Go read the interview, then read Dayton’s blog post. Afterward, watch this space for reminders about my upcoming new novel, Star Trek: Section 31 – Control. It’s coming to retailers everywhere on Tuesday, March 28, 2017!
My good friend (and fellow author) Scott Pearson interviewed me a few weeks ago for his podcast series, Generations Geek. He usually shares hosting duties with his daughter, Ella, but she has recently started college, so this chat with Scott was mano a mano.
We yakked for so long that Scott had to cut the interview into two parts, only the first of which is ready for public consumption. In this episode, we talk about my work for Star Trek through the years and across many media, including television, comic books, video games, and novels.
We also dig a bit deeper into my work for the Star Trek: S.C.E.(Starfleet Corps of Engineers) monthly eBook novella series, and my bestselling Star Trek Destiny trilogy. And, because this is me and Scott, there are more than a few digressions along the way.
So, if you’re into this, refill your drinks and settle in for a freewheeling gabfest.
We also spent a fair amount of time talking about my love for the work of Canadian rock trio RUSH, and the major influence their work has had on my own. And every time you think we might finally be done talking about Rush, we circle back to it. It was a hell of a thing.
If you just can’t get enough of the dulcet tones of my voice, or the brilliant insights of my warped brain, give it a listen. (My segment starts about 10-11 minutes in.)
I’m thrilled to be able to share the approved cover art for my upcoming Star Trek: Section 31 novel, Control.
I love the color of it, which speaks to the blood-soaked action in the story, and the overall look and feel, which were conceived to visually link it to my previous Section 31 novel, Disavowed. Though my input was considered by the editors and production department, this work of fierce beauty is the creation of Gallery Books art director Alan Dingman.
For the curious, the story of Control is a direct sequel to Disavowed, which was part of my ongoing chronicle of Julian Bashir’s shadow war against the illegal covert operations group known as Section 31. If you’re keen to know more about this long-running story arc, see the list of “Related Novels” in the sidebar of the page for Control.
Here is the back-cover copy from the book:
NO LAW. NO CONSCIENCE. NO MERCY.
Amoral, shrouded in secrecy, and answerable to no one, Section 31 is the mysterious covert operations division of Starfleet, a rogue shadow group pledged to defend the Federation at any cost.
The discovery of a 200-year-old secret gives Doctor Julian Bashir his best chance yet to expose and destroy the illegal spy organization. But his foes won’t go down without a fight, and his mission to protect the Federation might end up triggering its destruction.
Only one thing is for certain: this time, the price of victory will be paid with Bashir’s dearest blood.
THE HARROWING NEW THRILLER BY NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR DAVID MACK
Control will be published at the end of March 2017 by Simon & Schuster. Pre-order your copy now from the retailer of your choice!
Today marks 50 years since Star Trek‘s first public airing on American broadcast television, with the episode “The Man Trap,” written by George Clayton Johnson. The series has had a long and sometimes tumultuous history, but along the way it has inspired countless lives with its vision of a future in which humanity learned to overcome its differences to build a civilization dedicated to peace and scientific curiosity.
I grew up watching the original series in syndicated reruns. By the time I was 7 or 8 years old, I think I had seen every episode at least twice.
In 1977, along with the rest of my generation, I was swept up in the marvels of Star Wars, but after I experienced the wonder of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, with its vision of humanity’s thirst for knowledge and self-improvement first coming home to haunt them, then proving to be their salvation, I knew that I would be a Star Trek fan for life. Star Wars had better glitz, but Star Trek had intelligence and soul. It had compassion.
In 1987, when I was leaving home to enroll at NYU Film School, Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted. My parents taped it for me while I was away at college, and I binge-watched it when I came home on holiday and summer breaks. I don’t know how I first heard about the show’s “open door spec script” program, which started during its second season. What I recall is spending a summer between semesters laboring away on my first attempt at a Star Trek spec script.
I never did break out of the slush pile at TNG. And for a few years after I graduated from NYU, I fared no better at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
That all changed in 1994, when my friend Glenn Hauman introduced me to John J. Ordover, who was then an editor acquiring Star Trek fiction for Simon & Schuster.
I had requested the meeting because I thought that selling a Star Trek novel might be easier than selling a Star Trek script (it wasn’t; and it was harder work, to boot). But after I discovered my “brilliant” novel idea violated every single one of the S&S writers’ guidelines for Star Trek fiction, I threw my manuscript away. I might also have burned it. This led to me and John becoming friends (because I had chosen not to waste his time).
John had an open line to pitch stories to DS9 and Star Trek: Voyager, but he had little to no experience in scriptwriting — a format in which I had a degree. So we teamed up.
In March of 1995 we made our first pitches to the producers at DS9 and Voyager. Jeri Taylor bought a Voyager story from us on our first meeting, and a week later we made another sale to Ira Steven Behr at DS9.
It was never that easy again.
We pitched dozens, perhaps hundreds, of story ideas to both shows over the next few years, but we never replicated that early success. Frozen out of the television side of Star Trek, I got serious about my work for the print tie-ins. I started out reading slush manuscripts for the editors. Then I graduated to writing reference materials for other authors. Or writing emergency filler copy on manuscripts that came in short and late.
In early 200o I was offered my first book contract by S&S, for The Starfleet Survival Guide. That led to further invitations, to write for the S.C.E. eBooks, and later for the paperback novels. Now, 16 years later, I’ve written more than two dozen Star Trek novels, and three of them have reached the New York Times bestsellers list. I’ve had the pleasure of writing for Star Trek comics, computer games, nonfiction, prose, and television.
Star Trek has been a part of my life for as long as I’ve been able to remember. Its vision of a future has helped to shape my view of the world and my respect for the maligned, the misunderstood, and the marginalized. I feel very honored to have been able to contribute, even if just in a small way, to this hopeful vision which has meant so much to me through the years. I hope Star Trek continues to live on and prosper for another 50 years and beyond, so that future generations can continue to boldly go toward a brighter, better, more accepting future for all thinking beings.
I had a heck of a great weekend at Star Trek Mission: NY.
On Thursday evening, the night before the show opened, I got to show my old NYC neighborhood to my friend Kirsten Beyer. We had dinner at the same Italian restaurant where my wife and I went on our first “official” date over 14 years ago, then we grabbed drinks at the Hourglass Tavern.
That night I had dinner with the generous and generally awesome John Van Citters, Kevin Dilmore, Sarah Gaydos of IDW Comics, comics writer Mike Johnson, Risa Kessler of CBS, and author Robb Pearlman at Glass House Tavern in NYC. Then I met up with Kirsten, and we followed Sarah and Mike to drinks with artist Declan Shalvey and a few of his fellow illustrators.
Saturday, I took part in the “Writing for Star Trek” panel with Glenn Hauman, Michael Jan Friedman, David Gerrold, Mike Johnson (scribe extraordinaire of the Star Trek comics), and Al Rivera, lead developer and story architect of Star Trek Online.
After that, Mike and I sat front row at the Star Trek: Discovery panel, where Kirsten announced that Mike would be spearheading the comics tie-in for DSC, and that for Simon & Schuster I would be writing the lead-off novel based on the series.
After the Discovery panel, I got to snag a photo backstage with Kirsten and Nicholas Meyer, the writer-director behind my two all-time favorite Star Trek films (among many other fine works), and I got the opportunity to tell him how much I’ve admired and respected his work.
Wrapping up my convention weekend, I brought Kirsten out to Queens for dinner with me and Kara at SugarFreak, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant that has been one of our favorite places since it first opened.
All in all, I would say I had a total blast at Star Trek Mission: NY, and I hope to do it again someday.