my panels at Shore Leave 41.6!

I did five bits of programming at the virtual Shore Leave convention this past weekend — the second year in a row the show was forced to be online-only thanks to the current apocalypse. With luck, we’ll be back in person next year for a proper Shore Leave 42.

Anyhow, here’s what I did:

Me moderating “The New Age of Star Trek,” as Kirsten Beyer, David Mack, Kelli Fitzpatrick, and Dayton Ward talked with me about Discovery, Picard, Lower Decks, Short Treks, and the upcoming Strange New Worlds and Prodigy.

Me and fellow author guests Aaron Rosenberg, Heather E. Hutsell, James Swallow, Joshua Palmatier, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Roberta Rogow, Christopher D. Abbott, Michael Jan Friedman, and Paul Kupperberg pimping our latest offerings at the “New Release Party.”

Publisher/editor/author Danielle Ackley-McPhail leads “eSpec Books Presents,” joined by me, Hildy Silverman, Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Mary Fan, Russ Colchamiro, and Aaron Rosenberg to talk about all the cool stuff from eSpec.

Kelli Fitzpatrick moderated this wide-ranging talk on “Characterization in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” that included myself, Amy Imhoff, Derek Tyler Attico, Mary Fan, and Glenn Hauman.

And finally, “How Did I Get In This Mess?” which had Howard Weinstein moderating a talk on how we all broke into the business, featuring me with fellow scribes Richard C. White, Christopher D. Abbott, Joshua Palmatier, and Robert Greenberger.

my Shore Leave 41.6 schedule

For the second year in a row, Shore Leave is going to be virtual, running for two days this weekend, Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th of July. While some conventions are back up and running, the folks who run SL didn’t think it would be safe and so decided to go virtual again this year, with the hope that 2022 will be the year for Shore Leave 42.

I will be doing a bunch of panels, which you can observe by registering for free on Zoom:


11am-noon: “The New Age of Star Trek,” w/Derek Tyler Attico, Kirsten Beyer, Kelli Fitzpatrick, David Mack, and Dayton Ward — register here

4-5pm: “New Release Party,” w/Christopher D. Abbot, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Michael Jan Friedman, Heather E. Hutsell, Paul Kupperberg, Joshua Palmatier, Roberta Rogow, Aaron Rosenberg, and James Swallow — register here


11am-noon: “eSpec Books Presents,” w/Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Christopher L. Bennett, Russ Colchamiro, Mary Fan, Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg, and Hildy Silverman — register here

2-3pm: “Characterization in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” w/Derek Tyler Attico, Mary Fan, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Glenn Hauman, and Amy Imhoff — register here

4-5pm: “How Did I Get in This Mess?” w/Christopher D. Abbot, Robert Greenberger, Joshua Palmatier, Howard Weinstein, and Richard C. White — register here

Hope to see folks on my monitor!

down and safe


Another Shore Leave is in the books, and man am I tired, but also very very happy.

I first went to Shore Leave in 1992 with the gang from The Chronic Rift. We interviewed a ton of people for the public access show (and also for my spinoff, Word Balloons: Interviews with Comics Folk), including Mark Lenard, Majel Barrett, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, L.A. Graf, Michael Jan Friedman, and Howard Weinstein.

I went back in 2000 as an author guest, what with being a newly minted Star Trek writer, having had my Next Generation comic book Perchance to Dream released in 1999 by WildStorm, and with two novels and an eBook under contract.

I haven’t missed a Shore Leave since. It’s a fun, delightful, enjoyable, nifty convention, with a great mix of media and literary guests. Over the years they’ve expanded their focus beyond Star Trek and into other genre media, and also expanded their author focus. The Meet the Pros party Friday night is a huge corridor filled with scribes scribbling on their works, and the panels run the gamut.

In addition, the actor guests get to interact with their fans in a much more casual and fun setting than you ever get at the bigger shows.

Shore Leave 41 was a massive success on several levels. On the media side, you had:

  • turn-of-the-millennium stars in Michael Shanks and Lexa Doig of Stargate and Andromeda fame
  • Smallville reunion with Aaron Ashmore, Erica Durance, John Glover, and Laura Vandervoort
  • Anson Mount and Ethan Peck, who took fandom by storm with their amazing reinterpretations of Captain Pike and Mr. Spock in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery
  • and biggest of all, Nichelle Nichols, quite old and fragile, unfortunately, stopping by Shore Leave as part of her farewell tour, as she’s retiring from con-going after 2019

On the literary side:

  • I had a limited number of copies of Alien: Isolation, which got snapped up like whoa
  • Four anthologies debuted this weekend: Brave New Girls: Adventures of Gals and Gizmos, Footprints in the Stars, In Harm’s Way, and Thrilling Adventure Yarns (I was in three of those, too!)
  • John Jackson Miller had some preview copies of The Enterprise War, his Pike-focused Discovery novel that tells what the Big E was doing during Discovery‘s first season
  • Diane Lee Baron’s ode to Maryland convention fandom, The Fandom Fifty: 50+ Fascinating People of the Maryland Science Fiction Conventions, which included an interview with me, also premiered at the con
  • On top of that, we had the debuts of Aaron Rosenberg’s Trails of Bone, Richard C. White’s Chasing Danger: The Case Files of Theron Chase, Azure Avians & Laura Ware’s Aftermath, several new books from Joshua Palmatier, and Michael Jan Freidman’s graphic novel Empty Spaces

For my part, I had a blast, starting with a nifty panel on themed anthologies with Mike McPhail, Susan Olesen, Hildy Silverman, and Joshua Palmatier Friday evening. Then Meet the Pros, which was a huge success Friday night. Oh, and between those, eSpec Books took the authors in their two launch anthologies (Footprints and Harm’s) out for drinks.

Saturday was the crazy day:

  • Boogie Knights concert at 11am. We had some sound issues early on (so what else is new?), but once they were fixed, we were fantastic. I was especially pleased with “Leonardo” and “Arthurian Pie.” Look for video later this week on the Tube of You, as Wrenn recorded the whole thing.
  • Panel at noon on Discovery season two with Rigel Ailur, Amy Imhoff, Dayton Ward, Howard Weinstein, and Dave Galanter, where we covered the show in impressive depth and breadth.
  • Panel at 1 on Batman at 80 with Christopher L. Bennett, Greg Cox, Glenn Hauman, and Russ Colchamiro, where we discussed why Batman has lasted eight decades where other contemporary heroes haven’t, and also discovered that we pretty much all were introduced to Batman by Adam West…..
  • Panel at 3 on Captain Marvel, with Rigel Ailur, Amy Imhoff, Hildy Silverman, and Laura Ware (I was the token male), which discussed Goose, sexism, Goose, how it related to the comics, Goose, how awesome Annette Bening is, Goose, and also Goose.
  • Self-defense workshop at 4, which has become a regular thing for me at several cons including this one. They put it in a different room that wasn’t quite as well suited to people standing in a circle as I would’ve liked, but it worked out okay.
  • Panel at 6 on eSpec Books with eSpec co-founders Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Mike McPhail along with fellow eSpec writers Dayton Ward (one anthology so far, but that may change soon) and Christopher L. Bennett (who announced his new forthcoming duology from eSpec, Arachne’s Crime and Arachne’s Exile).

After that was a yummy dinner courtesy Andy Nelson’s BBQ with many of the author guests, then hanging out at the bar all night.

That last part is typical of Shore Leave — generally the authors and their friends take over a corner of the hotel bar. What was not typical was that, at separate points, both Anson Mount and Ethan Peck came over to chat with us.

Now one of the things that’s great about Shore Leave is that sometimes the actors will hang out in the bar after hours and commune with the fans over drinks. (One of the most memorable was the year Eve Myles of Torchwood was a guest.) But this was unusual in that both Mount and Peck went out of their way to talk to the gaggle of writers. Best moment was watching Mount and Greg Cox nerding out over their favorite science fiction novels (Mount was disappointed that Greg hadn’t read any of Greg Egan’s books; Greg was equally disappointed that Mount hadn’t read any of Richard Matheson’s). Even without the bonus actor drop-ins, though, it was a great time filled with fun, revelry, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Just a fantastic night.

Sunday was much calmer, as I had no programming at all, amazingly enough, and I just sold some stuff at eSpec’s table, hung out with people, did a signing at Novel Spaces, and chatted with folks.

Closed the con by going to Mount and Peck’s talk. (Hey, we’re drinking buddies, now!) Amy Imhoff led the discussion brilliantly. The picture atop this blog entry is one I took at that. (That’s the magnificent Meredith Peruzzi interpreting on the far right.)

Then Meredith, Sas, Anne, Wrenn, and I went out for our traditional post-con dinner, which was not at La Tolteca as usual, as they were closed, so we went to an Indian place called Royal Kitchen instead that was incredibly yummy.

Today I recover, work on an article for, and sleep. Mostly sleep, I think….



my schedule for Shore Leave 41


As I have every year this millennium, I will be a guest at Shore Leave 41 at the Hunt Valley Inn in Cockeysville, Maryland, just north of Baltimore. I’ll be doing my usual programming, including a Boogie Knights concert Saturday morning, Meet the Pros Friday evening, and other keen stuff. And I’ll be putting in time at the eSpec Books booth as well.

Here’s the schedule:


6-7pm: “Writing for Themed Anthologies,” w/Mike McPhail, Susan Olesen, Joshua Palmatier, and Hildy Silverman (Belmont)

10pm-midnight: Meet the Pros, w/the entire gang of author guests (Hunt/Valley corridor)


11am-noon: Boogie Knights concert (Hunt/Valley)

12-1pm: “Star Trek: Discovery Season 2,” w/Rigel Ailur, Dave Galanter, Amy Imhoff, Dayton Ward, and Howard Weinstein (Salon A) — I will be late for this, as it’s right after the concert, and I’ll need time to break down my percussion and change

1-2pm: “Batman Turns 80,” w/Christopher L. Bennett, Greg Cox, Russ Colchamiro, and Glenn Hauman (Salon E)

3-4pm: “Captain Marvel,” w/Rigel Ailur, Hildy Silverman, and Laura Ware (Salon E)

4-5pm: “Self-Defense 101” (McCormick Suite)

6-7pm: “Meeting eSpec Books,” w/Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Christopher L. Bennett, Robert Greenberger, Mike McPhail, and Dayton Ward


Strangely, I have no programming on Sunday. I’ll probably be spending the day relaxing, and/or being at the eSpec booth and/or doing an autographing at the Novel Spaces booth.

Hope to see folks there!


my Shore Leave 40 schedule


As I have been every year since the turn of the millennium, I shall be a guest at Shore Leave, now in its 40th year, at the Hunt Valley Inn in beautiful downtown Cockeysville, just north of Baltimore.

Here’s my schedule:


7-8pm: “Anthologies: Share the Love,” w/Christopher L. Bennett, Greg Cox, Phil Giunta, Joshua Palmatier, Jenifer Rosenberg, and Richard C. White (Salon E)

9-10pm: Glenn Hauman’s wake, in honor of the release of They Keep Killing Glenn, as we all deliver eulogies, while the corpse will have thirty seconds for rebuttal (Hunt/Valley)

10pm-midnight: Meet the Pros, the usual autographing (Hunt/Valley corridor)



10-11am: Boogie Knights concert an hour earlier than usual! (Hunt/Valley)

2-3pm: “From Holmes to Sherlock,” w/Christopher L. Bennett, Mary Fan, T.J. Perkins, and Roberta Rogow (Salon F)

5-6pm: “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 25th Anniversary Retrospective,” w/Derek Tyler Attico, John Coffren, Kim Headlee, Jim Johnson, and Marco Palmieri (Salon A)

6-8pm: Author Meet ‘n’ Greet (Frankie & Vinny’s)

during masquerade halftime: Boogie Knights concert (Hunt/Valley)



10-11am: “Kira Nerys: The Real Lead of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” w/Derek Tyler Attico, Russ Colchamiro, Amy Imhoff, and Marco Palmieri (Salon E)


Looking forward to seeing folks there!


Shore Leave 39 in pictures

The Boogie Knights backstage after our concert. L-r: Alice the Cooper’s Daughter (Kate Greenberger Pakaski), Sir John of Denver (John Scheeler), Theodoric of York (Dave Keefer), Mad Donna (Lynn Cunningham), Lady Pinque (Linda Swann), Krad the Obscure (me), and Lady Dionne of Warwick (Sharon M.A. Palmer). I honestly don’t remember who took the photo — maybe Bob Greenberger? — but it was with Sharon’s phone.



Me chatting with the magnificent Karen Roberson at the bar Saturday night. Photo by Russ Colchamiro.



The “Where No Tale Has Gone Before” panel. L-r: Scott Pearson, Dayton Ward, David Mack, me, and Christopher L. Bennett. Photo by Derek Tyler Attico.



The panel simply called, “The Batman.” L-r: Derek Tyler Attico, Robert Greenberger, Michael Jan Friedman, Richard C. White, and me. Not pictured, moderator John Coffren, who was on the other side of Derek from Bob. Derek posted the picture to Facebook, but I have no idea who took it.



Me in the author chimney! Signing books at the bookseller, holding up a copy of Without a License. Photo by Caren Christiansen.



Me and Laura Ware on the “Why We Write” panel. Not pictured: Melissa Scott, Peter David, and Heather E. Hutsell. Photo by Neil Ottenstein.



ASL interpreter Meredith Peruzzi and me on percussion during the Boogie Knights concert, both of us doing our best Grumpy Cat impersonations….. Photo by Neil Ottenstein.



Me, Dave Keefer (he’s behind me), and John Scheeler singing “Wanted: Harem Guard” at the Boogie Knights concert. Photo by Dawn Swingle.



Me at Meet the Pros and the handy sign that Diane Bellomo gave us to forestall inevitale “How’s married life?” questions. Photo by Neil Ottenstein.


my Shore Leave 39 schedule


I will, as ever, be at Shore Leave this weekend at the Hunt Valley Inn, as I have been each of the past seventeen years. I will be both an author guest and a musical guest, the latter in my capacity as a member of the Boogie Knights. The Knights will be debuting a new song called “Young Master Frodo,” written by me! It’s to the tune of the a cappella Irish folk song “General Taylor,” and it’s gonna be awesome.

Anyhow, here’s my full schedule for this weekend:


5-6pm: “Why We Write,” w/Laura Ware, Heather E. Hutsell, Melissa Scott, and Peter David (Salon A)

6-7pm: “What’s Your Favorite Trek?” w/Dayton Ward, Howard Weinstein, Dave Galanter, Scott Pearson, and Amy Imhoff (Salon A)


11am-noon: Boogie Knights concert (Valley)

12-1pm: “Wonder Woman,” w/Rigel Ailur, Simantha Galanter, Hildy Silverman, Amy Imhoff, and Susan Oleson (Salon A)

4.30-5pm: practical self-defense workshop (Concierge)

5-6pm: “The Batman,” w/John Coffren, Robert Greenberger, Derek Tyler Attico, Richard C. White, and Michael Jan Friedman (Salon A)


11am-noon: “Where No Tale Has Gone Before,” w/David Mack, Dayton Ward, Christopher L. Bennett, and Scott Pearson (Chase)

1-2pm: “Mixing and Matching Genres,” w/Greg Cox, Stephen Kozeniewski, Melissa Scott, and Roberta Rogow (Chase)

2-3pm: “Ye Gods!” w/Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Amy Imhoff, and Kathleen David (Chase)