Cook was born in New York City. His love of writing began in grade school, and in high school he wrote the occasional article for his school's newspaper. After high school, Cook spent time in the United States Navy and later worked his way through college, leaving little time for his writing endeavors. 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.
It was during this time that Cook wrote The Black Company, a novel published by Tor Fantasy in May 1984. It inaugurated a gritty fantasy series of the same name (or Chronicles of the Black Company) that follows an elite mercenary unit through several decades of its history. As of 2014, it comprises 10 novels published in three subseries 1984–85, 1989–90, and 1996–2000, plus recent shortfiction. 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 well known for his Garrett P.I. series, which tells the haphazard adventures of hardboileddetective Garrett, and his Dread Empire series, which highlights Cook's earlier published work.
Cook is currently retired from his job at GM, living with his wife, Carol, and children (Justin, Chris, and Mike) in St. Louis, Missouri. Although he can now devote himself full-time to his writing career, he feels he was actually more productive while he was still employed at his old job.
Annals of the Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose)
The Black Company Goes South (collects The Silver Spike, Shadow Games, and Dreams of Steel)
The Black Company: Glittering Stone I (collects Bleak Seasons and She Is the Darkness)
The Black Company: Glittering Stone II (collects Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live)
Tor Fiction softcover omnibus editions:
The Chronicles of The Black Company (collects The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose) (November 2007)
The Books of the South (collects Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, and The Silver Spike) (June 2008)
The Return of The Black Company (collects Bleak Seasons, and She Is The Darkness) (September 2009)
The Many Deaths of The Black Company (collects Water Sleeps, and Soldiers Live) (January 2010)
"Raker"—appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (August 1982). This was a pre-publication excerpt of chapter 3 from The Black Company, with slight editing differences to make it stand alone as a short story.
"Tides Elba"—appeared in the Swords & Dark Magic compilation (June 2010)
"Smelling Danger: A Black Company Story"— in the Subterranean Press anthology, Tales of Dark Fantasy 2 (2011).
"Shaggy Dog Bridge"---appeared in Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy edited by Jonathan Strahan, published by Solaris (2013)
Garrett Takes the Case (collects Old Tin Sorrows, Dread Brass Shadows, and Red Iron Nights; 2012)
Garrett For Hire (collects Deadly Quicksilver Lies, Petty Pewter Gods, and Faded Steel Heat; 2013)
A Shadow of All Night Falling (1979)
October's Baby (1980)
All Darkness Met (1980)
The Fire in His Hands (1984)
With Mercy Toward None (1985)
Reap the East Wind (1987)
An Ill Fate Marshalling (1988)
A Path to Coldness of Heart (2012)
Replaces The Wrath of Kings, whose manuscript was stolen, and also encompasses plot from 3 more titles Cook had originally planned for the main sequence. Cook speaks extensively of this in the citation interview
Omnibus volumes (reprinted by Night Shade Books):
A Cruel Wind: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire, an omnibus of the three main sequence novels (2006)
A Fortress in Shadow: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire, an omnibus of the two prequels (2007)
An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat: A Chronicle of the Dread Empire, a collection of short fiction set in the Dread Empire (2008)
"The Nights of Dreadful Silence"—appeared in Fantastic (September 1973)
"Ghost Stalk"—appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (May 1978)
"Quiet Sea"—appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (December 1978)
"Castle of Tears"—appeared in Whispers (October 1979)
"Call for the Dead"—appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (July 1980)
"Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted With Defeat"—appeared in The Berkley Showcase, Vol. 2 (August 1980)
"Filed Teeth"—appeared in Dragons of Darkness (October 1981)
"Severed Heads"—appeared in Sword and Sorceress 1 (May 1984)
Instrumentalities of the Night
Epic fantasy in a reinterpreted version of 13th century Europe and Western Asia.
Marika, a meth pup, loses her mother and nearly all of her pack in an attack by rogue males. She is taken in by the silth, meth females who rule the world with their mental powers, because they have detected in her the talent to become a powerful silth herself. As she grows and develops, she proceeds to shake meth society to its very roots.
^ abcdef"Glen Cook – Summary Bibliography". ISFDB. Retrieved August 2, 2014. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents