pepe, prawn

Announcing The Midnight Front

Now that the contracts are signed, I can finally share this amazing news: I've just inked a deal with Tor Books for a trilogy of original novels.

The first of these will be The Midnight Front, a World War II-era fantasy adventure featuring "commando wizards" battling to control the shape of humanity's future. The current plan is for the sequels to be set in different eras of modern history, each telling its own tale while sharing a core cast of dramatis personae and expanding upon a continuing narrative arc.

Here's a photo of me signing the contracts in the Tor offices on Wednesday, January 28, 2015:


The acquisition was made for Tor Books by Senior Editor Marco Palmieri, via my longtime literary agent, Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency.

Those of you familiar with my bibliography know that I've worked with Marco before, on several of my best-received works of tie-in fiction, as well as on my critically acclaimed first original novel, The Calling. Ever since his departure from Pocket Books in 2008, I have hoped that Marco and I would have the opportunity to work together again, and I couldn't be happier to once more be one of his authors — especially at such an esteemed publisher as Tor.

To borrow a phrase from Marco, we're "together again for the first time!"

I'll be busy working on this trilogy for most of this year and next year; it likely won't be published until some time in 2017. As you can see, I have a long road ahead on this project — but it's a journey on which I've long been eager to embark. Wish me godspeed, friends.

An Anthology of RUSH-inspired Fiction

Now that co-editor and fellow author Kevin J. Anderson has spilled the beans on his blog, I am free to announce my own participation in an upcoming short-fiction anthology he’s helping to curate.


2113: Songs Inspired by the Music of Rush started as the brainchild of co-editor and contributing author John McFetridge, who pitched the idea to Canadian publisher ECW Press. Kevin came aboard shortly thereafter, and with John he pitched the idea to Neil Peart and the other members of Rush to secure their blessings for the project, which they graciously granted.

Neil isn’t directly involved with the project, but wait until you see the lineup of authors who are.

Kevin J. Anderson will be contributing an original novella, “2113,” a sequel to the band’s perennially popular fourth album, 2112. Filling out the rest of the tome’s roster are such award-winning, best-selling, and acclaimed writers as David Farland, Mercedes Lackey, Greg van Eekhout, Dayton Ward, Steven Savile, Brian Hodge, Michael Z. Williamson, Brad R. Torgersen, David Niall Wilson, Ron Collins, Mark Leslie, Larry Dixon, and Tim Lasiuta. In addition, the anthology will feature reprintings of Richard Foster‘s story “A Nice Morning Drive,” which inspired the Rush song “Red Barchetta” on Moving Pictures, and the Fritz Leiber tale “Roll the Bones,” which inspired Rush’s song and album of the same title.

To say that I am excited to be part of this project, and to have my work alongside that of such an accomplished lineup of fellow authors and Rush fans, would be a massive understatement. I’ve just turned in my short story, “Mulligan,” to Kevin, and I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

No specific publication date has been set yet, but Kevin says we should expect to see it about a year from now.




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Star Trek’s 50 Years of Humanism

I’m posting this video montage from YouTube because I think it highlights one of the most important qualities that defines Star Trek as a concept: an unwavering belief in humanism as the path to a better future for all human beings.

In light of all the recent wild speculation over who will direct the next Star Trek feature film, or what the concept for a future Star Trek television series might be, I would urge all fans of Gene Roddenberry’s signature creation to take a moment to watch this video and reflect on what has made Star Trek not just great and meaningful, but also substantially different than the vast majority of the other major science-fiction film and TV series of the past few decades.

Star Trek, at its core, has never been about just one man, or one crew, or one ship. Where so many other films and television series seem to be predicated on the “great man” theory of history, in which we all wait breathlessly for some “chosen one” to deliver us from evil or calamity, Star Trek has always been about teamwork. Friendship. Cooperation. Peaceful coexistence. The power of ideas being greater than the force of arms. It’s about hope — not for deliverance from without, but for salvation earned through acts of compassion and courage.

At a time when Gene’s noble vision seems farther out of reach than ever, let us look back, remember, and then try to go forward with an eye toward keeping this dream alive for future generations.


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Two Authors, One Interview

Foul-Deeds-Will-Rise-cover-Star-Trek-David-Mack-Greg-CoxPop-culture blogger Paul Semel digs into the art and business of media tie-in novels in this tag-team Q&A he conducted with me and fellow New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox.

We talked a bit about our most recent Star Trek novels (for Greg, the movie-era original-series tale Foul Deeds Will Rise; for me, Section 31: Disavowed), whether the job gets easier over time, and other aspects of writing for one of science fiction’s most venerable shared universes.

Read the interview here.


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The first reviews for DISAVOWED

ST.Section.31.Disavowed.CvrEric Cone has posted his review of my latest Star Trek novel, Section 31: Disavowed, over at Visionary Trek. (Spoiler Alert: He liked it.)

A few choice quotes:

“David Mack has hit another one out of the park with Disavowed, as he takes us on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. There’s plenty of action and intrigue, and twists and turns abound….”

“The stakes have never been higher, and Dr. Bashir is front and center as he walks a tightrope over a minefield. … David Mack has won me over, again.”

“My score: A+! Section 31: Disavowed is fantastic!”

Not too shabby.

Over at Trek Lit Reviews, Dan Gunther had this (and much more) to say about the book:

“Another incredible tale from David Mack … action, suspense, and superb writing.”

“I will have my work cut out for me in naming the best Star Trek novel of 2014. … One thing is apparent, however: Section 31: Disavowed is certainly in contention!”

All right, then.


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SCAM ALERT: Speaking Engagement Invitation

A short while ago I received a typo-laden e-mail from someone I had never heard of. That was enough to trigger my fraud Spidey-sense™, but when I Googled this scam I discovered that some folks have been taken by it. Since I haven’t seen or heard much about it in SF/F circles, I wanted to spread the word as a public service, in case anyone out there hasn’t encountered these jerks.


First, here is the e-mail in its entirety (note that they even misspelled their own name in the “from” field):

——– Original Message ——–

Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2014 02:20:41 +0100
From: First baptish Church <>
To:  ——–@——-



Dear David,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, My Name is Rev Todd Jason from the First Baptist Church we are writing to Invite you to be our guest Speaker at the up Coming First Baptist Church 2015 Convention which is taking place here In UK England, We are writing to invite and confirm your booking to be our Guest Speaker at up Coming First Baptist Church 2015 Convention. Other Ministers Of God are coming from Different part of the World. The Venue as follows:

DATE: 10th Match 2015
VENUE: London AE16 4QQ England,
Expected audience: 300 people 
Duration of speech per speaker: 1 Hour
Name of Church/Organization
TELEPHONE: + 44-795-276-3257

We came across your profile on Isaiah 48:17 said I am them Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you. The spirit lord of God has direct us to email you for this assignment and we say it's up to standard and we will be very glad to have such an outstanding personality in our for these overwhelming gathering. Arrangement to welcome you here will be discussed as soon as you honor this invitation.If you have any more publicity Material, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are taking care of your traveling Meal and Hotel Accommodation expenses including your Honorarium fees you are bless as you honor this invitation it is a pleasure writing you.

May God Bless you as you honor this invitation.

In His Services,

Rev Todd Jason
First Baptist Church
TELEPHONE: + 44-795-276-3257


First, they hook you with the promise of a lucrative speaker’s fee. As in, they’ll offer fees as high as $10,000 or even more. They’ll reserve you a room at a swank hotel. (This is easy enough, since most hotel reservations can be canceled without penalty.)

They avoid setting off alarms by not asking for personal financial info. They won’t ask for bank info, or your social security number. I thought it might be a scam connected to passport numbers. But it’s more insidious than that.

Once they’ve persuaded you that you stand to rake in thousands of dollars in profit — after all, they’re offering to cover your airfare, hotel, and incidental costs — they’ll tell you that to take such a lucrative gig in the U.K. requires a Tier 5 Work Permit Visa, for which an expensive application must be filed on your behalf by your prospective employer.

They will then deluge their target (i.e., you) in e-mails, some purportedly forwarded from representatives of Her Majesty’s government, explaining the Byzantine nature of the situation. Some reports have said that they will numb prospective targets with up to 60+ e-mails over several weeks.

When it all shakes out, they will explain that, for legal reasons, they must be able to show that the funds for the application came directly from the applicant (i.e., you). So they ask you to send them a Western Union cash transfer of £585 GBP so that they can expedite your Visa (since this is invariably done close to the event date, and “time is running out” to book your airfare.

If you wire the money, you will never see it or hear from the event’s organizers again.

They routinely change up the name of their church or the principals involved in the deal. A good summary can be found here on the blog of speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger.

So be on the lookout for this one, folks. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


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Hear me answer for The Calling

I’m talking again. Listen to this interview, in which I join co-hosts Max and Mike to discuss my novel The Calling — the origins of the story, the challenges and benefits of working outside of Star Trek, and the differences between writing for the page and for the screen.


This was a fun and sprawling conversation that follows up on their show last week, in which they talked among themselves regarding my two writing credits for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

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My Star Trek panel at NYCC 2014

If you missed “Star Trek at 50,” my one panel at this year’s New York Comic Con, now you can enjoy it from the convenience of your computer or mobile device, courtesy of that modern wonder known as YouTube.

I talked about the past and possible future of Star Trek on television with moderator Scott Mantz, author Ed Gross, and actors Chase Masterson and Vic Mignogna.

The video was divided into three segments, collected here for your viewing enjoyment. (Ignore the erroneous opening description text, which lists the wrong panel participants.)

You’re welcome.

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Say hello to DISAVOWED

Years in the making, it has finally arrived. Today marks the official shelf date for Star Trek: Section 31: Disavowed. Long story short: Julian Bashir begins his mission to infiltrate Section 31 and destroy it from within. Here’s the cover, featuring the badass art by Tim Bradstreet:


If you preordered the book, I thank you. If you’ve not yet ordered your copy, I beseech you, do so now.

And fret not when you get to the end — because Bashir’s story is not yet done….

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