Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Feliz quinceañera, Star Trek Vanguard

Fifteen years ago saw the premiere of Harbinger, the first book in the Star Trek Vanguard series, which I co-created with Pocket Books senior editor Marco Palmieri.

What was Star Trek Vanguard? Dayton Ward sums it up thusly:

Vanguard as created by editor Marco Palmieri and author David Mack is a series of books that served as a “literary spin-off” of the original Star Trek television series. Running in parallel with the original show, Vanguard was set aboard a space station in a hotly contested area of space called “the Taurus Reach.”

In the years that followed, I wound up alternating writing privileges on the series with Dayton and his hetero life-mate and frequent writing partner Kevin Dilmore. This, among other things, led to them becoming two of my closest friends, with whom I shared the most artistically satisfying creative endeavor of my career to date.

Photo of Dayton Ward, Marco Palmieri, Kevin Dilmore, and David Mack
The Vanguardians of the Galaxy: from left, Dayton Ward, Marco Palmieri, Kevin Dilmore, David Mack. Taken at Shore Leave Convention, July 2011.

Marco, who left Simon & Schuster after editing the fourth Vanguard novel, subsequently returned to the saga as an author, contributing the novella “The Ruins of Noble Men” to the Vanguard anthology volume Declassified. And acclaimed international best-selling thriller author James Swallow took Vanguard into the Mirror Universe with his short story “The Black Flag,” in the anthology Shards and Shadows.

Furthermore, we had the amazing good fortune that all of our series’ cover art was created by the brilliantly talented Doug Drexler. Every single one of his covers is worthy of being enlarged to billboard size and plastered onto the side of a skyscraper.

Dayton has done an amazing write-up about Vanguard — what it is, how it came to be, and what it has meant to all of us who were fortunate enough to work on it. I doubt I could improve upon it; I would only end up paraphrasing it. So I’ll just say, go read his excellent tribute to this series we built with love, sweat, and imagination.

If you’ve never read the Star Trek Vanguard saga, here is your guide:

Star Trek Vanguard Bibliography

Harbinger – David Mack
Summon the Thunder – Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore
Reap the Whirlwind – David Mack
Open Secrets – Dayton Ward (story by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore)
Precipice – David Mack
Declassified – four novellas by: Dayton Ward; Kevin Dilmore; Marco Palmieri; and David Mack
What Judgments Come – Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore (story by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore and David Mack)
Storming Heaven – David Mack (story by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore and David Mack)

There also are a few additional stories that, while not essential to enjoying the main “saga,” might be of interest:

Distant Early Warning – Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore (a Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers story and Vanguard prequel)

In Tempest’s Wake – Dayton Ward (sort of a coda to the Vanguard series)

The Black Flag” – James Swallow
(Included in the anthology Star Trek: Mirror Universe – Shards & Shadows)

You can also load up on SPOILER-FILLED, behind-the-scenes goodness with my Vanguard Finale page.

Dayton, Kevin, and I have agreed that we have no intention of ever re-opening the toy box that was Star Trek Vanguard. From the outset, the saga had been planned with a clear beginning, middle, and ending, and ultimately we hewed fairly closely to that original plan. What’s more, we ended the saga on our own terms, by design rather than by necessity, a privilege one is rarely afforded in the world of media tie-in writing.

Sometimes I daydream of seeing Vanguard as a new Star Trek TV series. But then I remember that it likely would never be as good on the screen as it is in the theater of my imagination, and I’m content to leave it where it is.

As Pennington wrote at the saga’s end, “Let the world forget; I’ll remember.”

See me on Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster

A week from tonight, I’ll be the guest on the next Zoom-powered episode of Russ’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster, an Internet-based half-hour interview/talk show run by my pal Russ Colchamiro.

We’ll talk generally about my writing for science fiction and fantasy, and specifically about my work for Star Trek and my original fantasy series Dark Arts.

If you want to watch the show LIVE and take part in its Q&A portion, you need to register in advance here. You’ll get the viewing link after you sign up. But be chill—the tickets are FREE!

If you miss the live show don’t sweat it; Russ will post it a few days later to YouTube.

I hope to catch some of your crazy cats live on THURSDAY, JULY 30, from 8:00pm – 8:30pm EDT.

Collateral Damage wins a Scribe Award

I’m pleased to share that my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Collateral Damage has won a Scribe Award in the category of Best Original Novel – Speculative Fiction. It shares the win in a tie vote with the Batman novel The Court of Owls, written by my good friend Greg Cox.

The Scribe Awards are bestowed annually by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (IAMTW) to recognize excellence in the field of media tie-in publishing.

It’s an honor to share this award with my longtime friend Greg. I want to thank my editor on Collateral Damage, Margaret Clark, for her help in shaping the book; my agent Lucienne Diver for shepherding the business side of my work; the judges and organizers of the Scribe Awards; and my readers most of all.

Collateral Damage is my sixth work to be nominated for a Scribe Award, and my second title to win an award (my novel 24: ROGUE won the award for Best Original Novel – General Fiction in 2016). Here’s hoping it won’t be the last.

#SFWApro

I’m begging you: Please buy THE IRON CODEX

Some of you folks might have seen other authors posting about the crushing effect the pandemic has had on book sales.

Everyone thought people stuck at home would buy MORE books, but that isn’t what’s happened.

Truth is, most people lost their incomes. Many people in the publishing industry have been laid off or let go outright, resulting in many titles being delayed for months or longer.

Worse, the supply chain for book production and sales has all but collapsed. Printing companies are running out of paper; trucking companies that move paper and books are losing drivers; many retailers, both virtual and brick-and-mortar, who used to sell books are now closed.

The result has been a calamity for publishers and authors. Some folks thought readers would embrace eBooks and bypass the paper/shipping problem. But that hasn’t happened. For all the talk of eBooks supplanting print, the dead-tree format remains the dominant format for sales.

What has all this meant to me? My sales have been slammed, just as many others’ have. I’d like to say “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine,” but that’s not really true anymore. Truth is, my sales could use a bit of help, too.

Tuesday, May 12, is my birthday. I would be grateful if, on that day, anyone reading this who hasn’t already bought a copy of my fantasy-thriller The Iron Codex would please buy a copy in any format from the retailer of your choice.

If you already have The Iron Codex, then I’d be grateful if, on May 12, you’d pre-order a copy (in any format, from any retailer) of my upcoming Dark Arts series finale, The Shadow Commission (coming Aug. 11 from

Not to be too melodramatic about it, but my future as an author of original fiction might well depend on this. So any support you can find it in your heart (and finances) to provide at this time would be potentially career-saving. Thanks in advance for your support.

Obituary: Yvonne M. Mack, 78

For those of you who don’t follow me on social media, and also those of you who do, my wonderful mother Yvonne M. Mack passed away this Monday, after a long battle against cancer.

Because the local newspaper that ran my mother’s obituary does not permit paragraph breaks, her obituary ran as a single massive block of type in a very long column. For this reason, I am sharing her obituary here, in the format that I originally intended.


YVONNE M. MACK, 1941–2020

Yvonne Mack
Yvonne M. Mack

Yvonne M. Mack, 78, of Chicopee, Mass., passed away April 27, 2020, in her home after a courageous four-year battle against cancer.

Yvonne was born May 13, 1941, in South Hadley, to Adelard and Amanda Beauregard (née Lamothe). She graduated in 1959 from South Hadley High School and studied business administration at Holyoke Community College.

In June of 1960, Yvonne married John W. Klisiewicz. They had two sons, Stephen J. Klisiewicz and David A. Mack (Klisiewicz), before they divorced in 1973. In March of 1974, Yvonne married David L. Mack, with whom she shared 46 wonderful years.

At age 13, Yvonne knew she wanted to be not just a secretary but an executive assistant—a “Della Street” to a “Perry Mason”—and devoted herself to that career goal. She worked as an executive assistant for various law firms, as well as for Holyoke Hospital and the admissions department of Smith College. She retired in 2011 from Springfield law firm Bacon & Wilson LLP, but she loved her work so much that after retirement she served as the secretary to the HOA where she lived.

Yvonne was an avid reader, a superb cook, a patient gardener, and a loving wife and mother. She enjoyed doting on her cats and working with her hands.

She is survived by her husband, David; her older son, Stephen, and his wife, Elizabeth Klisiewicz, of Whitinsville; her younger son, David, and his wife, Kara Bain, of Astoria, NY; her grandchild, Julian X. Klisiewicz, of Whitinsville; and six siblings: Adelard Beauregard, Jr., of Florida; Marion Russell, of Chicopee; Patrick Beauregard of California; Regina Dzuris of Belchertown; Jeanette Bechta of Florida; Cecile McLoughlin of Holyoke; and innumerable nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and her older brother Henry Beauregard.

In lieu of flowers, Yvonne and her family ask that those who wish to honor her life and memory make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (stjudes.org) or to the charity of one’s choice. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.

WARPATH review on Tor Dot Com

Today on Tor Dot Com, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro reviews Warpath, my Star Trek: Deep Space Nine post-finale novel published in April 2006.

This review is part of a series, just as the novel was. Alvaro is reviewing the entire run of post-finale Star Trek: DS9 novels, which was started by editor Marco Palmieri in 2001.

Warpath falls somewhere in the middle of the series, and as such, though I am proud of it on its own merits, it would be a hard place to try to jump into the ongoing post-finale DS9 narrative.

Regardless, it is still immensely satisfying to read comments such as these:

Warpath is an intricately-assembled emotional rollercoaster which, despite plenty of quiet character scenes, never lets up on tension. Part military thriller, rip-roaring medieval battle, detective mystery, post-modern Western, and high-tech medical drama, it plays on the strengths of all these sub-genres and fuses them together into a dazzling story that is amply greater than the sum of its parts. The main reason for this success, outside of fastidious and intelligent worldbuilding, is Mack’s prose. He is able to switch effortlessly between scenes of muscular action, measured dialogue, and evocative description.

And there’s plenty more where that came from. Read the full Tor.com review of Warpath here.

As it happens, all U.S. eBook versions of Warpath (as well as my Vanguard series debut Harbinger) are on sale until the end of May 2020 for just $0.99 each. So get ’em while the getting’s good, my friends.

 

 

My Star Trek eBooks on Sale in May

Good news, everyone! All eBook versions of two of my many Star Trek novels are on sale to U.S. readers for just $0.99 now through the end of May 2020.

The first title on sale is my Deep Space Nine action-thriller Warpath. From the back cover:

They were created to be killing machines. Highly intelligent, resourceful, and deceptively complex, the Jem’Hadar are a species engineered for war and programmed at the genetic level for one purpose: to fight until death as soldiers of the sprawling stellar empire known as the Dominion. No Jem’Hadar has ever lived thirty years, and not even their masters, the shape-shifting Founders, know what such a creature is capable of becoming were it to be freed of its servitude.

One Founder, however, has dared to wonder.

Appointed by Odo himself to learn peaceful coexistence aboard Deep Space 9™, Taran’atar, an Honored Elder among the Jem’Hadar, had for months been a staunch, if conflicted, ally to the crew of the station, ever struggling to understand the mission on which he was sent … until something went horrifically wrong.

Consumed by self-doubt and an ever-growing rage, Taran’atar has lashed out against those he was sworn to aid. While Captain Kira Nerys and Lieutenant Ro Laren both lie near death aboard DS9, their assailant has taken a hostage and fled into Cardassian space, pursued by Commander Elias Vaughn on the U.S.S. Defiant. But as the hunt unfolds, Taran’atar’s true objective becomes increasingly less certain, as the rogue Jem’Hadar leads the Defiant to a discovery even more shocking than his crime.

The second title on sale is Harbinger, the first volume in the eight-book (plus two eBook novellas) Star Trek Vanguard saga, which I created with editor Marco Palmieri and alternated writing duties with the team of Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. From the back cover:

Returning from its historic first voyage to the edge of the galaxy, the damaged U.S.S. Enterprise journeys through the Taurus Reach, a vast and little-known region of space in which a new starbase has been unexpectedly established. Puzzled by the Federation’s interest in an area so far from its borders and so near the xenophobic Tholian Assembly, Captain James T. Kirk orders the Enterprise to put in for repairs at the new space station: Starbase 47, also known as Vanguard.

As Kirk ponders the mystery of the enormous base, he begins to suspect that there is much more to Vanguard than meets the eye. It’s a suspicion shared by the Tholians, the Orions, and the Klingon Empire, each of whom believes that there are less than benign motives behind the Federation’s sudden and unexplained desire to explore and colonize the Taurus Reach.

But when a calamity deep within the Reach threatens to compromise Starfleet’s continued presence in the region, Kirk, Spock, and several key specialists from the Enterprise must assist Vanguard’s crew in investigating the cause of the disaster and containing the damage. In the process, they learn the true purpose behind the creation of Vanguard, and what the outcome of its mission may mean for life throughout that part of the galaxy.

This is a great deal on two of my seminal early works. Grab ’em while the grabbing’s good!

#SFWApro