Our StarFest Convention schedule!

Starfest2018-logoHoly schnikes!

A week from today, we’ll already be on the third and final day of this year’s 3-day StarFest Convention, held as it is each year in Denver, Colorado.

2018 will mark mine and Kevin’s 16th consecutive appearance at this con, which has long been one of our very favorite shows to attend each year. Some of you have likely seen me write or heard me say this, but we almost always lock in the dates for this con before committing to any other appearances, in order to avoid date conflicts. The StarFest family has treated us like two of their own pretty much from the jump, and reconnecting with all the friends we’ve made over the years – along with meeting new ones each year, is a highlight.

So, what are we doing this time around? Well, in addition to taking up space and oxygen in the con’s “Author Alley” area, Kevin and I are involved in several activities throughout the weekend. Check it out:

Friday, April 20th

Taming the Novel Series – panel discussion – 5pm-6pm: Writing one book is REALLY hard. Writing several novels is even harder. Writing several novels in a coherent series with consistent characters and satisfying story arcs can make your brain explode. These series novelists will offer their best advice for how you can wrangle hundreds of thousands of words into a compelling story. Moderated by Travis Heerman, with Betsy Dornbusch, Kevin, and myself.

StarFest Meet and Greet – Main Events – 7pm-8:30pm: Come meet our guests face to face and to get to know them a bit at the start of the convention. You’ll enjoy desserts, coffee and nonalcoholic beverages while you have the opportunity to chat in a relaxed atmosphere.  Door prizes and fun guaranteed. All our guests have been invited to come subject to flight arrivals and last-minute schedule changes.

A convention membership (that includes Friday) is required to attend this event.

Planet of the Apes 50th Anniversary Screening – Main Events – 10pm-Midnight: It’s going to be a madhouse in Main Events on Friday night, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of a true science fiction classic! Based on Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel and starring Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Linda Harrison, and the great Roddy McDowall, 1968’s Planet of the Apes launched one of the most successful and enduring motion picture franchises. Its revolutionary and iconic makeup designs earned artist John Chambers a “Special Achievement” Academy Award. The film contains one of the most unforgettable endings in the history of cinema, and occupies an indelible place in popular culture. Get to Main Events, you maniacs, and join author guests Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore for a late-evening screening of this landmark film on the occasion of its golden anniversary!

Saturday, April 21st

Costume Contest – Main Events – 8pm-10pm: As we do each year, Kevin and I assist with judging the con’s big Saturday night costume showdown. Kids, families, groups, etc. are all invited to show off their costuming and fandom passions. Prizes galore, along with emcee Kevin Atkins regaling us between categories and filling dead time with his latest collection of memes, jokes, and other oddities found on the internet since the last con.

Deadpool Late Show Screening – Main Events – (approx) 10:30pm-Midnight: Did we leave the stove on? You’ve got an eHarmony date with destiny! Oh, and author guests Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore as they defy all standards of good StarFest behavior and taste with our late-evening screening of Deadpool, the best superhero movie ever that’s not Black Panther, last year’s Wonder Woman, 1978’s Superman, or even 2011’s Green Lantern. If you’re looking for something to round out your Saturday at the con that doesn’t involve dancing, come on in to Main Events and hang for a bit with Kevin, Dayton, and the Merc With A Mouth. Just remember that this flick is rated “R,” as in “It’s REALLY REALLY RATED R,” so be aware. If you give us grief about this, Kevin and Dayton will find you and boom-box “Careless Whisper” outside your hotel room. WHAM! #DriveBy

Sunday, April 22nd

Starfest Talent Show – Main Events – 9am-9:45am: Do you have a song you need to sing? A skit you need to perform? Main Events is the place to do it on Sunday morning! Sign up Friday and Saturday at Costume Contest registration (near Convention Information). Walk-ons will be accepted on Sunday if time permits. Please keep performances to under 5 minutes each. Categories are 18+ and under 18.

Warm up those pipes, practice that guitar, or put the finishing touches on your skit!! You could win fabulous prizes!

And there you have it! Now, it’s also possible, even likely, that Kevin and I will find additional mischief in which to insert ourselves. We’re also trying to organize a joint signing with comic artist Gordon Purcell, who provided the oh-so nifty art for our Star Trek: Waypoint comic back in 2016. It may well end up being us crashing each other’s tables at different points during the weekend. Follow me on Twitter if you’re at the con, and I’ll shoot updates there as they happen!

kevin-dayton-sl2010

 

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Talking Drastic Measures and other stuff at Discovering Trek!

Everybody look out! I’m talking. Again.

This time, I join Dan Davidson and Bill Smith, hosts of the Trek Geeks and Discovering Trek podcasts for a special installment of the latter show. Why? Well, as you may have heard, I wrote this one little Star Trek: Discovery novel called Drastic Measures, which came out a little bit ago.

Yeah….

In addition to the book and how it was developed (with the able assistance of Discovery‘s own Kirsten Beyer and my editor, Margaret Clark) and how the story’s events affect the characters of Philippa Georgiou and Gabriel Lorca ten years before the events of the series’ first season, we talk about the show itself and “Star Trek canon” and how my head explodes whenever that word comes up, how I got into writing Star Trek stories for Pocket, favorite Star Trek projects like the Vanguard novels, reading the novels as a fan before getting into the whole writing thing, and the close-knit circle of friends that is the Star Trek writing cabal.

Podcasters are getting wise to my antics, though. They’re smart enough to ask fairly open-ended questions, knowing that I’ll ramble and yammer long enough for them to run to the bathroom, pick up dinner, get their car detailed, or head out for a weekend in Vegas. Such is the case here, though Dan and Bill exercised great patience and grace by remaining with me throughout my answers, even staying conscious long enough to drop in the occasional “Uh-huh,” “yeah,” or, “oh, right.”

Thanks for indulging me, guys.

Anyway, the results of this latest stream-of-conscious babbling can be found here:

Discovering Trek Bonus Episode: Drastic Measures

dscs01_ward

Many thanks to Dan and Bill for having me on the show. I had a great time talking to these fine gents. With any luck, our paths will cross again in the near future at Vegas or some other swank con. 🙂

Pre-order links for my Star Trek IncrediBuilds book/model sets!

Hey!

Remember last weekend when I finally was able to announce two of the mystery projects with which I’m currently involved? It was nice to come in from the darkness, albeit briefly, and talk about the pair of Star Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects I’ve been working on for Insight Editions. Both book/model sets are due for publication on Tuesday, June 12th, and now we have pre-order links…well, sorta.

incredibuilds-trek-covers

Because I know you want to buy copies for you and all of your friends:

Star Trek: The Original Series – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Star Trek: The Next Generation – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million

The TNG Enterprise set seems to be having some issues to sort out so far as its “availability.” Amazon is showing its pub date as May 2030, and B&N doesn’t even have it listed. Only Books-A-Million seems to have its act together. As things get sorted out, I’ll be sure to post updates, because I know you all want to get a jump on your holiday shopping.

In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.

Lunch time is a dangerous time for Dayton. It’s during this period on may a day, as I eat my salad or sandwich, that I tend to contemplate mischief.

Yesterday was one such day.

Those of you into the whole meme thing know that they tend to come and go. Somewhere, somebody does something clever and/or funny and shares it to their circle of online friends, some of those friends share it with their friends and/or total strangers, and if the conditions are just right, said clever and/or funny thing suddenly finds itself going “viral.” Its ability to grab someone’s attention continues for a few days (or longer if it’s really nifty) before something else starts the vicious cycle all over again.

This past week, it was the “American Chopper” meme, which was actually created several years ago but is now enjoying renewed attention thanks to the recent announcement that the television show is returning to Discovery later this year.

Rather than explain the whole thing, here’s a handy link, which comes with several notable examples from this past week: Inverse.com: The 20 Best ‘American Chopper’ Memes.

So, that brings us to me, sitting there at lunch, eating my sandwich, and contemplating mischief. Fresh off our April Fool’s gag, I was looking for something new to goof around with, and because I like to cross my streams and mix my drinks when I ponder this kind of silly stuff, I immediately began contemplating how to apply the AC meme formula to a Star Trek joke.

It didn’t take long:

Continue reading “In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.”

Happy First Contact Day, Trekkies!

April 5th, 2063: We’re only 45 years from this most excellent of events, yo.

While we wait, we continue to look to the future with hope and excitement. After all, we know that this monumental meeting between humanity and intelligent beings from a world beyond our own will usher in a new era of peace, optimism, prosperity and collaborative spirit as the people of Earth take their first tentative steps into a larger universe.

first-contact

So, grab yourself the first Vulcan (or other non-terrestrial biological entity) you meet, wriggle to the left, wriggle to the right, and do the Ooby Dooby with all of your might. Let’s get this party started, all while living long and prospering in forthright, logical fashion, of course.

Talking Star Trek Adventures with the Continuing Mission STA blog!

People, people, people.

When are you going to learn?

Despite all my attempts to dissuade danger seekers, people insist on wanting to interview me. I do everything I can to make them reconsider the wisdom of granting me airtime or space in their publications. I routinely ignore such requests as, “You need to take this seriously,” “I wish you wouldn’t drink while we’re recording,” or “No, you really, really have to wear pants for this and holy shit but what’s with the purple underwear,” but do they listen?

NooooOOOOoooo.

So, here we are. Again.

This time, the poor soul who stepped into the breach is one Michael Dismuke, he of Continuing Mission, a blog devoted to the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game produced by Modiphius. Those of you who follow this space know that I was involved in some work for the game back during its development and early rollout of its “living campaign” setup.

The game is firing on all thrusters now, with the living campaign in full swing and the core rulebook and other supplements being released at a fairly regular pace. So far as I can tell, response to STA has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know lots of good things are still waiting in the wings as the development team continues to march merrily along.

Michael tossed me a handful of questions about my involvement with the game and how I approached writing for this new platform and audience. As I’ve said before, it was a bit of a learning experience, but also a lot of fun, thanks in large part to friend and fellow writer Scott Pearson, with whom I worked on the living campaign, and other friend and also fellow scribe Jim Johnson, who invited me aboard in the first place. Both of these gents, along with a whole bunch of other cool people, are continuing to create new material for the game, and I’m as interested as anyone in seeing where things go next.

Meanwhile, you can read my interview with Michael here:

Continuing Mission:
New York Times Bestselling Author Dayton Ward Talks STA!

Many thanks to Michael for reaching out. If you’re an STA player, be sure to check back with Continuing Mission, as he has interviewed Jim as well as other game contributors.

March writing wrap-up.

mad-writer

2018: 25% in the books. Already.

I mean…..the hell?

At least March brought with it my ability to announce some of what I’ve been working on, with a couple of projects being revealed just as the month rang out. Let this be fair warning: you leave me without much or even anything to talk about, and I’m just going to start making up things. Know what I’m sayin’?

As has been the case since late November, my daytime hours are devoted to writing for my regular day job, leaving me with evenings and weekends – and not even all of those – for my other writing. That said, we did have a few things move around during March. Let’s have a look:

Continue reading “March writing wrap-up.”

My latest Star Trek project!*

I know that I’ve been vague and evasive these past several months with respect to the different projects I’ve got going. Most of that is due to the wishes of my various employers and their desires to roll out “official” announcements at what they feel is the right time. Then there’s my own weirdness about making sure everything’s nailed down, dialed in, and whatever else before going public with news. Sometimes it’s because I’m fussy about every last detail and want to make sure there are no typos or other goofs in artwork or other aspects of a particular project.

As often as not, it’s because the timing has to be “just right.”

Example? Today’s announcement. Come along as I unveil the all-new Star Trek tale Kevin and I have been brewing! Behold, yo:

Continue reading “My latest Star Trek project!*”

Come build some Star Trek with me!

After several months hinting, vaguebooking, and yammering about “unannounced projects” I’ve been working on, I’m finally able to talk about a couple of them.

I’ve been having some fun with new projects for Insight Editions, the publisher of my Vulcan and Klingon Empire travel guides. Last year, I was asked about my interest in writing a couple of new offerings for Insight’s IncrediBuilds imprint.

IncrediBuilds-logo

From their own website: “The IncrediBuilds collection features do-it-yourself, customizable, freestanding models that are sure to delight fans of all ages. Each model is made of Earth-friendly, FSC®-certified wood, and all products include step-by-step directions and coloring and crafting ideas. No glue or tools necessary. Informative and interactive, both kids and adults can use these projects to explore their creativity and create unique, displayable art.”

IncrediBuilds projects cover subjects from a variety of categories, including famous buildings from around the world, animals, and several licensed properties including Disney, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.

Anybody want to guess where this is going?

dayton-enterprise-model

That’s right, kids! IncrediBuilds is venturing into the Final Frontier, and the first projects out of the gate are the original U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 and its Galaxy-class counterpart from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Check out StarTrek.com’s preview of these new kits by clicking on this linky-type thing right here:

 StarTrek.com: Craft Your Own Enterprises

IB_MillFalcon_Env_final_withstars.inddSeveral of the IncrediBuilds kits are offered in what are called “Deluxe Editions,” in which the model comes with a special 32-page book that offers all sorts of juicy details about the item being…you know…built. For example, the book accompanying the Millennium Falcon build offers some history of the ship, “tech specs” and a tour of its features, its owners, “famous flights, and so on. There’s also a bit of “behind the scenes” info about its creation for the Star Wars films, including an interview with one of the people responsible for designing and building the original model.

For both Enterprise editions, I took a similar approach with the books I was asked to write, so you’ll get a brief rundown of the ships and their place in Starfleet history, as well as a look at each filming model’s design and creation for their respective television series. Lots of pictures are jammed into both books, as well.

Hey. Wanna sneak peek?

IncrediBuilds-TOS

The original and still the best, U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
(click to biggie size)

IncrediBuilds-TNG

Aaaaaaand an Enterprise for the Next Generation (see what I did, there?).

Both “Deluxe” book/model sets are currently slated for release on Tuesday, June 12th, each with a retail price of $16.99.

I had a ton of fun with these, and I can’t wait to see the models they’re making to go with them. Writing anything Star Trek with a younger audience in mind is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. This will hopefully be the first of several such Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects, and we’ve already had a brief discussion about possible follow-ups for these two. Meanwhile, I’m currently working on two additional, non-Trek IB books.

More on those later, so if you’ll excuse me…I need to get my butt back to work.

“Assignment: Earth” at 50.

Though we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series premiere back in September 2016, it’s been fun to recognize various favorite episodes as they each reach their own respective golden milestone. Landmark installments like “Arena,” “The City on the Edge of Forever,” and “The Doomsday Machine” have all gotten a bit of love as they turned 50, but it’s also fun to recognize those episodes which might not often show up on various “Best of” lists while still being personal favorites.

For me, “Assignment: Earth” is one such episode.

Continue reading ““Assignment: Earth” at 50.”