Saturday news roundup: 24! Vegas! Interview! Polls!

It seems I’ve been remiss with this blogging thing, so I figure a single post to address all the stuff I keep forgetting to write about is in order. Might want to refresh your drinks, folks. We could be here a while.

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Posted in 24, books, cons, fandom, friends, interviews, trek, wheres my book, writing | 1 Comment

Where’s My Book? 2016 Edition: The Poll!


Yep, I can hear some of you saying it. “What the hell’s he waiting for? Let’s get on with this!”

Okay. Okay. I get it.

The deadline’s closed and the pics are in! We had some interesting ones, dayton-24this time around, that’s for sure. In the interests of fairness, I opted to leave entries to the final poll at two per person, which made it hard to choose from those of you who sent in multiple pictures. Many, many thanks to those who opted to play my silly little game.:)

Now it’s your turn to decide! Vote for your favorites! Select as few or as many as you want, but let’s have some voting! The top three vote-getters will get an autographed Advance Reader Proof copy of Trial By Fire, my forthcoming 24 novel which isn’t due in stores until August 23rd.

The poll will run from Tuesday evening through Sunday, July 31st, with winners formally announced on August 1st.

So, what have we got in the way of pictures? Have a look,  then get on with the voting!

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Posted in contests, friends, pics, polls, wheres my book | 3 Comments

We’re gonna write a Star Trek comic!


Several months ago, IDW Star Trek comics editor Sarah Gaydos reached out to me via e-Mail, asking if I might be interested in participating in a special comics project she was developing to celebrate Trek‘s 50th anniversary. The conversation kinda sorta went like this:

Sarah: So, you want to write a Trek comic?
Sarah: Um, cool. I guess. Hang on. Let me rethink this.
Me: I should probably admit up front that I have no comics writing experience.
Sarah: That’s okay. You can hold somebody’s hand.
Me: I’ve got my writing partner, Kevin! He knows how to do this stuff!
Sarah: Great. He can hold your hand.
Me: It’s not like that between us.
Sarah: Whatevs, dude. I’ve seen the pictures.


So, naturally the first step was to submit a couple of quick pitches to get the brainstorming into gear. She asked us to hit her up with some quick ideas just to see if we could hit on something that we could then further develop. I immediately hit on an idea that I was sure would either be received with great enthusiasm or else convince Sarah that she’d made a colossal mistake in reaching out to me in the first place. Thankfully, she was as excited by my notion as I was, and very quickly gave us a thumbs up and a green light. What did I suggest?

That’s right, y’all: She went with our pitch to write a story that pays homage to the old Gold Key Trek comics of yesteryear. We are so totally journeying back to the days of landing parties with backpacks and utility belts, Spock with oversized ears, and the Enterprise belching fire from its warp nacelles.

GoldKey-01Because why the hell not? Sooner or later, somebody was going to try something like this, so why not us? Isn’t this just the sort of crazy thing you’d expect from me and Kevin?


Ours will be one of two stories set to appear in the second issue of Star Trek: Waypoint, a six-issue mini-series of special one-off tales written by veteran Trek comics scribes as well as newcomers and your favorite boneheads, me and Kevin. The tale which will accompany ours hasn’t yet been announced, and I don’t even know what it will be about or who will be creating it. All I know at this point is that the issue is set to hit stores in November. I’ve heard rumors about who might be contributing stories to the other issues, but I’m waiting to see those announcements just like everybody else.

Oh, and making this whole deal even sweeter? The art for our gloriously insane Gold Key-esque story will be provided by none other than Gordon Purcell, who lists among his rather lengthy list of comics credits numerous issues of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation from DC’s late 1980s/early 1990s run, as well as Malibu Comics’ Star Trek: Deep Space Nine from the mid 90s (“All of which I bought month to month, back in the day,” Dayton says without shame). Indeed, he’s already provided the cover art that will pay tribute to those glorious Gold Key covers from way back when, with colors by Jason Lewis. Check it out, yo:


(Click to Biggie Size)

So, to say I’m rather excited by this project is pretty much the stupidest understatement ever uttered by any member of any sentient species anywhere in the universe, ever.

Many, many thanks to Sarah and IDW for inviting us into their corner of the Star Trek sandbox. This is going to be so much fun.


Posted in comics, idw, nerdity, trek, writing | 7 Comments

Announcing PREDATOR: THE HUNTED, a new anthology. Guess who?

Awwwwwwwwwwww, yeah.

Since editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt has made the announcement over on his Facebook page, I’m guessing that means I’m free to announce that I’ve accepted his invitation to contribute a story to Predator: The Hunted, a new short story anthology coming next year from Titan Books, based on iconic film series.

In addition to my goofy self, Bryan has enlisted these other fine writers to the cause:

predator01Kevin J. Anderson
Jonathan Maberry
Seanan McGuire (writing as Mira Grant)
Larry Correia
Tim Lebbon
Steve Perry
S.D. Perry
Lawrence Watt-Evens (writing as Nathan Archer)
Jeremy Robinson
Weston Ochse
Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Holly Roberds
Jennifer Brozek
Wendy Wagner

Tentatively scheduled to join the lineup are Neo Edmund along with friends David Book & Peter Wacks.

That’s quite a lineup, including several folks who’ve previously written for this property.

To be perfectly honest–and this is actually a little embarrassing–I’d forgotten about this. Bryan’s invitation came back during the first part of the year when I was dealing with my mother and my wife’s health issues, and he stressed at the time that it was a just a preliminary invite and that I shouldn’t get too worried about it. So, I was excited to see his announcement this afternoon, and that I was still on the roster.

(Of course, this means I actually have to come up with a story idea. Nobody tell him that, though. It’ll just be our little secret, all right?)

Well, all righty then! I’m adding this to the queue of Things to Do. I ain’t got time to bleed, but I’m definitely gonna make time to write!

Many thanks to Bryan for extending the invitation. This is gonna be fun.😀

Posted in friends, predator, writing | Leave a comment

Armageddon’s Arrow nabs a Scribe Award!

armageddons-arrow-coverA few months ago, I babbled that this year’s nominees for the 2016 Scribe Awards, sponsored by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW) included a bunch of work by several friends of mine, as well as Armageddon’s Arrow, my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel that was published last year.

Last night, I was surprised to learn that I’d won!

I know it sounds like false modesty, but I honestly was pretty sure that one of my fellow nominees would take home the award. Indeed, my money was on the rather redoubtable Jonathan Maberry, who’s something of a force of nature right now when it comes to the written word. That said, I’m happy to bring the trophy to Ward Manor.

Courtesy of the IAMTW, here’s the complete list of nominees, with the winner in each category in bold. I’m thrilled that my brother in literary shenanigans, David Mack, also received an award for his awesome 24 novel, Rogue!

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Posted in awards, friends, iamtw, trek, writing | 3 Comments

My sorta overdue Shore Leave after-action report.

shore-leave-logoYeah, so I kinda forgot to write this, earlier in the week.

By now, those who care about such things have already written up and posted their Shore Leave convention post-mortems, so I’m a bit late here. That said, I did want to make sure that I got a few things addressed before I get so wrapped up in other things that it just sort of fades away.

This year was a bit of a change-up for me, as it was the first time I ventured to the con without my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore. He was busy getting ready for San Diego Comic-Con, the madness of which is now fully underway. So, I went stag this time around.

The big deal for me this weekend was spending time with fellow Star Trek scribes Greg Cox and David Mack, who along with me and Kevin are in the midst of unleashing upon you all the Star Trek: Legacies trilogy of novels that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original series. The first book, Captain to Captain written by Greg, has been out a couple of weeks, and the second book, Dave’s Best Defense, made its early premiere at the con. Fans were grabbing that from the bookseller’s booth and Dave was signing multiple copies, so yay! The last book, mine and Kevin’s Purgatory’s Key, will be out at the end of August.


Also making its premiere at the show? My own Hidden Universe Travel Guide – Star Trek: Vulcan. By all accounts, the bookseller sold out of the copies he’d ordered within the first moments of Friday night’s “Meet the Pros” autographing event, and he even told me he wished he’d ordered more. The book officially went on sale this past Tuesday, but for a few wonderful days, Shore Leave attendees had a rather swank exclusive all to themselves.


(Photo: Dan Gunther)

As always, it was great to connect with fellow writers and other friends old and new, many of whom I only get to see at this show. The weekend flies by, though, and most of us are going in different directions all through the con so there’s never enough time to really hang out with everyone the way we all want to do. Too many reunions were fleeting, and there even were a couple of people I never got to see, but I did get to enjoy extended visits with colleagues David Mack, Jim Johnson, Dave Galanter (and his lovely bride), Aaron Rosenberg (and his lovely bride, with whom I even shared a panel discussion), Rich White, Derek Attico, and John Coffren. I got to have a nice, relaxed breakfast with Howie Weinstein, and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with editor and mentor Marco Palmieri.

I also had the opportunity to hang out with friends and fans in the hotel bar, and even made a few new writer friends in the form of Stephen Kozeniewski and Mary Fan. I did miss hanging out with Kevin, who had legit reasons for recusing himself this time around, as well as my sister from another mister, Kirsten Beyer, whose absence also is pretty justified, what with writing for that new Star Trek TV series and whatnot.

And then BAM. It was over, and it was time to come home.

It was a fun weekend all around, and a very large portion of that is thanks to the people who plan, organize, and throw the switch on this con every year. The Shore Leave committee and the volunteers who help them all weekend work so very hard to make the whole thing look easy, and bust their humps ensuring that everyone is having a wonderful time, be they guest or paying customer. Hats off and glasses raised to those fine folks. Thanks for inviting me back one more time, and hopefully I can come to see you next year.

And maybe we’ll see you there, too?

Next up? Vegas, baby! Vegas!

Posted in cons, fandom, friends, nerdity, shore leave | 5 Comments

Star Trek: Vulcan

VulcanTravelGuide-coverHidden Universe Travel Guides

Plan your next trip to the planet Vulcan with this essential travel guide. Fine restaurants that serve the best plomeek soup and Vulcan port. Take a trip to Vulcan’s majestic capital ShiKahr  the stunning lava fields of the majestic Fire Plains; experience spring break at Lake Yuron and discover the beauty of the (relatively) laid-back coastal community of Raal; explore the historic monasteries found in the L-langon Mountains and even undertake the legendary kahs-wan ritual. All of this and more can be found within the pages of this indispensable Hidden Universe guide to one of the most popular–and logical–destinations in the known universe.

>> DISCOVER THE PAST – Learn about the fractious periods in Vulcan’s history that led to the Time of Awakening and a new period of enlightenment.

>> GET INSIDER KNOWLEDGE – Learn all about the Vulcan people and their unusual customs, and find out how to perform the traditional Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper” salutation (you really don’t want to get this wrong).

>> LEARN THE LINGO – Get to know key Vulcan phrases such as Nam-tor puyan-tvi-shal wilat: “Where is your restroom?”

>> BE PREPARED – Find out what to do if you suddenly find yourself host to a katra–a Vulcan’s living spirit–at an inconvenient moment.

Trade Paperback from
Trade Paperback from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback from Books-A-Million

Working on this book was so much fun.

I may have written the text, but the book truly comes alive thanks to the stellar work of Insight Editions art director Chrissy Kwasnik, designer Jon Glick, artists Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski, and my editor, Chris Prince. You’ve probably seen some screen grabs of various pages over the past few weeks as we got closer to the publication date, but even they don’t do the actual book true justice.

Yeah, I ‘m biased, but I love how this book turned out. I’m proud of it, and I had a wonderful time writing it and getting to participate in the design and layout stages. I learned a lot about how such books come together, and to appreciate the level of effort it requires from so many different people.

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as the book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.


Posted in my books, trek, writing | 6 Comments

My schedule for Shore Leave 38!

shore-leave-logoIt’s almost that time of year again!

One of my very favorite conventions, Shore Leave, is happening this weekend. Three full days of fandom and fun and all manner of geeky shenanigans await within the rooms and halls of the Hunt Valley Inn located in…uh…Hunt Valley, Maryland.

(“Hunt Valley. North of Baltimore.”)
(“Just look for the Pokémon thingee.”)
(“Yeah. Right. Okay.”)

Just like every year, there will be activities galore cramming the schedule, and I have no doubts that the convention committee members and their army of dedicated volunteers will be doing their usual outstanding job to make the entire weekend fun for everyone.

For those of you asking such questions as, “Hey, Dayton! Where can I find or meet you?” or “Where’s that asshole Ward? He owes me money,” or “Dayton, drinks are on me,” I’m providing here my list of scheduled activities for the weekend. That’s not to say you won’t find me elsewhere about the con, but these are the places I’m required to be, under penalty of death:

8pm-9pm – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds – The first volume of Pocket Books’ SNW series appeared in 1998, creating a professional venue for unpublished Trek writers. This year, for Trek‘s 50th, Pocket will release a brand new volume of stories. Hear from past and present winners about their experiences. I’m the moderator, and joining me are Paula M. Block, Rigel Ailur, Lorraine Anderson, Jim Johnson, Scott Pearson, and Derek Tyler Attico, and John Coffren (Hunt room)

10pm-Midnight -“Meet the Pros” – The annual author mega-autographing event. Bring your books to get signed  by your favorite authors! A bookseller will be on site, selling the newest titles from all of the convention writer guests, and some authors will also have copies of their own titles for sale. (Hunt/Valley foyer)

Speaking of “Meet the Pros,” I’ve got two things you should know about: First, there will be a bookseller with a booth presence at the con all weekend, and they will have a limited number of copies of Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan for sale, ahead of its official publication date on July 19th. So, be sure to get your copy and get me to sign it for ya!

dayton-24Also, I’ll be holding a raffle! I’ll have three advance reader proof copies of my forthcoming 24 novel from Tor/Forge Books, Trial by Fire, will be up for grabs, and I’ll be offering raffle tickets to those who stop by my signing table. The drawing will go at 10:45 PM at my table, and all interested parties must have a ticket and be present to win!

Here’s your chance to read the latest Jack Bauer adventure a month before it hits stores!

5pm-6pm – Upcoming Star Trek Books – There are a lot of novels and other Trek books coming out for the 50th anniversary and into 2017. Let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike. With Greg Cox (moderator), David Mack, Christopher L. Bennett, and Scott Pearson (Salon A)

1pm-2pm – Collaborations: Writing as A Team Sport – The challenges and advantages of joint writing projects. With Greg Cox (moderator), Paula M. Block, David Mack, Terry J. Erdmann, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and T.A. Chaffin (Salon E)

3pm-4pm – Connecting with Readers in A Modern World – How does the modern reader consume their fiction? And how are we keeping up? Are we? We’ll discuss the challenges of getting fiction into the hands of readers who have more choices than ever – and more ways to access the content. With Stephen Kozeniewski (moderator), Joshua Palmatier, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mary Fan, Jenifer Rosenberg, and Kyle Williamson (Concierge Room)

dayton-conIn and around all of that, I’ll be checking out other panels, and finding new and exciting ways to leave money in the dealer’s room. At the end of each day, the bar likely will beckon. I’m sure I’ll find time to eat or sleep during the weekend, too. You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding me, as I’ll be sporting my fancy-schmancy Trek-inspired con flair, yo.

Oh, and hey! With the costumes and displays and photo ops, the entire weekend is really just one big #WheresDaytonsBook opportunity, you know. Just sayin’.

Hope to see some of you there!

Posted in cons, fandom, friends, nerdity, shore leave | Leave a comment

Interview with “Some Kind of Star Trek!”

Gather ’round, kids. Dayton is babbling again.

A week or so ago, I was contacted by the good folks over at Some Kind of Star Trek, a Star Trek fan news site based in the UK, for an interview. With the Vulcan Travel Guide and the Legacies trilogy now on the radar screens of fans who follow this stuff, I was able to talk a bit about the development of those projects, as well as the revival of the Strange New Worlds writing contest and other things I have in the pipeline. SKoST writer Ian Kimmins was able to distill my yammering answers into something approaching coherence:

The Fog Clears: Dayton Ward on Legacies, Vulcan, and Time Travel


Many thanks to Ian and the rest of the gang at Some Kind of Star Trek for allowing me to pollute their site for a bit!:)

Posted in fandom, interviews, trek, writing | 2 Comments

The kinda late June writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsJuly 2016 is a month old, already?

I’m calling bullshit on that.

So, June was a bit of a weird month. Things going on, pieces moving around the board, other pieces sniffing around the edges of the board because they want to get into the game, and so on and so forth. To borrow and mangle something from The Pointer Sisters, I’m just writin’, doin’ the Freelance Dance.

It’s worth noting that I blew off most of you for the better part of a week while Clan Ward and I enjoyed a nice vacation with my sister and her family. We did one of those Disney Cruises you’ve heard about, and it was everything you’ve heard about. Damned fun, those few days.

What? Oh, yeah. The writing stuff. Okay. So, here’s the rundown for June:

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