My 2021 shameless holiday shopping suggestions guide.

It’s like this: I’m a freelance writer, which means I’m obligated at irregular yet all-too frequent intervals to throw myself on the mercy of a discerning populace and make my case for convincing you to part with some of your hard-earned spondoolicks in exchange for one or more of my collections of scribblings.

On the best of occasions, this takes the form of me standing behind a proud display of my works; tomes arrayed like little literary Stonehenges placed with Pythagorean precision while patrons browse the titles in search of something interesting. If the gods choose to smile upon me, I will trade many of these volumes for coin or notes, though there have been times when I departed the bazaar carrying the same burden with which I arrived.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic which continued to hound us throughout 2021, all but one of my scheduled convention appearances were cancelled. As I did in 2020 when this mess started, I completely understand and support each of the con promoters and their decisions to act out of concern for public safety. Likewise, I sympathize with those same promoters along with the vendors and creators who exhibit at these shows, for they all lost huge chunks of revenue they obviously count on to earn a living. As for me, it’s entirely possible someone might well have bought a book from me at one of these shows, with the intention of presenting said book to a friend or relative as a gift. Birthday present? Perhaps, but this time of the year it might well be an offering for the looming holiday season.

With that in mind, I figure I’m not at all above pointing potential buyers to some of my titles that I think make fun gifts for that reader and/or Star Trek fan on your shopping list. For the most part I’m steering away from my novels and focusing instead on those books with a better chance of appealing to the casual fan as well as the hardcore Trekkie.

Yeah, I lied in that last paragraph. I’m actually starting with a novel, but with good reason: It’s the first book of a massive trilogy I undertook with friends and fellow word pushers James Swallow and David Mack. Star Trek: Coda marks a turning point in the massive, interwoven continuity of Star Trek novels published for the past 20 years. As of November 30th, all three books are available in trade paperback, eBook, and audiobook formats. Follow the links below for more info:

Book I: Moments Asunder
Book II: The Ashes of Tomorrow
Book III: Oblivion’s Gate

Elsewhere within the Trek realm, I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer up the closest thing I have to “evergreen titles” I think make fun gifts for the hardcore or even casual Trekkie on your shopping list.

First up? A pair of books to carry with you when you finally decide to blow off Vegas or Cancun and take a real vacation. Hop a transport to Vulcan or the Klingon homeworld, Qo’noS, and be sure to pack along a handy travel guide to your chosen destination. Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan will give you all the info you need to make your way around Earth’s oldest interstellar ally and one of the Federation’s founding members. Check out the planet that gave us Spock, Sarek, Tuvok, T’Pol, and Michael Burhnam. The book even comes packed with helpful hints in the event you find yourself taking part in a Vulcan marriage ceremony or even becoming the unwilling recipient of a dying Vulcan’s living spirit. This book wouldn’t be half as good as it turned out if not for the artistic stylings of Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski.

Vulcan too laid back or even Lebowski for your tastes? Kick your vacation up a notch with Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire. In addition to giving you all the deets for visiting the homeworld, this guide also provides infobits about other planets within the Empire that are well worth a spot on your travel itinerary. Lots of tips from seasoned pros and welcoming locals, along with plenty of anecdotes from prominent Klingons as well insights into Klingon history and culture. Once again, my efforts are made all the better by the contributions of Livio and Peter, whose art graces nearly every page.

Looking for something to help someone get their craft on? A few ideas to appeal to that younger gift recipient who might like puzzles and models are the line of IncrediBuilds book-and-model sets.

There are dozens of options to choose from just by following that link, featuring kits tying into various entertainment properties as well as all manner of science-related topics. I’ve partnered with the IncrediBuilds team on five of these projects (so far?), including three Star Trek offerings: one each for the original U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the Klingon Bird-of-Prey seen in several Star Trek feature films and television series. The models consist of a laser-cut wood sheet with pieces that don’t require glue or other adhesive, and are very easy to assemble. My contribution to each of these was a booklet of history and information about each vessel. Each was a fun way to write for a younger audience than I’m used to addressing.

Moving away from Star Trek, I also did two of these IncrediBuilds projects tying into theToy Story franchise, with models based on Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody. As with the Star Trek sets, I provided a book for each model, this time telling different parts of the stories from the films as seen through each character’s eyes. Again, these presented an opportunity to write for a younger audience, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My most recent collaboration with Insight Editions is also something I had a total blast writing: Star Trek: Kirk Fu. That’s right…we’re talking about the definitive guide to fighting like the one and only James Tiberius Kirk, famed captain of the Starship Enterprise, accomplished brawler of Klingons, Romulans, giant space lizards and imaginary Western black hat types. Artist Christian Cornia provides all of the art, including big, beautiful full-color splash pages along with step-by-step diagrams for each move. Be sure to stretch well before undertaking any of the moves illustrated in this handbook. Or, you could heed the warning and don’t try any of this at home because it’s all made up, yo.

Maybe somebody on your list likes role-playing games and Modiphius has you covered with Star Trek Adventures, fully-realized RPG set in the realm of the final frontier. I mean, sure…they DO have games based on a variety of premises, but right now we’re talking about Star Trek, all right? After helping game editor Jim Johnson and fellow writer Scott Pearson develop the game’s “Living Campaign” playtest storyline, I also managed to make some minor contributions to the game’s Core Rulebook. Next, last year I provided material that was included in 2020’s Klingon Empire Core Rulebook, which basically has everything you need to play Star Trek Adventures pretty much exclusively from the perspective of Klingon characters.

The most recent release is the Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide, a massive book featuring a complete sandbox setting which greatly expands on information first created for the Living Campaign. I got to work with Jim and Scott as well as friends and writers Kelli Fitzpatrick and Derek Tyler Attico to develop a ton of all-new material to really flesh out what Scott and I started way back when. All sorts of other goodies are over there in the Modiphius shop, just waiting to help you make your STA experience a bold one.

The last couple of years have seen an uptick in my collaborative fiction output with by best friend and occasional writing partner, Kevin Dilmore. We had stories in two different anthologies last year and since then we’ve written three more such tales. with at least one more on the way.

For 2021, we were tapped by friend Robert Greenberger on behalf of Crazy 8 Press to contribute an all-new story to his anthology Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2021. A follow-up to 2019’s Thrilling Adventure Yarns, this is yet another volume crammed to overflowing with 1940s-style pulp action-adventure tales. We get to hang out with some of our favorite writers and friends, and it’s always a gas when we get to work with Bob and the Crazy 8 gang.

If all goes to plan, Kevin and I will have new stories in at least two new anthologies during the coming year, and as I write this we’re tossing ideas back and forth for a project that’s recently popped up on our radar and we’ve decided it’s too cool to pass up at least submitting pitches.

But since we’re here and I’m still digging on this particular tome, I’m going to remind you of this fun little project to which we contributed and which also came out last year. The pandemic ate into a lot of the marketing and promo this one was supposed to enjoy, so I’m boosting the signal again. It Came From the Multiplex: 80s Midnight Chillers, is an unabashed celebrations of 1980s horror movies, as well as Kevin’s and my first collaboration with the gang at Hex Publishers.

We had so much fun with this story that we decided the setting – the Vogue, an old-school single screen theater in the center of a small nondescript town in Anytown, USA – could more than lend itself to other tales told within those troubled walls. So, it’s entirely possible that may be something we do for goofs one of these days.

All right. I suppose that’s enough shameless promotion for one day. Obviously I’m hoping you’ll see fit to check out my various wares, and here’s hoping you find something either for yourself or that one particular name on your shopping list.

Star Trek Adventures: Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide out now!

If you’re into Star Trek and roleplaying games and you haven’t yet sampled the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, we need to have a chat about that because I think you’re missing out on some kickass gaming potential.

Those of you who follow my ramblings are (hopefully) aware that I make occasional contributions to the game. My association with Modiphius Entertainment began waaaaaaay back in 2016 when friend, fellow word pusher, and STA’s project manager, Jim Johnson, invited me to work with him and Scott Pearson on some early story development. This resulted in the “Living Campaign,” something of a juiced up testbed where players took the then-new game’s rules out for a spin and offered feedback to the developers while (hopefully having a good time).

Working with direction from Jim and the rest of the game’s core team of developers, Scott and I created “the Shackleton Expanse,” a region of space ripe for exploration within the game’s setting, as well as the “Tilikaal,” a mysterious alien race which along with the Expanse itself was to be the main driver for the living playtest. We laid down some basic info on the area and the aliens, provided some story springboards as to how a proper campaign might evolve over time with additional adventure scenarios thrown into the mix – those offered by Modiphius as well as anything a gamemaster might devise for their group of players – sat back, and watched what happened.

Wow. Did stuff happen.

Continue reading “Star Trek Adventures: Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide out now!”

Adding the Klingons to Star Trek Adventures!

Regular followers of my blatherings may be aware that – seemingly an eternity ago, what with COVID-induced time dilation – I helped out a bit with the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game created Modiphius. Working with friends and fellow Star Trek scribes Jim Johnson and Scott Pearson was tremendous fun. However, given my role was to help with some of the early playtesting by developing a story premise for the game’s “living campaign,” and once that was done I figured my time working on STA was at an end. After all, they have actual game developers and other people who really know what they’re doing, and it’s obvious from how the game has developed and expanded over these past few years that the good folks at Modiphius totally have a handle on things.

But of course Jim Johnson couldn’t resist dragging me back.

STA-KlingonRulebook-CoverYesterday, Modiphius announced the release of a major new expansion to Star Trek Adventures: The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook. Not simply a rules supplement, this new volume essentially is its own standalone game, allowing players to carry out missions of conquest in the name of Kahless completely from the point of view of the Klingon characters they create. According to a new article on StarTrek.com:

This core rulebook contains the same rules presented in the Starfleet-focused core rulebook released in 2017. The award-winning design team, including 2d20 developer Nathan Dowdell, took the opportunity to edit and streamline the rules chapters based on fan feedback since the game’s launch, and introduce new rules for reputation, honor, glory, and house management. Now, for the first time, you and your fellow players can create your own noble Klingon House and seek out glory. Everything you need to create brave Klingon warriors and fearsome Klingon warships are available for you to use.”

What else can you expect to find within this book’s nearly 400 pages?

In addition to the revised rules, the book contains extensive chapters on Klingon history, culture, politics, military, and planets. Players have more than a dozen Klingon starships to choose from and make their own, creating their own ship to crew and take into battle. Players will be able to play Klingons from most any Star Trek era, including pure-bred Klingon warriors as well as those afflicted with the Augment Virus, the QuchHa’. Fans of Star Trek: Enterprise, The Original Series, and The Next Generation era will all find materials to use in their games and play in any time they choose.”

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Read the entire piece here: StarTrek.com – Boldly Go Into the Klingon Empire

For those wondering, Klingons and additions to the lore as depicted on Star Trek: Discovery are not included in this new rulebook, as Modiphius does not currently possess a license to develop material based on that series. Never say never, though!

In addition to myself and Scott as well as the game’s already solid roster of talented developers and writers, Jim wielded his editor mojo and assembled a small band of Star Trek fiction writers to contribute to the book: Derek Tyler Attico, Christopher L. Bennett, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Kelli Fitzpatrick, and Lawrence M. Schoen. I was asked to contribute a variety of background materials relating to Klingon history, politics, the military, and the Empire’s relationships with various allies and adversaries.

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As always, it was great fun to work on a group effort like this, and I think Star Trek Adventures players and Klingon fans in particular will enjoy how this book adds a new dimension to the game. The book is currently available as a watermarked PDF you can download immediately upon purchase for $19.99, with hardcover “standard” and “deluxe” print editions available for pre-order and coming in the fall.

Thanks very much to Jim Johnson for inviting me back to play in the Star Trek Adventures sandbox for a while!

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.

Star Trek Adventures core rulebook: It’s almost here!

This is what I get for missing staff meetings.

sta-rulebookcoverYep! The print edition for the brand-spankin’ new Star Trek Adventures role playing game is up for pre-order, and shipping for the shiny new tome is imminent! The e-Book version has been available for several weeks, but I think the big intro for the hardcover print edition was the GenCon convention this past weekend in Indianapolis. Fans were able to buy copies of the book, and the reactions I’ve heard so far are leaning way over toward the positive sign of things.

Long time Star Trek fans and gamers now that this but the latest in a series of Trek-themed role playing games released over the years. My entry point to this genre was in 1983, with FASA’s still awesome Star Trek: The Role Playing Game. Later, game companies Last Unicorn and Decipher got into the act, each releasing the own versions complete with core rules and a slew of supplements and accessories. Each version has its fans, and I still have certain key books from each game that I use for reference or inspiration with my own writing, but if I had to choose one of the older games, it’d have to be FASA. That said, some of the Last Unicorn supplements in particular are pretty dang cool. 🙂

st-old_rpgs
trek_heritageNOTE: This is the point where the truly hardcore fans might remind me that there was a Star Trek RPG which preceded all of these. No, I didn’t forget about you. I actually don’t have a copy of this, published by Heritage Models in 1978, so if anyone out there wants to start thinking Christmas ideas for me, here you go.

There’s also Prime Directive, an RPG off shoot of the venerable Star Fleet Battles tabletop combat game, which was published back in the early 1990s. The entire SFB system has thrived for decades, emphasizing the tactical/military aspects of Star Trek gaming, and Prime Directive extends that into the RPG sphere. So, if that’s your thing, I highly suggest wandering over and checking out the entire line of SFB products from Amarillo Design Bureau.

As or this “next generation” of Star Trek RPGs? Modiphius has gone all out, y’all. They have a slate of supplements, dice, figures, and other nifty doodads ready to roll out, but it all starts with the core rulebook, which you can pre-order RIGHT. NOW.

Though I was involved in writing for the new game’s “living playtest campaign” last fall, I also wrote material that ended up in the new rulebook. That said, I have to emphasize that my contributions to the book are pretty minor when compared to the efforts of so many more people who had a hand in bringing this project to fruition. I mean, have a look at the credits page:

STA-credits(Click to Biggie Size.)

I know, right?

So far, all I’ve seen is the e-Book version, and THAT was gorgeous to behold. I can’t wait to see what the print edition looks like.

It’s not too late to get in on the Star Trek Adventures role playing action. Just slide on over to the Modiphius site and check out all the cool things that are there for the checking out.

Go on. Go. I’ll be here when you get back.

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Yes, this thing still works.

Blog-On-Off

I figure (read: “desperately hope”) there’s at least a couple of you out there wondering where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing the last week or so.

The answer is that I’ve been bussssssssssssssssssssy. There are several things in the hopper at the moment, almost all of which fall into the category of “Things I Can’t Really Talk About…At Least Not Yet.”

I was motoring along at a somewhat leisurely pace for a bit there, enjoying the first few weeks of my kids’ summer vacation, but then several things kicked into gear in rapid succession. On the home front, both kids are attending “summer learning” programs at school. Unlike “summer school” from back in my day, which you attended because your dumb ass flunked a class during the regular school year, this is a completely different kind of thing. For one, the kids volunteer to go, and the classes they attend are fun. Oldest daughter is taking a computer animation class, while youngest is doing one about animal sciences. How cool are those? So, it’s like summer/day camp, but I don’t have to pay for it because it’s offered by the school system (which I kinda sorta already pay for, anyway). Of course, the classes are at two different schools with different start/release times, so I’m running around town in the morning and afternoon doing my best Uber driver impression.

The kids are also on the neighborhood swim team again, this year. This requires them to be at practice a few times a week, and then there’s the weekly swim meets against other neighborhood teams every Wednesday evening throughout June and part of July. The Wednesdays are a 4-5 hour commitment, plus we parents volunteer to help with various things that need doing during the evening. I usually serve as one of the lane timers, for example, with my little stopwatch and clipboard, while Michi helps up front with registration, entering stats, or serving as a runner. When we started this last year I didn’t think I’d enjoy any of it, but it’s been a lot of fun, due in no small part to friends who also have daughters in the program, and with whom we hang during all of this.

(Note: It’s possible that an adult beverage or two may be present at these events. YMMV.)

Youngest daughter had a Taekwondo promotion this past Saturday. It was a midterm promotion for her, and she now has about half of the midterm stars she needs before she can even be considered for testing to earn her Third Degree black belt. She’s taking the rest of the summer off to enjoy swim team and the rest of her vacation before school starts back up, and  then she’ll get back to it. Oldest daughter, also a Second Degree, is taking a hiatus of her own. 

Work wise, things are maintaining pace in the “busy” lane but threatening to swerve into “insane.” As I write this, I have three…count them, three… projects all with deadlines in the next 45-60 days. One was something I was already scheduled to start working on after finishing the previous novel manuscript, and the other two came largely out of nowhere. Both are things I really, really want to do, and each has the potential to lead to more work in their respective realms, so hell yeah I signed on. By themselves, none of them is something that would be in danger of missing its respective deadline, and in truth all are of a size that I can manage together with proper time management and discipline.

(Insert joke about my being doomed here.)

What are these new things? Well, as you may have already guessed, all of them fall under the aforementioned “Things I Can’t Really Talk About…At Least Not Yet” category. Stay tuned for details as I’m given the green light to start blabbing.

Oh, and that novel manuscript I mentioned in passing a few paragraphs ago? The one I turned in on May 22nd? Yeah, I’ve heard back from my editor and the licensor and there will be some rework involved. Nothing too demanding (at least, the way I see it), but requiring more time than I’m able to give it at this precise moment. Thankfully, all parties are sympathetic to my plight, and I’m doing whatever I can to shuffle things around on my calendar so that I can return my updated manuscript sooner rather than later. Luckily, we have a bit of maneuvering room, here, but that doesn’t mean I want this thing to linger any longer than absolutely necessary. Oh, what’s it about? Again, “Things I Can’t Really Talk About…At Least Not Yet.” Sorry. 🙂

As for things I can talk about? Let’s see….today, I’m wrapping up a piece for Modiphius, to be used as part of the communications stream between game developers and players for their upcoming Star Trek Adventures role playing game. Once that’s done, I’m putting the final polish on a guest blog piece that will run in conjunction with the soon-to-be released Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire from Insight Editions. Like the book itself, I’m writing this piece to be “in character” as though submitted by the same people who write the guides. We’ll see if anyone else thinks I’m as clever or funny as I apparently think I am. Once these are out of the way, I’ll be getting started in earnest on the Three Big Things.

It’s nice to be busy.

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So, enough about me. What’s up with you?

Star Trek Adventures: Pre-Orders are live!

I’m a little behind the curve posting about this, but hey! This is the kind of news that only gets better the longer it’s around, amirite?

Modiphius, purveyors of cool games far and wide, kicked things up a few notches this past week in the realm of Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game. In addition to the ginormous core rule book that will drive the action and fun for all involved, Modiphius is also offering several sets of miniature figures and dice as well as other accessories to enhance gameplay.

“Wait!” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “How do I get in on this?”

Hey! I’m glad you asked. Check it out:

Star Trek Adventures: Pre-Order Now Live!

There are a whole bunch of deals and bundles to be had, depending on how much disposable income you happen to have.

As for now, I’m just jazzed to be a part of something so cool. Those of you keeping score know that I worked last year with fellow Star Trek scribe Scott Pearson to develop the storyline that drove the game’s “living campaign” playtest. That storyline, along with some other material I provided, will be included in the core book, which is jammed to overflowing with the rules, tables, and other descriptive and narrative material as created by a talented bunch of writers and game developers. Many thanks to fellow word-pusher Jim Johnson for introducing me to the Modiphius crew, who in turn saw fit to bring be aboard to play for a while.

So far, early response to the playtest campaign and the game itself has largely been positive, and I know fans are champing at the bit to get their hands on the finished game materials. I know I can’t wait to see it. As stated in the Modiphius bulletin, the pre-order period is underway and goes through August, so you need to get over there if you want to be among the first to own Star Trek Adventures!

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Is this thing on? An overdue update!

Previously, on The Fog of Ward:

test-pattern

Yes, things have been quiet around here, lately. Sorry about that. My last couple of weeks were dominated by finishing up the manuscript for what will be my 25th novel, if the publishing gods are kind.

What can I tell you about the new book?

Um…..it’s about 97,000 words, give or take, and that’s exactly all I can tell you about it at this point. Hopefully I’ll be able to spill at least a few juicy deets soon, but until then, as Sid Hudgens might put it in L.A. Confidential, everything’s “Off the record, on the QT, and very hushhush.”

So….oh, well. 🙂

With that manuscript delivered, my attention will soon be turning to my next novel, for which an outline has been with my editor the past few weeks. I’m anxious to get started on this one because it promises to be tremendous fun. What’s it about?

Um…..it’s going to be about 50,000 words, give or take, and that’s exactly all I can tell you about it at this point. Hopefully I’ll be able to spill at least a few juicy deets soon, but until then, as Sid Hudgens might put it in L.A. Confidential, everything’s “Off the record, on the QT, and very hushhush.”

No, that’s not a temporal loop. Just the state of my writing life, at the moment.

What’s that? What can I talk about? I suppose I can give an update on things that are “Coming Soon!”

hearts-and-minds-coverFirst up, my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Hearts and Minds is already starting to pop up in stores, ahead of its “official” publication date of next Tuesday, May 30th. It’s both a (largely) standalone TNG tale for Captain Picard and his merry band aboard the Enterprise-E as well as a loose sequel to my earlier novels From History’s Shadow and Elusive Salvation.

(You’ve all read both of those, right?)

Elsewhere, I was also happy earlier this week to find out the core rulebook and a few other tasty accessories have been finalized and approved for Star Trek Adventures, the new tabletop role-playing game coming at ya later this summer from the good folks at Modiphius. Accosta-bridge-1_origrding to the gang putting the game together, the option to pre-order these items will be available in a few weeks, and the stuff will begin shipping in late August to be in stores by September. Those of you who visit this space know I  helped contribute a storyline to drive the game’s initial, “living campaign playtest,” and that “startup” story as well as some scenarios for gaming in that setting are being packaged into the book. I also contributed some other “sidebar” material, but I have no idea what form that stuff will take. I’m as excited to see the finished book as everyone else. 🙂

predator-antho-coverCurrently, I’m tending to a few items on my “To Do List” this week, before I head out with the family for a quick vacation and then come back to get started on the new book. Chief among those To Do Items are reviewing and making any needed fixes to the copyedited manuscript for my short story “Recon,” which will be included in a forthcoming anthology, Predator: If It Bleeds edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and published by Titan Books.

Also, I’m turning some attention and a few brain cells to the outline for an original science fiction novel concept, that I’m hoping to pitch to publishers this summer. It’s been lying dormant for a long while, owing to my focus being elsewhere, but my goal is to have the outline completed by the end of June. Keep those fingers crossed!

There are a few other things percolating, but at present they’re all rather amorphous, so I’m not going to jinx any of them by talking too much.

So, that’s what’s up with me. ‘sup with you?

 

Talking about Star Trek Adventures for MODIPHIA!

One of the more unexpected developments to come out of 2016 was my getting involved with Modiphius Entertainment and their still-gestating Star Trek Adventures role-playing game.

Hey. I have a weird job, sometimes.

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I spent a good bit of last fall working with friends Scott Pearson and Jim Johnson to carry out the task I’d been given: fleshing out a storyline that could be used as part of a “living campaign playtest,” during which the game’s rules would be run through the wringer and kinks addressed and worked out. Players would participate in this testing phase, playing through scenarios developed by the game’s designers and other contributors and offering feedback on what worked and didn’t work for them. The results of this effort will eventually find their way into the game’s core rulebook, scheduled to be released later this summer, and set the stage for many more storylines and scenarios to come within the game’s setting.

So, yeah. That sounded like some cool action to get in on.

Want to learn more about what we came up with, and how I ended up as a part of this snazzy new thing? You can read about all of that and more in the very first, minty-fresh issue of Modiphia, the “official digital magazine” of Modiphius Entertainment, which is now available in PDF form as a free download from the game publisher’s webstore.

modiphia1-cover.pngIn addition to extensive coverage of Star Trek Adventures – including a peak at the storyline we developed and an article I wrote about my own involvement – Modiphia #1 also includes new articles and content for several other games in the Modiphius stable, including Achtung! Cthulhu, Conan, and Thunderbirds.

Many thanks to Chris Birch and Sam Webb at Modiphius for inviting me into their sandbox to play for a bit. I’m honestly not sure what my level of involvement will be in the short term, as everything now is focused on the living campaign and fine-tuning the rules, scenarios, and other info that will be included in the core gaming materials. Those are tasks better left to people who know what they’re doing in those arenas.

Look for more info on Star Trek Adventures in this space, as I’m given the thumbs up to share details. Meanwhile? Get gamin’, yo.

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Interview with Priority One Podcast about Star Trek Adventures!

Yes, once again I have been yammering into a microphone while someone records it so that other people can listen to it.

I don’t get it, either.

priorityonepodcast-logoThis time, I was invited to sit down with hosts Elijah and Kenna from the Priority One Podcast to talk about Star Trek Adventures, the new tabletop role playing game coming soon from Modiphius Entertainment. While I was asked to talk about the storyline I helped develop with the able assistance of friend and fellow Trek nerd Scott Pearson, and how such writing differs from what I might do for other projects like–for example–a novel, a good bit of the discussion focused on the game itself, including its mechanics, rules, and so on.

Fortunately for everyone involved, game designer Nathan Dowdell was with me, fielding with ease every question the hosts threw at him. Nathan is heading up the game’s development team and it’s obvious that a lot of thought and effort has gone into creating the rules that will drive the game while at the same time appealing to hard core fans as well as gamers who might only have a casual interest in Star Trek. From what I’ve read and observed so far, he definitely knows Trek as well as game design, and I’m confident Star Trek Adventures is in good hands.

Our interview with Elijah and Kenna is but one portion of this latest episode of Priority One, which also includes a look back at Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country on the occasion of the film’s 25th anniversary, and the latest news and rumors from the development of the next Star Trek movie as well as next year’s new TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, and updates for the Star Trek Online game. The result?

Priority One Podcast Episode 298: The Undiscovered Country

Many thanks to Elijah, Kenna, and the Priority One team for having us on their show, and to Nathan for joining me to provide all sorts of juicy details about the game.

For more info on Star Trek Adventures, be sure to visit the Modiphius website!

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