Talking “Carbon Creek” with’s Warp Five podcast!

Yep, you guessed it: I’m babbling again.

And yes, somebody decided my endless, stream-of-consciousness yammering was worth preserving for future listeners. You think people would learn, but until they do, I’ll be in your podcasts, messing with your ears.

Warp Five Podcast LogoThis time, I join Floyd Dorsey and Brandon-Shea Mutala, hosts of Warp Five,‘s podcast devoted to all things Star Trek: Enterprise. Though I’m a frequent visitor/disruptor of Literary Treks podcast, this is one of those rare times when I make my way into a different studio with the intention of bothering other hosts. Floyd and Brandon were quite welcoming as we all settled in to discuss the Enterprise second season episode “Carbon Creek.”

After a brief interview to suss out my secret origin story, the bulk of the podcast takes the form of a live commentary as we watch and comment on the episode. The story involves the visit to Earth by a Vulcan science team, who observe the launch of Sputnik I in October 1957. Their ship crashes in rural Pennsylvania and their captain is killed, leaving the three survivors to hide among the human population until a rescue ship arrives.

Why am I in this thing? Because characters and situations originated in this tale inform not one and not two but three novels I’ve written: From History’s Shadow, Elusive Salvation, and the (as I write this) forthcoming Hearts and Minds.

As we discuss before the commentary, I gained a greater appreciation of Enterprise during a rewatch a few years back when I was researching From History’s Shadow, and “Carbon Creek” is one of the episodes I’ve liked even from back during the show’s original run. So, it was fun to revisit this particular story and talk about how it fits into the Star Trek mythos, including my own books.


Warp Five Episode 110: “Chocolate Chip Cookies”

Many thanks to Floyd and Brandon for inviting me to join them for their rewatch of the episode. If you’re a fan of Star Trek: Enterprise, be sure to check out the other Warp Five commentaries, each one spotlighting an episode of the show.

“Let’s go.”

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Thank you, StarFest Denver! Also? Back to work for me.

Previously on The Fog of Ward:


Not much going on around here over the past several days. Most of that can be attributed to our road trip to Denver for the annual StarFest Convention. For those keeping score at home, 2017 marked our 15th visit to the Mile High State for this particular show. As always, we had a terrific time catching up with old friends, making some new ones, selling a few books, and generally enjoying ourselves throughout the three days of full-on multimedia nerdity.

A big part of what makes the show so much fun is the staff. Headed up by KathE Walker and her husband, Stephen, StarFest is a family affair in more ways than one. The core group of people overseeing everything are either members of the extended Walker family or else close friends, and together they’ve been doing this thing for 40 years.

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Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse: A Kickstarter project by Michael Jan Friedman.

You know this has to be serious when the post title takes up nearly two whole lines, amirite?

Friend and veteran word pusher Michael Jan Friedman has been busy. Long known for his numerous novels that span original science fiction and fantasy to licensed properties like Star Trek, Mike is also one of the plank owners of Crazy 8 Press, a small yet lovable indie publishing house dealing in all sorts of stylized wordplay and other chicanery.

Meanwhile, Mike’s been pursuing efforts on his own, here and there. In recent years past, he’s launched and successfully completed a handful of nifty Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns, including the Pangaea anthology in which Kevin and I have a story, and his own novels I Am the Salamander and Lost Days. Now, he’s compiled a collection of short fiction, and he’s once again looking for some help to procure the funds needed to see it published.


Cabal and Other Irresponsible Invocations of The Muse
A veteran sci-fi author
hopes to publish
the first-ever collection of his original short fiction

Rather than have me yammer on about this, I should let Mike do the talking:

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Come see me and Kevin at @StarFestDenver!


It’s almost that time again!


Come Thursday, my hetero life mate and frequent writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, will be aiming the Mirth Mobile west as we take on the grueling, unrelentingly boring drive across Kansas via I-70 on our way to bee-yootiful Denver, Colorado. Why? Because this year marks our 15th consecutive year attending the totally fun and kick-ass StarFest Convention.

We’re talking about nearly three full days’ worth of multi-media awesomeness, including SF and Fantasy, Horror, Comics, Gaming, Robotics, and Art, and all sorts of other good stuff, brought to us by the good people at Denver-based Starland, who’ve been putting on this show for 40 years. As it happens, a little bitty science fiction film you may have heard of, Star Wars, also celebrates its 40th birthday this year, so that seems reason enough to throw a party.

In addition to having space in the vendor/exhibitor/author alley area of the con all weekend, you’ll be able to find me and Kevin in various places all weekend. For example:


Guests Meet & Greet – Main Events – 7pm-8:30pm


Costume Contest – Main Events (we’re both judging) – 8pm-????


StarFest Talent Show  (Kevin’s hosting, I’m judging) – 9am-9:45am
“The Completely Unexpected Media Tie-In Panel” – 10:30am-11:25am

There may be other panels and activities about which I’ve not been informed, or we may just crash a few things because they sound fun. Who knows?

For those wondering, Kevin and I will have on hand copies of our most recent publications, including everything published since last year’s show, of which there are several. Check it out:

2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush (I don’t remember if we had this last year)
Star Trek: The Original Series – Elusive Salvation
24: Trial by Fire
Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan
Star Trek: Legacies – Purgatory’s Key
Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Headlong Flight
our Star Trek: Waypoint comic

We’ll also have a varying number of copies of older titles.

So, if you’re attending the con, be sure to come by and say “Howdy.” Hope to see you there!



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Trekking to Ticonderoga and the Star Trek Set Tour!

Well, it seems the cat’s out of the bag on this one, as it’s been reported in different places and a couple of people have asked me about it.

Along with my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, and a whole gaggle of fellow writers of various Star Trek persuasions (novels and other books, comics, even the odd script or two), I’ll be making the trek to scenic Ticonderoga, New York during the first weekend in May, to hang out at the incredible Star Trek Original Series Set Tour!


Along with Kevin and me, fellow Star Trek wordsmiths Keith R. A. DeCandidoMichael Jan FriedmanDave GalanterDavid R. George III, Bob GreenbergerGlenn HaumanBill LeisnerDavid MackScott Pearson,  and Aaron Rosenberg will all be descending upon poor little Ticonderoga for a one-day “Star Trek Writers Mini-Con” to be held on Saturday, May 6th, from 1pm-6pm.

What originally was just going to be a friendly get-together among friends has morphed into a “Meet the Authors” event that will include book signings and Q&A sessions. I don’t know if we’ll attract all that many curious visitors, but you can guarantee we writer nerds will make our own fun.

Why? Because of the sets, people.

The brainchild and dream project of ardent Star Trek fan James Cawley, this one-of-a-kind attraction is exactly what its name implies: A full-blown walking tour of one of the most faithful recreations of the original Star Trek filming sets ever devised. Working from blueprints and photographs of the original soundstages as they appeared during the filming of the original show in the 1960s, James and a group of loyal enthusiasts have constructed bang-on replicas of all the U.S.S. Enterprise interiors.

It’s all here, including such memorable locations as engineering, sickbay, the transporter room, and–of course–the bridge. Everything is linked by familiar Enterprise corridors, and the whole smash is laid out almost exactly as it was constructed on Desilu Stage 9. No detail is overlooked, from signage to buttons to odds and ends on shelves in Captain Kirk’s quarters to those unidentified doodads and thingamajigs hanging everywhere on walls and conduits and whatnot.

Here, take a look:

And there are plenty more photos on the tour’s official website and its Facebook Page.

It’s okay to drool. I did.

Those familiar with Mr. Cawley’s work know that these sets came about as a result of his desire to create new “fan made” episodes of the original Star Trek. After creating a series of well-received episodes, he has continued to work on improving the sets, and eventually worked out a deal with CBS to officially license the tour.

There have been several recreations of various original series sets over the years, including a few created by fans for similar fan film projects. None of the recreations I’ve seen in exhibits or traveling tours have reached this level of detail, though. To this point, I’ve only seen the photographs, but I can already tell you how this is going to go down.

(Cue vids and pictures of Dayton running around the sets like an 8-year old hopped up on Pop Rocks and Red Bull, smiling and touching all of the things and maybe even himself.)

Granted, Ticonderoga is a bit off the beaten path, but hey! If you’re able to join us on Saturday, May 6th, between 1pm and 6pm, come on out! The writer gang was going to be there, anyway, and we’ll be hanging around and having fun all day.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the bridge.

Posted in appearances, cons, fandom, friends, nerdity, writing | 2 Comments

April 9th, 1959: The Mercury Seven.

Ladies and gentlemen: Today we are introducing to you and to the world these seven men who have been selected to begin training for orbital space flight.

These men, the nation’s Project Mercury astronauts, are here after  a long and perhaps unprecedented series of evaluations which told our medical consultants and scientists of their superb adaptability to their coming flight.”

April 9th, 1959: America officially gets into the space race with Project Mercury.


(L-R: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom,
Wally Shirra, Alan Shepard, Deke Slayton)

They were to be America’s first guides to the stars. The right stuff, indeed.

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Happy First Contact Day, Trekkies!

April 5th, 2063: We’re only 46 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.


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.

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Setting the record straight: the “Wardilmore Bromance.”

So, according to one source, Kevin and I ended our writing partnership this past Saturday.

Despite being published on April 1st, a very small handful of people still managed to ask if what they had read was A) true, B) might be true, C) done with our permission, and/or D) really true?

What the hell am I talking about? Behold, yo: Ward-Dilmore Writing Duo Calls It Quits


So, in order to head off any rumors, gossip, scuttlebutt, and whatever else we’re calling tabloid tales these days, I am here to set the record straight, once and for all.

Kevin and I are back together.

It got pretty heated here and there, especially in those areas of social media where we have a number of mutual friends, colleagues, and other acquaintances. For a while, things looked like they might take a turn toward the ugly side………


As for me? I was content to chart my own course following the release of Saturday’s news, but let’s get real for a sec: How can you resist somebody when they go to such lengths to let them know how they truly feel? For example, there was this scene outside my window on Monday evening:


He had me at, “Dude, let’s get some chicken wings and catch 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Alamo.”

Chief among the relieved parties was my wife, who is thankful I once again have someone for playdates and she can be left alone to drink wine and binge-watch Criminal Minds. Also relieved is prospective writing partner Scott Pearson, who won’t have to endure me and my overinflated ego and general lack of talent and work ethic.

You can catch Kevin and me together in a couple of weeks, in Denver for the annual Starfest Convention.

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Your Moment of TrekZen*.

Because it’s not always about silly pictures and my shameless whoring around here. Sometimes, I offer bits and nuggets of practical knowledge which just might see you through a troubling time or two. For example:


This design is featured on a snazzy and totally licensed T-shirt available from, among other places, Entertainment Earth. Go and check it out.

(* = inspired by the “Your Moment of Zen” segments from The Daily Show)

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March writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsAaaaaaaaaaaand just, like that, 2017 is 25% in the books.

It’s like the damned year can’t wait to throw my ass over the cliff and into the waiting embrace of my looming 50th birthday.


March’s big news was that I got started on the new novel project, about which I am currently allowed to say nothing. At the same time, I’m working to finish an outline for another book, about which I’m also permitted to share precisely nada. A few other things are percolating on different fronts, as well. Hey! The life of a freelancer is in large part about planning the next few moves on the board.

(Note to editors: Will write for money. Or food. Or vodka.)

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