Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Seekers

A few months ago I shared with you the amazing work of Rob Caswell, otherwise known as Arcass, on his deviantART page. Rob is a New England based illustrator who has worked on role playing games, computer games, web design, and comics; including part of FASA's Star Trek: The Next Generation - Officer's Manual, and the new TOS-remastered inspired covers for James Blish's Star Trek novelizations I highlighted last time. Since then Rob has been working on more Trek-inspired novel covers, this time for a TOS spin-off from an alternative timeline; The Seekers, which featured the adventures of an Archer-class scoutship (Masao Okazaki's design from the Vanguard series).

This is how Rob described The Seekers in his description for the first cover in the series:
The one-season series spin-off featured the new tiny Federation scout ship designed by 7-year-old Masao Okazaki through the studio fan-mail-in contest. It followed the adventures of this intimate crew on a series of epsidoes that would set a new standard for TV sci-fi that would not be met for decades.

And this is what Rob told me about the conception of the series:
My previous series of (fan art) Trek book covers, readdressing the original Blish novelizations in a style that was both respectful of seventies graphic sensibilities but at the same time brought the series a Post-Trek detail polish, seemed to be pretty popular with my Deviant Art viewership. Folks had been nudging me to do a follow up – maybe by revisiting Foster’s TAS “Logs” – but the fire didn’t get lit under my butt until someone suggested doing a fictional Trek book series based on a smaller ship. Thus was born “The Seekers” project.

The idea was that these were novelizations done for a late sixties Star Trek spin-off…. which obviously never happened so I had to throw in some "artifact from an alternate timeline" fiction to massage my raison d'être. If such a series were to be launched, they probably would have followed the Star Trek novelization model in having an established SF writer take on the duties. I chose Fredrick Brown as a) he’s the author of the notable “Arena” episode, and b) he’s heavily associated with the 60’s scifi scene. I went with the name “Seekers” in an effort to evoke the original show’s mission, as stated in every opening credit sequence: “…to seek out new life and new civilizations.”

Graphically I tried to give this short series the same treatment as I did the Blish covers. I wanted it to look like it was part of the publisher’s product line from the time and I wanted to evoke that wonderful late sixties to mid-eighties paperback cover illustration style. The covers on those old reads were just as inspirational to me as “the guts”, back when I was a teenager. Between each story I’d close the book, consider what I just read, and soak the cover art in again… perhaps with a little new meaning or added observation. Those covers were part of the whole experience and I wanted to try and recapture that effect for a new audience. Of course in the case of “The Seekers”, as there are no “guts”, the covers ARE the experience.



Another stunning series you must surely agree? And I hope not the last I'll feel compelled to share with you. You can see more of Rob's cover designs, here, and view his entire gallery, here, which is filled with all sort of pretty pictures, including lots more Star Trek goodness!

Thanks once more to Rob for allowing me to share his work!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Eternal Tide cover and...

StarTrek.com have released he cover for the next Voyager novel, the fourth in Kirsten Beyer's outstanding series of post-Destiny Delta Quadrant adventures, The Eternal Tide. The cover gives something of a suggestion, and StarTrek.com's description seems to further hint at the exciting possibility:
...the Voyager fleet continues its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, investigating the status of sectors formerly controlled by the Borg. During this critical mission, one of Starfleet’s own – a respected and acclaimed officer – returns, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.

Can. Not. Wait.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Star Trek rockets: Klingon BoP and the Reliant

Last week I reported on the new range of Star Trek rockets coming from Round 2's MPC line later this year. At the time images of the USS Enterprise version had only been released, but now TrekMovie have revealed the USS Reliant and Klingon Bird-of-Prey versions too. They look like this:

  

 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Updated Raise the Dawn cover

Simon and Schutser have updated their listings for Raise the Dawn, now giving it the final title as part of the Typhon Pact series (rather than "Chain of Destiny"). Higher res cover:


I'm still imagining this to be the proposed Starfleet shipyards in the Bajor system. I've seen other suggestions including a replacement for DS9, or a starbase for the Gamma Quadrant terminus of the Bajoran wormhole. Any thoughts? It has the number 173 all over it whatever it is.

In other Simon and Schuster news: The untitled TNG ebook coming in December is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes #6 preview

Also out this week is the final issue of the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover. Comics Continuum have posted previews of all IDW's comics this week. Here are the first seven pages of the sixth, and final, issue (continues after the jump):


Star Trek (ongoing) #7 preview

Out this week is Star Trek (ongoing) #7, part one of The Vendetta Conspiracy, the first wholly original story in the ongoing series (and therefore really exciting!). Comics Continuum have posted previews of all IDW's comics this week. Here are the first seven pages of The Vendetta Conspiracy (continues after the jump):


Friday, 16 March 2012

Odyssey class bridge = humongous!

The Star Trek Online screenshot gallery has been updated with a shot of the Odyssey class advanced cruiser bridge - It's huge! I know the STO interiors are somewhat exaggerated, but that's something else. Crazy scale aside, I rather like it though; a little like how I imagine the Vesta bridge.

Mondo's Wrath of Khan

This week Mondo opened a new art gallery, and their first show is all sci-fi! Happily that included a new Mondo Star Trek poster, and their invitation to the opening gave some indication of what part of the Trekverse that might be based on:


Yup, Wrath of Khan, a new poster by Tyler Stout. An edition of 635 of the regular version, and 280 of a variant:


The show included some amazing posters for other films too; I'm especially taken by the War of the Worlds and Forbidden Planet ones (have a look after the jump):

Star Trek rockets!

Now here's a proper old-school bonkers tie-in product, that sort of fits the franchise, but is also just a bit mad: Toy News International have announced that Round 2 models, makers of AMT and Polar Lights Star Trek models kits, are adding Star Trek products to another of their retro brands; with the launch of MPC rockets. The first wave of Star Trek rockets will come in September - There will be three designs, based on the movie-era Enterprise, USS Reliant, and Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Each also comes with a decorated parachute, the Enterprise version for instance has is the saucer section.

IDW June solicitations

StarTrek.com have posted IDW's Star Trek solicitations for June, which are:

Star Trek (ongoing) #10: The Return of the Archons, Part 2
By Mike Johnson, art by Stephen Molnar, and a cover by Tim Bradstreet, plus a sketch-cover
The story, which concludes the “The Return of the Archons” reimagining, follows Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew as they unravel the mystery of a lost Starfleet vessel that may hold the key to the galaxy’s future.

Assimilation2 #2
By Scott and David Tipton with Tony Lee, art by J.K. Woodward, with covers by Woodward, Mark Buckingham, and Joe Corroney, the latter being a wrap-around cover featuring the Enterprise crew in the TARDIS.
The Federation’s most-terrifying enemy (that’d be the Borg) strikes an unholy alliance with one of the Doctor’s most-hated antagonists (the Cybermen, of course), resulting in devastation on a cosmic scale.

Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes omnibus
By Chris Roberson, art by Jeffrey Moy, and a cover by Phil Jimenez. Plus all direct-market first-printing copies will include a Keith Giffen dust jacket.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

TOS edition of Bandai's deck building game on the way

Bandai have announced the third set in their Star Trek deck building game will be a TOS edition. No more details than a picture for now:

Klingon flagship variants in STO

Mirroring the Federation's Odyssey class variants, the Star Trek Online team have now announced three new versions of the Klingon Bortas class. Here's how they describe them:
Advancing beyond the powerful Bortas Battle Cruiser base design, the new line of Bortasqu' Battle Cruisers include improved Bridge Officer seating, Console slots and special abilities.

The Bortasqu' Battle Cruisers include the Bortasqu' Tactical Cruiser, Bortasqu' War Cruiser and Bortasqu' Command Cruiser. These line of cruisers are the largest, most powerful battle cruisers in the Klingon arsenal. Their massive hull affords them incredible resilience in battle, but they sacrifice turn rate for that size. They come with a standard cloaking device, but their massive energy signature means the cloak is less effective than it would be on a smaller vessel.

The Bortasqu' Battle Cruisers are designed to take on any foe no matter how powerful, and because of that, are designed with versatility in mind. All three feature Universal Lieutenant Commander and Ensign Bridge Officer Stations that can be operated by any Bridge Officer class!

Each Bortasqu' Battle Cruiser comes with its own special console which may be equipped on any of the Bortasqu' Battle Cruisers in any console slot. They may not be equipped on the standard Bortas Battle Cruiser or any other ship, as each is part of the Bortasqu' Set. The 3-piece set bonus decreases the recharge time of all Bortasqu' console abilities and also improves your Starship Targeting Systems, Starship Energy Weapon Specialization, and Starship Energy Weapon Specialization Skills. Finally, this bonus also slightly increases the Bortasqu' Battle Cruiser's Turn Rate.
Tactical cruiser
The Bortasqu' Tactical Cruiser features a bonus tactical console slot (for a total of 10 console slots). It comes equipped with a Disruptor Autocannon universal console module. The console focuses the ship's weapon power into the Bortasqu' Tactical Cruiser's primary firing chamber to unleash a devastating sustained barrage at a single target. It is the most powerful weapon in the fleet. This weapon goes into a console slot and not a weapon slot.
War cruiser
The Bortasqu' War Cruiser features a bonus engineering console slot (for a total of 10 console slots). It comes equipped with a HoH'SuS Bird-of-Prey universal console module. This console allows you to separate your Bortasqu' War Cruiser's aft command pod which will deploy as a Bird-of-Prey. The HoH'SuS Bird-of-Prey will follow you and attack your targets. It comes equipped with Quad Disruptor Cannons, Disruptor Turrets, Transphasic Torpedoes and Subspace Jump.
Command cruiser
The Bortasqu' Command Cruiser features a bonus science console slot (for a total of 10 console slots) as well as the Sensor Analysis ability typically only found on science vessels. It comes equipped with a Subspace Snare universal console module. This Console Mod allows you to instantly teleport a foe directly in front of you.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Another new ebook, and other publishing updates

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with a listing for a second ebook release in 2013, following the recently revealed In Tempest's Wake, coming in October. "TNG: Untitled", by James Swallow is set for release in December.

Meanwhile Amazon now has listings up for the Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 book, suggesting and October release.

Various listings for the fifth book in the Starfleet Academy young reader series have now pushed its release all the way back to August 2013!

Finally various other recently announced books are now starting to show up on Amazon too: Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship, Klingon Bird of Prey Haynes Manual, and Classic Quotes. Have a look at my schedule pages to see everything coming this year, and beyond.

New versions of the Odyssey class coming to Star Trek Online

Cryptic have announced the release of three new "advanced" variants of the Odyssey class (the Enterprise-F's class). There will be one variant for each of the main Starfleet divisions. Here's how they describe them:
The pinnacle of Federation starship design, the Advanced Odyssey Cruisers improve on the base Odyssey Star Cruiser design, with improved Bridge Officer seating, console slots and special abilities.

The Advanced Odyssey Cruisers include the Odyssey Tactical Cruiser, Odyssey Operations Cruiser and Odyssey Science Cruiser. Like the base model, the Advanced Odyssey Cruisers are the largest vessels ever created by Starfleet. Their massive size makes them very resilient, but their turn rate is reduced by their bulk.

The Odyssey's unique split saucer pylon reduces subspace turbulence, which allows higher warp speeds and increases the length of time that the ship can maintain Slipstream Drive. The Advanced Odyssey Cruisers are designed as extreme long-range vessels, and can operate for long periods of time away from support. Because of this, they are the most versatile cruisers ever developed by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers. All three feature Universal Lieutenant Commander and Universal Ensign Bridge Offer Stations that can by operated by any Bridge Officer class!

Each Advanced Odyssey Cruiser comes with its own special console. These consoles may be equipped on any of the Advanced Odyssey Cruisers in any console slot, and each is part of the Odyssey Set. While they may not be equipped on the standard Odyssey Cruiser or any other ship, the 3-piece set bonus decreases the recharge time of all Odyssey console abilities. It also improves your Starship EPS, Starship Hull Plating, and Starship Armor Reinforcements Skills. Finally, this bonus also slightly increases your Odyssey's Turn Rate.
Operations cruiser
The Odyssey Operations Cruiser features a bonus engineering console slot (for a total of 10 console slots). It comes equipped with a Chevron Separation universal console module. This console allows you to separate your Odyssey's chevron saucer and stardrive sections. The saucer will follow you and attack your targets. You pilot the stardrive section, which gains a boost to weapons power and increased speed and maneuverability.
Science cruiser
The Odyssey Science Cruiser features a bonus science console slot (for a total of 10 console slots), as well as the Sensor Analysis ability typically only found on science vessels. It comes with a Work Bee universal console module. This console allows you to deploy four Work Bee CMU (Cargo management Units). Work Bees are small construction and repair crafts that will follow and repair your vessel or your ally's ship.
Tactical cruiser
The Odyssey Tactical Cruiser features a bonus tactical console slot (for a total of 10 console slots). It comes with an Aquarius Escort universal console module. This console allows you to separate the aft mission pod of your ship which will deploy an Aquarius Escort. The Aquarius Escort is a small powerful attack craft that will follow you and attack your targets. It comes equipped with Quad Phaser Cannons, Phaser Turrets, Quantum Torpedoes, and a Point Defense System.

Worlds of DS9: Andor, auf Deutsch

Cross Cult have released the cover art for their edition of Worlds of Deep Space Nine - Andor: Paradigm (Die Welten von Deep Space Nine: Andor - Paradigma), which will be the second book in their six book release of the series (see previous posts for the other covers for the series). This also shows us the overall cover design for the first time:


You can see the finalised covers (with the titles and such) for the first three books in the series on Cross Cult's Star Trek books website.

Latest Star Trek props and production art auction

Propworx have released a digital catalogue for their next auction of Star Trek props and production art. It includes items from across the franchise (TOS to Nemesis at least). My personal highlight is this concept painting for the Vulcan shuttle from The Motion Picture:


This prototype uniform redesign for Generations is pretty interesting too:


You can find the entire catalogue, here.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

A new Trek ebook on the way

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with a listing for a new Star Trek ebook coming in October: Vanguard: In Tempest's Wake, by Dayton Ward. Although according to Dayton Ward's response to the news on twitter, it should actually be TOS rather than Vanguard (which is due to come to a conclusion with the imminent release of Storming Heaven).

Hopefully this is also an indication that last October's release of the Typhon Pact ebook, The Struggle Within, was also a success. And hopefully if this one does well too, we might be lucky enough for this to be made more than annual event?!

Want a creepy life-sized Spock?

Well look no further than Muckle Mannequins' and Studio Oxmox's latest offering; a life-sized resin Mr Spock. Three hundred Spocks are available, and come in three Star Trek emblazoned boxes. According to StarTrek.com they plan a Captain Kirk to join him later. And for just $3000, how could you resist?



The companies involved have previously released a similar life sized Seven of Nine, complete with remarkably sculpted buttocks:


And also offer (what I find much less creepy for some reason), life size dinosaur models, like this T-Rex head!:

Latest STO episode prelude

The Star Trek Online team have posted the latest in-universe extract ahead of the next feature episode release. Prelude to The 2800: Boldly They Rode:
Personal Log, Captain James Kurland

Computer, begin recording.

No offense to the good people of Bajor, but I'm glad to be back on the Defiant. It's not DS9, but …

These past weeks have been rough on the crew. Half of my security team is still in sickbay and everyone else has been working double or triple shifts. People are on edge, petty disagreements are turning into fights … life on a Defiant has never been easy, but now more than ever I need to get these people back to DS9.

Back home.

I'm putting the entire crew in for commendations, and I've nominated Karen Andrews for the Pike Medal of Valor.

A medal's not enough to reward her for all that she did for DS9. Karen was one of the finest officers with which I've had the honor to serve, and a good friend. Poker night at Vic's won't be the same without her.

Replacing Karen in Ops … I don't even want to think about that yet. Starfleet's already forwarded me a stack of personnel files, and DS9 will need a new first officer.

I'll read the files later. When this is over.

It won't be long now. The female changeling is insisting on handling the transfer of power herself, and at this point, I'm not in a position to disagree.

If we're lucky, this will be a simple handover. But, as Karen always used to say, care and diligence create luck.

I'll send over an officer I can trust and stand by with the fleet. If it all falls apart, then the Defiant will be ready to lead the fight to take back DS9.

By tomorrow the station will be ours again, or we will lose it forever.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A little more on Assimilation2

Comic Book Resources have posted an interview with Scott and David Tipton on their forthcoming TNG/Doctor Who crossover, Assimilation2. The writing duo were very careful to give away little more than what we already know; Borg and Cybermen team up, with the Doctor, Amy, and Rory working with the Enterprise-D crew to defeat them. They did talk a little about what they are not doing, regarding abundant crossover cameos:
I think we have to be careful not to go too crazy with the cameos and the Easter eggs in a book like this. That temptation is there to try and squeeze in all of the Doctor's rogues' gallery, and all of the Federation's most dangerous foes, and soon you can lose track of the story you set out to tell in the first place. So, while longtime Trek fans and Who fans will no doubt recognize some familiar people, places and things, we're trying to stay focused on telling the best story we can.
As well as some incite into similarities and contrasts on the crossover subjects:
...speaking in generalities, what's always come across to me as the major difference is that the Cybermen just seem angrier. There's an emotionality to the Cybermen that sets them apart, despite their claim to be free from emotion. It also tends to be their Achilles' heel, or at least, it has in the past. What do the Borg want? What do the Cybermen want? And why would they work together? Therein lays the tale...
It's a little daunting, admittedly, in that "Next Generation" is science fiction, while "Doctor Who" can sometimes veer more into the realm of science-fantasy. It's easy to think the two wouldn't mix, since Captain Picard is so serious while the Doctor is often so funny. But people forget that there were some hilarious moments in "Next Generation," and that when the Doctor gets serious, he can be downright frightening. I think the contrast between the two is going to be where the real fun is.
You can read the full interview at CBR. Issue one of Assimilation2 is also now available for pre-order, and according to my local comic guy will also (unlike other IDW Doctor Who comics) be available in the UK.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Star Trek accessories

In need of some little knick-knacks to Trek up your life? Well you're in luck as StarTrek.com has been reporting on the latest Star Trek accessory releases. Ata-Boy will be expanding it's range of Star Trek stickers, magnets, buttons. I personally am most taken by the buttons, particular the "I am not a merry man!" one in the TNG range:


Ata-Boy stuff can be found at specialty shops, as well as the likes of Amazon. StarTrek.com have also highlighted a new range of Star Trek lanyards, which are for sale via their online store. There are three so far, including a Gold Key comics inspired design:

 
 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Klingon Haynes Manual on the way!

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with a new listing for the "Star Trek: Klingon Bird of Prey Haynes Manual", to be co-authored by Ben Robinson and Rick Sternbach! It's due out in November, but no other details just yet. I wonder how broad a subject Klingon Bird-of-Prey will be...