S. M. Stirling was born in Metz, France, and traveled extensively with his family as a child, living in France and Kenya before returning to Canada as a teenager. He earned a law degree at Osgood Hall in Toronto, and worked numerous odd jobs before settling down to write full time in 1988.
Stirling is best known for his alternate histories, notably the four-book Draka series that began with Marching Through Georgia (1988). Conquistador (2003) is both an alternate-history and an alternate-world novel, and The Peshawar Lancers (2002) is an alternate history of arrested technology. His "Island in the Sea of Time" trilogy transported modern-day Nantucket back to the Bronze age, beginning with Island in the Sea of Time (1998). Change World novels Dies the Fire (2003) and The Protector's War are set in a modern world where technology has stopped working.
A frequent collaborator, Stirling has written books with Holly Lisle, David Drake, Jerry Pournelle, Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, and James Doohan. He's also written Babylon 5 and Terminator 2 media tie-ins, and edited Drakas! (2000), an anthology of work by other authors set in the Draka universe. Stirling lives with his wife in Santa Fe, New Mexico.