pepe, prawn

DISAVOWED is a Scribe Award nominee

Just learned (thanks to a Facebook post by my esteemed colleague Matt Forbeck) that my recent Locus Magazine #1 bestseller, Section 31: Disavowed, has been selected as a nominee for this year’s Scribe Award in the always hotly contested Best Original Speculative Novel category.


If past experience is any guide, I’m not going to win, not in a field so rich with other deserving works by authors of great talent and experience. I mean, c’mon — my novel is up against works by Keith R.A. DeCandido (an IAMTW Grand Master), John Passarella, Greg Cox (one of the masters of the genre), Tim Waggoner (one of the best horror/fantasy writers around), James Sutter, and Christa Faust (a past Scribe winner for Best Novel – Adapted).

I know my book has no chance of coming out on top in a field this fierce. But once again, it’s nice to be nominated.

My heartiest congratulations and best wishes to all of this year’s Scribe nominees, in all the categories.


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24: Rogue ARCs are here!

As the post’s subject header proclaims, I’ve just received 10 ARCs (Advance Reader Copies, aka Uncorrected Proofs) of my upcoming Jack Bauer thriller, 24: ROGUE, which is scheduled to hit shelves solid and virtual on September 8, 2015 … and I have no idea what to do with them.


The one thing I’m certain I can’t do with them is sell them, so don’t ask. Beyond that, I’m unclear on what I’m expected and/or allowed to do with these things.

Stage a contest/giveaway? Send them to reviewers? Abandon them in crowded subway cars? Light bonfires?

No one ever tells me these things.

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WIRED: Binge on DS9, then try Vanguard

The good folks over at WIRED publish a series of binge-watching guides for those interested in trying out classic TV series via streaming media. Today they unveiled the Wired Binge-Watching Guide to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.


First let me say that I agree unreservedly with all their editorial recommendations with regard to the small handful of DS9 episodes that one might be able to skip and still enjoy the majesty of the series’ long-form story arcs. I also think they selected some excellent episodes to serve as “must-see” moments from the series.

I’m particularly chuffed to see that one of their “can’t miss” episodes was It’s Only a Paper Moon,” for which I co-wrote the story with John J. Ordover, and which was scripted by Ronald D. Moore.

vanguardThe icing on the cake? At the end of the article, its author, Graeme McMillan, wraps up the concluding section, “If you Liked Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, You’ll Love…,” with this choice paragraph:

“The best suggestion, however, isn’t another TV show at all; for those who fall for the mix of politics, science fiction, and derring-do that Deep Space Nine serves up, the ideal follow-up is actually the Star Trek Vanguard series of novels, which pretty much takes the DS9 approach and applies it to the original series’ era with just a little bit more of a bloodthirsty edge. Highly recommended.”

That’s one of the best plugs Vanguard has ever received. So if you haven’t read it yet, don’t take my word for how good it is — listen to Wired.

That is all.

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Imagining a “New Hollywood”

Between drought and the ever-looming threat of a massive earthquake, it is hard not to think there might come a day when Los Angeles might become unlivable. If—the fates forfend—the drough worsens, L.A. goes dry, and then “the Big One” finally does in the City of Angels once and for all … what would become of the city’s film and television industry?

Even if L.A. were leveled, there would still be an insatiable public demand, around the world, for the visual entertainment the American film & TV industry provides. Already, many productions that are supervised in Los Angeles are shot elsewhere and finished in L.A., so it’s not inconceivable that, in an emergency, the industry could relocate if it had to. But to where?

I have a few ideas.



As a longtime New Yorker, this would be my top suggestion, for purely selfish reasons. I’d love to have access to the film & TV business without having to move to L.A. or fly out there every time I want to pitch or take a meeting. But what would be in it for the industry?

For starters, they’d get to be in New York, but let’s set that aside.

New York would offer the industry easy access to financing. Many TV networks maintain corporate headquarters here. The city has a lot of inexpensive, currently vacant warehouses, industrial buildings, and lots in western Queens that could easily be converted to soundstages, much as the Silvercup Studios were. Also, of all the possible cities where Hollywood could make a new home, few have a community of actors, filmmakers, and writers as robust and experienced as that found in New York.

Moving the film & TV industry to New York would probably gut San Diego Comic Con, but it would make New York Comic Con an even bigger behemoth than it already is. I’m not saying either of those is a good thing; they’re just possible consequences.

Added Bonus: We rarely get hit by major earthquakes, and we have some of the best drinking water in the United States. Also, great pizza.

Drawbacks: Our beaches suck, and winter here is absolutely awful. Rents are already astronomical, and traffic can be a nightmare.



The chief arguments to be made in favor of Seattle as a new home for Hollywood are that it would preserve the industry’s West Coast identity, while moving it closer to plentiful water supplies and away from the primary risk areas associated with earthquakes.

Added bonus: Better coffee.

Drawbacks: Several. Rainy weather. High minimum wage. Proximity to an active volcano. And, most damning of all, it’s not New York.



One very good reason to move the entire industry north of the 48th parallel is that so much of our production already takes place there. Vancouver is already Canada’s Hollywood (much as Toronto is its New York). So why not just move Hollywood to Vancouver and be done with it? After all, there’s a strong community of actors, filmmakers, and writers there. The infrastructure is in place. And it’s got plenty of water.

Drawbacks: Permanently moving the entire industry to Canada would likely mean that many people involved in film and television — from agents and executives to the crews and casts — would need to become Canadian citizens. That might not sound like a bad idea to some, but I’d bet there are plenty of folks who’d rather remain Americans. But Canada’s regulations regarding how many non-Canadians can work on a production in the Great White North would make it an unavoidable issue.

Also, Vancouver shares a drawback with Seattle: gray weather. One should also consider that too many shows on TV look alike because they’re all shot in Vancouver, and add to that the sad truth that Vancouver is also not New York.

If Hollywood threatened to go north, I suspect the U.S. federal government would get involved to entice it to stay in the U.S., rather than see our nation’s most exportable commodity become Canada’s chief export.


At a glance, Miami might seem like an interesting choice. Warm, with good beaches, diverse cuisine, an eclectic music scene. But come hurricane season, this might prove to be a less than ideal base of operations.

Chicago shares most of New York’s strengths and weaknesses, but with a higher crime rate and a less robust mass transit system.

Perhaps a new Hollywood would find a welcoming home in Austin, Texas. Lots of great food, music, and people there. Reasonable real estate prices, lots of room to spread out. And the influx of entertainment industry folks could accelerate the long-prognosticated political purpling of The Lone Star State.

What do you think, readers? If Hollywood had to choose a new home, where would you recommend and why?

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I love that "new book smell"

There are a few pleasures in the writing life that never seem to get old. Case in point: the arrival of authors’ copies.

Today I received from my friends at Silence in the Library Publishing my contributor’s copies — three trade paperbacks and one snazzy hardcover (pictured below) — of the anthology Apollo’s Daughters.


This badass anthology edited by Bryan Young contains tales of bold female main characters. The stories range from hard science fiction to fantasy to mystery and horror, and many genre-blending shadows in between.

Featured within its pages are stories by a number of prominent SF/F authors, including John Jackson Miller, David R. George III, Aaron Rosenberg, Michael Stackpole, and the late Aaron Allston — not to mention a brand-new original novelette by yours truly: Hell Rode With Her,” a companion piece to my current Tor Books trilogy-in-progress, The Midnight Front.

If you’ve already picked up a copy of Apollo’s Daughters, bless you. Please post reviews and share the word about what you liked and what you didn’t; all of us who contributed to this anthology are proud of the work we’ve done and are eager to see it in the hands of readers.

If you haven’t bought a copy yet … what in blazes are you waiting for? Get on that, RFN.


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Rob Caswell on creating Star Trek book covers

Ever wondered what really goes into creating eye-catching cover art for Star Trek novels? Rob Caswell, the digital illustrator whose work inspired the creation of the new Star Trek: Seekers literary series, takes you behind the scenes into his world, in What Goes Into Star Trek Novel Cover Art?,” his guest blog post over on, a follow-up to its debut last Saturday of the covers and synopses for the next two Star Trek: Seekers novels.

He also offers up some insights into how he got professionally entangled with the likes of Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and yours truly, in addition to the usual rigmarole about his creative process.

Enough hard sell. Go read it, already, and get a glimpse of the mind that brings you awesome covers like this one for Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore’s Star Trek: Seekers #4 – All That’s Left


Oh, and happy Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), for those who celebrate it.


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Star Trek: Seekers #3 – Cover Revealed!

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Eleven Years and Cold Pizza

dave_kara_sepia_cropToday marks the eleventh anniversary of the best decision of my life — the day I married my wife, Kara. As is our tradition, we will be feasting tonight on cold pizza (with a good bottle of red wine to wash it down). This year’s pizzas are a capricciosa and a salsiciotta from Eataly in Manhattan. I think tonight’s wine will be the 2012 Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon.

As for the day so far, we got up early, grabbed breakfast at a local restaurant, then drove out to the North Fork of Long Island to visit some wineries. Today we tasted (and bought) wines from Sparkling Pointe, Osprey’s Dominion, Pindar, and Jamesport Vineyards. In total, we came home with roughly a dozen bottles, most of which are now chilling comfortably in our wine refrigerator or nestled in one of our wine racks.

Later this spring (or perhaps this summer, depending upon our schedules), we hope to make another jaunt out to the North Fork to visit McCall Wines, Paumanok Vineyards, Raphael Winery, and Macari Vineyards.

Soon it will be time for pizza, wine, and maybe some lighthearted television entertainment.

And tomorrow we embark on Day 1 of Year 12.

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Thank you for your patience

If any of you who visited my site over the last couple of days noticed any weirdness, it’s because I’ve been making some technical changes behind the scenes. To the three or maybe four of you who were actually affected, I apologize for any inconvenience.

David Mack