StarLog #1

No, not the old, dearly departed Starlog magazine! This is the first StarLog associated with the Smithsonian Institution edX course I just started: Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology.

For this first post, we’re to introduce ourselves and tell a little bit about what brought us to the course. So, here we go!

I’ve been a lifelong fan of Star Trek; earliest memories are watching TOS reruns on a tiny 4″ black and white television screen with an old aerial I had to keep maneuvering in order to find the best reception. I watched reruns as often as I could, usually after school on whatever affiliate network I could find it on.

My college years were dominated by TNG and DS9, and I fell in love with DS9 the moment I watched the pilot episode, “The Emissary.” As much as I love TOS and TNG, DS9 is the series that speaks to me the most–particularly the religion angle the Bajorans bring to the setting and the still-very-relevant story lines and themes woven throughout the series. My wife and I are rewatching the series now and see a lot of parallels to current politics and society. DS9 holds to the Trek tradition of being way ahead of the times.

I’m slowly introducing my 3-year old son to Star Trek, mostly through an assortment of children’s books and regular visits to the National Air and Space Museum, where he loves to check out the 11′ model of the U.S.S. Enterprise. We’ll start watching episodes in a few years, but for now, I’m just thrilled he knows the names of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Chekov, Sulu, Scotty, the Gorn, the Horta, and a few others!

I freelance as the line editor and developer of Modiphius Entertainment’s Star Trek Adventures Roleplaying Game, so I have a vested interest in the course because it brings even more Star Trek in my life. I’m confident there are good nuggets of information I can help weave into the fabric of the game and products we produce. I saw the link to the course cross my Twitter feed and signed up as fast as I could.

And this is my Chief Warrant Officer’s pip! I believe we’ll be working up through the ranks as we proceed through the course. 🙂 Live long and prosper, everyone!

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Another Star Trek Adventures interview, this one with Continuing Mission

Hey folks, happy new year! I’m working hard to get a good flow going for new blog posts, but writing has kept me busy so far this year. One of the things I’m focused on is my work for Modiphius on the Star Trek Adventures RPG, and the good folks over at Continuing Mission interviewed me recently about my involvement in the game, among other things.

Check it out, woncha?

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Star Trek Adventures interview with Don’t Split the Podcast

Had a nice time chatting with James Introcaso on the Don’t Split the Podcast show. If you’re interested in the Star Trek Adventures game, or just want to hear me babble on for about an hour about some awesome Trek goodness, check it out!Facebooktwitter

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Beacon’s Fury Preview!

Happy day today! Got the edits back on Beacon’s Fury, the third book in my Potomac Shadows urban fantasy series, and made the final changes and uploaded the final version to Amazon. The book comes out on July 1, so grab a copy if you haven’t yet.

And if you need something to whet your appetite, here’s chapter 1 in all its glory. Enjoy the read and have a great day!

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News and more news!

Haven’t posted here in a while; apologies for that! I’ve been super-busy with life and work and writing and raising my toddler, who just hit the 19-month mark and is a bundle of energy and joy. Got some news for you all, with more coming soon.

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Star Trek Adventures coming soon!

I’ve mentioned it here before, but Modiphius, a lovely UK  game company, and the powers-that-be over at CBS have announced more details on the upcoming Star Trek Adventures RPG, a pen-and-paper tabletop roleplaying game now open for playtesters to sign up. The core rulebook will be out in the summer  of 2017, but in the meantime you can sign up to get some great Trek writing  material and the alpha ruleset and help the team make a more polished product.

I’m thrilled to have fellow Trek writers Dayton Ward and Scott Pearson with me on this. I got involved with Modiphius earlier this year and suspected they’d appreciate having them aboard. I broached the topic with both of them at the Shore Leave con and there you go.

Fun times ahead!



Written and Developed By Famed Star Trek Novelists and Game Designers, Players Will Make Star Trek History as the Course is Plotted for Exploration and Adventure

LONDON, ENGLAND (December 1, 2016): Modiphius Entertainment, publisher of the Achtung! Cthulhu, Mutant Chronicles, Conan, Infinity and John Carter of Mars roleplaying games, announces the missions for the Star Trek Adventures™ living campaign playtest, to develop the first official Star Trek RPG in more than a decade, are now live with more than 5,000 players and counting. To join the campaign, visit

Thousands of players around the world will adventure through the Star Trek universe like never before in an epic storyline written by New York Times Bestselling Star Trek author Dayton Ward and Scott Pearson (Star Trek novellas: The More Things Change, Among the Clouds, Terra Tonight), developed by Nathan Dowdell (Black Crusade, Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition, Corvus Belli’s Infinity: The Roleplaying Game and Robert E Howard’s Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of) and lead writer David F Chapman (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Roleplaying Game, Conspiracy X 2.0, Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG). Joining them are an interstellar line-up including writers from all previous editions of the Star Trekroleplaying game, as well as big names from across the tabletop gaming industry including:

Shawn Merwin (Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition: War of Everlasting Darkness, Halls of Undermountain, Dungeon Delve), Jim Johnson (Lord of the Rings RPG, Mage: The Awakening, Shadowrun Augmentation), Jacob Ross (Legend of the Five Rings, Mongoose Traveller, Kaigaku), Patrick Goodman (Shadowrun: Fifth Edition, Shadowrun: Street Legends, Shadowrun: Storm Front), Ross Isaacs (Line Developer Star Trek RPG (Decipher) and Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game (Last Unicorn Games), Ian Lemke (Changeling: The Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing, Earth Down), John Snead (Mindjammer: Traveller, Eclipse Phase, Star Trek Next Generation RPG Last Unicorn Games.), Dan Taylor(IDW Publishing’s Star Trek comics), Bill Maxwell (Fading Suns, Star Trek Roleplaying Game, Mage: The Awakening), Tim Beach (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Red Steel, Maztica Campaign Set, Hail the Heroes, Dungeons of Mastery, City of Delights) and Andrew Peregrine (Doctor Who, 7th Sea, Victoriana)

As well as Aaron Pollyea (Battletech), Oz Mills (Fantasy AGE Bestiary, Dragon Age: Faces of Thedas), Ade Smith(Mutants and Masterminds: Atlas of Earth Prime – Northern Europe, Rogue Gallery. Fainting Goat Games: Extreme Earth), Chris Huff (Mutants & Masterminds Freedom’s Most Wanted, DC Adventures RPG Heroes & Villains Volume 1, DC Adventures RPG Heroes & Villains Volume 2), John Kennedy (Ninja Crusade 2E, Infinity Tabletop Roleplaying Game, Myth Board Game), Kevin Mickelson (Mask of Death, A Learning Time, A Frightful Time, A Miraculous Time), Ryan Schoon(Fragged Empire, Edara: The Steampunk Renaissance, Baby Bestiary) and Chris Huff (DC Adventures, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder).

The playtest gives fans of the legendary television series and films the opportunity to contribute to the development of the game; to sit in the captain’s chair, seek out new life and new civilizations, give all they’ve got to a warp core breach, or explore their own adventures in the Star Trek universe.

The living campaign begins with playtest missions and will continue with the release of the core rulebook in the summer of 2017. The living campaign takes place in the Shackleton Expanse, an area of space vastly unexplored by both the Federation and the Klingons. Starbase 364, Narendra Station, named after the battle of Narendra III where the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C was destroyed, serves as the keep on the borderlands for excursions out into the frontier of space.

As the crews of the U.S.S. Venture, U.S.S. Bellerophon, U.S.S. Thunderchild, explore strange anomalies and discover new life while uncovering an ancient civilization and mysterious technologies, those aboard the U.S.S. Lexington will shape historical events for those very ships.

Assignments are still open for Captains and Officers to take their place aboard the bridge and make Star Trek gaming history. Further, local game shops organizing an in-store playtest group will receive starbase status with pre-order promotions for the game’s retail release. Fans attending Dragonmeet in London on Saturday will have the final chance to receive a free Captain Kirk or Captain Picard figure when they sign up for the Star Trek Adventures playtest.

To register yourself or your group online, visit

To register as a retailer, visit

Star Trek Adventures will use the Modiphius 2d20 game system (Mutant Chronicles, Infinity, Conan, John Carter of Mars) designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, X-Wing Miniatures Game). Modiphius is also sculpting an accompanying Star Trek miniature figure line, the first to be produced in 17 years. Resin 32mm-heroic scale hobby figures will feature classic Star Trek characters and crews, boarding parties and away teams. Geomorphic tile maps of burning Federation ships, mysterious colonies and embattled Klingon cruisers will set the scene for dramatic new voyages in the Final Frontier.

Under license by CBS Consumer Products, Star Trek Adventures is slated for a Summer 2017 release and the playtest crews will be listed in the Star Trek Adventures book manifest.

™ & ©2016 CBS Studios Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About Modiphius Entertainment
Modiphius Entertainment is a London, England-based entertainment publisher of tabletop games and related hobby merchandise. The company launched its first game, the Achtung! Cthulhu Roleplaying Game, in 2013 via a highly successful Kickstarter, followed by 5 additional projects that were among the biggest in the Kickstarter tabletop games category. A slew of games are in development with licensed properties including the forthcoming Star Trek Adventures RPG & Miniatures, Mutant Chronicles RPG, DUST Adventures RPG based on Paolo Parente’s DUST universe, Infinity Roleplaying Game, Matt Leacock’s Thunderbirds, a cooperative board game based on the classic 60’s show and the official Kung Fu Panda Boardgame.

Modiphius Entertainment seeks to inspire with its tales of heroism, adventure and courage and is built on strong principles of fair business practices. Modiphius Entertainment also works to combat global child trafficking through raising awareness of and funds for Vision Rescue. For more information, please visit

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Jenny Bendel

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Beacon’s Hope now available!

Book 2 in the Potomac Shadows series, Beacon’s Hope, is now available for sale as an ebook! Print edition is in the works and should be available in time for the holidays.


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Spectrum Books podcast live

The always-lovely Nadine over at the Spectrum Books podcast interviewed me last week about the writing life. It’s now available for general consumption, so go check it out!

In other news, Beacon’s Hope is uploaded and just about ready for ebook release. Print version is in the works and should be available by Turkey Day. Then it’s on to book 3 in the Potomac Shadows series, and then some short stories and other goodies. Fun times!Facebooktwitter

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Beacon’s Spark signed print editions now available

1BeaconsSpark_ebook_finalHappy Friday, everyone. I’m pleased to announce that the print proof of Beacon’s Spark has been approved and has gone final. You can get a copy off Amazon and everywhere books are sold within a few weeks, once the extended distribution channels pick up the book.

And if you don’t want to wait for that, and want a signed copy, hop on over to my webstore and buy away. 😀 As always, thanks for your support!Facebooktwitter

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Pistols and Pyramids omnibus ebook now available!

I just published the first omnibus collection for the Pistols and Pyramids series. Titled The Bloody Frontier, the first omnibus collects the first three books in the series under one title and in one easy-to-purchase title. Right now I have it at the same price as each of the three installments, so you’re getting a $9 value for less than three bucks!

So hop on over to Amazon and get your copy today!


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