They told me to “Go Trek Yourself,” so I did!

DrasticMeasures-CoverHey! I’m babbling again.

This time, it’s with hosts J.K. Woodward and Darrell Taylor and their podcast Go Trek Yourself. Though the focus of the show is Star Trek: Discovery, with the show taking its winter break J.K. and Darrell are expanding their horizons a bit an reaching out to talk to other people with peripheral connections to the series. In their last episode, they interviewed my occasional partner in literary mischief, David Mack, and talked about his Discovery novel Desperate Hours.

Next up? Moi.

During this extended episode (which is a kind way of saying, “That Ward guy just. Won’t. Shut. Up.”), J.K. and Darrell ask me about my own forthcoming Disco novel, Drastic Measures, as well as my writing partnership with Kevin and our various collaborations. It’s a rollicking hour+plus of Trekkie goodness, including gushing on my part as I’m a big fan of J.K.’s comics artwork.

So, if you’ve got 75 or 80 minutes to kill, go and stick this in your ears:

Go Trek Yourself Episode 25: Dayton Ward

Many thanks to J.K. and Darrell for having me on to yammer for a bit. We’ve talked about a return engagement at some point, so I guess we’ll see what we see!

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Talking “Run, Steve, Run” with The OSI Files!

OSI-Files-LogoIt’s been a while since I last chatted about various things bionic with John S. Drew, but hey! The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman never seem to be far from either of our thoughts, and John had been talking about corralling me for an episode of his bionic-themed podcast The OSI Files for a while, now. At long last, he makes good on his threat, and has me sit down for a chat with him about The Six Million Dollar Man‘s first season finale, “Run, Steve, Run.”

This episode is the midpoint of a loose trilogy of episodes that begins with “Day of the Robot,” the first season’s fourth episode, and ends with the second season’s “Return of the Robot Maker.” I call it “loose” because the only robots we see in this episode appear in flashback sequences from “Day of the Robot.” However, the robot’s creator, Dr. Jeffrey Dolenz (later changed to “Chester Dolenz”) is on hand, with the story focusing on his obsession with learning the secret of how Steve Austin was able to defeat his robot in the first episode (hint: Steve’s bionic). Once Dolenz realizes what makes Steve tick, he’s like a kid in a candy store….or maybe a Radio Shack, as he contemplates the possibilities of exploiting Steve’s bionics to improve the army of robots he wants to build.

While the other episodes–admittedly dated and even ridiculous by modern TV standards–retain huge nostalgic appeal for me as favorites from my childhood, I’m less enamored with this installment. Part of that is that I always thought the Dolenz character was criminally underserved, in all of these stories. Unlike other bad guys who decide they need to teach Oscar Goldman and the OSI a lesson for overlooking their genius when it comes to tech goodness like robots, Dolenz never really gets a chance to shine with this role. That’s a shame, as veteran character actor Henry Jones creates in Dolenz one of those “recurring nemesis” characters like Star Trek‘s Harry Mudd you want to see every so often.

That said, “Run, Steve, Run” is certainly not the series’ worst offering, and full credit to John for helping me soften my stance, as I went into this chat with this episode most definitely not on my “ones I’ll watch on a rainy day” list.

Check out the conversation, which is followed by an interview with “Run, Steve, Run” guest star Melissa Greene, here:

The OSI Files Episode 004: “Run, Steve, Run”

Many thanks to John, with whom I always enjoy talking all things bionic, for having me on. We’ve already discussed possibilities for follow-up chats, so who knows?

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Talking Klingons and travel guides with Literary Treks!

It’s been almost five years since Trek.fm launched their Literary Treks podcast. I know, because I was there, invited by then hosts Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing to sit in as the show’s very first guest.

Since then, and even through a couple of changes in hosting duties, Literary Treks has continued to shine a spotlight on the world of Star Trek fiction in prose and comics form. Nearly every episode has featured an interview with an author, editor, artist, or other creative contributor. I did a quick count, and it turns out I’ve been on the show ten times since being Guest #1.

Wait! Correction: eleven times.

It turns out that the 200th episode of Literary Treks was also an opportunity for me to sit with current hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson and talk at length about my recently released tome, Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire.

HUTG Klingon Lifestyle (Twitter)

In addition to discussing how the book came together, we also talked about all the crazy places from which I drew ideas and inspiration, all of that gorgeous art littering the pages, and so on. It’s a rollicking hour or so, during which we also discuss – briefly and in the vaguest possible terms – my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel and some other stuff I’m working on.

Go on, have a listen:

Literary Treks #200: Klingon-It Up A Little Bit

Many thanks to Dan and Bruce for having me on yet again to talk Trek. As always, I enjoy these interviews and how you always keep me and my fellow scribes on our toes.

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Talking Klingons, Travel Guides, and vacations with Engage: The official Star Trek Podcast!

Again, with the babbling. Again, with people recording the babbling.

engage-logoLast week, I sat down for a brief chit-chat with Jordan Hoffman, host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast. During our little jawing session, we talk (mostly) about the recently released Hidden Universe Travel Guides: Star Trek – The Klingon Empire from Insight Editions. Yeah, that book I’ve been pimping, lately. Yes, I’m pimping it again, because it’s pretty and awesome and is filled with unicorns and rainbows and bat’leths, oh my.

klingon travel guide-coverThe truth is that like the Vulcan book, I had a tremendous amount of fun writing the Klingon guide. Yes, it was a lot of work — much more than you might expect, particularly when compared to writing a novel — but the end result is so worth it. Naturally, my text is only a part of the package; it’s the efforts of artists Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski that truly make the book sing, to say nothing of the sweat invested by art director Chrissy Kwasnik, designer Ashley Quackenbush, and my editor, Chris Prince. I honestly can’t lavish enough praise on these folks.

Don’t believe me? Come stick this in your ears:

Engage, Episode 55: Hidden Universe Guides with Dayton Ward

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Many thanks to Jordan for having me on to chat Trek and travel guides. Hopefully our paths will cross, however briefly, in a few weeks at the upcoming ginormous Star Trek convention in Las Vegas!

Talking Star Trek’s “Arena” with the Enterprising Individuals podcast!

ei-12So, I babbled again, and someone saw fit to record it for future listening and mockery. Call it my Independence Day gift to you.

This time around, I crash the party at the Enterprising Individuals podcast, where “host Ka1iban and a special guest probe deep into a selected episode from the Star Trek canon.”

Seems pretty simple, right? Of course I’m going to do my best to screw it up, somehow.

Host Aaron Coker invited me to sit down and talk Trek with him quite a while back. We actually recorded this episode back in mid-January, but the show records many episodes in succession and then parses them out over the course of several months. I’d almost forgotten about this one, but don’t take it personally, Aaron; I can’t tell you what I had for dinner last night.

The idea is that a given Star Trek episode isn’t reviewed or recapped so much as it is discussed, to we end up talking themes, favorite moments, lasting impact, and so on. When Aaron approached me about coming on the show, he asked me for five episodes I really wanted to talk about, and I gave him five options (not all from the original series, so relax, newer Trek fans).

But first up? One of my early and lasting favorites: “Arena,” from the original series’ first season.

Enterprising Individuals: “Arena” with Dayton Ward

Yes, the one with the Gorn. The one with the big green lizard. The one with the big green rubber lizard costume. The one where Kirk beats the Gorn with the bamboo cannon.

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Yes, it hasn’t aged as well as some of the other Star Trek tales, but there’s a timeless, hokey charm that’s impossible to deny. As we discuss on the podcast, this is one of those episodes I’ve loved since childhood, and is one I always hoped was on when I came home from school for the daily Star Trek rerun on my fuzzy black and white TV. Once you get past the rubber lizard suit and what is perhaps one of the all-time worst examples of hand-to-hand combat ever committed to film, there’s a real message and story here, and much to appreciate even after all these years. It occupies a permanent spot in my top favorite original series episodes.

ingenuity

Many thanks to Aaron for hosting what ended up being a fun, entertaining discussion as we revisited this classic slice of Star Trek.

Talking Hearts and Minds with Literary Treks!

hearts-and-minds-coverFor reasons that defy understanding, people like talking to me. On occasion, they even record my yammerings so that other people can then listen to them. It’s a weird thing, I tell you.

This time, I slide up to a microphone long enough to talk with Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson, hosts of Trek.fm‘s Literary Treks podcast, where they talk all about all the latest happenings in the world of Star Trek novels and comics. As luck would have it, we were able to talk a bit about my recently released Star Trek: The Next Generation novel, Hearts and Minds.

We talk about the story’s origins, both as a NextGen tale as well as a sequel to my previous novels From History’s Shadow and Elusive Salvation. Among the discussions highlights are some of the parallels I draw to other event from “Star Trek history” as well as how the “Majestic 12” organization that features in all three books may or may not be an ancestor to what eventually becomes Section 31 from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise.

NOTE: For those who might be thinking of listening to this podcast before finishing the novel, please be aware that spoiler discussion is all over the place here.

We also cover a bit of ground about the upcoming Klingon Travel Guide as well as other projects I’ve got going on. Here’s hoping you enjoy the conversation, as the Literary Treks gang is always fun to hang with.

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Literary Treks #193: “Dayton’s Treks”

Thanks as always to Dan and Bruce for having me back on the show. I’m guessing it won’t be took long before I’m darkening their studio doorway again. 🙂

Talking “Carbon Creek” with Trek.fm’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, Trek.fm‘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 Trek.fm 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.

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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.”

Talking Headlong Flight with Literary Treks!

headlongflight-coverSo, I’m babbling again. Hey, it happens. What’s weird is that people insist on recording these nonsensical streams of yammering, for later presentation.

This time, it’s hosts Dan Gunther and Bruce Gibson, with an assist from former host Matthew Rushing, from Literary Treks, the Trek.fm podcast that focuses on the realm of Star Trek novels and comics. The topic of our little gabfest? My recently released Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Headlong Flight.

Naturally, we cover the story’s setup, which I confess can be a bit confusing at the beginning, and having to juggle multiple sets of characters while attempting to explore the potential those characters hint at. We also talk a bit about the book’s ending, and how now that I’ve seen some reader reactions, that maybe I might have done some things differently if given the chance. Not to say I’m unhappy with the book’s ending, but that I do take notice when people give me some delicious food for thought.

NOTE: For those who might be thinking of listening to this podcast before finishing the novel, please be aware that spoiler discussion is all over the place here.

Otherwise? I hope you enjoy the conversation, as the Literary Treks gang gives good interview.

lit-treks180.jpg

Literary Treks #180: “Seeing Geordis In My Sleep”

Many thanks as always to Dan, Bruce, and Matt for inviting me on the show. I look forward to our paths crossing again somewhere down the line.

An Animated review with Saturday Morning Trek!

startrek-tas-titlecardHey, whaddaya know? I’m babbling again.

This time, I join Aaron Harvey, host of Saturday Morning Trek, Trek.fm’s podcast devoted to the animated Star Trek television series. On this occasion, we hung out to talk a bit about the recently released Blu-ray “complete series” set, and to reminisce about the show itself.

I’m old enough that I was able to watch the show first-run on Saturday mornings during 1973-74. In the days before home video, it was a rare occasion to happen across the series, as it did not enjoy the same level of rerun exposure as the original series (which was on tas_castpretty much everywhere in the 1970s and 1980s). There were the novelizations of the episodes, adapted by Alan Dean Foster, and some of the merchandising during the 70s definitely took cues from the show (puzzles, toys, games, and other items either utilized or were inspired by imagery from the series), but watching the actual episodes in rerun was a challenge until Nickelodeon started running them at some point.

Then came home video, with the series tas-laserdisceventually being released on VHS and LaserDisc in the 80s and 90s, followed by a complete series DVD set in the mid 2000s, followed by the most recent incarnation, an HD Blu-ray set released last fall as part of the Star Trek 50th anniversary celebration.

(Check out that crazy 90s artwork. I mean….the hell, people?)

Anyway, it’s the Blu-ray set we’re talking about now, and Aaron invited me to sit down and wax nostalgic about our mutual love for this quirky little slice of the Star Trek mythos. We’re both collectors of animated Trek merch, and though Aaron has me beat in this department, I do have a couple of animation cels and a few other doo-dads stashed here and there. But, how do these new Blu-rays stack up? Is it a step too far so far as preserving this bit of 70s cartoon goodness? You can probably guess our answer, though I don’t know that we let the show and the set completely off the hook. Don’t take my word for it, though. Instead, check it out for yourself:

Trek.fm – Saturday Morning Trek #24: Blu-Rays and Pink Tribbles

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Many thanks to Aaron and the rest of the Trek.fm gang for having me on!

Talking Rogue One at the SciFi Diner!

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So, hey! It’s me, again.

Babbling.

Again.scifidinerpodcast

And so it was last week or so that I sat down (virtually speaking, of course) to hang with Scott, Miles, and M at the fabulous SciFi Diner. It’s been a while since I last made it over to their neck of the woods for an actual chat. Earlier in December, they asked if I might be interested in chatting about Rogue One, the new Star Wars flick that’s tearing up movie screens across the country, around the world, and maybe even kicking its way into other dimensions and universes.

SciFi Diner Podcast – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

Though we may pick a few nits here and there, I think we all agreed the new film is a very fun ride, particularly for old-school Star Wars fans like me, who went in wondering how well Rogue One slots in as it’s intended to, acting as a true prequel to the original Star Wars movie (aka, “Episode IV: A New Hope” for you youngsters). What’s that, you say? You’re one of the precious few who still doesn’t get where this new flick fits in with the larger Star Wars saga? Well, then here; let me help you:

rogueone-explained

Boom. Done.

The highlight of the evening may have come from Scott’s son, Kiefer, who’s about the same age as my oldest daughter and like her knew precisely where Rogue One fits into the Star Wars mythos, and explained with authority just how kick-ass this new movie is, and why everybody should go and see it at least three times while it’s still in theaters.

Can the rest of us clear the bar set by Kiefer and his analysis? You’ll have to listen in to find out.

SciFi Diner Podcast – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

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Thanks very much to Scott, Miles, M, and Kiefer for inviting me to talk Star Wars for a bit. It’s always fun hanging with that bunch, and here’s hoping we can do it again soon.