Posts Tagged ‘SyFy’

Eating the Fantastic with Me & Scott Edelman

In mid-February 2018, while visiting Baltimore for the Farpoint Convention, I sat down with my old friend and former (pre-Syfy) SCI FI Channel coworker Scott Edelman to enjoy a delicious meal and record an episode of his podcast Eating the Fantastic.

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.


So, as of yesterday it became official: the channel formerly known as SCI FI has rebranded itself as SyFy.

I think the following image sums up the change perfectly:


“You bastards! You did it! You finally went and did it!”

I quit just in time

Courtesy of my friend Bob Greenberger, I learned this morning that my former employer, The SCI FI Channel, is officially changing its name to SyFy. And its new slogan? “Imagine Greater.”

I’m glad that I quit when I did last May, because if I had been there when this was announced internally, I’d have said something that would have finally gotten me fired for certain.

The channel’s stated rationale is that because “SCI FI” was a common term, it couldn’t be the basis for their trademark without the word “Channel” attached. And that may well be true. But how hard is it to print “Channel” in small letters underneath the all-caps SCI FI?

The fan reaction to the announcement on SCI FI Wire has been almost uniformly negative. And I concur with a few of the posters’ remarks. In particular, this name change, which has been touted as a “widening” of the brand, actually feels like a repudiation of it. It’s as if the executives of the SCI FI Channel are finally admitting that they’re ashamed of being a science-fiction channel.

Of course, anyone who’s watched the channel during the last five years already knows that.