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.
Luckily for me, I have a great many credited (but unindicted) partners in literary crime: David Gerrold, Keith DeCandido, Michael Jan Friedman, Aaron Rosenberg, Russ Colchamiro, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, Joe Corallo, Mary Fan, Lorraine J. Anderson, Hildy Silverman, Setsu Uzume, Brett Hudgins, Blair Learn, S. Brady Calhoun, Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg, Amy Lewanski, Dean Scott, and, of course, co-editors Peter David and Kathleen O’Shea David. (Cover illustration by J.K. Woodward)
The book is now available through Amazon, and its formal launch will take place Friday, July 6, 2018, at the Shore Leave Convention in Hunt Valley, MD.
So order your copy now, and become an accessory after the fact (or fiction, as the case may be).
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.
Last week I attended for the first time the GenCon Writers’ Symposium, which runs as auxiliary programming at the world-famous GenCon gaming convention. Now that I’ve had a couple of days at home to catch up on emails, bills, and life in general, I’m excited to share my post-convention thoughts.
First, I apologize for the general lack of photos. I was kept pretty busy at GCWS, and most of the time I was having so much fun that taking photos rarely occurred to me. That said, I will remark that I found downtown Indianapolis to be quite a lovely place:
For those not familiar with GCWS, it is a comprehensive program of panels, workshops, and seminars designed to offer something of value to everyone from novice writers, authors of moderate experience, and even grizzled literary veterans. There are tracks of programming devoted to the writer’s craft, the writer’s lifestyle, the business of writing, and much more. Its participants include authors, editors, and agents, and its team of dedicated moderators are truly exceptional at their jobs.
Without exception, I found the symposium’s roughly 2,300 attendees to be knowledgeable in their questions, keenly engaged with the subject matter, and serious about improving their craft. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many attendees were not only familiar with but were genuine fans of my work, both for and outside of Star Trek. They were also very receptive to the pitch for my upcoming original novel The Midnight Front—we gave away 72 advance reader copies of the book at the show.
It also didn’t suck that my fan traffic remained steady even while I was signing beside fantasy publishing titans Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Charlaine Harris.
The Symposium’s sponsors, WorldBuilders and Archivos, were generous enough to underwrite a welcome meal at The Old Spaghetti Factory (Archivos) and snacks at the authors’ Saturday-evening hangout in The Rock Bottom Brewery (WorldBuilders). I’m also grateful to the convention’s bookseller, Half Price Books, who took a chance on stocking three of my Star Trek titles (of which we sold nearly every copy they brought, in part thanks to some hard-core hand-selling I did from their table on Saturday afternoon).
The people whose labor made all of this possible were the Symposium’s volunteers, and most importantly its director, Marc Tassin, who after this year will be moving on to new challenges and placing the Symposium into the very capable hands of new co-directors Kelly Swails and Melanie Meadors.
As for my personal experience? I was most blown away by how many wonderful new friends I met among the other Symposium participants. It was a genuine pleasure getting to meet and/or know folks like Monica Valentinelli, Elizabeth Vaughn, Kelly Swails, Jerry Gordon, Raj Khanna, Susan Morris, Dave Robison of Archivos, Anton Strout, Steve Drew, John Helfers, Beth Cato, and Maxwell Alexander Drake.
I also had the pleasure of spending quality time with such friends as Ilana C. Myer, Aaron Rosenberg, Marco Palmieri, Matt Forbeck, and Gregory Wilson.
As much as I could gush about the Symposium’s programming and events, ultimately what I loved best about GCWS was the people I met. There was just a wonderful vibe to this event. I felt the eagerness of the attendees to learn, and the willingness of the participants to share all that they could. For years I’ve heard great things about GCWS from Aaron Rosenberg and Marco Palmieri; I’m glad I finally heeded their advice and committed to this event.
This was one of the most enjoyable and emotionally rewarding convention experiences I’ve ever had, and I hope that the fine folks at GCWS will want to invite me back for many more Symposiums in the years to come.
It’s that magical time of year again, Trek fans — time for my favorite yearly event, the Shore Leave Convention in lovely Hunt Valley, Md.!
Once again, for reasons surpassing understanding, the fine folks at Shore Leave have deigned to invite me as an author guest and put me on programming for their attendees’ collective amusement and edification.
Whether you’re a fan or a cyberstalker looking to make that transition into meatspace harassment, here’s everything you’ll need to find me at this weekend’s Shore Leave!
Friday, July 7
10pm–Midnight Meet the Pros — Hunt Valley Corridor
Come down to the lower level of the Hunt Valley Inn, buy some books, and spend a couple of hours chatting with authors and having them autograph books for you.
Saturday, July 8
Noon–1pm “Does Fiction Go Too Easy on Evil?” — Chase Room
In reality, evil is often boring, ugly, and stupid. But compelling villains in fiction are often stylish, intelligent, and competent. Is fiction doing society a disservice by giving evil a good name?
— David Mack (M), Jenifer Rosenberg, Mary Fan, Richard C. White, Glenn Hauman
2pm–3pm “The Art of Secondary Characters” — Chase Room
Supporting characters can fade into the background or steal a story. Our authors discuss how to know which is appropriate, and the craft to making such players come alive when the story needs them.
— David Mack (M), Heather E. Hutsell, Richard C. White, Dave Galanter
5pm–6pm Upcoming Star Trek Books — Belmont Room
A preview of forthcoming Star Trek novels from Simon & Schuster, with some of their authors as well as other Trek-related titles due out this fall and into 2018.
— Scott Pearson (M), David Mack, Christopher L. Bennett, Dayton Ward
Sunday, July 9
10am–11am “Friendship Is Magic” — Chase Room
In SF/F, heroes have friends and companions; villains have only minions. Our authors examine how cultural narratives about heroism, sex, gender, class, and community influence how we depict being alone and being connected.
— David Mack (M), Mary Fan, Michael Critzer, Amy Imhoff, TJ Perkins
11am–Noon “Where No Tale Has Gone Before” — Chase Room After more than 50 years, how can there still be fresh stories to tell in Star Trek’s shared universe? Our panel of Trekspert storytellers discuss what they think makes for solid new Star Trek tales.
— David Mack (M), Dayton Ward, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christopher L. Bennett, Scott Pearson
And that’s the sum of my programming activity for the weekend. If you’re trying to catch up with me on Sunday, make sure to come to my panels, because as soon as they’re over, I’ll be looking to get on the road and head for home.
Well, I’m back from my long-anticipated trip to Deutschland, and Europe’s largest Star Trek/SF convention, FedCon — and what a fantastic trip it was!
First off, I need to thank my German publisher, Cross Cult, and one of its top executives, Andreas Mergenthaler, for inviting me to attend FedCon as their guest, for paying my airfare and hotel costs, feeding me and buying me drinks for five days, and for helping me to really enjoy my first visit to Germany.
The rest of this post is going to be rather long, so I’ll put it behind the cut to spare the disinterested. (more…)