Friday, 30 September 2011

Ships of the Line: Active Duty

Doug Drexler has updated his blog with a new compilation video of the Ships of the Line: Active Duty animations, which features animated versions of Ships of the Line images and Vanguard covers. Amazing:

More Active Duty is promised in future Drex Files updates!

Wouldn't it be great if things like this could be worked into the calendars and book covers, using those little square barcode things, or augmented reality...

Wouldn't it also be great if Vanguard (and Titan while I'm at it) actually got into a calendar some time soon!

Talk in Klingon, now! has announced a new Klingon language product; Talk Now! Learn Klingon, a CD-ROM language learning system from EuroTalk. Here's how describe it:
The Klingon language is getting a dose of 21st-century reality. That's to say that thanks to the London-based EuroTalk, American linguist/Klingon language creator Mark Okrand and British Klingon translator Jonathan Brown, devotees of Star Trek's Klingon language can use the upcoming CD-ROM "Talk Now! Learn Klingon" in order to converse in Klingon using words from our present-day vernacular. So, if you've ever wanted to grunt the words "Teddy bear" or "aspirin" or "swimming" in Klingon, now's your chance.

EuroTalk will launch "Talk Now! Learn Klingon" on Friday. Voiced by U.K. Klingon speakers, it will include more than a half-dozen new words and 40-plus fresh arrangements of existing words. Richard Howeson, EuroTalk chairman, noted that "Talk Now! Learn Klingon" was a natural fit with the company's line of CD-ROMs, which includes more than 120 languages and is designed to quickly and easily assist beginners in learning the basics of a new language, using interactive quizzes and games, as well as recorded speech, to do so.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Exocomps in STO

The Star Trek Online Cryptic Store has had its latest update, exocomps, to be kept as pets...

Originally developed in the mid-24th century for industrial use, the first exocomps were designed to be problem solvers. Due to the adaptive nature of their design, these exocomps evolved, gaining sentience. These new lifeforms were given the materials and freedom to develop and could not be forced into Federation service without their consent.

IDW Classics: Enemy Unseen

IDW kicked off a new round of classic Star Trek reprints with the recent December solicitation of The Gorn Crisis. Now Amazon are listing a second book in the Star Trek Classics series, coming in November according to, but February say and Again it's a duplicate of a Wildstorm Comics book, this time Enemy Unseen; a TNG omnibus which contains the series Perchance to Dream, Embrace the wolf, and The Killing Shadows.

UPDATE: have amended their listing and now also say February.

In a long and distinguished career, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew have faced uncounted foes and vanquished incredible dangers. But what happens when the enemy can''t be easily seen - when it lurks in the shadows, disguises itself as polite society, or emerges from the depths of one''s own mind? These are the antagonists with which the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise must contend with in this volume, the most dangerous kind of enemy - the enemy unseen. Contains the three stories "Perchance to Dream", "Embrace the Wolf," and "The Killing Shadows."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Exciting cover for Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #2

Check out this amazing cover for the second issue of the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, from Phil Jimenez (Source: Trekweb, via Legione Dei Super-Eroi, via Facebook, apparently):

Meanwhile Newsarama have posted an interview with the series' writer, Chris Roberson, here's some of what he had to say:
The central idea of the crossover is that both Star Trek and the Legion inhabit optimistic futures, in which humanity has gone out into the stars and made friends. In this story, we’ll follow a handful of characters from both universes as they find themselves stranded in a much less optimistic timeline that blends elements of both.

From Star Trek we have the bridge crew, essentially: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Chekov, and Uhura. Poor Scotty had to stay behind on the Enterprise, since a Constitution class starship only has six transporter pads in the transporter room. From the Legion, we have Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, Chameleon Boy, Shadow Lass, and Brainiac 5.

One of the primary concerns from the beginning was to pick a group of characters that would make sense standing next to each other. So the Legionnaires we’re using have powers, but nothing too far out of line with what Kirk and company have experienced in their five year mission. They’ve faced down hyper-evolved energy beings, telepaths, beings who can move faster than sight, and aliens who can reorder reality with a single thought. Someone who can shoot lightning out of his hands or make shadows isn’t anything to write home about for this crew.

Details on TNG bluray have posted the news we've been hearing rumour of for months, Star Trek: The Next Generation is coming to bluray, in glorious HD, starting next year. The sample disc The Next Level, with four episodes, will be out on January 31st, and season box sets will start later in the year. Here's how describes the process that will bring us TNG in HD:
CBS is, in fact, returning to the original film negatives, a mother lode of material encompassing 25,000-plus reels of footage, and editing the episodes together precisely as they were when they originally aired between 1987 and 1994. Visual effects will not be upconverted from videotape, but instead will be recompositioned. The freshly cut film will ultimately be transferred to high definition with 7.1 DTS Master Audio. And all of the work is being done in conjunction with respected, longtime Star Trek figures Denise and Michael Okuda, who are on board as consultants.
Full press release available on the 8of5 Archive. Note the cover for The Next Level has also been updated, the Enterprise has been mirrored. also has a trailer up, with just an oh-so-brief glimpse of footage; be sure to watch in full-screen:

UPDATE: TrekCore have put up a comparison of the tiny glimpse the trailer gave us, and wow the difference is incredible; good-bye weird pinkish tinge to live action footage, and hello crispy detailed Enterprise. So excited! The Digital Bits has also reported the news, and according to them the blurays, like the TOS remastered episodes, will be released in the original 4:3 aspect ratio, but also like TOS there will be versions made in 16:9 if broadcasters wish to use them.

Infinite Space's K'toch class

The Infinite Space website has been updated with their latest ship-of-the-week, and while it's not a new design it is a pretty obscure one: The K'toch class, which is apparently the name of the class of Klaang's crashed shuttle in Broken Bow:

You can see John Eaves' designs for the class on his blog. Which coincidentally was also updated yesterday with another design from Enterprise, this amazing concept for a spacedock facility:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Blish's novelizations in Israel

I just posted my latest 8of5 Archive article, looking at Star Trek novels and comics published in Hebrew! Several publishers have put out TOS and TNG books over the years - Most reused American cover art, but a few new covers were also made, including Zmora Bitan Modan's bizarre art for the first Star Trek books published in Hebrew; James Blish's novelizations. They published four books, oddly books one, two, three and five. I love the futuristic space-glasses lady!:


You can read about all the other Hebrew Star Trek books over at the 8of5 Archive.

TNG bluray sample disc packaging! have put up a listing for Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level; The TNG HD sample disc which has been recently rumoured. The listing confirms the rumoured episode list (Encounter At Fairpoint (parts 1 and 2), Sins of the Father, and The Inner Light), gives a release date of December 15, and has this artwork:

Keep an eye on the 2011 schedule page for updated links to Amazon listings in other countries when they appear. Exciting!

UPDATE: The TNG HD project and sample disc have now been officially announced, and the release date for this first disc will be 31st January 2012.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Two more German Double Helix covers

Cross Cult have released the cover art for the next two books in their translation of the Doppelhelix (Double Helix) series, Roter Sector (Red Sector) and Quarantäne (Quarantine). I think elderly McCoy is particularly nicely drawn:


Aventine indulgence

I was just visiting Mark Rademaker's blog, as I often do, hoping to see more developments form the Project Full Circle fleet (Mark as recently posted a couple of teases for the USS Demeter), when I spotted a tab at the top marked "Aventine". I don't know how I hadn't noticed it before, but it led me to a treasure trove of Vesta class imagery, much of which I'd never seen before! My favourites include these ideas for covers featuring the Aventine:


And spacedock concept:

There's lots more to see, including a video of the Aventine in orbit which is beautiful! So go and check out the Aventine gallery. And keep your eyes on Mark's blog; there are often treats to be found there.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Books bits

A few book newslets: recently posted an interview with Dayton Ward on the out-just-about-now next and penultimate Vanguard novel, What Judgments Come. Here's an interesting bit on how the book works as part of the two-part conclusion to the series:
What Judgments Come resolves a few character arcs and storylines on its own, while also "lighting the fuse" for what will be the climactic finish in Storming Heaven. There's even a shared framing sequence that starts and ends both books. Though Storming Heaven will pick up precisely where What Judgment Comes leaves off, Dave, Kevin and I made sure that each book tells its own story while at the same time working together to provide something of a "feature-length series finale episode" feel.
You can read the rest at Meanwhile the Simon and Schuster online catalogue has been updated with a new listing for a TNG book by David R George III. Titled At the Prophet's Door, it's due out next June. Might this be a new title for one of the books in the duology we're expecting from George next year?

Finally, has posted an updated version of Cross Cult's cover for Überträger (Vectors), with Kira and Pulaski now swapped:

This is also the version used in Cross Cult's latest catalogue. There aren’t any new listings or covers in said catalogue, but if you want an idea of Cross Cult's output (Trek and otherwise), it’s worth a look (pdf link).

Friday, 23 September 2011

IDW December

IDW have released their solicitations for December, which include three Star Trek titles; the next two issues in the current Star Trek series, plus confirmation IDW will be doing a reprint of The Gorn Crisis. Also out that month will be a hardcover omnibus of the entire Infestation crossover (previously released as two paperback books). have also done a feature on the Star Trek issues for that month, including releasing the second cover for the next Legion of Super-Heroes crossover issue that month.

Star Trek (ongoing) #4
By Mike Johnson, art by Stephen Molnar, covers by Tim Bradstreet (3/4) and Joe Corroney (1/4), plus retail incentive sketch and photo covers. Also noted to be "Part of IDW’s photo-cover month".
Mr. Spock faces a deadly choice as he tries to save the crew of a stranded shuttle! Featuring the likenesses of the new STAR TREK cast, this story boldly re-imagines a classic episode, Galileo 7, but in the new timeline of the hit movie!

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #3
By Chris Roberson, art by Jeffrey and Philip Moy, covers by Phil Jimenez (3/4), Mike Grell (1/4), and Gabriel Rodriguez (retail incentive).
Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship: Enterprise have come face to face with Cosmic Boy and the other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and each team assumes that the other is responsible for the change in the timeline that landed them in this strange world. But will they find common ground in time to defend themselves from an attack by an elite group of imperial enforcers, some of whom are VERY familiar to the two teams?

The Gorn Crisis
By Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta, art and a cover by Igor Kordey.
With a fierce war raging and resources running low, the U.S.S Enterprise has been assigned a sensitive diplomatic mission–to enlist aid from the alien race known as the Gorn. But the Gorn have a crisis of their own, a brewing revolution in their ranks. And when it comes to the Federation, some of the Gorn have long memories...

Infestation hardcover omibus
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Mike Raicht, Scott and David Tipton, and Erik Burnham, art by David Messina, Giovanni Timpano, Nick Roche, Gary Erskine, Casey Maloney, and Kyle Hotz, cover by Ashley Wood. This will also include the previously digital-only Pocket Gods Infestation story. The cover released in the solicitation is by Gabriel Rodriguez, if the cover credit to Ashley Wood is correct then this is not the final cover.
IDW's first-ever mega event is collected in this hard cover collection as something goes horribly awry in the IDW universe: a dimensions-spanning zombie outbreak of epic proportions, which threatens to tear many of IDW’s biggest realities asunder! The infestation spreads through the TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, STAR TREK, and GHOSTBUSTERS universes. Zombie apocalypse looms and the remaining members of CVO are running out of options...

In other IDW news: This week's first issue of the new ongoing series has already sold out, prompting a second printing which is due in October, with a variant cover.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cross Cult's next Double Helix cover

Cross Cult have posted a draft of their cover for Doppelhelix (Double Helix) books 2: Überträger (Vectors), on their Facebook page. Looks like this:

Star Trek (ongoing) #1 preview

Comic Book Resources has posted a seven page preview of this week's first issue of IDW's new ongoing Star Trek comic series. Here are a few samples:


You can see all the other covers for the issue and the first seven pages on Comic Book Resources.

Monday, 19 September 2011

David Messina's Countdown cover designs, and something new soon!

A few days ago I came across an interview with David Messina on, which talks about all his Star Trek work, and his other projects, and why he's taking a break from Trek for a while:
It's been almost three years of full-time work on Star Trek It seemed the right time for me to do something else. I think with the trilogy of the movie adaptation, Nero, and Countdown, I have said everything there's to say about this universe of Star Trek. I felt the need to do something else because, apart from Spock, I had been working only on the new timeline for almost a whole year. I really felt exhausted because I put all my energy into this work. I have drawn Nero, just like Countdown, almost completely by myself. I also did the colors for some pages because I had a strong idea of how the work should appear. For Spock, I did the pencil and the covers and I did a lot of work in order to link it to Countdown.

I felt the need to move on, to find something else and draw new energy from that. Maybe I will be back with a project that is related to the next movie, but it's still far too early to think about that.
What really caught my eye though were the illustrations that accompanied the interview. There were several development sketches for various Star Trek comics, including these concepts for covers for the Countdown series:


I asked David Messina about these and this is what he told me:
The people from Bad Robots asked me to think about something that could become a poster if put together and these was my proposal! I was trying to focus the cover on the story more than the characters, but after I changed my idea and I focused more on the characters himself, since Star Trek is (in my humble opinion) more about the people than the future itself!
David Messina is dipping his toes back into Star Trek this week with one of the covers for the first issue of IDW's new ongoing series. But he also gave me a tiny hint of something else in the works:
I can't tell you much at the moment, but yes, I'll back soon (more or less) on something really BIG!
Exciting! Check out the Trekzone interview for more on David Messina and more of his artwork. Or have a look at his blog.

Friday, 16 September 2011

A look inside the Star Trek Vault has posted an interview with Scott Tipton, and his assistant James Sawyer, about their soon to be released book, the Star Trek Vault. Here is how they summarise the book:

The book covers all the television series --including The Animated Series, of which I'm a huge fan -- and the films, and provides for each a brief production history, some critical commentary, the cultural impact, and a look at the merchandising, and does so in a fun, conversational fashion, accompanied by tons of photos and illustrations and reproductions of some of the rarest and most interesting pieces of Trek memorabilia we could find.

And here are some sample pages:
 also has a video preview of the book, which among other things notes that the UK edition, from Aurum Press, will come with a slipcase, yay! It also highlights some of the reproductions that come with the book, including a whole colouring book!

Two news ships for STO

The Star Trek Online Cryptic Store has been updated with two new starships, a refit variation each for the Federation and the Klingons. I think some of the best new designs STO has had in a while!

Vor'Kang class (Vor'cha class refit)
Based on the iconic Vor'cha ships of the late 24th century, the new Vor'Kang Class is updated to face the growing threat of the Federation. This vessel is equipped with an Isometric Charge Module that will unleash a devastating charged attack that will hit an enemy ship and then chain to other nearby foes. This console can be equipped on any Battle Cruiser, Carrier or Cruiser in any console slot.

Venture class (Galaxy class refit)
A variation on the famed Galaxy class, the Exploration Cruiser Refit: Venture Class honors the U.S.S. Venture, a Galaxy-class vessel that served with distinction during the Dominion War. This vessel comes equipped with an Antimatter Spread Module. This console allows you to fire an Antimatter Spread around your ship that will confuse enemy sensors. The Antimatter Spread Module may be equipped on any cruiser in any console slot. 

More images on the STO website.

Kirsten Beyer's next Voyager novel!

Kirsten Beyer has announced on the TrekBBS the first details of her fourth Voyager novel set after Destiny. The Eternal Tide, will be released in September 2012. Beyer gave a smallest hint of where it will take us:
The story will pick up shortly after the end of Children of the Storm and will resolve two of the biggest ongoing story threads in the continuing Voyager saga.

Which two, you ask?

We'll talk this time next year.
Which is enough to make me very excited, Beyer's Voyager books have been some of the best Star Trek to date; I can't wait!

Thanks to Jens Deffner (of UnrealitySF) for pointing this out to me.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Three sexy Sevens from Mondo has revealed Mondo's next Star Trek posters, their first based on a Voyager. Tomorrow (Friday 16th) three versions of Seven of Nine, by Craig Drake, will be available: "Scorpion, Part II", featuring Seven as a Borg, "The Gift", with Seven in her silver catsuit, and one combining both versions. As ever you'll need to keep a close eye on Mondo's twitter to have the slightest chance of getting any of the prints. There will be 130 each of the individual Sevens, and 145 of the combined version.


Keep Calm and Boldly Go

The latest cool Star Trek T-Shirt, this time from one of the creatives on "Keep Calm and Boldly Go" seems like one of the more appropriate derivations of the oft-referenced classic World War II poster (Keep Calm and Carry On) I've seen; as it's actually saying more or less the same thing, just in Trek-speak:

You can find the graphic printed on just about anything you can imagine on Cafe Press.

Bandai's TNG deck building game

Bandai have recently been showing off cards from their forthcoming TNG deck building game (out next month) on their blog. And now Amazon has posted the packaging for the set:

These two cards will come exclusively with pre-ordered copies of the game:

And you can see many more examples of cards on Bandai's website for the game, including reading the rule book in preparation for play.