Neil Peart, Sept. 12, 1952–Jan. 7, 2020 #RIP

I was standing in a pharmacy this afternoon when my phone rang. It was my dear friend Randy Giudice calling from Los Angeles. I hadn’t heard from Randy in some time, so I picked up right away.

He was the one who broke the news to me that my hero, Neil Peart of Rush, had died:

Shattered. Gutted. Bereft. That’s where I am right now.

I never had the honor of meeting Neil, (as I did with his Rush band-mates Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, in 2007), but Neil once sent me a brief but friendly email, as thanks for naming a character in his honor in my first pair of published Star Trek novels, A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal.

I wish I could have known the man behind the drum kit; I wish I could have had the chance someday to call the Professor a friend. Now that hope is forever quashed, and a measure of my joy in this life departs with him.

Neil Peart was more to me than a musician and an author in a band that I’ve loved most of my life. He was an inspiration to me, a guiding star, a talent who gave words and form to ideas that helped me find my own way as an artist and as a person.

Almost every work of prose I’ve ever published has contained some form of homage, either subtle or overt (usually overt), to Neil Peart’s lyrics. He was my idol — which, given his aversion to the notion of idolatry, is somewhat ironic.

I will always treasure the body of work that he and Rush created and shared with the world, and my grieving heart goes out to his family, his friends, and his colleagues.

All the world’s a stage, but the Professor has just made his exit, stage left.

Goodbye, Neil.

#RIPNeilPeart

I’ll be reading @ Fantastic Fiction at KGB Bar WED 11.20.19

If you’re going to be in New York City and just can’t enough of my prose style or the dulcet tones of my voice, know that I’ll reading at the next Fantastic Fiction at KGB Bar event, on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, starting at 7PM.

I’ll be reading a couple of new scenes from my new Dark Arts novel The Shadow Commission (coming June 9, 2020, from Tor Books). Fellow author Max Gladstone will be reading new material, and trust me, you don’t want to miss that.

More information, including the event’s address and other details, at the link:

An art commission honoring Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy

Now that the news has been shared by the artist, I am excited to share this here: I’ve commissioned from internationally acclaimed fine artist Robert Mars a new original resin-coated painting that honors Star Trek and the late great Leonard Nimoy.

Rob has posted on his Instagram feed photos that document the creation of his work-in-progress. I don’t know yet what title (if any) Rob has given the piece (which is nearing completion).

I’ve loved Star Trek all my life, and my favorite member of the original crew was Spock. I asked Rob to incorporate the famous image of Nimoy in costume leaning against a Buick for two reasons:

First, it’s a damned cool photo.

Second, Rob’s oeuvre is based on nostalgia, 1960s Americana, pop culture, classic cars and signage, and other vintage iconography.


I felt the image of Nimoy/Spock and the Buick would lend itself to a work that would be both unique within Robert Mars’s body of work while also fitting organically into it.

I’ve loved Rob’s work for many years, ever since I met him. It has long been one of my aspirations to own a Robert Mars original, and very soon I will welcome Rob when he comes to install this gorgeous creation in my and Kara’s home.

Live long and prosper, Rob.

Iron Codex on sale, plus Dark Arts news (#SFWApro)

If you’ve read The Midnight Front, Book 1 of my Dark Arts trilogy from Tor Books, and you want to read more of my black-magic secret-history series, eBooks of Book 2, The Iron Codex, go on sale this Friday, October 25, 2019, for just $2.99.

The Iron Codex is a classic Cold War-era spy thriller, in the style of John Le Carré or Ian Fleming, mixed with Renaissance-era ceremonial black magic. I like to describe it as “Hellfire heats up the Cold War.”

The fine folks at Tor Books are offering U.S. readers an unbeatable price on eBooks of The Iron Codex, this Friday through the end of Halloween.

With Dark Arts, Book 3, The Shadow Commission, recently back from copy editing and slated for publication on June 9, 2020, now is a good time to get caught up on my action-packed series.

If you’d like to know more about the Dark Arts series, check out this new video interview of yours truly, conducted by Carl Birkmeyer of the Baltimore County Public Library. We talked about the origin of the series, its magic system, and its principal themes.

#SFWApro

C3 Con Wrap-up

Kara and I are home and unwinding after a wonderful weekend at the Creatures, Crime & Creativity (aka C3) con in Columbia, MD.

I was the Friday night keynote speaker, and Saturday night’s keynote was by the delightful Julie Hyzy.

C3 also marked my wife Kara’s first time as a panelist at a con! (She’s in the picture above, seated to the far right.) After all these years of supporting me from the audience, Kara got to be one of the panelists, for Friday afternoon’s “Living with a Professional Liar: Writers’ Spouses/Partners”. As I’d expected, she was witty, charming, and relaxed.

I can’t say enough good things about C3. It was well-organized and housed in a lovely space, and the panels were run by superbly prepared moderators, and attended by keenly interested writers of varying experience levels. This is a relaxed con for people who take writing seriously.

I need to thank con organizer Austin S. Camacho for inviting me to deliver a keynote address (something I’d done only once before, as a commencement speaker at my former high school). But the best part of the con was making many wonderful new friends, including Dr. Glenn Parris, Dana King, Denise Camacho, Corky King, Shawn A. Cosby, Julie Hyzy, Serg Koren, David Simms, and others who I hope will forgive me for neglecting to recall their names off the top of my head, but it’s late and I’m tired.

The definite highlights of my weekend at C3 were getting to know Julie Hyzy (whose childhood and path to authorship paralleled mine far more closely than I had thought possible) and spending time with Shawn A. Cosby, whose “Noir at the Bar” reading (“Doubt Not That the Stars Are Fire”) blew me away.

A great weekend, and one I’d heartily commend to anyone who would be keen to spend a weekend among others who take the craft of writing (but not themselves) seriously.

My schedule for NYCC 2019

 

My preliminary schedule for New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2019 includes both panels and signings!


THURSDAY, OCT 3

12:15 – 1:15 PM
PANEL:
Picard 2020: A Literary Retrospective

Veteran authors David Mack and John Jackson Miller look back on the life and career of Starfleet officer Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as depicted in the official Star Trek tie-in novels and comics over the past 15 years.
Room 1A18

1:30 – 2:30 PM
SIGNING: Panelists of “Picard 2020: A Literary Retrospective”
Hall 1A, Table AA01

Due to factors beyond my control, this panel and its signing have been canceled, to my great disappointment.


FRIDAY, OCT 4

1:30 – 2:30 PM
PANEL: From 1969 to the Future—Stories in Space!
Long before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, people have been inspired to travel among the stars. Half a century after that historic moment, authors Kass Morgan (The 100, Supernova), Peter F. Hamilton (Salvation Lost), Elizabeth Bear (Ancestral Night), and David Mack (Star Trek, Farscape) blast off to exciting destinations in the universe, accompanied by Maryelizabeth Yturralde (Mysterious Galaxy)!
Room 1A18

2:45 – 3:45 PM
SIGNING: Panelists, “From 1969 to the Future—Stories in Space!”
Hall 1A, Table AA01

4:00 – 4:45 PM
SIGNING: STAR TREK AUTHOR

David Mack, Star Trek: The Next Generation – Collateral Damage
Booth 2128 (Simon & Schuster)


I will also be hanging around the S&S booth on Saturday, October 5, looking to persuade readers to shell out their cash on early-release copies of Collateral Damage. If you’re at the show, come say “hi!”

My schedule at Creatures, Crimes & Creativity (C3) Con

Those of you looking for me this weekend, Friday Sept. 13, 2019, through Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, at the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity (C3) Con, here is what I think is my final and complete schedule for the weekend.

The show will take place at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD, 21044, from 12:30 PM on Friday to noon on Sunday.


FRIDAY, SEPT. 13

Living with a Professional Liar
Lakeview B, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
I won’t be on this panel for the partners of authors, but my wife Kara Bain will be! It’s her first time ever taking part in programming at a con, so be nice, folks.

You’ve Got Fan Mail
Lakeview A, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
I and other author guests of the conference share some of our more notable correspondences with fans.

Book Signings
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
I and other author guests of the con will be available to meet with attendees and autograph copies of our work.

Dinner with Keynote Speech by David Mack
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
I will be delivering the Friday evening keynote address.

Noir at the Bar
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
I and several other author guests will be reading short snippets of noir-ish fiction over drinks in the hotel bar. Come join us!

 


SATURDAY, SEPT. 14

David Mack Q&A
Lakeview B, 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM
For 45 minutes, I’ll let attendees ask me anything. I don’t promise to answer, or to do so truthfully, but I will at least do my best to be entertaining.

Writing for TV/Film
Lakeview A, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
I will share what little I think I know about this topic with whoever deigns to show up.

Book Signings
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
I and other author guests of the con will be available to meet with attendees and autograph copies of our work.

 


SUNDAY, SEPT. 15

Defining the Science-Fiction Genre
Lakeview A, 9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
It is anyone’s guess whether I will be conscious and/or coherent at this hour of the morning, so place your bets now, then show up Sunday morning to find out.