Archive for the ‘News’ Category

PSA: Jon del Arroz Is a Liar

Most people in F/SF circles already know this, but it bears occasional repetition: Jon del Arroz is a lying piece of shit.

In his latest column of frothing right-wing drivel over at Bounding Into Comics (the Truth Social of fan sites), the lying shitbird del Arroz took a tangent from complaining about Vulcans mentioning gender pronouns in a recent Star Trek comic to throw some casual libel my way:

To paraphrase Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, every word of what he wrote here is wrong. (I’m not going to link to the article in question because I refuse to help drive traffic to their dumpster fire of a site.)

I did not cancel what would have been my first-ever Author Guest of Honor appearance to “taunt” the state of Tennessee. I canceled because on November 12, 2021, the Tennessee state legislature and its governor enacted a law that compromised the convention’s ability to take proper precautionary measures to ensure the safety of guests, employees, etc. (This is something that much larger events, such as San Diego Comic-Con International and GenCon both accomplished with relative ease.)

Del Arroz purports (read: lies) that the Tennessee state law “did not impact the convention.” But he’s dead wrong, and he knows it, because all of this was documented at the time of the cancellation. The convention’s legal team concurred with the following analysis of the full text of the law (highlight added for emphasis):


As you can see, the convention did not have the option of requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry to the Memphis event. This law, enacted in November 2021 and effective through at least July 2023, expressly prohibits such actions — not just against employees but against all persons, for all reasons, including “access” and “services.”

Lastly, del Arroz ends his libelous tangent with one more lie. He claims I “went on to attack fans upset with [my] cancellation, stating, ‘I doubt you understood my books anyway.’ ” To be clear, that remark was not directed at multiple persons, or at fans in general. It was directed solely and exclusively at del Arroz himself, because he was, is, and shall remain a moron and a liar. And I still doubt he would understand my books.

Go fuck yourself, Jon del Arroz, you lying piece of shit.

Oblivion’s Gate nominated for 2022 Dragon Award

The Dragon Awards

The 2022 Dragon Award ballot has been released, and I’m proud to share that Star Trek: Coda, Book III – Oblivion’s Gate is up for Best Media Tie-in Novel.

Star Trek Coda, Book 3, Oblivion's Gate, by David MackIt shares this honor with four other excellent novels by some of the best tie-in authors in the business:

Star Wars: The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray

Star Trek: Picard – Rogue Elements by John Jackson Miller

HALO: Divine Wind by Troy Denning … and

Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil by Timothy Zahn

Man, that is some MAJOR competition.

I won’t lie to you — I’d really love for Oblivion’s Gate to win this thing, but looking at that list even I have to admit my book is one of this year’s underdogs.

If you previously nominated Oblivion’s Gate for the 2022 Dragon Awards, check your email for a link to the final ballot, and vote for Oblivion’s Gate to win!

If you missed the nomination phase, you can still vote on the final ballot for free! All you need is a valid email. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TO VOTE.


My schedule at GenCon Writers’ Symposium 2022

If you’ll be attending the GenCon Writers’ Symposium this week in Indianapolis, from Thursday, August 4, through Sunday, August 7,  here’s my schedule of panels and signings.

All GCWS panels take place in the meeting rooms on the second floor of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown hotel on W. Maryland St., across from the Indiana Convention Center.

Author signings are taking place next to the Half-Price Books table in the rear of the Main Exhibit Hall, at the end of the 1100 aisle.


10:00 a.m. – Ballroom 1
“Plot It Out” — How do you plot out a novel, anyway?
[Howard Andrew Jones, Jerry Gordon, Bryan Young, Dan Jolley, David Mack, Steve Diamond (M)]

3:00 p.m. – Austin/Boston
“Author Horror Stories” — Hear about some of our worst writing/publishing experiences.
[Dan Jolley, Toiya Kristen Finley, Mary Fan, David Mack]

5:00 p.m. – Ballroom 1
“Blank Page Blues” — Tips and tricks for getting past that dreaded blank first page.
[Jennifer Brozek, Bryan Young, Toiya Kristen Finley, Jerry Gordon, David Mack]



1:00 p.m. – Ballroom 1
“Who Cares? It’s Magic!” — Does using magic in a fantasy story mean no rules need apply?
[Dan Jolley, Chris A. Jackson, Erin M. Evans, David Mack, Paul Weimer, Steve Drew (M)]

2:00 p.m. – Austin/Boston
“My Book Has a Soundtrack” — How does music inspire our panelists’ literary efforts?
[Toiya Kristen Finley, Gini Koch, David Mack]

5:00 p.m. — Austin/Boston
“Hang With the Authors” — A chance to hang out and ask what YOU want to ask.
[Bryan Young, Cat Rambo, Matt Forbeck, David Mack]



2:00 p.m. – Ballroom 1
“Working With Editors” — What should you know and what can you do to improve the process?
[LaShawn Wanak, Katherine Monasterio, David Mack, Patrick S. Tomlinson]

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – Exhibit Hall, end of 1100 aisle
AUTHOR SIGNING: David Mack and Patrick S. Tomlinson

5:00 p.m. – Austin/Boston
“Defining Traits” — How to distinguish one character from another without overdoing it.
[Jennifer Brozek, Erin M. Evans, Dan Jolley, Jason Sanford, David Mack]


My Shore Leave 2022 Schedule

Howdy, folks. If you’ll be attending this weekend’s Shore Leave Convention in Hunt Valley, Md., here is a quick summary of where and when to see me on panels, get me to autograph stuff, etc. As usual, when in doubt as to my whereabouts, check the hotel bar.


4PM–5PM, Salon F — “The Latest and Greatest New Books”
I and several other author guests will discuss what we’re currently working on, what we have coming out in the months ahead, and more. (David Mack, Richard C. White, Russ Colchamiro, Sherri Cook Woosley, Danielle ACkley-McPhail, Heather E. Hutsell, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christopher L. Bennett, Christopher D. Abbott)

7PM–8PM, Salon A – “Small Screen Dominance”
A discussion of how the new emphasis on long-form storytelling in serialized, streaming television compares to the storytelling styles of feature films, especially with regard to Star Trek and Star Wars. (Dayton Ward, David Mack, Laura Ware, Robert Greenberger)

10PM–Midnight, Hunt-Valley Corridor – “Meet the Pros”
Come meet the author guests of Shore Leave, buy their books, chat about whatever, and get autographs.


1PM–2PM, Salon F – “Always Submit Your Best Work”
Let the pros of prose tell you why a doing polishing draft on your manuscript before submission to an agent or editor is in your best interest. (David Mack, Joshua Palmatier, Danielle Ackley McPhail, Phil Giunta, Ian Randal Strock, Christopher D. Ochs)

2PM–3PM, Derby Room – “Truly Alien Beings”
A look at good (and not-so-good) depictions of the truly amazing possible varieties of alien life in science fiction. (Rigel Ailur, Christopher L. Bennett, David Mack, Laura Ware)

3PM–4PM, Salon E – “What’s Coming in Star Trek Fiction”
Our panel will tell you whatever they can about what’s coming in long- and short-form fiction from Star Trek through the end of 2022 and into 2023, and then will open the floor to questions about the last few years’ worth of Star Trek books. (David Mack, Kevin Dilmore, Christopher L. Bennett, Greg Cox, Scott Pearson)


10AM–11AM, Belmont Room – “Writerly Accessories”
Come see me try to speak at this ungodly hour of the morning. We’ll be discussing which things no writer should have to do without — such as strong coffee at 10AM panels. (Keith R.A. DeCandido, Greg Cox, Scott Pearson, David Mack, Christopher D. Ochs)

12PM–1PM, Salon A – “It’s All Been Done Before”
There are only so many truly unique plot ideas in the world of storytelling, and they’ve all been done. So if the story you’re telling has already been done (and it has), how do you make it worth telling (again)? (Andrew Hiller, David Mack, Rigel Ailur, Derek Attico)


I’ll be signing at Comic-Con Int’l 2022

IAMTW Logo on Blue Background

Surprise, folks! A last-second addition to my summer convention schedule —

If you’ll be at Comic-Con International in San Diego on Thursday, July 21, come see me on the epic 2-hour panel “The Writers’ Coffeehouse” in Marina D from 2:30PM – 4:30PM, during which I’ll probably sit mute while Jonathan Maberry, Scott Sigler, Peter Clines, and Henry Herz expound on the current state of the speculative-fiction industry.

After that panel look for me and the other panelists at the signing table in the Sails Pavilion: AA09, from 5PM–6PM. (“AA” means “Autograph Area,” a large area on the upper level of the pavilion.)

With luck there will be copies for sale of my latest Star Trek novels and my Dark Arts series from Tor Books. If there aren’t, I’ll happily autograph most non-obscene body parts.

I’ll also be at Comic-Con on Friday, July 22, from 2PM–3PM PDT to attend IAMTW‘s annual Scribe Awards panel in Room 32AB, to accept my Grandmaster award.

Stick around after the panel on Friday for a book signing with me and the Scribe Award winners and nominees, from 3:30PM–4:30PM at the Sails Pavilion: AA09.

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.


Enterprising Individuals – Star Trek III : The Search for Spock

I join host Ka1iban (aka Aaron Coker) on a new episode of his podcast series Enterprising Individuals, this time to discuss our thoughts about the feature film Star Trek III : The Search for Spock.

Ka1iban and I covered a lot of ground about the film (after a brief catching-up chat about the toll the pandemic years have taken on us and the world around us). In spite of its flaws, this is one of my favorite Star Trek movies, and one that I think is unfairly maligned and better than most fans remember.

Listen to our conversation here: