China rules the entire globe – has proved to be strangely prophetic. The series was re-launched as a twenty-volume sequence in 2011, with two brand new prequels.
In the ‘90s, David signed on to put flesh to the bones of the world’s then best-selling computer game, Myst, to produce – along with the game’s creators, Robyn and Rand Miller – a trilogy based on their visually beautiful world, with the first two volumes selling over half a million copies.
Six years later, David published the first volume of his next epic work, Roads To Moscow, covering three thousand years of German and Russian history – wherein both nations seek, through altering time, to destroy the other. The final volume in the trilogy will be published in 2017.
David still lives in London – north of the river – with the writer, Susan Oudot. They have four daughters, two cats and two season tickets to the Arsenal.