Trial By Fire



1994. Tateos Gadjoyan, an Armenian arms merchant, has been a target of the Central Intelligence Agency for years. Efforts to thwart his selling of American military weapons to terrorists have been unsuccessful, but finally two undercover agents have infiltrated Gadjoyan’s inner circle. Soon they will have sufficient evidence to seize the arms dealer.

On the small Japanese island of Okinawa, Gadjoyan’s representatives are concluding a deal with Miroji Jimura, an arms dealer who’s only too happy to profit from the sale of American weapons to be used against American people.

When a rival of Jimura’s sabotages the arms deal, the case against Tateos Gadjoyan is threatened and another far greater menace to American security is revealed. The only thing standing against this new danger is a single junior CIA agent named Jack Bauer.

Working without backup, Bauer has no choice but to face this urgent new threat head on, but the stakes are high and time is already running out…

Mass-Market Paperback or Kindle e-Book from
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I still remember how I felt when Melissa Frain from Tor Books contacted me via e-Mail, asking if I wanted to write a 24 novel for her.

Once I got done bouncing off the walls of my office, I composed myself and drafted a thoughtful reply indicating my interest. However, if you were to run it through some sort of sooper sekrit translation matrix thing, what you’d likely get back is something like this:


Yeah. It was like that.

It took a while to get from that e-Mail to today, but Melissa as well as Amy Stapp, another of Tor’s editorial gurus who worked with me all through the book’s gestation period, made the journey painless and fun. I had a frikkin’ ball writing this thing. I absolutely want to write another one. When do we go? I’m already suited up and ready to start the clickety-clackety typing thing.

Dammit, Chloe!

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as our 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 24, my books, q&a | 1 Comment

Cover for Star Trek: Waypoint #2!

:: reviews Bucket List ::

:: notes entry, “Write Comic Book; See Name on Cover” ::

:: checks off Bucket List Item ::

:: dances around home office ::


Thanks to editor Sarah Gaydos and the good folks at IDW Publishing, my bro Kevin and I are getting to so something we’ve always wanted to do. For me, it’s a dream that goes back to when I was…what? Eight years old? Whenever I started reading comics with any regularity and occasionally took pencil or Crayon to paper in order to create my own horribly rendered comic adventures.

(No, none of those early efforts survived. All evidence has been purged. All witnesses have been silenced.)

“The Menace of the Mechanitrons!” is our contribution to Star Trek: Waypoint, a six-issue mini-series in which IDW is showcasing all-new stories penned and drawn by various folks with some sort of Star Trek connection past or present, as part of celebrating Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary. Sarah invited us to participate several months ago, and immediately took a liking to our pitch to write an all-new story that pays homage to those gloriously off-beat Gold Key Star Trek comics of the late 1960s and 1970s. Such tales were my first exposure to comics featuring Captain Kirk and the gang, and for all the many, many ways they are so totally inconsistent with the show from which they take their cue, they possess a charm that is all but impossible to deny.

Making things even better was Sarah’s enlisting of artist and Star Trek comics veteran Gordon Purcell, who as I write this is studiously working to complete his work drawing the pretty pictures which will breathe life into our pithy words. If the cover he came up with is any indication, this whole thing is going to be epic. Check it out:

(Click to Biggie Size)

Look! It’s our names! On the cover! I need a cigarette! I don’t even smoke!

:: ahem ::

The art provided by Gordon is for the issue’s “subscription variant” cover. The “regular” version for stores will feature art by David Malan.

Our story is one of two which will fill out Star Trek: Waypoint #2’s thirty-two pages. Also featured in this special issue. The other story is being written by Sam Maggs, author of (among other things), The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy, with art provided by one of my favorite comic artists currently toiling in the trenches, Rachael Stott. The issue will be out in November.

Check out more info on this issue and other Star Trek comics goodness coming later this year from IDW by reading this new article over at IDW Preps Four Trek Adventures for November

Many thanks to Sarah Gaydos and IDW for inviting us into their sandbox to play for a short while!

Now, if you’ll excuse me……………..I need another cigarette.

Posted in comics, idw, nerdity, trek, writing | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Gene.

Today marks what would have been the 95th birthday of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.


“I would hope there are bright young people, growing up all the time, who will bring to [Star Trek] levels and areas that were beyond me, and I don’t feel jealous about that at all.”

– Gene Roddenberry, 1988

Thank you for giving us such a wondrous sandbox in which to play and dream.


Posted in trek, tributes | 1 Comment

Two new interviews!


That Vegas convention, man.

Just when I think it’s behind me, it keeps reaching out and grabbing me by the collar and yanking me back.

While my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, and I were in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago for the massive Star Trek 50th Anniversary Convention, I (or we) sat down for a few interviews over the course of the show.


People like talking to us.


I have no idea.

Anyway, first up: Talking with our friends Terry Lynn Shull and Nick Minecci from the G&T Show, who had a booth setup in the vendor’s room and who were our most gracious hosts all weekend. It’s probably worth pointing out that this isn’t really an interview of sorts, but instead an installment of their “Shuttlepod One” feature, where they throw out a list of four characters, and we’re supposed to pick which three go in the shuttle while consigning the fourth to some flavor of agonizing death. Or, something.

Oh, just listen:

G&T Show – STLV 2016: Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore Interview

Elsewhere during the weekend, I literally bumped into Jordan Hoffman, host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, while roaming the halls after visiting a panel, and we decided to have the sit-down interview to which he’d already invited me during the run-up to the con. Topics discussed include how I got my start writing Star Trek for Pocket Books, what’s new and upcoming, and whether hackers might seize control of your car. The result of that interview ended up as part of the podcast’s fifteenth episode, in which Jordan also talks with actor Robert Picardo, aka “the Doctor” from Star Trek: Voyager. Check it out:

Engage, Episode 15: Science & Tech in Star Trek with Robert Picardo and Dayton Ward

Many thanks to Terry, Nick, and Jordan for having me/us on their respective shows. Call me a nerd, but I never get tired of talking about this stuff.:)


Posted in fandom, friends, g&t show, interviews, podcasts,, trek, writing | 2 Comments

Lookie what the Book Fairy brought. Dammit, Chloe!

Fresh off the press and ready to kick ass and take names for 24 hours at a time.


That’s right, boys and girls! The Book Fairy dropped a book bomb on me today, delivering my author copies of Trial By Fire, my forthcoming 24 novel that’s due to bust out onto shelves (officially) on August 23rd.

mmmmMMMMMmmmm. I just love that New Book Smell.

We’re getting close, folks! Trust me, Chloe!

Posted in 24, books, writing | Leave a comment

Is this thing on?

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:


Yes, I’ve been rather neglectful of this space the past couple of weeks. In my defense, I’ve had two conventions in as many weekends, one of which was the ginormous Star Trek 50th Anniversary convention in Las Vegas. Holy crap, was that fun. Five full days of hanging out with friends old and new, participating in great panel discussions, and just soaking in the notion that this crazy little 1960s TV show has not simply lingered at the fringes of our awareness for fifty years, but that it continues to inspire so many people in so many ways.

One of the true highlights of the show was finally getting to meet the legendary Bjo Trimble, aka “The Lady Who Saved Star Trek.” As a kid, years and years before the internet and sites like Memory Alpha, I devoured her original Star Trek Concordance. I still have my copy of the original edition, as well as her loving tribute to Star Trek and fandom, On the Good Ship Enterprise, both of which I completely forgot to pack with me in the event I was able to meet her and ask for autographs.


At 83, she and her husband, John, are still as feisty and passionate as ever. I don’t normally request photos with anybody I consider a celebrity, but I asked for this one.

STLV2016-MinionsAnother highlight was being able to get a picture with just some of the people for whom we’ve named characters in our various Star Trek stories. They affectionately call themselves our “minions,” but each of them is a wonderful person who’s touched us in some way over the years, either by being a friend or someone on whom we called for research or other assistance, or for the efforts they devote to furthering the positive aspects and family that is Star Trek fandom.

The entire con was like that – a series of small but special moments as we all came together to celebrate this wonky little TV show that’s captured our attention for so many years, with no signs of stopping.

Closer to home this past weekend was Kansas City Comic Con. Three full days of comic and pop culture goodness, during which we enjoyed the company of tremendous neighbors in the vendor’s area. Friends and fellow word pushers Jason ArnettHolly Messinger, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, and Thaddeus Nowak certainly helped the weekend move by faster, as did my getting to meet and hang out with the illustrious (notorious?) Jonathan Maberry, whose table bumped up against mine. Our conversations ran the gamut from the writerly to the geeky, with lots of laughs provided along the way. My daughters also kept me company throughout the weekend, only costing me a small fortune in food and a bout with face painting. It’s all good.

Many thanks to Justin Cline and the rest of the KCCC staff for inviting us to join them for this year’s con. I hope all who attended had a great time, and hopefully we can all do it again in a year or so.

Meanwhile, the work continues apace. I’m trying to wrap up the latest novel in progress, as another novel project waits in the wings, but there also was our Star Trek comic script for IDW and copyedits on a couple of other things. I even managed to cram in writing up a pitch for Predator: The Hunted, the anthology to be edited for Titan Books by the aforementioned Bryan Thomas Schmidt and coming sometime next year. All of that is out of the way, though – for the moment, at least – and now it’s all about getting the novel done as we scream toward the finish line.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to get back to that. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Posted in cons, fandom, nerdity, trek | 4 Comments

New interview about the Vulcan Travel Guide.

Yes, summer is winding down and kids will soon be heading back to school, but there’s still time left to sneak in one last quick vacation. Why not head to Vulcan?

(Insert joke about Vulcan being destroyed thanks to the newer Trek movies, because you’re absolutely the first person to make that joke. No, really.)

Rich Schepis over at recently interviewed me about Hidden Universe Travel Guide – Star Trek: Vulcan, my new book which was published by Insight Editons on July 19th. His accompanying review also includes shout-outs and previews of the book’s amazing ilustrations, as created by artists Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski. The interview covers the writing of the book, but also the terrific fun I had working with Insight and learning how “art heavy” books like this come together.

Check out the interview here: If You’re Vacationing On Vulcan This Summer, Check Out Dayton Ward’s Travel Guide

Thanks to Rich and the TrekMovie for boosting the signal for the new book!

Posted in books, interviews, writing | 1 Comment

July writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAh, August.


:: ahem ::

As for July, things were kinda sorta busy, but overall it was a bit of a quiet, steady, keeping things on the tracks sort of month. I’m working to finish the current novel-in-progress, and there are other things in various stages of gestation. Plans are afoot as to what I’ll be doing to finish out the year, and because of that I expect August to be something of a “clearing the decks” period.

With that in mind, here’s the July rundown:

Continue reading

Posted in writing, writing wrap-up | Leave a comment

“Where’s My Book, 2016 Edition” – We haz winnahs!

The votes are in, the poll is closed, and the winners are now known!

First place, earning 13 votes, is Jim Johnson:


Second place with 11 votes is Gloria Johnston Porter:


And in third place with 9 votes, Kimberly Winn Underwood (who also happens to be my cousin.:) ):


Each will receive an autographed “advance reader copy” of my upcoming 24 novel Trial By Fire. This isn’t the actual book that will be turning up in stores on or about August 23rd, but instead a printed version of the final document I got to review for any last-minute changes before the manuscript went to the printer. I’m not allowed to sell these things and there aren’t a whole lot of them made, and some book hounds consider them collector’s items of one sort or another. Your mileage may vary.

So, JIM! GLORIA! KIM! Send me mailing info via e-Mail to, so I can get things rolling.

For those who may be curious, here are the final poll results:

Thanks very much to everyone who took the time to send in pics and/or vote in the poll. Maybe we’ll do it again next summer.:)

Posted in books, contests, friends, pics, wheres my book | 1 Comment

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.

Continue reading

Posted in 24, books, cons, fandom, friends, interviews, trek, wheres my book, writing | 2 Comments