15 Years and Cold Pizza

Today is my and Kara’s 15th wedding anniversary. Our tradition, since our first anniversary, has been to mark the occasion with cold pizza and good red wine.

Why, you ask?

Our wedding day, like most, was one of joyful chaos. We didn’t get to eat much at our reception, which we were told is typical. Consequently, when we got home that night, we were ravenous. But because we were planning to leave soon for a honeymoon, there was not much to eat in the fridge.

Except for a few slices of cold pizza. Which we promptly scorfed.

The following year, we’d planned a nice night out for our first anniversary. That plan was scuttled when I woke up feeling under the weather. I recovered my health and my appetite later that evening, but by then it was too late to go out. So we foraged in the fridge and found … cold pizza.

Thus a tradition was born.

Because this year’s anniversary is one that ends in a five or a zero, we have something special planned. An excellent brick-oven pizza with all of our favorite toppings awaits us in our fridge, as do desserts from local bakery Gian Piero. For our wine, we have a superb 2006 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino that we’ve been saving for this occasion. To dress the table I procured a bouquet of 15 roses — one for each year of our marriage so far.

Here’s to many more wonderful years of cold ’za and vino fina. I love you, Kara.

My Gen Con Writers’ Symposium 2019 Schedule

It’s getting to be convention season, so it’s time for me to tell you where to find me at this year’s Gen Con Writers’ Symposium.

Once again, the Symposium’s panels, workshops, and other events will take place in the second-floor function rooms of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown hotel, located at 350 West Maryland St., Indianapolis, IN 46225.

If you’re planning attending Gen Con, consider checking out the Writers’ Symposium. If you’re coming to GCWS, I’ll look forward to seeing you at the show and talking shop!


Thursday, Aug. 1

10:00 AM | Atlanta — Alternate Reality Fiction
David Mack, Cherie Priest, Linda Robertson, Daniel Myers (mod)

Noon | Ballroom 1 — Modern Sensitivities in Historical Contexts
David Mack, Kristen Britain, Richard Byers, Karen Bovenmyer (mod)

3:00 PM–4:00 PM | Signing Table, far end of Exhibit Floor Aisle 1000
David Mack, Kristin McFarland

5:00 PM | Ballroom 2 — Writing Tie-ins With Confidence
Joseph Carriker, Jr., Erin M. Evans, David Mack, John Helfers (mod)

 


Friday, Aug. 2

2:00 PM | Ballroom 1 — Get It Started: Irresistible Inciting Incidents
John Helfers, Linda Robertson, David Mack, Karen Bovenmyer (mod)

4:00 PM | Ballroom 4 — Worldly Fantasy: Writing More Than the Medieval Setting
Scott Lynch, Diana Pho, David Mack, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Steve Drew (mod)

 


Saturday, Aug. 3

2:00 PM | Atlanta — Does Magic Change With Time?
Linda Robertson, Kristin McFarland, David Mack, Susan Morris (mod)

4:00 PM | Atlanta — Firearms in Fiction
Patrick Tomlinson, David Mack, Bill Fawcett, Diana Rowland (mod)

7:00 PM–10:00 PM | Ballroom 2 — Night at the Forbidden Library, Part III
Elizabeth Vaughn, Karen Bovenmyer, Aaron Rosenberg, David Mack, Dylan Birtolo, Gregory A. Wilson (mod)

Daniele Serra’s art for “Chaos at Feast”

When editor Robert Greenberger asked for suggestions concerning who we might ask to illustrate my story for his anthology Thrilling Adventure Yarns, there was only one name I wanted to put forward: Daniele Serra.

Because my short story “Chaos at Feast” is rooted in the Lovecraftian tradition of unspeakable ancient horrors, combined with the 1930s and 1940s adventure fiction that inspired the Indiana Jones series, I knew that Daniele’s haunting style would provide the ideal visual accompaniment to my prose.

Here’s a small slice of the image to whet your appetite:

To see more, read the full update here. Bottom line, I feel very fortunate to have one of my stories graced with art by Daniele.

#SFWApro

Interview on The Skiffy and Fanty Show Blog

Over on the blog of The Skiffy & Fanty Show, Paul Weimer has published an interview with me about my Dark Arts series, with a focus on its most recently published volume, The Iron Codex.

We got into some fairly substantial questions about the series in general and the new book in particular. If you have a moment, give it a look.

Here’s an excerpt of one part of the Q&A:

PW: You’ve penned sequels and follow-on novels in the various fictional universes you’ve written in before. What was different about your process in tackling The Iron Codex?

DM: Adding stories to the ongoing literary continuity of Star Trek, as I’ve been doing since 2001, is very different from writing a sequel to my own original novel.

When I write a Star Trek novel, I’m able to take advantage of the fact that many ideas and concepts don’t need to be explained in great detail, because readers of Star Trek novels are already familiar with the series’ setting and characters.

When I started plotting The Iron Codex, I had to deal with challenges that were new to me. One was that I needed to quickly refresh readers’ understanding of the complicated system of ceremonial magic I had developed in the first Dark Arts novel, The Midnight Front. But I also wanted the plot of book two to move quickly, in the style of classic Ian Fleming spy-thrillers.

It’s live now. Go check it out!

#SFWApro

January Star Trek eBooks Sale: The Fall and Seekers

Big news, Star Trek book fans! Simon & Schuster has nine Trek novel eBooks on sale through January 31, 2019.

First, the five-book miniseries The Fall (about the rise and fall of a shit-talking would-be Federation president with a shady history—I know, not at all topical). This miniseries includes novels written by me, James Swallow, Una McCormack, Dayton Ward, and David R. George III.

And if that’s not enough, you can get the complete four-book Star Trek Seekers series by me, Dayton & Kevin Dilmore, also for just $0.99 each! That’s a hell of a lot of adventure for less than four bucks, kids.

But act fast, kids — this sale ends January 31!

http://www.startrekbooks.com/c/ebookpromoJanuary2019

#SFWApro

Fantasy casting the Dark Arts series

I have been asked, notably in two interviews by Paul Semel, about what actors I would cast in the key roles of my Dark Arts series if it were being produced today, and if money and talent availability posed no barriers. Because I tend to picture my stories as movies in my imagination before I write them, this is a matter to which I’ve given much thought over the past few years.

These days there are so many great premium long-form series running on so many different channels and services that I can’t really say I have a preference for which one I’d most like to see host a Dark Arts series. All I can say for sure is that I’d rather it be on a premium subscription service than on network television, but at the same time, several cable channels have impressed the hell out of me with their series work (including, but not limited to, AMC, FX, and BBC America).

So, who do I wish would star in this daydream blockbuster of mine?

TOM HOLLAND as Cade Martin
I feel like Tom Holland has the perfect combination of vulnerability and boyish innocence on the verge of becoming cynicism to play the lead role of book one, The Midnight Front.

SUSANNA SKAGGS as Anja Kernova
I was blown away by the subtlety and emotional depth of Susanna Skaggs’s performance in the final season of Halt and Catch Fire — so much so that I find it hard to picture anyone else as Anja Kernova, “the Saint of Stalingrad.”

TOMMY FLANAGAN as Adair Macrae
I’ve been a fan of Tommy Flanagan’s work for years. His recent work on the FX series Sons of Anarchy was especially powerful. He carries with him an aura of danger, gravitas, and loss that makes him the perfect choice to play a 357-year-old Scottish vulgarian master sorcerer.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER as Kein Engel
If you’ve seen Michael Fassbender in the recent Alien films, or as Eric Lensher/Magneto in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, you already know that he has a knack for portraying characters of cold, ruthless power. That makes him the ideal candidate to play the series’ arch-villain.

DIEGO LUNA as Father Luis Roderigo Pérez
A key character in book two, The Iron Codex, Father Pérez starts out as a rival to our heroes. He is decent, pious, and brave. I think that Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) would be the perfect actor to bring this character to life on the screen.

PARKER SAWYERS as Miles Franklin
Assuming this talented and charismatic actor (Pine Gap) can muster a good London accent, he would be a superb choice to play Cade’s best friend at Oxford (and, in the sequels, his partner inside MI6).

SARAH POWER as Briet Segfrunsdóttir
Perhaps best known to SF fans as Pawter Simms on the Syfy series Killjoys, Sarah Power has a regal quality, excellent emotional range, and a knack for playing the smartest person in the room. All of these traits make her a sublime choice for a villainess in search of redemption.

VOLKER BRUCH as Dragan Dalca
The star of German hit TV series Babylon Berlin, Volker Bruch possesses great charm and intensity, as well as excellent physicality. As soon as I saw him, I was able to picture him as the villain of book two, The Iron Codex.

ODED FEHR as Khalîl el-Sahir
With a magnetic screen presence, an aura of mystery, and a rich voice, Oded Fehr has all of the qualities I would expect for an actor looking to play a wise and ancient magician — in essence, this series’ Yoda.

So that’s my wish list for the most major roles. There are some important supporting roles from book one that I have never successfully cast in my imagination (such as Stefan Van Ausdall, Nikostratos Le Beau, or Siegmar Tuomainen), but who I will recognize if I ever see actors who match my mental portraits of those characters.

My Farpoint 2019 Schedule

If you’re coming to Farpoint in Hunt Valley, Md., Feb. 8–10, 2019, here is my schedule of panels and other events. At times not listed here, you can usually find me in the hotel bar, attempting to drink myself unconscious.


FRIDAY

Writing Projects Gone Awry – 5:00 PM – Salon C

Farpoint Book Fair – 10:00 PM – Hunt Valley Hallway

 


SATURDAY

Autographing (Davie; Mack) – 11:00 AM – Autograph Table 2

Readings (D. McPhail; D. Mack; Ransom) – 1:00 PM – Salon E

Publishing in 2019 and Beyond – 3:00 PM – Salon C

 


SUNDAY

Writing Genre Mash-ups – Noon – Salon C

Autographing – 1:00 PM – Autograph Table 2

 

See you at the show, kids! (Reminder: Don’t bother me when I’m eating.)