Blast from the past: “And Then One Night”

HGWorld-logoA while back, friend and fellow word pusher Jay Smith was the chaotic evil mastermind behind HG World, a full-cast audio drama depicting a zombie uprising and those who struggle to survive it. Jay wrote all of the scripts for nearly 30 episodes and an audio novel, and more than 70 people lent their voices in various capacities over the course of the series.

Back in 2010 or 2011, Jay posited the idea of a series of shorter episodes depicting characters and events away from the main storyline. Along with a few other folks, he invited me to submit story ideas for this “audio anthology” he was tentatively calling A Long Cold Lonely Winter. I pitched an idea about a Marine unit tasked with protecting a small group of VIPs, specifically a United States senator and his family. Originally meant to transport the senator and his entourage to a secure location, things go sideways and the Marines are forced to seek shelter at an abandoned National Guard armory post. They fortify their positions after being told to stay put and are preparing to hunker down for the winter, “And Then One Night, All Hell Broke Loose.”

At least, that’s how I wrote it. I submitted a script for my story, but didn’t hear much about it after that. For a variety of reasons, mostly work and life and other things of higher importance, the anthology idea was shelved while Jay focused his attention on other things. I was plenty busy writing all sorts of other stuff, so at some point this just sort of faded into the back of my memory.

Then, last week, he posted an announcement on Facebook that he was officially “retiring” HG World, and that’s when I received a cool little surprise: Somewhere along the line, Jay had cast the voices for my script, and he and his crew recorded it.

Wait. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? How the hell did that happen? How the hell did that happen? Well, the “how” seems easy enough: Jay and his people did what Jay and his people did a lot: They just did it. Imagine my genuine, pleasant surprise.

Now, this is only the raw audio, meaning it’s not anywhere near being a polished episode of the sort Jay and Company put out time after time while working on HG World. So, for all I know there would’ve been edits and maybe even redos if we’d decided something else worked so far as the dialogue went. But, this is a neat little reminder of something fun I did for a friend a while back. Check it out:

HG World: A Long Cold Lonely Winter – “And Then One Night…”

Full Cast List:

Civilian #1 – Isaak Wells
Civilian #2 – Warren Blackie
Civilian #3 – J. Longshaw
Cpl Kirsten Beyer – Ginny Swann
1stLt Carrie Burroughs – S. Longshaw
Col. Michael Davison – David Sobkowiak
LCpl Becky Gaskill – Karen Kahler
LCpl Ricky Jackson – Stacy Dooks
Sgt William Leisner – Tanja Milojevic
GySgt Joshua Marshall – Brion Humphrey
Melissa – Melissa Morgan
Cpl Scott Pearson – Justin Grubbs
Robert Powell – Warren Blackie
Cpl Gary Taylor – Tom Kerin
Andy Waverly – Adam Boeing
Senator Charles Waverly – Lee Turner
Woman – Danielle McRrea

and Keith R.A. DeCandido as Todd Rage

Many thanks to Jay, the cast and crew, and everyone else who worked to put this together. I’m sorry to see HG World retire, but I fully understand having to let a favorite project rest when life’s other demands get in the way. Maybe Jay will find a way to revisit it, one of these days.

Talking about Available Light with Literary Treks!

AvailableLight-coverSo, I’m babbling again.

This time it’s about my still minty fresh Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Available Light, and the thankless task of not only enduring my blatherings but also recording them for others to hear fell to the inimitable duo of Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther, they of the Literary Treks podcast.

I always enjoy talking with Bruce and Dan. They’re longtime supporters of the Star Trek novel line, and the interviews they conduct are fun and even a little challenging, as some of the questions go beyond the usual sorts of topics we might cover while discussing this sort of thing. I also love that they always seem able to dial in on some of the subtler things I might try to sneak into one of my books when I think no one’s paying attention.

In the course of talking about Available Light, we also discuss the rather expansive “24th century continuity” the novels have built across multiple series and more books than I can count over the course of many years. It’s quite something, for whatever my opinion’s worth, and I’m rather proud to be a part of it. We also tease (Just a little!) about what might be next, particularly with the forthcoming Collateral Damage, David Mack‘s follow up to my book that’s due to hit bookstore shelves in October.

In the meantime, have a listen to our little chat:

Literary Treks #266: Bringing the Truth Out of the Shadows

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Thanks as always to Bruce and Dan for having me on. I’m sure we’ll do it again at some point! 🙂

Listen to me talking Trek on ODYSY Radio’s Trek 360!

That’s right, you read that correctly. I’ve been babbling again.

This time, I sit down with Jarrod Cooper, host of Trek 360, a new Star Trek-themed podcast on the ODYSY Radio network which takes a look at things beyond the television episodes and movies. Though the program’s just getting started, Jarrod plans to interview all manner of folks involved with Star Trek in some form or another, including writers such as…well…me.

Yep! For the program’s second episode, Jarrod corralled me to yammer for a bit about writing Star Trek novels, including the new wrinkles being introduced in the last couple of years now that there’s a new television series in production (and more on the way!) and constantly adding to the vast “Star Trek canon.” It’s been a long time since that was a serious consideration, after all, but hey! Times, they are a’changin’, amirite?

We also talk a little about my involvement with the early development of the “living campaign” for Star Trek Adventures, the role-playing game produced by Modiphius and which is continuing to take the tabletop RPG world by storm. This ends up being a nice segue for Jarrod, as he swivels from talking to me to interviewing my good friend Jim Johnson, who as we speak is neck-deep in the game while working as a line editor helping to develop new products for it. He’s got a lot of cool news and juicy details to share, so if you’re into the game be sure to check that out.

Have a listen, whydontcha?

Trek 360, Episode 2 – February 18th, 2019

Many thanks to Jarrod for having me on the show. Maybe we can do it again some time!

Talking Trek and Eating Brains on the Super Geeks Podcast!

And once again, I’m babbling.

I’m babbling, and somebody decided it’d be cool to record said babbling and offer it up for later listening to an unsuspecting populace. This time, I sit down with hosts George Silsby, Carlos Pedraza, “Chelle,” and Sunseahl Silverfall for an all-new episode of their Super Geeks podcast.

While we spend a few minutes talking about my writing – specifically, the experience of writing Drastic Measures, my Star Trek: Discovery novel – the conversation does end up bouncing around to talking about the show itself, the recently announced and still-forthcoming “Picard” series and “Lower Decks” animated series, the pros and cons of streaming services, and assorted topics that seem to pop up as we move merrily along.

The episode clocks in at an hour and fifty minutes, but it sure seemed to fly by. Have a listen, if you’re of a mind to do so:

Super Geeks, Season 2 Episode 13: “Dayton Ward Ate Our Brains!”

Many thanks to George, Carlos, Chelle, and Sun for inviting me to hang with them for a bit. They’ve invited me back to talk about whatever at some future date, so maybe our paths will cross again one day soon!

Talking Klingons and the Klingon Travel Guide on the Bound By Honor podcast!

You gotta love those Klingons.

I mean, I know I do…enough that I write about them on occasion. Such was the case with last year’s Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire, in which I did my best to make the Klingon homeworld and various other planets under imperial rule sound like the most awesome vacation destinations you never knew you wanted to visit. My ploy seems to have worked, as I’ve received a number of notes and messages from people who’ve decided that’s where they’re headed for their next anniversary, birthday, spring break, or whatever.

You know…just as soon as there actually is a Klingon Empire, and Southwest Airlines adds it to their routes.

Anyway…

Last week, I sat down with hosts “Juvan,” “Jorn,” and “Ja’Jim” for an interview for Bound By Honor, their podcast devoted to Star Trek and Star Trek books. Our discussion covered several topics, including my early days as a Star Trek fan and my secret writer origin story before we move on to discussing the writing of the Klingon travel guide.

During our talk, I was surprised (and flattered!) that a few Klingon-focused fan groups have actually been using the book along with others such as Keith R.A. DeCandido‘s Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War as resources to help them flesh out various aspects of Klingon culture, world-building, and so on. It’s always fun to hear your work has been well-received by readers, but this is definitely taking things to another level. 🙂

The interview, which runs about an hour, has actually been labeled as “Part 1” of a two-part look at the Klingon travel guide. Part 2, coming in the next week or so, will focus on their review of the book itself. Meanwhile, have a listen to our little chat:

Klingon Assault Group – Bound By Honor Podcast: Dayton Ward Interview

Many thanks to my hosts for having me on. I had a fun time, and perhaps we’ll have reason to chat again sometime in the near future!

Talking Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4 with the TrekGeeks!

And now for something somewhat different.

Yes, I sat down with another podcast, and sure…it was another Star Trek-themed podcast, but this one had the rare pleasure of not being about me!

“Whaaaaaat?” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “I thought he was always about him. The hell is this madness?

This time, I sat down with Bill Smith and Dan Davidson of the TrekGeeks podcast, to act as something resembling a referee, moderator, babysitter, or whatever as we discussed the fourth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in a rapid-fire “See It Or Skip It” discussion. What’s that about? Essentially, we run down the list of the season’s episodes, and give our quick hit “See It” or “Skip It” recommendations, and why. My job, supposedly, was to keep the show moving and prevent Bill and Dan from descending into mortal combat…or something.

Hardcore Star Trek fans will doubtless note that DS9’s fourth season is pretty strong, pound for pound. It probably won’t surprise you to know that (SPOILERS!) we ended up recommending most of the episodes as “See It.” Which ones did we opt to put in the “Skip It” column? Which ones made us waffle back and forth? Well, you’re just gonna hafta listen, aren’t you? Do that right here:

TrekGeeks Episode 149
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4 – See It Or Skip It

Many thanks to Bill and Dan for inviting me to come and play for a bit. This one was a lot of fun, and I’ve already told them I’d be up for a future installment at some point.

Omega Directive podcast interview, and they’re talking about us over at Literary Treks!

It’s been a busy week, so I’m a bit behind on feeding the Blog Beast. That included all but forgetting that a new interview with me has been posted. Then I felt my ears burning as people who’ve interviewed me in the past were talking about me again, and I guess they figured I wouldn’t find out?

Please. I’m a writer with a fragile ego. I cringe whenever my name is said aloud.

First up? Local Kansas City fan Steve Atwell has launched a podcast, The Omega Directive, which he describes as a place for “Casual discussions & in-depth interviews about Star Trek. We’ll chat with writers, artists, actors, directors, & fans who’ve contributed to the franchise – canon & non, over its 50 year run. We’ll also talk about its cultural impact, & examine the elements within that make it tick.”

For his third episode, Steve reached out to me, and among the various topics of discussion was my book from last year, Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire. The conversation bounces around a bit, of course, from how I got into writing to being a Star Trek fan and even a trip down Memory Lane and my time in the military. Steve even finds a way to bring up a goofy story I wrote, about four guys sitting in a movie theater waiting for Star Trek V to start. Yeah…we bounced around a bit.

If you’re needing something to stick in your ears during a work commute or while you toil in the yard, feel free to have a listen:

The Omega Directive: Trek Travel Take 1

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the digital space, Literary Treks hosts Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther have devoted a recent episode of their podcast to mine and Kevin’s first novel-length collaboration, A Time To Sow, the third in the 9-book Star Trek: A Time To… series published by Pocket Books during 2004. Talk about your blasts from the past? It’s actually been a long time since I gave any serious thoughts to this series, let alone this book and its companion, A Time To Harvest, so it was nice to hear about it from someone who just recently read it. Have a listen to Bruce and Dan’s conversation about the book:

Literary Treks Episode #235: Make it Sow!

Many thanks to Steve to for having me on his show, and to Bruce and Dan for their continued coverage of the ever-expanding Star Trek literary universe.

Talking Drastic Measures at Discovery Debrief!

Brace yourselves. I’m babbling again.

Look,  I had to get at least one more of these in before you all head out for summer vacations and whatnot, right?

DD-logoThis time, I have a sit-down with Chris Clow, Rachael Clow, and Cicero Holmes over at the Discovery Debrief podcast.  As their name might imply, these folks have been discussing, reviewing, and examining Star Trek: Discovery, and that includes the occasional foray into the “other stuff” connected to the new series. You know, books and comics and whatnot.

Enter: me. Well, me and Drastic Measures.

For this latest installment and after having already had an extensive discussion about the book itself in a prior episode, they invited me to chat with them about my writing as well as how I came to be involved with writing Drastic Measures and the unique challenges (and opportunities!) it presented. There’s also a larger conversation about the fun and challenges of writing within the Star Trek universe and some descent into geekery as we talk favorite episodes, films, “dream  writing projects” and so on and so forth.

So, you say you wanna hear all of this? Give it a listen:

Discovery Debrief #22: A Conversation with Dayton Ward

DD-Ep22

Many thanks to Chris, Rachael, and Cicero for having me on for such a fun chat. Here’s hoping we have reason to do it again, some time. 🙂

Talking about Star Trek III on the SciFi Diner Podcast!

scifidinerpodcastWhat’s that? You want me to join the search for Spock? Okay. Sure. Count me in.

It’s been a while since I last visited the SciFi Diner Podcast and hung out with friends and hosts Scott Hertzog and Miles McLoughlin. In the past, we’ve talked about some of my writing projects, but the real fun has come when they invite me to talk about something unrelated to anything I’m doing. We’ve had fun conversations about Rogue One, for example, and I’ve participated in a couple of sessions where we lay out our “Geeky Christmas Present” wish list.

This time, Scott and Miles invited me to sit in for an episode of their “SciFi Rewind” feature, where they take a look at an older science fiction film or TV show. For this installment, we took a nostalgic look back at Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

Released in the summer of 1984, this third of the Star Trek films featuring the original series cast picks up not long after the events of the previous movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the (SPOILER ALERT!!) death of Spock. Of course, this is Star Trek, where death as often as not is little more than an inconvenience of one sort or another. And so it goes that Admiral Kirk and the remainder of his merry band soon find themselves on a quest to retrieve Spock’s body from the Genesis Planet. There, they find more than they bargained for when they discover Spock is…wait for it…alive.

Duh duh DIHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a common fan stance that the “odd-numbered” Star Trek movies aren’t as good as their even-numbered companions. I don’t know that consigning Star Trek III in with the rest is a totally fair move. Sure, it’s not as good as its predecessor or the other “evens,” but it’s not as though it’s the worst Star Trek story ever told. Watched in concert with Star Trek II and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, this film holds its own as one component of a larger story arc spanning the three movies.

Listen to my discussion with Scott and Miles, over at the SciFi Diner:

SciFi Rewind 328: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

st3-poster

Many thanks to Scott and Miles for having me back to the diner!

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

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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. 🙂