Shore Leave 39: My Schedule at the Convention

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.

See you at the con, folks!

Section 31: Control reviewed on The Captain’s Table

My friends Michael Clark and Roslyn S. from podcast The Captain’s Table have returned from their year-long hiatus to review my latest Star Trek novel, SECTION 31: CONTROL.

I always enjoy hearing what Michael and Ros have to say about my books, and I think their reviews are honest, insightful, and well-considered.

Give it a listen, and check back soon for their interview with yours truly about this grim installment in the life of Julian Bashir.

If you enjoy Michael and Ros’s review and discussion, please make sure to leave them a good rating, or some feedback, or link to it on social media. Let them know you were there.

Helpful Mr. Bear — a blast from my childhood

On a recent visit north to see my family, Kara and I returned with a box of my childhood books given to us by my parents, who were clearing out their house in preparation for a big move south.

The books are all vintage children’s story books of the 1960s and 1970s. Some were originally mine, some were passed down to me from my brother. The reason Kara and I took the books is to make a gift of them to her younger sister, who just gave birth to identical twin boys.

While flipping through the yellowed tomes, I found myself smiling as I saw old favorites from childhood: The Monster at the End of This Book; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Puff the Magic Dragon.

Then I saw that my wife had set aside one book that she said I needed to look at: Helpful Mr. Bear, written by Chizuko Kuratomi and illustrated by Kozo Kakimoto.

It’s the story of a big friendly bear who gets lonely on his mountain, and so he goes down to the bunny town to bring gifts to the bunnies. Hijinks ensue.

It would seem that the key elements of my adult psyche were imprinted far earlier than even I had ever realized.

47 is a Magic Number in Star Trek: The Engage Podcast (#SFWApro)

47 is a magical number in Star Trek. The number “47” shows up again and again, across all of the 24th-century series. It has even spread to other genre series.

ENGAGE Official Star Trek Podcast Logo - Episode 47

I and host Jordan Hoffman discuss what makes the integer 47 so special in Star Trek and beyond on Episode #47 of ENGAGE, The Official Star Trek Podcast.

We lay some of the blame at the feet of former and current Star Trek producer Joe Menosky, and then we go off on a bunch of tangents before grudgingly circling back to the episode’s premise.

I must confess that I’ve played my part in this phenomenon, with the titular starbase of my Star Trek Vanguard saga also being known as Starbase 47.

(Bonus trivia point: this episode was taped just a few days before my birthday, so I was 47 years old when we recorded it.)

At any rate, if you’ve ever noticed the proliferation of the number 47 throughout Star Trek, Alias, and Fringe (among other series and films), this is the podcast you’ve been waiting for. And if not, well, it’s still a pleasantly diverting hour of geekery.

Give it a listen, Trek fans.

#SFWApro

 

Cover Reveal: The Midnight Front, coming in January 2018

It has been revealed on tor.com so now I can share it here: the cover of The Midnight Front, the first volume in my new Dark Arts secret-history series for Tor Books. (See the Official Cover Reveal on Tor.com)

The art is by Larry Rostant, and the design is courtesy the amazing team at Tor Books, from an idea hatched by my awesome editor Marco Palmieri.

Scheduled for publication on January 30, 2018, The Midnight Front is now available for pre-order in hardcover, trade paperback, eBook, and/or digital audio formats from many fine retailers, as well as directly from the publisher.

You read that correctly: If you’re a collector who loves hardcover first editions (and who doesn’t?), Tor has you covered (pardon the pun). If you’d rather save a few bucks and get the book in trade paperback, you don’t have to wait a year. Is that awesome or what?

Now get busy pre-ordering!

Tragedy in Section 31: Control (#SFWApro)

Some literary philosophies hold there are only two kinds of stories, tragedies and comedies. I crafted my new Star Trek novel Section 31: Control as an unapologetic tragedy. In this podcast I explain why.

Literary Treks #186 - "A Tragedy in Every Sense of the Word"

I joined Literary Treks co-hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson to talk about the inspirations and implications of my novel, the rationale for writing an entire chapter of the novel in computer code, and the rather polarized response it has garnered from fans of the Star Trek books. Also on the agenda was a conversation about the roles played in the story by androids Data and his daughter, Lal.

We conclude our discussion with some teases concerning what readers can expect from my next two Star Trek novels, Titan: Fortune of War and Discovery: Desperate Hours. I also tacked on a reminder that roughly ten months from now my new Tor Books original trilogy Dark Arts will debut with my long-awaited World War II fantasy epic The Midnight Front.

So point your browsers toward Literary Treks and check out episode 186, “Tragedy in Every Sense of the Word,” and get a peek behind the curtains that conceal my creative process.

#SFWApro

TrekMovie Interview, Part 2: New Novels & More

TrekMovie.com has published part two of a recent interview of yours truly by Anthony Pascale, in which I talk about my upcoming new novels based on Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Titan. We also talk about works that might have been and might yet be.

The first topic of interest, naturally, is my Star Trek: Discovery novel Desperate Hours, which so far does not have an official publication date, but which I have been told will be released sometime shortly after the series’ premiere.

We touch briefly upon my Star Trek: Titan novel Fortune of War, currently scheduled for publication on November 28, 2017. Then we seguéd into a short conversation about More Beautiful Than Death, a Star Trek novel I write years ago but which was mothballed by the powers than be, and whether it or another novel like it might ever see the light of day.

As usual, I had to play my cards close to my vest during this interview, but here’s hoping it will whet some appetites for my works already in the Star Trek pipeline.

Last but not least, I tease once again Dark Arts, my upcoming original book series from Tor, which is scheduled to debut in February 2018 with my World War II fantasy epic, The Midnight Front, and continue in 2018 and 2019 with the novels The Iron Codex and Shadow Commission.

I’ve got a big year ahead of me, folks. Here’s hoping it leads to bigger and better things.

#SFWApro