On Being Named a Grandmaster…

IAMTW Logo on Blue Background

Over the weekend, the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers (IAMTW) issued press releases announcing the nominees for its 2022 Scribe Awards (a list that includes my novel Star Trek: Coda, Book III: Oblivion’s Gate in the Best Novel-Speculative category) and its 2022 Faust Award, which recognizes outstanding career achievement in the writing of media tie-in works by naming the recipient a Grandmaster.Star Trek Coda, Book 3, Oblivion's Gate, by David Mack

Much to my surprise, I was told late on Saturday night after a long day of driving home from vacation with my wife that I had been named as the IAMTW’s 2022 Grandmaster.

Part of me thinks, “How can I be getting this award?” and “Might this have been a clerical error?”

Then the other part of my brain shushes the insecure half and whispers, “Relax, it’s not a mistake.”

It feels strange to receive an award honoring my “career achievement” when I still consider my career as a work-in-progress. But I imagine that’s also how past recipients of the award have felt. Most of them — including my friends and fellow Star Trek scribblers Greg Cox, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Kevin J. Anderson, and Peter David — went right on working after winning the Faust Award. Which is exactly as it should be.

As writers we all learn not to rest on our laurels. Experience teaches us not to dwell on the work we’ve done, much of which takes months or sometimes years to be published after our share of the work is done. By necessity we are always looking ahead, beyond the project we’re writing now, and asking, “What am I doing next? And after that?”

No award changes that, but I have to admit it feels good to be recognized among such luminous company as the previous recipients of the Faust Award. Who wouldn’t want to share such an honor with Timothy Zahn, Alan Dean Foster, Diane Duane, Ann C. Crispin, Donald Bain, Nancy Holder, Terrance Dicks, William Johnston, Jean Rabe, and the venerable Max Allan Collins?

It would be the height of hubris to claim I earned this honor all by myself. I have come as far as I have only thanks to the support and encouragement of my wife, Kara; the wise business counsel of my agent of 20 years, Lucienne Diver; the camaraderie of my many peers and fellow travelers, including (but certainly not limited to) Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, Glenn Hauman, Aaron Rosenberg, James Swallow, Scott Pearson, Kirsten Beyer, and John Jackson Miller; the abiding faith of editors Ed Schlesinger, Margaret Clark, and Marco Palmieri; and those wonderful folks out there who have been buying and enjoying my stories for the past twenty-odd years. My love and respect goes out to you all.

What else is there to say, really?

Time to get back to work.


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