Come see me and Kevin at Kansas City Comic Con!

Awwwwww Yissssssssss.

KCCC-header

Thanks to the con’s own swank and rather handy header graphic, I’m left with almost nothing to tell you about next weekend’s Kansas City Comic Con, which will take place next weekend, November 10-12, at Bartle Hall in downtown KC. Why did I just repeat everything that’s listed in the graphic? Because I just know that without fail, someone will ask when or where the con is taking place.

So, here I am…covering my bases.

Expect to see a lot going on at this year’s show. For one thing, the con is hosting a 40th anniversary reunion with cast members from 1978’s Superman: The Movie. Visiting our fair town next weekend will be Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, Jeff East, Diane Sherry Case, Jack O’Halloran, and Aaron Smolinski.

Representing the 1960s Batman TV show are Burt Ward and Lee Meriwether, and fresh off the set of Star Trek: Discovery and his breakout role as Lieutenant Commander Saru, actor Doug Jones. You’ll also see the one and only Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith, along with Jason Mewes prowling the premises, along with several other guests from film and TV.

On the creator side of the guest list, hometown prolific AF comics writers like Jason Aaron and Dennis Hopeless will be on hand, anchoring a large slate of comics and prose creators. There is also a sizeable roster of cosplay personalities, showcasing their craft all weekend.

Oh, and hey! Kevin and I will be there, too.

KCCC-Dayton&Kevin

We’ll have tables in the con’s vendor area, upon which you may find for sale limited quantities of – among other things – new and recent releases like the Star Trek: Waypoint trade paperback along with my Klingon Empire Travel Guide and Predator: If It Bleeds.

Or, bring whatever you want signed and we’ll do that for the low-low cost of Nuthin’.

So, if you’re not doing anything next weekend, such as celebrating the Marine Corps’ 242nd birthday or commemorating Veterans Day (perhaps by visiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial?), maybe we’ll see you at the con!

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Posted in cons, fandom, kc, kevin dilmore, nerdity | Leave a comment

October writing wrap-up.

all-the-wordsWhoa. Whoa. WHOOOOOAH.

November. Already? The hell, 2017? What’s your freakin’ rush, dude?

I honestly have no real idea where this year has gone. A lot of it has been a blur, and I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve actually been getting stuff done, or else I’ve been running around from thing to thing, working on this or that while frantically trying to keep all the balls in the air and maintaining the illusion of getting stuff done.

I’m guessing the latter.

As with last month’s recap, things remain “unannounced” on several fronts, which means I’m not able to shed new light on some of the things I’ve been working on (or will be working on). Yes, I know it can be irking, but trust me! It’ll all come out, sooner or later.

(He says, with the faintest hint of hope lacing his words.)

So, where do things stand as we jump face first into November? For that, we turn to the October rundown:

Continue reading

Posted in writing, writing wrap-up | 1 Comment

Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 8. 

I’m traveling, so this one will be short.

Panthers 17 – Bucs 3

It really wasn’t even that exciting.

There were moments, sure, but after halftime it started to become obvious that the Bucs were never really in it, and weren’t ever going to climb back into it. Once inevitability set in, it was all could do to bother checking back in as Kevin and I continued our Vegas shenanigans.

Ugh.

The loss drops Tampa to 2-5 on the year, extending their losing streak to four games and giving them a commanding dead last place in the NFC South Division. Everybody else in the division won, so the gap just gets bigger.

Next up? Traveling to New Orleans to take on the white hot division rival Saints. The Bucs don’t have a lot of time to get their ship back on course before their season becomes an exercise in futility.

Come on, you guys.

#BucsLife

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Star Trek: Waypoint – the trade paperback has a shiny new cover!

st-waypoint2-subscriptioncoverSome of you who visit this space from time to time may recall that, last year, Kevin and I got to cross a pretty cool item off our respective Bucket Lists: Write a Star Trek comic. This took the form of IDW editor Sarah Gaydos inviting us to contribute a story to Star Trek: Waypoint, the six-issue comics mini-series she was developing as part of the celebration for Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary in 2016.

Because Kevin and I are a bit insane, we decided to pitch to Sarah our idea of doing a story in the style of the old 1960s/1970s Gold Key Star Trek comics. Sarah liked the notion to pull us aboard the IDW Trek ship, and partnered us with comics veteran Gordon Purcell, who contributed the art. Our story, “The Menace of the Mechanitrons!,” is what we hoped would be a love-letter to those wacky Trek comics of old, and was one of two stories included in Waypoint #2. Indeed, each of the series’ six issues contained two 10-page stories, spanning the various Star Trek series over its 50-year history.

As is common in comics, and particularly with limited run projects such as this, the entire Waypoint series will be collected and made available for purchase in a sparkling new trade paperback format, complete with a new cover! Check it out:

STWaypoint-TradeCover(Click to Biggie Size)

Star Trek: Waypoint – the collected mini-series – is slated for publication on Tuesday, November 28th. You’ll be able to get it from your local comic shop or bookstore, or order it via IDW’s website or the usual online book haunts. For example:

Trade Paperback and Kindle e-Book/Comixology format from Amazon.com
Trade Paperback from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback from Books-A-Million

Just in time for holiday gift shopping. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat a coincidence, amirite?

Posted in books, comics, idw, trek, writing | Leave a comment

The things you find.

Yesterday, I was helping my wife do a few things as she continues preparing for an estate sale at her mother’s place. We removed a few things from the house to bring here, and sorted through some papers and other items.

For those who don’t know, my mother-in-law was Japanese, and most of the reading material she kept in her home was published in her native language. During my tour on Okinawa back in the 1980s, I made a rather pitiful attempt to learn Japanese – both spoken and written – and failed spectacularly on both fronts. Along the way, I purchased a few pop culture/film/TV books and magazines from local merchants, thinking that a familiarity with the original source material would aid in my learning. So, yeah, among other things, there are one or two Japanese Star Trek books in my library, including a translation of Vonda McIntyre’s novelization of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home from 1986.

At some point after returning home and marrying Michi, I showed her mother some of the books I’d brought back with me, and she asked to borrow them. Over time, I forgot about them, but yesterday as I was perusing her shelves, I stumbled across a few titles which stuck out like sore thumbs from the rest of her very much not science fiction or TV/film book collection:

Indy-JapaneseBooks

Yep, those are indeed Japanese translations of the novelizations for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Along with several other books of this sort – many of which I ended up giving away here and there over the years, these were purchased at local bookshops near my base on Okinawa between July 1988 and July 1989. Despite my horrific attempts to learn the language, I still got a kick out of having them on the shelf, alongside or in proximity to their English-language counterparts.

(In hindsight, I don’t think my mother-in-law was impressed with my attempts to understand her language by reading…for example…a Japanese novelization of Robocop. 😀 )

Anyway, I’ll soon be returning these to my own bookshelves, and no….I still won’t be able to read them.

Posted in books, family, feelin' nostalgic | 1 Comment

Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 7.

You’re going the wrong way, Tampa. You’re going the wrong way!

Bucs-logo-distress

Bills 30 – Bucs 27

Oh, the pain. The pain.

Seven weeks into the season, and I’m already running out of ways to express disappointment. It’s going to be a long haul the rest of the way, isn’t it?

First, some good news: After being pulled from last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals for a possible shoulder injury, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston was back at the helm yesterday. He showed no evident signs of being hampered as he went on to complete 32 of 44 pass attempts and collecting 385 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also threw interception, which thankfully ended up not costing Tampa anything in the long run.

On the other side of the ball, to say that the Bucs defense has some work to do is putting it mildly.

Up 27-20 late in the fourth quarter and with just over three minutes to play, the defensive scheme for the Bucs should’ve been straightforward: Don’t give up anything deep. Keep the Bills contained, and either force a punt or surrender no more than a field goal. Somebody didn’t get a memo.

Unfortunately, it was first-year Tampa safety Justin Evans, who (somewhat understandably) got caught up in the confusion that’s meant to happen from a pretty impressive play call by the Buffalo offensive coordinator. The Bills receivers basically did their best to fake out their coverage in unison in the hopes that someone would miss picking up whatever guy ran through their area. Evans was the one who took the bait, failing to glom onto Buffalo receiver Deonte Thompson. Result? Thompson is wide open and pulls in a sweet pass from Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and collects 44 yards on the play.

Okay, that hurt, but it’s not a fatal wound, right? Even the extra 15 yards tacked onto the end of things thanks to an unnecessary roughness call stings like a mofo, but the Bucs can still hold, right? RIGHT?

Ugh.

It only took two more plays for Buffalo to punch it in and tie up the game. So, here we are: 27-27 with two and a half minutes left in regulation. What do you do? If you said, “Grind it out, kill as much clock as possible while trying to position for a field goal if you can’t store a touchdown, maybe force the other team to burn any time outs they might have, and don’t do anything stupid,” then you’d be pretty close to being right.

If you said, “Fumble it away on the first play of your next possession,” you’d be Nostradamus, because that’s exactly what happened. The Bills recovered said fumble, then went on to execute the plan outlined in the previous paragraph. With 14 seconds left in the game, Buffalo booted a chip shot field goal to pull ahead 30-27.

We don’t even bother discussing that ridiculous lateral-palooza the Bucs attempted on the ensuing series. End of game.

The loss drops Tampa to 2-4 on the season and a comfortable grip on the bottom rung of the NFC South Division standings ladder. The good news is that both Carolina and Atlanta lost, so the Bucs maintain their gaps behind those two teams. The bad news is that New Orleans is on fire and celebrating a 4-game winning streak. So, you know…none of this is getting easier for Tampa anytime soon.

Next up for the Bucs? They’re at home to host the aforementioned Carolina Panthers. At the Week 8 mark, it’s not exaggeration to say that this will be a must-win situation for Tampa. Period. Division games at this point are critical. Gotta have ’em, yo. More importantly, the Bucs absolutely have to fix the holes in their defensive scheme – and pretty damned quick – or the rest of this season is going to be long and miserable. I’ll be keeping my fingers and my swords crossed.

Bucs life. Grr. Argh.

Posted in bucs, football | Leave a comment

Star Trek: “Mesin Waktu Mr. Spock”

“Excuse me?”

TrekVM-01

TrekVM-05Old school Star Trek fans likely know that View-Master, the wonderful company which has been offering since 1939 all sorts of photographic and (later) stereoscopic imagery goodness for education and entertainment, has not forgotten the Final Frontier.

View-Master dipped its toes into the Star Trek pond no fewer than five times, which packets of stereoscopic “3D” images showcasing the original series episode “The Omega Glory” and the animated episode “Yesteryear” (packaged as “Mr. Spock’s Time Trek”) along with Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Finally, the second-season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “A Matter of Honor.”

Of these, the “Yesteryear” adaptation is the most interesting. Rather than rely on set or publicity photography as was the case with its live-action counterparts, “Mr. Spock’s Time Trek” benefits from Filmation’s having rendered special recreations of the selected images designed for use with the View-Master format.

Way back when, the resulting packets of three “card wheels,” each featuring 7 images (2-each, working together to achieve the intended 3D effect), was accompanied by a booklet summarizing the story being told. The text was partnered with illustrations, which in this case are different from those depicted in the images. View-Master actually issued this in two versions: the “regular” edition, and one with a soundtrack narrating the text from the booklet.

You’d think that would be enough glomming onto one bit of Trek lore, right?

Wrong.

A few weeks ago, friend Rich Handley alerted me to the existence of a book he’d never seen in all his travels as a researcher of all things obscure Star Trek. He came across it while searching for rare copies of Indonesian and other foreign language Trek comics, at which time he asked if I was interested in it.

Hell yeah. I love this quirky stuff. So, what did I end up with?

MesinWaktuSpock01

Published in 1979, “Mesin Waktu Mr. Spock” (loosely translating to “Mr. Spock’s Time Machine”) appears to be exactly what it looked like when I first saw it: an Indonesian adaptation not of the “Yesteryear” episode,” but indeed the View-Master presentation of that same episode.

It contains almost but not all of the images from the original reels, accompanied by text which – so far as I can tell – is far more detailed than the story summary provided with the original View-Master booklet. Hardcore Trekkies will grind their teeth and clench their jaws upon realizing that every single image is flipped/reversed/inverted/wrong. Personally, I think it’s hilarious:

And so it was that yet another bit of oddball Star Trek publishing weirdness found its way to my disturbingly large library.

Many thanks to Rich for turning me onto this little nugget of nostalgia. It makes me want to start digging to see what else is out there.

Posted in books, fandom, feelin' nostalgic, nerdity, trek, weird shit | 2 Comments

Pre-order Star Trek: Discovery – Drastic Measures!

Now we’re talking.

The book gods have seen fit to provide us with pre-order options for Drastic Measures, my forthcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel, which will be published on February 6th, 2018. As with David Mack’s Desperate Hours, my book will be available in trade paperback, e-Book, and digital audio formats.

“Hey, Dayton!” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “What’s it about?” I’m glad you asked:


It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner”….


So far, only the trade paperback and e-Book editions are available for pre-order:

Simon & Schuster
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Links for the audiobook edition are still forthcoming. Stay tuned!

ST-Discovery-FBheader

Posted in books, trek, writing | 1 Comment

Predator: If It Bleeds

“IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT.”
Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (from Predator, 1987)

predator-antho-coverOver the centuries, extraterrestrial hunters of the Yautja race—also known as the Predators—have encountered (and stalked) humans on Earth and in the depths of space. Offered here are sixteen all-new stories of such hunts, written by many of today’s most extraordinary authors:

Kevin J. Anderson
Jennifer Brozek
Larry Correia
Mira Grant
Tim Lebbon
Jonathan Maberry
Andrew Mayne
Weston Ochse
S. D. Perry
Steve Perry
Jeremy Robinson
John Shirley
Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Holly Roberds
Peter J. Wacks and David Boop
Wendy N. Wagner
Dayton Ward

Inspired by the events of the original Predator movies, graphic novels, and novels, these adventures pit hunter against prey in life-and-death struggles where there can be only one victor.


Awwwwwwwww, yeah.

I still remember when editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt reached out to me, gauging my interest in contributing a short story to this anthology he was assembling. The invitation came at just the right time, as I was in sore need of a pick-me-up to help combat various personal and family issues during that time. The original Predator is one of my all-time favorite 80s films, and thirty years later I think it still holds its own against most of the action movies which have come along since it was first on theater screens.

As for If It Bleeds? I am thoroughly jazzed to be sharing a table of contents with this roster of word pushers, which includes several people I’m proud to call friend. The stories run the gamut and span centuries from the distant past to the far future. My story, “Recon,” takes place in 1968 and is set in Vietnam.

If you can’t obtain a copy of this bee-yoo-tiful tome via your local independent bookseller, there’s always the online merchant option, so let me hit you with some link action:

Trade Paperback and Kindle e-Book from Amazon.com
Trade Paperback and Nook e-Book from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback and Various e-Book formats from Books-A-Million

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as our 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 THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Posted in my books, my stories, predator, writing | 2 Comments

It’s Jupiter 2 Launch Day!

October 16th, 1997:

“This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history’s greatest adventures–man’s colonization of space beyond the stars. The first of what may be as many as ten million families per year is setting out on its epic voyage into man’s newest frontier, deep space. Reaching out into other worlds from our desperately overcrowded planet, a series of deep thrust telescopic probes have conclusively established a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri as the only one within range of our technology able to furnish ideal conditions for human existence.

Even now the family chosen for this incredible journey into space is preparing to take their final pre lift off physical tests. The Robinson family was selected from more than two million volunteers for its unique balance of scientific achievement, emotional stability, and pioneer resourcefulness. They will spend the next five and a half years of their voyage frozen in a state of suspended animation which will terminate automatically as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the new planet.”

Lost In Space, “The Reluctant Stowaway”

jupiter2-missionpatch

Posted in fandom, nerdity, tributes | 3 Comments