Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Guest Blog by Kirsten Beyer

By now, you’ve all no doubt seen my blog posts from earlier this week, recounting in words and pictures and links my recent VIP visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Today, in what is actually a first for my blog, I am pleased and honored to bring you a guest blog post by my friend and fellow Star Trek author Kirsten Beyer, who shares her perspective on our June 28, 2013, foray into the wondrous realm of NASA.

(Some of you might have also seen Kirsten’s post on my pal Dayton Ward’s blog; we’re both hosting her post to boost her signal since she has no blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed to call her own.)

Without further ado, I present Kirsten’s guest post:

Rocket Big…Space Station Pretty…


Sometimes, words fail me. This is tough to admit. I’m a writer. I’m supposed to be reasonably proficient at this.

But sometimes things happen that are so far beyond words, I just…

Take last Friday, for instance.

There’s a small group of folks on the planet who are lucky enough to have been asked to contribute to the universe of Star Trek fiction.  Some see each other a few times a year at conventions.  A couple of years back we decided it would be nice if once in a while, we could just gather and hang out without the demands of a convention schedule.

I missed the first one.  No way in hell was I about to miss the second.

Last Friday, I was part of a group of writers who were given a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Johnson Space Center in Houston.  (more…)

I engage with “Digressive Obscenity”

A few weeks ago, I traveled to a gritty corner of deepest, darkest Long Island City here in Queens, NY, to sit with actor, writer, and incredibly tall guy Paul Guyet for an in-depth podcast interview unlike most others in which I’ve taken part over the years.

Though Paul steered the later segment of the podcast toward a discussion of my work as a writer for Star Trek and other properties, the first part of our conversation was much more open-ended, exploring topics about which I am rarely asked in interviews.

Here is Paul’s capsule description of the show:

“I sit down with the author of The Calling, Wolverine: Road of Bones, and the New York Times bestselling trilogy Star Trek: Cold Equations.

“We also discuss his ‘benign mental break’ which manifested in an obsession with rabbits, the intricacies of David Fincher’s ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ music video, and how he would end things in the Star Trek universe.”

The result is a refreshingly different, offbeat, and candid interview that I think both my friends and my fans will find informative and entertaining.

So, if you’ve got a decent chunk of downtime to fill, point your browser at Paul’s Tumblr and either download or stream Digressive Obscenity, Episode 11: David Alan Mack.


John Fullbright rocked Joe’s Pub

As I posted back on April 7, I recently secured permission to quote a line of lyrics from John Fullbright‘s song Daydreamer as the epigraph for my upcoming novel A Ceremony of Losses. Since then, I had been looking forward to seeing and hearing John perform live. I’m happy to say I finally had that opportunity.

He delivered an awesome performance last night at Joe’s Pub in NYC. Not only is he a masterful songwriter, he’s a great performer and a wonderful musical storyteller. If you have a chance to see John play live, do so! If you miss his show, you should kick yourself. His live performance is even more exciting than his recorded work, full of improvisation and flourishes that add to the texture of his music.

This man is the real deal. He and his music defy easy categorization; he transcends labels, genres, and simple descriptions. His work is powerful, pure, and true. He writes songs that reach both the mind and the heart.

My wife and I were lucky enough to spend a few minutes after his show last night hanging out with him backstage. He’s a true gentleman and a tremendously nice guy, and someone I look forward to meeting again.

“Conan! What is best in Trek?”

Vic Fontaine and NogOver at Slate, regular site correspondent Matthew Yglesias summarizes what is great (and not so great) in Star Trek.

As a bonus for me, his write-up of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine even includes a complimentary hat-tip to It’s Only a Paper Moon,” one of the episodes I co-wrote (with John Ordover and Ronald D. Moore). Sweet!

Head on over to Slate and give this article a read. In my opinion, Yglesias seems fairly spot-on in his evaluations of the various incarnations of Star Trek on television.

My “Desert Island Treks” podcast

Join me and hosts Michael and Sina of‘s podcast Ten Forward on this special David Mack’s Desert Island Treks episode, in which we discuss what five episodes from all of televised Star Trek I would choose to represent the franchise as a whole.

My top five episodes were:

5. TOS – “Mirror, Mirror”
4. DS9 – “Duet”
3. TNG – “Tapestry”
2. DS9 – “Our Man Bashir”
1. TNG – “The Offspring”

And my “honorable mention” close runners-up were:

A. DS9 – “The Visitor”
DS9 – “Trials and Tribble-ations”

To hear the reasoning behind these selections and their respective rankings, listen to the podcast — then listen to previous “Desert Island” episodes featuring the choices of fellow novelist Dayton Ward and comic-book scribe Scott Tipton.


A Salute to RUSH

Tonight, my favorite band, RUSH, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. My reaction to this has cooled since I first heard the news last year and fist-pumped as if I were being inducted. Now my feeling is, “That’s nice.”

I’m glad that RUSH is being publicly honored. They’ve earned it; they deserve it. But in the larger scope of things, I know it makes no real difference. No one who hated RUSH before this will like them now; no one who liked their music before will like it any better once the Holy Triumvirate is ushered into the R&R HoF. And that’s okay. They’ve never really been about hype.

That’s why I love this band.

To me, RUSH has always been about the marriage of great music and great ideas. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are all virtuoso musicians. I admire their integrity as artists and their professionalism in all aspects of their work.

Though I am a writer and not a musician, I have striven to emulate the devotion to craft and respect for my peers and fans that I have seen RUSH exhibit throughout the years. They started their career as outsiders and through hard work have become stars. I take inspiration from that, and I salute them today as they prepare to be welcomed into the R&R HoF.

Best of all, I know that when all the red-carpet hoopla is over, RUSH will simply say, “Thank you.” And then they will go back to work … just as they always have.

Singing Praises to

On a whim, a few days ago I ordered new business cards from a website called, which I had seen mentioned in an article on Cutting to the chase: Best business cards I’ve ever had.

Not only do my new cards look totally freakin’ sweet, they arrived quickly (I placed the order on Monday, and Saturday morning I had them in hand), and they were delivered in some very snazzy packaging (a textured box with a magnetic flap, bound with a purple ribbon and a wax seal).

I eagerly look forward to the next event where I have reason to hand some of these out. And because I’m so pleased with the service and the product, I will make a very rare endorsement on my personal blog:

If you’re thinking about getting new business cards, use — you’ll be glad you did.