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

The Shadow Commission delayed until August 11

For those who have pre-ordered The Shadow Commission, my upcoming third Dark Arts novel from Tor Books, be informed that due to the effects of the ongoing pandemic on the publishing industry and related businesses, the release date of my book (and many others) has been delayed.

Originally scheduled to publish on June 9, 2020, The Shadow Commission is now scheduled to debut on August 11, 2020.

I know it’s a bummer, but there’s really nothing that can be done about it. Many publishers, including Tor’s corporate parent company, Macmillan, are laying off employees and reducing the salaries of those who remain. Printers are running out of paper to print books, because the supply lines for their just-in-time inventory model have been disrupted. There are fewer truckers to cart books from printers to warehouses, and from warehouses to retailers. And the brick-and-mortar retailers are mostly closed, and the biggest online retailer isn’t accepting books right now.

Kind of a perfect storm of suck, really.

At any rate, please be patient. Here’s hoping that when the book arrives at last, you’ll all agree it was worth the wait.

 

#SFWApro

MidSouthCon 38 postponed to 2021

Now that an official announcement has been made on MidSouthCon’s website, I can share the news that MidSouthCon 38 has been postponed until next year at this time—March 19–21, 2021—to help safeguard the health of its attendees, guests, staff, volunteers, and hotel personnel from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

I was slated to be this year’s Author Guest of Honor at MidSouthCon, and I fully support the convention committee’s informed decision to postpone the event. As much as I’ve looked forward to my first time as a GoH, I don’t think it’s worth risking the health or safety of other people for a moment in the spotlight.

The MidSouthCon committee has graciously invited me to be their GoH next year when their convention returns, and I have gratefully accepted their offer. I have been impressed by their attention to detail, their superb sense of organization, their clear communications, and, now, their commitment to public safety.

To everyone who was hoping to see me next week in Memphis, I’m sorry we won’t get to hang out until next year. But my hope is that, until then, you’ll all do your best to stay safe and healthy, and help others to do likewise. Be well, friends, and I’ll look forward to seeing you all next year in Memphis!

My Farpoint 2020 Schedule

Here is my schedule for this year’s Farpoint Convention, being held once again at the Delta Hotel by Marriott (formerly known as the Hunt Valley Inn) in Hunt Valley, Md. At times not listed here, the most likely place to find me is — big surprise — the hotel bar.


FRIDAY | 21 February

7:00 PM — Tales of Woe … and Healing
Salon C (Moderator)

10:00 PM to Midnight — Meet the Pros (aka Book Fair)
Hunt-Valley Corridor


SATURDAY | 22 February

Noon — Author Signing
Autograph Table 2

2:00 PM — Killing Characters 101
Salon C (Moderator)


SUNDAY | 23 February

11:00 AM — Writer Hobbies
Salon C (Moderator)

Noon to 1:00 PM — Author Signing
Autograph Table 1

 

See you at the con, folks!

#SFWApro

On Creative Burnout (#SFWApro)

I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but I’d like to take a moment to talk about creative burnout and self-care. Because I think sometimes we all push ourselves too hard, and we all deserve a break.

There’s nothing wrong with stepping back from our work once in a while. Digging into one’s soul to tell stories, craft images, or to create anything, can be an exhausting process.

But life takes its toll on all of us. Health concerns, financial worries, family obligations, other full-time work … they all put stress on us. Mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I sometimes feel as if our field puts too much emphasis on the need to make measurable progress every day. Write “X” words every day. Post a certain number of tweets. Produce, produce, produce.

Artists are not machines. We need to recharge. To rest. To think. To dream. Sometimes, what we think is “writer’s block” is more than just a sign of a problem with our project: in some cases, it’s a warning of burnout.

Too many of us have been conditioned to stigmatize the idea of stepping away from our work, not just for a day, but maybe for weeks, or months, or longer. There are those who make us feel like failures if we do.

I’ve been my own worst critic in such situations. Beat myself up emotionally for not working when what I really needed was to embrace the downtime. I needed time this past year to process bad news on multiple fronts.

What I’m trying to say is, cut yourself some slack. If you can afford to do so, be willing to walk away from a blank page. Self-care — whether physical or psychological — is not sloth. Downtime is not a sin.

When you’ve healed, when you’ve regained your strength, your focus, your time … you’ll know it. Your muse will return. Ideas will flow again. But first you need to care for yourself and those around you.

There’s no sure-fire, one-size-fits-all formula for recovering from burnout. Maybe you need medical care, or talk therapy. Or the right chat with a friend. Maybe you just need time and solitude.

But when it comes to survival, you owe it to yourself to be a little bit selfish. As they say on airplanes, put your own mask on first before you try to help others. Catch your breath.

Remember: the creative life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Pace yourselves, my friends.

#SFWApro

Con Fusion 2020 – My Schedule

For those of you planning on attending or bar-conning How to Train Your Con Fusion next week, here is my schedule for the con:

THURSDAY 1/16

7:00 PM — St. Clair Room
Guests-of-Honor Dinner

FRIDAY 1/17

12:00 PM — Manitou Room
Finance for Career Fiction Writers
LaShawn M. Wanak (m), David Mack
 
4:00 PM — Charlevoix Room
The Business of Comics Writing For Prose Writers
David Mack, Seanan McGuire, Richard C. White

SATURDAY 1/18

11:00 AM — Saugatuck Room
Reading: David Mack, K.A. Doore, Richard White
 
3:00 PM — St. Clair Room
Mass Autographing Session
 
I hope to see old friends, make some new ones, and enjoy drinks and conversation with fans and pros alike!
 
The convention’s full schedule is here.