Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Next Typhon Pact novel by Una McCormack

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with a new listing for another Typhon Pact novel: Brinkmanship, by Una McCormack. It's due out in September (or in other words is the October book). Which in turn means David Mack's TNG trilogy presumably won't be starting until at least November.

McCormack's previous Trek works include Cardassia: The Lotus Flower (in the Worlds of DS9 series), Hollow Men, and the brilliant, The Never-Ending Sacrifice. So Cardassian-centric Typhon Pact novel maybe?

Undiscovered Country expanded soundtrack on the way

According to Trekweb, Intrada will be continuing their role in the Star Trek expanded soundtrack series (hot on the heals of their recently released soundtrack from The Voyager Home), with the forthcoming release of an expanded version of the soundtrack from The Undiscovered Country. Featuring the complete score, alternate cues, and music composed for the trailer, the two disc set is due out in February or March.

An expanded Generations soundtrack is apparently also in the works.

Monday, 30 January 2012

£5 off with TNG: The Next Level

My copy of the TNG HD sample disc, The Next Level, arrived this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised to find inside a leaflet advertising the season one box set, and on the reverse, a slip that can be posted off to get a five pound refund when I purchase the season one set later in the year. At Amazon.co.uk's price for The Next Level, that effectively makes the sample disc just £1.99. Are there similar offers around the world?

The Next Level also comes in a slipcase; despite my general aversion to excessive packaging I find it wholly satisfying when books and DVDs come in slipcases.

As expected TNG in HD looks simply amazing, gone is that horrible pink tint, and the effects are stunning. There are bumps too though, while you can pick up lots of nice extra details, it's also seems more obvious when there are mistakes in the set dressing, and some of the wobbly steadycam work seems even more pronounced. The few seconds of upscaled footage in Sins of the Father are also alarming obvious; it does at least serve to demonstrate how impressive the new transfer is. I still feels very much a product of its time, and I've always found TNG seems to have aged the worst of the Trek series; this renewed version goes a long way to fixing that. While the cinematography and editing still feels dated in places (especially in Encounter at Farpoint) the picture quality is outstanding, and allows the detail and attention to the design of the series to really shine; I feel confident TNG will no longer feel like the ugly duckling of the franchise.

Friday, 27 January 2012

New Aventine pic, plus Voyager update

In celebration of the USS Aventine's third birthday Mark Rademaker has created a new render of his design for the ship, doing battle battle with the Borg:

See Mark's original blog post for some facts about the design. Mark also posted on twitter his latest preview of his work on the Voyager refit, including adding in the second shuttlebay. Spot the differences:

Another Star Trek HeroClix game on the way

ICv2 reports that Wizkids are planning another Star Trek HeroClix game, based on the new movie timeline. Star Trek HeroClix: Away Team will include seven herolix based figures, including Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (Scotty, Uhura, Chekov and Sulu making up the rest?), and is expected to be released in July.

Meanwhile Star Trek Tactics is out next month, and Wizkids have done another preview, this time with two ships from The Undiscovered Country:


Specs for Star Trek Online's new flagships

The Star Trek Online dev blog has been updated with posts giving specs for the new Federation flagship, the Odyssey class USS Enterprise-F, and the Klingon's new Bortas class.

The pinnacle of Federation starship design, the Odyssey Star Cruiser will carry the Federation into a new generation of exploration.

In honor of this monumental technological achievement, Starfleet Command has authorized the construction of a new flagship. This vessel, the U.S.S. Enterprise-F, will embolden its crew to embrace the principles of exploration and cooperation that are the hallmarks of the Federation. In the Odyssey class, crews will explore strange new worlds, seek out new lifeforms and new civilizations and boldly go where no ship has gone before.

The Odyssey class is the largest vessel ever created by Starfleet. Its massive size makes it very resilient, but its turn rate is reduced by the bulk of the vessel. The Odyssey's unique split saucer pylon reduces subspace wake at higher warp speeds. The Odyssey is designed as an extreme long-range vessel, and can operate for long periods of time away from support. Because of this, it is the most versatile cruiser ever developed by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers and features Universal Ensign and Lieutenant Commander Bridge Offer Stations that can by operated by any Bridge Officer class.

Not content to rest on their laurels, the KDF engineering teams at the Ty'Gokor Fleet Yards have been hard at work advancing Klingon ship design into the 25th century. When Chancellor J'mpok demanded a new, more powerful flagship to lead the Empire, they were ready with the Bortas, a ship that will bring swift vengeance to enemies of the Empire.

The Bortas Battle Cruiser is the largest, most powerful battle cruiser in the Klingon arsenal. Its massive hull affords it incredible resilience in battle, but it sacrifices turn rate for that size. The Bortas is designed to take on any foe no matter how powerful, and because of that is designed with versatility in mind. It features Universal Ensign and Lieutenant Commander Bridge Officer Stations that can be operated by any Bridge Officer class.
STO's ship designer also posted more pictures of the Bortas, on twitter:

The Okuda's on TNG remastered

TrekMovie have posted a two part interview with Mike and Denise Okuda about the TNG remastering project; here are a few bits that caught my attention, about making tweaks while putting together the episodes again:
One thing we are trying to be cognizant of is that people who buy the show, know the show really well. We want them to get the show that they fell in love with and not say "wow, these guys were really clever." We want them to say "the original designers were clever." We want to highlight their work.
...very occasionally there will be some minor tweaks. An example of that is in The Next Level, there is a shot where Picard orders the phasers to be fired at a low level to bathe the wounded space creature to bring it back to life. In the original version the phasers incorrectly came from the Captain’s Yacht. Having worked at Paramount at the time, the original ship’s designer Andrew Probert was very disappointed because that wasn’t where the phasers were supposed to come from. So we thought "let’s make Andy happy."
Refering to an effects shot that was recreated in Sins of the Father:
Virtually all the ship shots are the original film elements. Occasionally a film element won’t be found or will be unusable for whatever technical reason. In that particular case, that was not a CG Enterprise, that was actually a new matte painting. However, they do have a digital Enterprise, because we know it will be needed at some point.
On details revealed in Okudagrams that wouldn't have been visible in SD previously:
For the most part we are going to leave those as they are, as they are not particularly noticeable if you don’t go looking for them. There will be a few places where if we think they are going to be distracting, that is if you watch the show and go "oh, there is Gene’ Roddenberry’s name!" Those kind of things we will look more closely at them and undoubtedly change some of them.
You can read the full interview, here, and here. Screencaps from TrekCore.

Final Cross Cult Double Helix cover

Cross Cult seem to be keen to show off their new covers again, with a second one revealed this week, this time for the last book in the Double Helix series, The First Virtue, aka Doppelhelix: Die Oberste Tugend:

Hollywood Collectables Kirk statue

Hollywood Collectables have announced their next Star Trek sculpture, and it's a second Kirk, but this time at a larger 1/4 scale (19" tall), posing with his phaser on what looks like a transporter pad. There will be 750 made, and unlike previous releases their will not be a more limited variant. He's due out in the third quarter of this year.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Coming soon(ish) from Cross Cult

My German correspondent, Jens Deffner (a regular contributor to the excellent UnrealitySF), has been in touch to inform of the latest news on Cross Cult's German language translations of Star Trek novels. Despite previously suggesting they might slow down their releases of Trek books, Cross Cult still seem to be churning them out at an impressive pace. There are new listings for Vanguard, Typhon Pact, Voyager and TOS in the next year or two.

They are also apparently hoping to acquire the rights to print translations of omnibuses of the Star Trek ongoing comic series; if they get them they hope to publish the first omnibus shortly after Volume One is released in English.

To top it all off they have also released their latest new cover, a neat combo of Bajor and the Federation emblem for Unity, their version of which, titled Einheit, is due out in April:

Continue after the jump for the full schedule of forthcoming Cross Cult releases:

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Masterpiece Collection Spock

Ahead of the release of the first two bust's (Kirk and Picard) in their Star Trek Masterpiece Collection, Titan Merchandise have already announced the fifth! And this time it's Spock, due out in April:

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes omnibus

Mark Martinez (of the Star Trek Comics Checklist) has pointed out to me that Amazon.com now has a listing for the omnibus edition of Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes. It uses the issue one/promotional cover, and is due out in July. If you haven't been picking it up issue by issue I recommend it; without even knowing a thing about Legion of Super-Heroes it has been an entirely enjoyable alternate universe adventure so far, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

TNG Season 1 bluray cover

TrekCore has revealed the cover art for the first season of TNG on bluray:

This comes from the trailer for the first season on the The Next Level sample disc, which is out soon. TrekCore has more caps from that trailer showing some of the behind the scenes footage we have to look forward to.

Meanwhile Blu-ray.com has a review up for the sample disc with lots more screencaps from the episodes.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Star Trek (ongoing) #8

StarTrek.com have announced IDW's Star Trek titles for April, and with the conclusion of Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes in March we're down to just the ongoing series. But at least it sounds good, with part two of the first original story, The Vendetta Conspiracy. Here's how they describe it:
Star Trek #8 thrusts Captain Kirk and his Enterprise crew into a tense race against time to thwart a renegade Vulcan plot to destroy Romulus -- and it features a guest-star appearance by Spock's father, Sarek.
StarTrek.com released two covers, a Tim Bradstreet one, and a McCoy photo-cover:

Star Trek Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

StarTrek.com has announced doublesix and Deep Silver will be releasing a Star Trek edition of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire for Play Station 3 and X-Box 360; based on the TV show and expanding their range of Millionaire games, which so far include music, movies, football, and South Park.

Taking place on the bridge of a classic Constitution class starship the game will feature six hundred questions based on Star Trek: The Original Series. Players can play as either a Human Cadet, an Orion Slave Girl, a Vulcan officer, or Uhura. The phone-a-friend lifeline puts you through to various TOS characters to help you answer your questions.


No details on the release date yet, but initially it will be available world wide Except for North America. Digital Spy report doublesix hope to release an expanded version for everywhere in the world at a later date.

Star Trek Tactic's ships of DS9

The latest preview from Star Trek Tactics, the next Star Trek HeroClix game, is focused on DS9, with the USS Defiant, and Regency 1 (which apparently mirror-Worf's ship):


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sample images from TNG in HD

Ahead of the imminent release of the first TNG sampler, The Next Level, TrekMovie have released two screen caps, from Encounter at Farpoint, and Sins of the Father, showing the remarkable increase in quality we are going to get from the new transfer:

HD, Encounter at Farpoint
SD, Encounter at Farpoint

HD, Sins of the Father
SD, Sins of the Father

UPDATE: You can see even more screencaps from the sample disc, thanks to a review by Blu-rayDefinition.com.

Star Trek Online goes free-to-play

Star Trek Online has now, on stardate 17.01, gone free-to-play. TO celebrate they released a new trailer:

Star Trek (ongoing) #5 preview

Comic Book Resources has released a seven-page preview for this week's fifth issue of the Star Trek ongoing series, which is part one of the retelling of Operation Annihilate! It kicks off with a nice flashback picking up on the life of young Kirk (preview continues after the jump):


Monday, 16 January 2012

Star Trek Catan, coming in March

BoardGameGeek has announced the boardgame, Catan, will soon have a Star Trek edition published. Here's the official description:
Star Trek Catan takes two well-known media properties and merges them into, well, into something that is 95% The Settlers of Catan glossed with Trek tropes and spiced with new special powers related to Trek personalities.

In Star Trek Catan, players start the game with two small space stations at the intersection of three planets, with each planet supplying resources based on the result of a dice roll. Players collect and trade these resources – Dilithium, Tritanium, food, oxygen and water – in order to build spaceships that connect regions in the galaxy, establish small and large space stations at new intersection points in order to increase resource acquisition, and acquire development cards that provide victory points (VPs) or special abilities.

On a dice roll of 7, a Klingon ship swoops in to prevent resource production on one planet, while taxing spacegoers who hold too many resources.

The one new element in Star Trek Catan compared to the Settlers version is a set of character cards, each featuring one of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Sulu, Scott, Uhura, Chekov, Chapel, Rand or Sarek. Each character card has two special powers that the holder can use on his turn, such as a forced trade.
Sounds like fun, maybe a bit like Star Trek Armada as a board game. The game is due out in Germany in March, no news yet on international releases.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Happy Birthday Star Trek Comics Checklist

I just spotted that Mark Martinez noted a few days ago that his Star Trek Comics Checklist has just reached its twentieth year! What I find remarkable is twenty years ago is only 1992, which feels far too recent for such a long time...

Anyway, if you're not familiar with it, the Star Trek Comics Checklist is a comprehensive list of Star Trek comics from the first Goldkey's right up to the latest from IDW, with every comic, big and small, in between. Mark currently makes that nearly seven hundred comics! So go have a looksie, maybe you'll find something you never even knew existed.

Meanwhile I'm just a couple of months away from running this place for five years! My how time flies.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Awesome cover for Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #6

Jeffrey Moy has posted, on his blog, his cool retro cover for the sixth, and final, issue of the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes series:

You can see lots of artwork from the series in Moy's other blog posts, including this nice sketch of the Imperial Elite, as featured in the third issue:

Retro Picard and Borg

The Art Asylum blog has posted a new image of the forthcoming retro cloth Picard and Borg figures, the first TNG figures in the Mego-style range, in celebration of this year's 25th anniversary:

Pre-order: Entertainment Earth, Things From Another World, Forbidden Planet (Picard, Borg).

New Star Trek snow globe collection

Willabee and Ward have announced a new range of Star Trek snow globes. There are twelve planned for the series, with mock-up images of the first seven including the Enterprises NX-01, 1701, and 1701-D, Shuttlecraft Galileo, a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, the USS Defiant and USS Voyager. They are available to order on a subscription, with the first one coming at the price of postage and packaging only. Here's how the describe them:
Each one-of-a-kind snow globe is crafted of cold-cast porcelain and then carefully hand-painted by skilled artisans. Enjoy every Star Trek ship through glass globes and shimmering colorful "snow" that sit atop delightfully designed bases. What's more, you'll receive an attractive wooden display rack beautifully designed to showcase your snow globes on any wall or flat surface. You can use the to shelf of the display to showcase one snow globe each month! You can acquire this Genuine Wooden Collector's Display Rack for the same low price as your snow globes.
And here are the first mock-ups:


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Special features for The Next Level

TrekCore has confirmed the special features for the forthcoming TNG HD sample disc, The Next Level. There are three:
  • The previously released trailer for the TNG HD project. 
  • A trailer for the iPad PADD app. 
  • And the only one that's worth caring about; a trailer for the season one bluray set. 
Hopefully the latter will be a nice long trailer with lots of exciting footage, and maybe some idea of new extra features coming with the full season releases. The Next Level is due by the end of the month, with season one to follow later in the year.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bonkers/Brilliant Trek stuff from ThinkGeek

ThinkGeek (who have previously brought us the Star Trek Spork, Enterprise Feeding System and the Enterprise Pizza Cutter) have just launched two new Star Trek products products to their brilliantly odd range:

The Enterprise Plush is the most loveable starship launched by Starfleet. But despite its cuddly fluffiness, this ship is still deserving of the name Enterprise; as the flagship of the Federation's peacekeeping and humanitarian armada it's ready to fire photo torpedoes (when you give it a hug) and light up its bussard collectors. You can currently preorder one of these, with them expected to leave spacedock next month.

Meanwhile inside the ship (or house, or office), and already available, Starfleet is ready to install 23rd century issue door chimes. The wall panels have a motion detector which makes a swoosh sound when someone passes, or sounds red alert.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Star Trek Tactic's USS Reliants

This week's preview from Star Trek Tactics, the next Star Trek HeroClix game, reveals there will be two versions of the USS Reliant among the ships in the game; one as commanded by Captain Terrel, and one in the hands of Khan: