Mail Call

Two things arrived via the post today. First, the UPS guy delivered a box from my publisher. Inside it: my author’s copies of the just-released anthology Star Trek Vanguard: Declassified

The other item arrived with the day’s regular mail: a plain yellow envelope, also from my publisher. Inside it, an unopened fan letter, addressed to me courtesy of Simon & Schuster. Now, I receive a decent amount of fan e-mail and Facebook messages and tweets, but it’s been a long time since I received an actual piece of fan mail.

My wife stood by and watched while I opened the envelope, which was soggy from its passage through the day’s rains. Inside was a single, folded sheet of yellow notepad paper, and upon it a handwritten letter:

(Click to enlarge, but be warned: it’s a large file.)

As I suspected, the sort of passion that would animate someone in this day and age to send an actual letter was not of a kind intended for flattery. Though I am withholding the sender’s name and place of residence, the letter is simply too fabulous not to share. Omitting the headers, here is the body of the missive, complete with curiosities of punctuation, word choice, et al:

Re: Star Trek Destiny trilogy

Dear Mr. Mack,

I have read many Star Trek novels. Some were good; some were excellent; some bad and some that never should have been published.

Your trilogy, however, doesn’t fit into those categories. It is the most depressing, despairing, fatalistic books-trilogy I ever read. I kept hoping that something positive would render the books readable.

It was extremely difficult to peruse the story. Everything was so doomed, damned, lifeless. No hope. After all, this is merely a science fiction story book. It should not be so lifeless, so death-like.

I wish now that I had never purchased your 3 books. During the time I read these I was full of despair—and a story book shouldn’t do that! Especially Star Trek.

These 3 books are the last ones I’ll buy about Star Trek. Death and despair I can watch on the 6pm world news.


(Name Withheld)

P.S. Paint a better picture of our future world—right now it’s the only one we have!

Sigh. Another satisfied customer. I suppose I should just be grateful that no white powder fell from the envelope when I opened it.

Believe me when I say I’m going to have this letter tastefully framed and that I will display it prominently in my office, if for no other reason than to respect the time and effort it took to set those words to paper by hand.



4 Responses to “Mail Call”

  1. Bill

    In regards to your post concerning the fan mail about the Destiny trilogy, that person is NUTS! The Destiny Trilogy was one of the best ST arcs that I have read in years.

    It tied four of the five ST series’ together in some aspect or another, it explained the origination of the Borg, details the “defeat” of said Borg, and it left ALL of the major powers of the Alpha Quadrant in a shambles, trying to figure out how to rebuild themselves.

    What I would really like to see a future story line where the Federation has diplomatic ties with the Caeliar and is able to leverage some of their technology in the rebuilding efforts.

    Oh, and I’d still LOVE to read more about the Earth/Romulan War. (I know, not yours…) was really good, but I NEED more!!! 🙂


  2. David Mack

    Kind of you to say, Bill. Thanks! But I’m not at all upset by the fan’s letter. If anything, I respect the passion that impels someone to put sentiments such as those to paper the old-fashioned way and actually spend a stamp to send it to me. There’s integrity in it.

  3. larrykang

    Based on the letter and the 1st comment… I’m going to pick up this series now. Maybe I’ll hate it too, but it sure sounds interesting and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.

  4. DaKKs

    The writer might have a point. There is enough catastrohy in life as it is. But I still believe that the Destiny books were some of the best ST book i’ve read.

    Depressing, perhaps. Despairing, probably. Fatalistic, definitely. But I believe Destiny was needed. ST had stalled and it needed a jump start, if you will. Destiny did the job perfectly. And the fact that Destiny’s “clean slate” got me into writing on a serious level just adds to the positives.

    So all in all, Mr Mack. You might be a genocidal writer (was the number again, 60 billion?), but we still love you for it. 🙂

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