The Midnight Front Spotify Playlist

I’ve written and spoken many times about how important music is to my creative process as a writer. For decades I have used motion-picture scores to inspire my work.

To give readers a glimpse into that corner of my brain, I’ve decided to share the Spotify playlist of music that inspired my latest novel, The Midnight Front.

But just linking to the music isn’t enough. In order to help you connect individual pieces of music to specific moments in the story and passages in the text, here is my Guide to The Midnight Front’s Spotify Playlist, broken down by chapter and scene.

Chapter 1

The Murder of Nando
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 2

Siegmar Communes with Kein
“Frozen Wasteland”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)

Chapter 3

The Sinking of the Athenia
“Time’s Up”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Battling Leviathan
“Invasion of Asgard”
Thor: The Dark World (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 7

Cade’s First Conjuration
“Paul Takes the Water of Life”
Dune (Toto)

Chapter 8

Cade Studies Magickal Combat
“Training the Supersoldier”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)

Chapter 9

Niko and Stefan Leave Eilean Donan
“Hope (Xavier’s Theme)”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Chapter 10

Stefan and the Gestapo on the Train
“Saigon – Logan Arrives”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Niko Comes Home to Paris
“He Lost Everything”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Cade’s First Battle
“Arcade” [track not available on Spotify]
Man of Steel: Deluxe Edition (Hans Zimmer)

Chapter 12

Niko and the Maquis Are Ambushed
“Storm Is Coming”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Stefan Questions the Dabblers
“The Attack Begins”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Chapter 14

Cade Infiltrates the Demonic Brothel
“Rules of Time”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Chapter 15

Massacre at Babi Yar
“The Rig”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 17

Cade Meets Kein
“Hat Rescue”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Chapter 19

Stefan Witnesses Chelmno nad Nerem
“Immortan’s Citadel”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 21

Stefan at Auschwitz
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 24

Niko Attacks the Drancy Train
“Hydra Train”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)

Chapter 25

Stefan Halts the Drancy Train
“Fighting Back”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Kein Attacks Eilean Donan
“Seoul Searching”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 26

Kein Interrogates Cade
“Keys to the Past”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Adair and Anja Rescue Cade
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Stefan’s Sacrifice, Anja’s Grief
“Many Mothers”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 30

Cade in the Paris Catacombs
“Brothers in Arms”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 32

The Night Flight of Silver Sadie
“Terraforming” (the first 3 minutes)
Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer)

Cade’s Revenge
“Rain Fire Upon Them” and “Motorcycle Mayhem”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)

Chapter 39

Anja Loses a Sister
“Claw Trucks”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 41

Niko’s Last Run
“Darkest of Intentions”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 44

Cade’s Ranger Training
“Howling Commando’s Montage”
Captain America: The First Avenger (Alan Silvestri)

Chapter 45

Anja’s Bitter Homecoming / Piotr’s Grave
“The Last One”
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 49

Adair Watches the Armada Deploy
“Enterprising Young Men”
Star Trek (Michael Giacchino)

Chapter 50

Cade and the Rangers on D-Day
“Storming New Caprica” [album not available on Spotify]
Battlestar Galactica: Season Three (Bear McCreary)

Cade Defuses the Demon Bomb
“Paul Kills Feyd”
Dune (Toto)

Chapter 51

Cade’s Journey Above and Below
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 58

The Karcists’ Battle in Dresden
“Chapter Doof”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Cade Closes the Hellmouth
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Brian Tyler)

Chapter 59

Cade’s Return
“Join Me”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Adair’s Last Words / The Funeral Pyre
“My Name Is Max”
Mad Max: Fury Road (Tom Holkenborg)

Chapter 60

Cade’s Warning to Briet
“Do What You Were Made For”
X-Men: Days of Future Past (John Ottman)

Bonus Track:

Music for the Future TV Series Trailer
“What Are You Going to Do When You Are Not Saving the World?”
Man of Steel (Hans Zimmer)

Eating the Fantastic with Me & Scott Edelman

In mid-February 2018, while visiting Baltimore for the Farpoint Convention, I sat down with my old friend and former (pre-Syfy) SCI FI Channel coworker Scott Edelman to enjoy a delicious meal and record an episode of his podcast Eating the Fantastic.

For those of you not familiar with Scott, he is a veteran newsman and journalist specializing in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and entertainment. He also is a prolific author of short fiction, ranging from short stories to novellas, and he has been nominated eight times for the horror genre’s vaunted Stoker Award.

This was a sit-down long overdue, for reasons best expressed in Scott’s own words:

David Mack and I have known each other for nearly two decades, ever since I started working with him at the Syfy Channel (though back then it was the SCI FI Channel). But since he worked in the Rockefeller Center office and I was a remote employee, we never got to have the lunches two coworkers would usually have had, so I’m glad we were able to have a long, leisurely meal together recently when he was in the Baltimore area attending the annual Farpoint convention.

David’s written more than 30 novels, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies. He was also responsible for several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. His newest novel is The Midnight Front, a World War II-era epic fantasy which is the first book in the Dark Arts series of secret-history novels.

The venue for our dinner was Orchard Market and Cafe, a wonderful Persian restaurant recommended by recent guest of the show Norman Prentiss. Norman had told me that the Chicken Fesenjune was one of his favorite things in the whole world, and now that I’ve been there, I can can tell you—he had good reason to say that. Believe me, the food there was wonderful, and I’ll be going back whenever I can.

David and I discussed the weird ways his life entwined with the famed comic book artist who shares his name, how worrying about the details of Star Trek canon helped him when it came time to unravel the secret history of WWII, the way a near-death experience led to him working for the Syfy Channel, why it was so important for necromancers to pay a heavy price for the magic they choose to wield in his new novel The Midnight Front, how not making a pitch to a book editor resulted in him selling TV scripts to Star Trek, his unabashed love for the Beat author Richard Brautigan, the reason that after 27 Trek novels and a ton of other tie-in work he’s chosen to publish his non-franchise breakout book now, and much more.

Head on over to Scott’s website for information about how to subscribe to his Eating the Fantastic podcast (61 episodes and counting!), how to watch an embedded video feed of the podcast, and more. But this is one of the best, most-in-depth interviews of yours truly ever recorded, and I have to think its quality stems from Scott’s genuine love of, and interest in, the lives of others. Give it a listen.

Vanguard eBooks just 99 cents through end of March

Of all my contributions to Star Trek literature, the one I had the most fun creating, and remain proudest of, is the STAR TREK VANGUARD saga. It spans seven novels, one anthology, and one novella coda.

The series offers readers a look at what was going on in other parts of the Federation during the time of the Enterprise‘s on-screen missions in The Original Series. The idea was to show that events off-screen precipitated situations that Captain Kirk and his crew encountered, and that actions they took had consequences beyond what was shown on-screen.

I developed the Star Trek Vanguard saga with editor Marco Palmieri and alternated writing privileges with the super-duo of Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore. It was a strange way to collaborate on a series, but it worked for us, and we all had a blast doing it. Working on this series with these wonderful guys was an experience for which I’ll always be grateful.

Now I’m thrilled to report that the entire Star Trek Vanguard saga is on sale in eBook format for just $0.99 per title through the end of March 2018. Get the complete saga—which tells a self-contained Star Trek epic tale—for just $8.91!

Here they are, in reading order and everything:

Summon the Thunder
Reap the Whirlwind
Open Secrets
What Judgments Come
Storming Heaven
In Tempest’s Wake

Tell all your friends who love Star Trek (especially The Original Series) to get in on this.


My Farpoint 2018 Schedule

If you’re coming to the Farpoint Convention in Hunt Valley, Md., the weekend of February 9–11, and you’re looking to see me on panels or otherwise interact with me … well, the best bet is to check the hotel bar. But here are a few other times and places where I likely will be found.

Friday, Feb. 9

5pm–6pm, Salon C
Making Magic Feel Real in Fiction

In literary or cinematic fiction, what helps a system of magic feel more real? How much explanation is too much? Has the cinematic preference for “show, don’t tell” resulted in magic systems that seem superficial or overpowered? How does one balance the needs of believability in storytelling with the desire to evoke a sense of wonder (or terror) with one’s depiction of magic?

10pm–Midnight, Hunt Valley Corridor
Farpoint Book Fair

Come meet all of the authors and buy some books for them to sign. Have a few drinks, have a few laughs. Buy more books.


Saturday, Feb. 10

Noon–1pm, Hunt Valley Corridor
Author Autograph Session: David Mack

Come see me, New York Times bestselling author David Mack, live in captivity for your amusement and book-signing.

3pm–4pm, Salon C
Creating Memorable Characters

Characters can make or break a story. How do you create a protagonist interesting enough to follow throughout the length of a book? How do you craft supporting characters with traits that make them stand out from a crowd? Our panel will delve into these questions and more.

5pm–6:30pm, Hunt Ballroom
Book Launch Party

Come celebrate the release of several author guests’ newly released works, including my new original novel The Midnight Front.


Sunday, Feb. 11

10am–11am, Salon C
Plotting a Trilogy vs. One Book

Many books about the art of storytelling are designed to facilitate the telling of a single, self-contained narrative. How is planning a trilogy or a continuing series different from planning a single book or screenplay? How does one ensure that each entry in such an ongoing narrative feels complete and satisfying on its own while still serving the larger meta-narrative?

Noon–1pm, Hunt Valley Corridor
Author Autograph Session: David Mack

Come see me, New York Times bestselling author David Mack, live in captivity for your amusement and book-signing, before I hit the road for home.


To keep up with any last-minute changes to my schedule, check here:

Midnight Front Blog Tour Roundup

Now that The Midnight Front is out and loose in the world, I’ve begun a blog tour (with help from the wonderful Lauren Jackson at Tor/Forge Books).

Today marks my first few stops, with essays on the blogs of John Scalzi and Mary Robinette Kowal, and on fantasy website The Portalist. Also in the mix is an audio podcast interview conducted with Dungeon Crawlers Radio.

Check them all out, and then, if you haven’t already done so, order a copy of The Midnight Front!

The Portalist: Does realism matter in magick?

Dungeon Crawlers Radio: Q&A

The Big Idea: David Mack

My Favorite Bit: The Midnight Front

Talking Discovery and Dark Arts on TrekZone Spotlight

In late January of 2018 I recorded a video interview via satellite with Australia’s own TrekZone Spotlight, hosted by Matthew Miller. We spoke about my work for Star Trek Discovery, the differences in writing licensed fiction versus original works, and my upcoming new Dark Arts original fantasy series, which kicks off on January 30 with The Midnight Front.

Our discussion was brief (only about 25 minutes), but it yielded some excellent material. I had a great time chatting with Matthew about my work, and I hope you’ll give this interview a look.

My first Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) is Feb. 1

Fun news, folks! In celebration of the release of my new World War II-era epic fantasy The Midnight Front on January 30, I’ll be taking part in my first Reddit AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on Thursday, February 1, 2018 in the r/fantasy subreddit.

I’ll post a link to the AMA thread during the wee hours of the morning on 2/1, and I’ll update this post with the link at that time. My online response period will start at around 5pm EST or so on 2/1.

DO NOT post your questions here. Save them for the reddit AMA forum.