Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups!


From Gilgamesh and Endiku to Iron Man and Captain America, team-ups have been a big part of fiction for millennia. Now, some of the best media tie-in writers in the industry have gathered to give us original stories with all-new team-ups of the classic characters of literature, history, comic books, and dramatic fiction!

Captain Nemo encounters Frankenstein’s Monster! Prospero meets Don Quixote de la Mancha! Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cross paths with Dracula and John Henry! Ace Harlem meets the Conjure-Man! Marian of Locksley teams with Annie Oakley! Tripitaka meets Emperor Taizong! The Brain That Wouldn’t Die must survive the Night of the Living Dead! And tons more!


Rigel Ailur – Kevin J. Anderson – Derek Tyler Attico – Diana Dru Botsford
Maurice Broaddus – Jennifery Brody – Greg Cox – Debbie Daughetee
Delilah S. Dawson – Keith R.A. DeCandido – Nancy Holder & Alan Philipson
David Mack – David A. McIntee – James A. Moore – James Reasoner
Ben H. Rome – Scott Sigler – Dayton Ward

Continue reading “Double Trouble: An Anthology of Two-Fisted Team-Ups!”

Somewhere to Belong

Star Trek: Discovery

An all-new novel based upon the acclaimed Star Trek TV series!

Captain Michael Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery are finding that each day is a critical adjustment to their new lives and new missions in an Alpha Quadrant more than nine hundred years in the future. It’s here that Discovery is reconnecting with various worlds where the cataclysmic event known as “the Burn” has decimated Starfleet and, with it, the United Federation of Planets. There’s been precious little time for the crew to truly come to terms with their present reality, as their devotion to duty hides the emotional stress that could impact their effectiveness, and even threaten themselves or others.

After a successful journey to yet another planet cut off from the Federation, Discovery picks up a distress signal located in a nearby star system—a plea that harbors roots from their past lives in the 23rd century, and which may now lead to an entirely new crisis, plunging them all into mortal danger…

Been a while since I’ve done one of these, huh?

In truth, this novel was supposed to come out late last year, but forces and factors beyond my control saw to it my book along with several others was pushed by Simon & Schuster out of last year’s schedule into this year. At first that was an odd feeling, as it made me realize that 2022 would mark the first time in fourteen years that I wouldn’t have at least one piece of Star Trek fiction published anywhere. Weird, that. I mean….I was starting to get itchy, y’all.

But hey! It’s 2023 and we’re back to cookin’ with gas.

As I’ve already mentioned in a couple of interviews conducted prior to the book’s release, Somewhere to Belong is a bit of a departure for me in a couple of ways. First, it is — incredibly enough — the first time I’ve written a novel tying into a series that was still in production and set during the events of said series. For Discovery in particular, it marks the first time I got to play with the entire cast of characters, rather than what I did with my previous effort, 2018’s Drastic Measures, which focused on Gabriel Lorca and Philippa Georgiou ten years prior to the events which kick off the series.

For the characters, I saw an opportunity to get into their heads a bit during that gap between seasons three and four. There were — at least to me — various questions about how Michael Burnham and her crew were adapting to their new reality, which seemed to have been answered “off-camera” once fourth-season episodes started airing. Wondering what those answers might be was my way in, so to speak, and working with my editor, Margaret Clark, and Kirsten Beyer at Secret Hideout, we developed a basic premise which I was then sent off to flesh out. I can’t thank Margaret and Kirsten enough for their guidance early on.

(For those wondering, I wrote this novel while Discovery‘s fifth season was in production, and I delivered the manuscript long before the announcement about the show coming to a close when that season begins streaming next year.)

If you’re keeping score, Somewhere to Belong is my 24th Star Trek novel and the 20th I’ve written under the editorial guidance of Margaret and Ed Schlesinger, representing Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint. I’ve been working with either or both of these folks for nearly twenty years. It doesn’t matter how many times I thank them for their assistance and support, as it’ll never be enough.

This is also the eighth Star Trek novel of mine to receive an audiobook adaptation. In a change of pace for me, this new story greatly benefits from the vocal stylings of the amazing January LaVoy. I’ve listened to her read other books, including Una McCormack’s Discovery novels The Way to the Stars and Wonderlands, and I think she does an incredible job here.

Somewhere to Belong is now available at bookstores everywhere, in trade paperback, e-Book, and both digital and CD audiobook editions. If you’re still one of those folks who loves going to an actual store for your reading material, I humbly suggest patronizing your local independent bookseller. If that sort of thing isn’t feasible for whatever reason, then of course we have other options:

Simon & Schuster
Barnes & Noble

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this blog 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 SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

April 26-28: Pre-order Somewhere to Belong for 25% off!

To be fair, you can pre-order a bunch of titles for the same discount, but I’m gonna be selfish for a minute in this space and start with pumping up the volume on my own book.

Those of you who frequent my corner of the Intrawebz know that I have a new Star Trek: Discovery novel coming out on May 30th: Somewhere to Belong. What’s that? You say this somehow slipped past you? Worry not, friends. I’ve got a refresher all lined up for you:

Captain Michael Burnham and the crew of the USS Discovery are finding that each day is a critical adjustment to their new lives and new missions in an Alpha Quadrant more than nine hundred years in the future. It’s here that Discovery is reconnecting with various worlds where the cataclysmic event known as “the Burn” has decimated Starfleet and, with it, the United Federation of Planets. There’s been precious little time for the crew to truly come to terms with their present reality, as their devotion to duty hides the emotional stress that could impact their effectiveness, and even threaten themselves or others.

After a successful journey to yet another planet cut off from the Federation, Discovery picks up a distress signal located in a nearby star system—a plea that harbors roots from their past lives in the 23rd century, and which may now lead to an entirely new crisis, plunging them all into mortal danger….

For those of you who might wish to pre-order to book and maybe save a little scratch along the way, you’ll be pleased to learn Barnes & Noble is offering a special discount of 25% if you place your order between today, April 26, through Friday, April 28.

Somewhere to Belong is part of that promotion, allowing you to pre-order the book in trade paperback, eBook format for Nook and compatible devices and apps, digital audiobook, and even the audiobook in CD format for you lovable Luddites (my people!).

(For those of you who’ve asked, I’m now pleased to tell you that January LaVoy performs the audiobook adaptation. Among many other things, she also read Una McCormack’s Disco novel, Wonderlands, and I can’t be more thrilled she and her amazing voice were available for my book.)

B&N has set up a “Coming Soon” landing page to make it easy for you to see what’s inbound over the next couple of months, so feel free to take all sorts of advantages of the offer by using the promo code PREORDER25. Did I mention I have a new book of my own coming out in trade paperback, eBook format for Nook and compatible devices and apps, digital audiobook, and even the audiobook in CD format?

Let’s fly, yo.

Cover reveal for Double Trouble: Two-Fisted Team-ups!

Oh, I do so love showing off a new cover.

A while back, I shared with readers of this space info about an anthology project in which I’d been invited to take part, Double Trouble: Two-Fisted Team-ups. The brainchild of writers/editors Jonathan Maberry and Keith R.A. DeCandido, the anthology is to be a publication from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), of which I’m a member and for whose other members I have much respect and affection.

Yeah, even that one guy. You know who I’m talking about, and HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID.

:: ahem ::

As I was saying, Double Trouble is the IAMTW’s baby, and hopefully just the first in a series of new anthologies we hope to see realized in the coming years. The premise for this one intrigued me a great deal, as it called for authors to pair together pulp adventure fiction heroes and heroines of yesteryear who’ve entered the Public Domain, and/or colorful personalities and larger-than-life figures from the annals of actual history and whose exploits and personalities lend themselves to these sorts of shenanigans. A crowdfunding campaign was carried on Kickstarter to finance the project’s modest publication requirements, and readers and fans flocked to come help realize the collection.

One of the items on the publication To-Do List was a cover, and of course it had to be a snazzy cover. For this, Messrs. Maberry and DeCandido enlisted the unrestrained talents of artist Lynne Hansen, who saw fit to grace us with this little slice of Awesome:

Click to Biggie Size

As of this writing, the current author roster looks like this:

Marion of Sherwood meets Annie Oakley by Rigel Ailur
Captain Nemo meets Frankenstein’s monster by Kevin J. Anderson
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde meet Dracula and John Henry by Derek Tyler Attico
Gulliver meets Sacajawea and Ernest Shackleton by Diana Botsford
Ace Harlem meets the Conjure-Man by Maurice Broaddus
Van Helsing meets Athena and the Medusa by Jennifer Brody
The Brain That Wouldn’t Die must survive the Night of the Living Dead by Greg Cox
Jill Trent meets Fantomah and Fury by Debbie Daughetee
Lord Ruthven meets Lydia Bennet by Delilah S. Dawson
Ayesha, a.k.a. She Who Must Be Obeyed, meets Egungun-oya by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Flaxman Low meets Mezzanotte by Nancy Holder & Alan Philipson
Prospero meets Don Quixote de la Mancha by David Mack
Tang Sanzeng (Tripitaka) meets Emperor Taizong by David A. McIntee
The Moon Man meets The Man in the Black Cloak by James A. Moore
Dan Fowler meets Stinger Seave by James Reasoner
Bastet and Fenrir meet Quetzalcoatl by Ben H Rome
Dr. Moreau meets Audrey II by Scott Sigler
Captain Battle meets Blackout by Dayton Ward (Hey! That’s me!)

The current plan calls for Double Trouble to be published this summer, but we don’t yet have a firm date. I only just delivered my story to Keith this past Sunday (sorry, Keith!) and I know editing is currently underway. More info on this it’s made available!

Announcing Iron Man: Tony Stark Declassified!

So, yeah. Here’s a thing that’s happening.

Last year, I was approached by friend and fellow word pusher Robb Pearlman, who at the time was working as an editor for BenBella Books, about coming aboard there to work on a new project, which was to be the first in a series of tomes, highlighting various popular characters from Marvel Comics. Robb thought the deep dive which would be required and the need to write with a strong “in-world voice” was something for which I was well-suited, as apparently evidenced by my work on (among other things), the Star Trek travel guides for Vulcan and the Klingon Empire.

Hey. What can I say? It’s nice to be loved.

After convincing Robb (it didn’t really take much convincing) that my collaborating with my hetero life mate, Kevin, would be a wise move on part for the project being described, we signed contracts, had our first meetings with representatives from Marvel, developed an outline, and then we were off to the races. The result?


Cover for Iron Man: Tony Stark Declassified
(Click to enlarge)

The challenge of boiling down 70 years of comics* and related information into something approaching 75,000 words was no easy feat. Even Marvel’s famous “sliding timescale” with its inherent streamlining, revising, and updating of major events across the character’s entire publication history to fit within a supposed 13-year timespan still left us with a lot of information to summarize and organize.

* That’s right! This is all comics continuity, rather than the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Sure, this presented a challenge, but what made it fun was the idea this isn’t and never was intended to be a simple distillation, recitation, or adaptation of events from the comics. Instead, our task was to climb into Tony Stark’s head and try to find out what makes him tick, how he’s navigated the twists and turns of his rather remarkable and just plain weird life, and perhaps gain a bit of insight into Tony Stark, the man who would be Iron Man.

From the back cover:

Millions of comic book fans know Tony Stark as Iron Man. But few, if any, truly know the man inside the armor.

This fully authorized book tells the story of one of Marvel Comics’ most heroic, heralded, and complex characters—in his own words as well as notes, interviews, and files assembled from the Avengers’ archives.

An unprecedented, comprehensive firsthand chronicle, Iron Man: Tony Stark Declassified draws on more than a half century of classic tales to present an insightful, personal take about—and by—one of the most talked-about heroes of all time.

Featuring Tony’s perspective on his most important friends, allies, and enemies including  Captain America, Pepper Potts, Happy Hogan, James Rhodes, Ironheart, Bruce Banner, Hellcat, and Arno Stark, and his thoughts on the Marvel Universe’s most memorable moments, this first-of-its-kind archival collection is a must for fans of all ages.

Pretty cool, amirite? Want a sneak peek at some prototype pages? Note these are early samples and don’t reflect anything final. They were created before the manuscript was reviewed by Marvel or even copyedited, so just relax and breathe regular, all right?

Sample pages 2-3. Click to enlarge
Sample Pages 1
Sample pages 4-5. Click to enlarge

Iron Man: Tony Stark Declassified is currently scheduled for publication on November 14th in trade paperback and eBook formats. Pre-order links are already available for Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but if you have an independent bookstore near you I’d highly encourage you to patronize their shop and let them take care of you.

Also, remember when I mentioned this would be the first of a series? Well, the second book, Black Panther: T’Challa Declassified is currently gestating under the mighty fingers of noted author Maurice Broaddus and is currently slated for release on January 30, 2024. As I write this, I know of two additional books in development, with announcements to come at the appropriate time.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out the official announcement of these first to titles over at

We’ll be sharing more info as this moves ever closer to publication, so stay tuned!

High Noon on Proxima B

It’s always high noon on Proxima B. All original stories about the final frontier.


Adventure! Danger! Revenge! And a mail-order robot gunslinger in a wedding dress? Only in the wildest parts of space could this happen. It’s time again to get in your ramshackle rocket ship and journey to the universe’s western territories with this follow-up to Gunfight on Europa Station.

Meet the employees of a space bordello as they’re drawn together to pull a con on a con. Or the crew filming a Western on a colony ship only to fight gravity and each other. Or a soldier on a backwater planet hiding from her past when it—and the military—finally tracks her down. Each voyage invokes the type of western yarns you’ve loved before, but with a science fiction upgrade you’ll get to enjoy anew.

Taking you on this ride are another set of astounding space opera authors such as Walter Jon Williams (Hardwired), Susan R. Matthews (Under Jurisdiction), Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore (Star Trek), Brenda Cooper (Project Earth), Milton Davis (Changa’s Safari), John E. Stith (Naught for Hire), and Peter J. Wacks (Caller of Lightning).

High Noon on Proxima B. Ten tales of the West . . . not as it was, but as it might be!

When friend and editor David Boop invited to Kevin and me to participate in this anthology, it was one of several opportunities over the last couple of years that have allowed us to experiment with some new ideas, including setting up characters and premises we’re keen to revisit in future stories as time and circumstances allow. The story we wrote for this anthology, “Past Sins,” is hopefully just the first tale of Myla Dynion, a woman who learns she can’t outrun her former life. It’s a little bit Spaghetti Western and a little bit Firefly with a dollop of cyberpunk tossed into the mix. We managed to entertain ourselves fairly well with this one, so hopefully that translates to readers enjoying our efforts, as well.

High Noon on Proxima B is now officially on sale from Baen Books and Simon & Schuster. If you can’t find or order it from your local/independent bookseller, there are also the usual online book haunts:
Barnes & Noble

Meanwhile, Kevin and I have already had some fun conversations about where we might take Myla and everything else we left on the table at the end of this story. I guess we’ll see what we see!

Star Trek: Discovery – Somewhere to Belong has a cover!

Look at that, right? The big news, laid out right there in the headline. No enticing you to click through to a crappy “independent” news or gossip site. No leading you on in a wild goose chase as you desperately attempt to decipher whatever encrypted message to which I might be alluding before making you suffer through a poorly written if not A.I.-generated and badly edited piece which offers information of little to no consequence.

That’s right, people. I respect you all enough to make sure that when I offer you information of little or no consequence, it’s locally sourced directly from my own keyboard.

“Hey, Dayton,” I can hear comeone calling from the stands. “Get on with it.”


You’re here because you probably saw a tease of the pic included wherever the link to this post pops up, so here’s the whole thing. As created by artist Cliff Nielsen, the cover to my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel Somewhere to Belong:

Continue reading “Star Trek: Discovery – Somewhere to Belong has a cover!”

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: The A-Team!

It’s a Monday, which called for a bit of nostalgic wallowing in an around tackling the day’s more important tasks. Today, that means another trip to the “Tied Up With Tie-ins,” where I take a gander at a fondly remembered series of novels based on movies or television series.

It’s most definitely an outgrowth of my collecting old books, which often means I’m revisiting something older, such as the many different tie-ins which were all over the place during my childhood and early adulthood. I’m certainly not above covering newer material, including books or book series which in turn inspired a film or television series. One example I’ve added to my “To Do” list for a future entry is the series of “Walt Longmire mysteries” penned by author Craig Johnson and the basis for the Longmire TV series. I’m also gathering notes for a couple of special entries about 1) 1980s movie novelizations, and 2) off-beat choices for movie novelizations. There might be a little overlap between the two pieces (Howard the Duck or Meatballs, anyone?), but I’ll try to keep it to a minimum.

Meanwhile, today’s entry is inspired in part because it was 40 years ago tonight that we were introduced to this team of ne’er do wells:

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…The A-Team.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: The A-Team!”

Tuesday Trekkin’: Some new love for Star Trek Vanguard!

We’re careening toward the end of the year and while this is supposed to be something of a slow week (HAH!), I’m hoping I can try resuscitate this blog-type thing on some level during 2023. To that end, feel free to offer suggestions for things you might want to see more (or less) of around here.

Meanwhile, it’s Tuesday, which means it could possibly also be time for another installment of “Tuesday Trekkin’,” one of several irregularly recurring features you newcomers might find here. This one is really just a shoddy excuse for me to yammer on a bit about some nugget of Star Trek fandom. Most of the time, this means me babbling about some fondly remembered bit of goofy merchandise or collectible, anniversaries and “milestones” or important dates in franchise history, convention memories, or whatever else tickles my brain on any given day.

The “Tuesday Trekkin’” moniker is also a tip of the hat to Dan Davidson and Bill Smith, aka “The Hosts of the TrekGeeks Podcast.” Their fan group over on Facebook, Camp Khitomer, is devoted to all things Trek where all are welcome to join in their positive vibes and community. Sometimes, they also like to push a #TrekTuesday hashtag over there, inviting members to share updates, links, and/or pictures celebrating their fandom, so this feature is definitely offered in that same spirit.

I’d actually planned to do this one a couple of weeks ago for reasons which (hopefully) will become clear as I proceed, but December kind of got away from me with work, family stuff, the holidays, and so on, but here we are! Those of you who follow such things know that Harm’s Way, a new Star Trek novel penned by friend and fellow word pusher David Mack, was published back on back on December 13th. In addition to being an original series tale featuring Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise in their prime during their historic five-year mission, the new story also ties into one of my very favorite aspects of the Star Trek “expanded universe,” the Star Trek Vanguard novel series.

Continue reading “Tuesday Trekkin’: Some new love for Star Trek Vanguard!”

Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Lost In Space!

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

Yeah, it’s been quiet around here lately. All I’ve got is that it’s been busy on the work front(s) and with other stuff going on leading into the holidays. Hopefully things can throttle back a bit during the next……you know what? I’m not even going to finish typing that sentence. Fate has already been tested enough, and it’s only Monday.

That said, I knew I should come in here and blow the dust off this blog-type thing, if for no other reason than to make room for new dust.

For those of you who’ve only recently discovered my little corner of internet banality and haven’t yet poked around too much, one of this places “irregularly recurring features” is something I like to call, “Tied Up With Tie-ins.” It’s here that I take a fond look back at a favorite series of novels based on movies or television series.

Given my penchant for nostalgia and collecting old books, I figure this is a nice intersection for those two interests, which often means I’m revisiting something older, such as the many different tie-ins which were all over the place during my childhood and early adulthood. That said, I’m certainly not above babbling about something published much more recently if it trips my trigger. A few of the subjects previously tackled represent books or book series which inspired a film or television series, so that’s obviously on the table. One example I’m pondering for a future entry is the series of “Walt Longmire mysteries” penned by author Craig Johnson and the basis for the Longmire TV series. I guess we’ll see, eh?

For this entry I’m actually straddling a bit of fence with respect to this property’s publishing history. Created during the same era that gave us the original Star Trek series, it’s a show that’s also experienced its own reboots and re-imaginings over the decades since its original television heyday. Despite enjoying a similar, near-continuous public awareness, it never cultivated the sort of tie-in publication history that Star Trek has commanded since the days of the original show being in active production. This, despite being one of those shows that to this day still has its ardent fans.

So, it’s not the U.S.S. Enterprise we’re talking about today, but rather the Jupiter 2 as we join the Robinson family, their Robot, and Dr. Zachary Smith as we all go and get Lost In Space.

Continue reading “Tied Up With Tie-Ins: Lost In Space!”