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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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 | 1 Comment

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 | 2 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!

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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!:)

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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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Mars Attacks prezzies!

Hey, you remember last year when I got the chance to write a Mars Attacks novella, right? What? You forgot? How? I mean, I yammered about it to the point of being genuinely annoying, other than my usual state of just being merely annoying. 

The Armageddon Directive was commissioned as a “backer reward” for a Kickstarter campaign that Topps ran to crowdfund a new set of Mars Attacks trading cards. Being a fan of the property, of course I jumped at the chance to do it. Set in the 1960s, the novella I wrote serves as a prequel to the rebooted storyline that is told by the new Mars Attacks: Occupation cards and which unfolds in the “modern day.” It was tremendous fun to write. 

One of the things that made it so much fun was working with my editor, Adam Levine (no, not him), who made sure I had everything I needed to be up to date on all things Mars Attacks. He also saw to it that the novella even got a piece of kick-ass cover art, created by artist Steve Epting. 


Adam then told me the art would also serve as a bonus card in the new set. 


Okay, enough recapping. Why are we here  today? Because of what arrived in today’s mail:

Awwwwww, yeah. 

Many thanks to Adam, who made sure I got a nice stack of these bad boys, and for inviting me to do the novella in the first place. Will there be more Mars Attacks stories? I have no idea, but, “Never say never,” is something of a mantra in this line of work, right?

Ack Ack Ack!

Posted in fandom, friends, mars attacks, nerdity, writing | 1 Comment

Happy 117th Birthday, Indiana Jones!

Today marks the birth date of Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr., famed archaeologist, renowned professor, traveled adventurer, and all around nice guy.

If ever you need an historical artifact or object of the occult located and liberated from uptight French rivals, scheming Nazis or commie graverobbers, he’s your man.

If you’re starving in some backwater village and worried about some ancient voodoo rocks rather than finding a decent sandwich shop, this is the dude you call.

If you’ve got alien bodies that need studying before they’re whisked away to secret military warehouses, he’s good at that, too.

If you want someone to show you the folly of bringing a sword to a gunfight, he’s got it covered.

Indiana Jones: July 1, 1899 – ???

Smart, tough, resourceful, and ruggedly handsome. There are so few of us.

Were he still alive, he’d be 117 today.

On the other hand, he did drink from the Holy Grail, so maybe he is still alive? Hmmmmmmm?

(Indiana Jones, circa 1992)

You just never know about these things.

So, just in case…Happy 117th Birthday, Dr. Jones!

Posted in blog, fandom, movies, nerdity, tributes | Leave a comment

It’s a #WheresDaytonsBook update!

dayton-24People are busy, yo.

A couple of weeks ago, I announced that it was open season for the 2016 Edition of “Wheres My Book?” The premise is simple: Since it’s vacation season, find cool places or people in your travels, and if you happen to have a copy of one of my books (print or electronic format), snap a pic with it along with the interesting person or thing. At the end of the “contest” period (July 24th), I plan to rig up a poll and let people decide their favorites. The top 3 vote-getters will each receive a copy of the Advance Uncorrected Proof of my forthcoming 24 novel, Trial By Fire, ahead of its official publication on August 23rd. Sure to be a collector’s item or at least perfect for balancing that wobbly table or desk, I only have a scant few copies of this so when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Oh, and about the pics? A few folks are already on it.

My cousin got the ball rolling quickly, as she and her family were in the midst of a vacation road trip. She found Devil’s Tower in Wyoming (aka, “That weird mountain from Close Encounters of the Third Kind”) and the grave of Wild Bill Hickock in Deadwood, South Dakota:

Elsewhere, Tom Sharp found both sports and space make for good photo ops:

Michael Poteet visited the City of Brotherly Love to provide us with a bit of historical flair:

(I see what you did there, dude.)

And Mike Tripp hit us from New York, where the restored Shuttlecraft Galileo is currently on display with the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the U.S.S. Intrepid Museum:


And even though it’s a magazine article we did rather than one of our books, I’m so totally counting this one from Neil S. Bulk because look what’s in the background!!!!


(Hint: “Yippie Kai Yay, Mother Fu……..”)

These are just some quick favorites from each of these folks. Don’t let them hog all the action! Check out the so-called “guidelines” and then have a little fun!

(And please try to avoid getting arrested or killed along the way, all right?)

Posted in books, fandom, friends, pics, wheres my book | 2 Comments

Back cover copy for my next Trek novel: Headlong Flight!

Thanks to a heads-up from The Trek Collective, I’m able to share the back cover text for Headlong Flight, the first of two Star Trek novels I’ll have on the 2017 schedule. This one is set after the events of last year’s Armageddon’s Arrow and the Prey trilogy coming later this year from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller.

What sorts of shenanigans will Captain Picard and company be getting into this time? Well, it’s like this:

Surveying a nebula as part of their continuing exploration of the previously uncharted “Odyssean Pass,” Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Starship Enterprise encounter a rogue planet. Life signs are detected on the barren world’s surface, and then a garbled message is received: a partial warning to stay away at all costs. Determined to render assistance, Picard dispatches Commander Worf and an away team to investigate, but their shuttlecraft is forced to make an emergency landing on the surface—moments before all contact is lost and the planet completely disappears….

Worf and his team learn that this mysterious world is locked into an unending succession of random jumps between dimensions, the result of an ambitious experiment gone awry. The Enterprise crewmembers and the alien scientists who created the technology behind this astonishing feat find themselves trapped, powerless to break the cycle. Meanwhile, as the planet continues to fade in and out of various planes of existence, other parties have now taken notice….


Headlong Flight
is currently scheduled to published on January 31st, 2017, and pre-order links are already popping up. Right now it’s just mass-market paperback edition, but expect e-Book formats to also start appearing in due course.

As for the book itself? At last report, the manuscript was just recently delivered to its copyeditor, and I likely won’t see it back from that stage of the production cycle until sometime late next month. That’s okay…I have other things to keep me busy.:)

Posted in books, trek, writing | 1 Comment