Monday, 30 April 2012

Cross Cult's next TOS cover

Cross Cult have released cover art for their mysterious fourth TOS novel release (following their translation of the Crucible trilogy); and surprisingly it features Harry Mudd, as well as a rather unusual half classic/half refit version of the Enterprise:


As far as I know, Mudd has not appeared in any recent TOS novels (though I admit I'm not a big TOS reader), so could Cross Cult be digging into the archives a bit here? The most Mudd-centric novel I can think of is Mudd in Your Eye, from Jerry Oltion in 1997.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

A novel, a box, and a case.

A few newslets:

The Simon and Schuster website has been updated with a listing for a new TOS novel, coming in January 2013: The Red Ensign, by David R. George III. No other details yet.

Bandai have released the box art for their forthcoming TOS instalment of their Star Trek deck building game:



And Amazon UK have posted a new higher resolution image of the TNG season one bluray set (although it is marked TBC):

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Light Works' pretty ships

I came across an awesome animated flyby of Vanguard on youtube today, made by Tobias Richter of The Light Works. Eager to find more I made my way to The Light Works website and found some things I'd not seen before. It turns out The Light Works had been working on GameForge's probably-now-dead Star Trek game Infinite Space, making models of ships and station. Including these neat new Vulcan and Ferengi designs:


You can also find behind-the-scenes images of The Light Works' contributions to the Ships of the Line calendars. Including lots of different views of the Ambassador class prototype from this year's edition. Like this one:


You can see lots more from Infinite Space, Ships of the Line. and more, on the Light Works website. And here's the Vanguard video that led me to find these little treats:



Tuesday, 24 April 2012

CLB on new TOS DTI novel

StarTrek.com have posted an interview with Christopher L. Bennett, regarding his new DTI novel, Forgotten History. I recommend reading the full interview, as it's a rather witty piece by Bennett in which present him talks to his past self, complete with cameos from Dulmur and Lucsly when the interview threatens temporal integrity. But if you only want the highlights: Bennett talked a bit about how the new novel came into being:
We knew from Deep Space Nine: “Trials and Tribble-ations” that James T. Kirk had seventeen separate temporal violations listed in the DTI’s files, so surely there must be an unchronicled one worth writing about.

The suggestion sparked a bigger idea in me, though. Watching the Clock and earlier stories had established the DTI’s founding date as 2270, right around the end of the famous five-year mission. So why not tell the origin story of the DTI itself? I could have Lucsly and Dulmur—the DTI agents featured in “Trials and Tribble-ations” and the lead characters of Watching the Clock—encounter a temporal mystery tying into the origins of their own department, a mystery suggesting that Kirk and the Enterprise played an even more integral role in the DTI’s formative years than history recorded, and use their investigation as a framing sequence for that story. Not only could I do for the original series’ time travel episodes what I did for various twenty-fourth-century ones in Watching the Clock—tell the stories behind the stories and explore their background, connections, and consequences—but I could extend the tale forward into the DTI’s early years and finally get to write that follow-up to Star Trek: Ex Machina that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
As well as noting some of inspiration and opportunities he took in doing a TOS-era DTI novel:
I’m getting to address a lot of things I’ve often wondered about Kirk’s time travel adventures: how did Starfleet react upon learning time travel was possible? How to explain the coincidence that the same starship made two accidental time journeys and discovered the Guardian of Forever within a single year? What led Starfleet to risk sending the Enterprise back to 1968 for historical research in “Assignment: Earth,” or using the Guardian for research in “Yesteryear”?

But that’s just part of it. The timeframe of the book lets me fulfill some long-standing wishes: telling a story employing characters and concepts from Star Trek: The Animated Series (and not the characters one would expect); exploring the internal layout of the Enterprise based on what was revealed in Star Trek: Enterprise’s “In a Mirror, Darkly” as well as the original and animated series; elaborating on the end of the five-year mission and the process of the Enterprise refit; and most of all, carrying forward the post-TMP adventures of the Enterprise and advancing some of the major character arcs that Ex Machina set in motion. All of this is secondary to the saga of the DTI’s formative years, of course, but it’s all in there, and then some.
Bennett also noted how the book was initially planned as a TOS branded title, and how he has written it to be accessible to TOS fans:
Although its frame sequence does feature the DTI characters from Watching the Clock and takes place after it, I’ve tried to treat them the same way I’d handle brand-new characters, so that TOS fans picking up this book can learn all they need to know about the DTI team without needing to read anything else. I’ve even tried to make the 2383 portions understandable for TOS fans unfamiliar with the later shows, for instance pointing out that relations with the Klingons are better in Lucsly’s time than in Kirk’s. Although Forgotten History is the second DTI book, it’s my hope that it can work equally well if you read it first—appropriately, for it is the origin story of the department.
You can read the whole interview, here. Forgotten History is available now in paperback and ebook.

Monday, 23 April 2012

New 2013 calendar images

StarTrek.com has posted new images of Rizzoli's 2013 Star Trek calendars. Here's the first look at the finalised backcover for the new Ships of the Line:


I can see: The big picture of a Constitution class and some DY-100s; some sort of interior, no idea what though; what has to be Mark Rademaker's image in this addition, a Vesta class and ringship; the NX-01 a shuttlepod and some fighter planes (so probably a Storm Front inspired image); two or three NX class ships in formation; a Constitution class and a shuttle in front of the moon; a Galaxy class and Constitution class meeting high in a planets atmosphere; a refit Constitution class; a TNG shuttlecraft; Enterprise-E in the spacedock from Nemesis; a Constellation class firing on a Galaxy class (maybe based on The Battle); a nice view of DS9; and finally a TOS style ship I don't recognise.

The moon picture is by regular contributor, Douglas Graves (aka Deg), called "A Tall Ship", here's a better view:


There's also updated covers for the TOS calendar:

 

Plus new covers and interior pages from the Captain's Log engagement calendar:

Friday, 20 April 2012

Forbidden Planet edition of Star Trek/Doctor Who #1

Forbidden Planet have got themselves a retail exclusive edition of the first issue in the TNG/Doctor Who crossover, Assimilation2, which is out next month. The cover is a non-coloured version of the David Messina cover, with an added Forbidden Planet logo, and a Forbidden Planet backcover advert. Looks like this:

 

They are offering copies signed by co-writer Tony Lee online, and are also hosting an event at the end of the month where Lee will be signing.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Forgotten History excerpt

Chritopher L. Bennett's second Department of Temporal Investigations novel, Forgotten History is out soon (paper copies should be showing up any day now, and the ebook is out next week), and Simon and Schuster have posted an excerpt online to tempt you. Here is the teaser page:
"Is there any sign of activity from this timeship?" The Director went on.
   "No, ma'am," Dulmer said. "It's adrift. The subspace confluence seems stable."
   "Then we have time to examine the records. I'm granting you full clearance to whatever classified DTI and Federation Science Council records from the period you believe may be relevant to your investigation. I'll request the equivalent clearance from Starfleet Command. And I'll tell you what I can remember about those early days."
   "If it wasn't Grey," Lucsly said, "we should track down who in Starfleet would've headed up the investigation of the Enterprise's temporal incidents. We know Starfleet undertook some reckless experiments with time in those early days. This must have been one of them."
   "Then how did the ship end up with civilian markings?" Dulmur asked. "Department markings?"
   "Don't get ahead of the process, Dulmur," Andos said. "To reconstruct the truth, we need to follow the chain of events from their beginning."
   "And their beginning, as always," Lucsly said, "was James Tiberius Kirk."
You can read all the way up to the start of chapter four, here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

TNG: Untitled, now titled!

In his latest update of forthcoming projects, James Swallow has announced the title of his TNG ebook, a December release currently listed as "Untitled". It will be called, The Stuff of Dreams; so lets hope it lives up to the title! (With brilliant books like Day of the Vipers and Synthesis under his belt, I imagine it will)

New trailer for Star Trek: The Video Game

IGN have released a new trailer, plus new screen caps and concept art, for next year's inbetwequel Star Trek video game. Have a watch:



IGN also interviewed Sheldon Carter from Digital Extremes about the game, who commented on the core cooperative nature of the game:
If you take it back to day one when we started talking about making a game, and you break down what Star Trek is, it really is the story of Kirk and Spock, which is halves of the same whole.
Carter was also keen to stress that they are trying to make the game reflect the film aesthetically, and build upon the universe of Star Trek by not just having it all be about shooting people.

 
 

More information about voices in the game, and additional platform announcements are expected as we move closer to the release next year.

Monday, 16 April 2012

TNG 365 samples and blurb

The latest Abrams Books catalogue is out, which includes the first look at some images from inside the forthcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation 365. They also have a description for the book:
With the launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gene Roddenberry somehow managed to recapture lightning in a bottle. This new incarnation of Star Trek was an instant hit, and its popularity inspired four films and three spin-off television series. To commemorate the show’s 25th anniversary, Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 provides a fresh, accessible overview of the entire series, including an authorized guide to all 178 episodes. Featuring rarely seen and now-classic photography and illustrations, this visual celebration of the voyages of Captain Picard, his crew, and the Enterprise-D offers a loving look back at the Emmy and Hugo Award–winning series.

TNG costumes

Star Trek costume makers ANOVOS are about to launch a range of Star Trek: The Next Generation costumes. To tempt you they have released a video showing off their clever magnetic pips:



QMx are also working on TNG costume pieces, the image below has two prototypes of their TNG combadge, plus an original production version.


Saturday, 14 April 2012

Star Trek/Doctor Who omnibus in two parts?

Amazon has added a listing for the omnibus of TNG/Doctor Who crossover Assimilation2. This listing suggests a 104 page book due in October, which would seem to indicate IDW will be releasing the eight part series in two omnibuses. Perhaps, like Infestation, a hardback edition of the entire series will follow later?

Friday, 13 April 2012

IDW's Star Trek comics for July

StarTrek.com have released IDW's Star Trek solicitations for July, and it looks like an exciting month with both classic Trek and classic Who factoring into the 11th Doctor/TNG crossover, plus a new tribble story for the ongoing series, and the second omnibus from that same series.

Star Trek (ongoing) #11: The Truth about Tribbles, Part 1
By Mike Johnson, with art by Claudia Balboni, and a cover by Tim Bradstreet, plus photo and sketch covers.
In the brand-new story, the new Enterprise crew makes the acquaintance of everyone’s favorite cuddly, ravenously hungry, Klingon-hating alien creatures.

Assimilation2
#3
By Scott and David Tipton with Tony Lee, and art by J.K. Woodward, plus covers by Woodward and Elena Casagrande (including a black and white version of the latter)
The newest installment in the long-awaited crossover finds Captain Picard and Doctor Who attempting to agree upon the best course of action now that the true horror of the Borg-Cybermen alliance has been revealed. Also in question: will the Doctor’s recently resurfaced memories shed fresh light on the situation?

Star Trek, Volume 2
By Mike Johnson, with art by Joe Corroney, and a cover by Tim Bradstreet.

Hallmark's 2012 keepsakes

Hallmark have put up listings for their 2012 keepsake range, which adds three new items to their long running range of Star Trek ornaments. Not much has changed since they first released images of the prototypes last year, but they now come with amusing descriptions:
Only a Vulcan mind-meld could top the experience true Star Trek™ fans will have when they listen to dialogue from this exciting scene
Referring to this Spock meets Spock scene from the new movie:


The other two continue the Star Trek Legends series, and give us a new Enterprise-D for the 25th anniversary, the latter also has sound functions:

Ferengi ships in STO

Star Trek Online is having another lock box feature, this time based on Ferengi. The highlight of the available items is the Ferengi D'Kora class:
Due to a miscalculation on the Ferengi Futures Exchange in early 2409, Urata Manufacturing found itself with an excess of inventory and mounting debt. Desperate to stabilize cash flow, the company attempted to liquidize some of its remaining assets through quiet sales. When this didn't work, the leaders of the company cooked the books, shoving most of their remaining debt onto a little-known subsidiary that specialized in military ships. Then they spun that company, Sluga Military Technology, off as an independent manufacturer.

Burdened with Urata Manufacturing's old debts, Sluga seemed doomed to failure. Its stock price dropped so low that it was delisted off of the exchange. Most of the staff abandoned the company. Liquidators were expected any day. That's when the president of the company had a revelation.

Half of the quadrant is at war, but the Ferengi Alliance is neutral. It isn't buying more ships for its military. So why not find a way to get these ships to people who need them? As the Rules of Acquisition say, war is good for business!

Armed with a unstoppable attitude and a few convenient loopholes in Ferengi law, Sluga Military Technology has teamed up Lobi Crystal Consortium (a wholly owned subsidiary of Quark Enterprises) to put new D'Kora Marauders in the hands of ship captains on the front lines.

Fully loaded and ready for battle, these D'Kora Marauders feature everything a Ferengi captain could want, from a Dabo table and onboard Bank, Mail, and Exchange access to the Battle Module 3000, a powerful piece of technology that gives the ship the ability to fire an EMP Burst that will drain power from pursuing enemy ships. But that's not all! When fully engaged, the Battle Module 3000 will transform the D'Kora Marauder, opening several ports and conduits and improving the ship's weapons and engines. The EMP Burst is disabled, but a Swarm Missile System is revealed. After all, "the bigger the smile, the sharper the knife"!
Each box also contains at least one Lobi Crystal which can be exchanged at the new Lobi Crystal Consortium on Drozana Station. Another Ferengi ship is available through this route, the Na'Far class shuttle:
Ferengi Na'Far Shuttles provide profit-seekers an economic and stylish way to zip between investment opportunities at warp speed, without the overhead and crew costs of a full-size vessel. Although not equipped to stand toe-to-toe with most ships of the line, this stalwart vessel can hold its own against shuttles and fighters with ease. Fast and tough, it has bonus Hull Plating and Armor Reinforcements, bonus power to Engines, and is equipped with standard phaser defenses. It comes with a station for Ensign Universal Bridge Officer station.

In addition to its standard capabilities, Ferengi Shuttles come equipped with a Metaphasic Shield Array. Activating your Metaphasic Shield reroutes energy from all systems into shields, allowing the Na'Far shuttle to be extremely resistant to incoming damage while also converting a portion of that damage into additional shield power. Although the Metaphasic Shield only lasts a short amount of time, sometimes a few seconds is all you need to live to haggle another day!

All Na'Far equipment, including the Metaphasic Shield Array, can only can be used on small craft.
See all the available items form Ferengi drop boxes on the STO blog.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Check out the new crystalline entity!

Robert Meyer Burnett, director of Free Enterprise, is currently busy working on documentaries for the forthcoming TNG bluray releases. He has also recently started tweeting samples from the remastered episodes, giving us some tantalising new looks at TNG. Most notably the all new crystalline entity (from DataLore):


Amazing huh? The crystalline entity was one of the earliest CGI effects in all of Star Trek, so I'm sure it's original form will remain a notable appearance for many more technical viewers. But as far as just immersing oneself in the episode goes I cant wait to see more of this twinkly new version!

Burnett has also released a sample from Code of Honor. A somewhat less exciting view, but I continually impressed just how good TNG looks without that pink fuzz!


The first season of TNG is set for bluray release later this year, Amazon UK recently added a listing for the set suggesting a July release. Keep an eye on TrekCore, who posted up the comparison images and continue to provide fantastic coverage of the remastering project.

UPDATE: TrekCore have spotted something else on Burnett's twitter: The thirteen seconds of missing footage from Sins of the Father which was replaced with upconverted SD footage for the release of the The Next Level sample disc, has been found! (Thankfully as those few seconds were incredibly jarring!):
It was indeed found and replaced. For the season three box set, SINS will be intact. We deal with this in a documentary for Season One.

Round 2's new "little" ship

Due in September from Round 2 Models is their latest Star Trek model kit re-release, Deep Space 9. Like their other re-issues this edition has a few tweaks compared to the original, such as new decal sheets. The highlight of the new release though, has to be the addition of a little 1:2500 scale USS Defiant. Round 2 have been showing off their CAD of the 2 5/8” six part bonus ship on their blog. Including this:


You can see all sorts of other angles ,on the original Round 2 blog post.

Monday, 9 April 2012

1:350 scale Enteprise box art

StarTrek.com has released the box art for Round 2 Model's forthcoming 1:350 scale TOS USS Enterprise kit. From comic book artist Alex Ross, it looks like this:

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Some comic bits

My Germany correspondent, Unreality SF's Jens Deffner, has been in touch to gives me the latest updates on Cross Cult's translations of Star Trek comics. Or maybe the restarting of such translations, as previous editions hadn't really gone down that well. Coming very soon, in May, will be their first volume from the Star Trek ongoing series, which they are titling Die Neue Zeit I.

Cross Cult have also asked about the Legion of Super-Heroes crossover, but are awaiting a response on doing that one, and are also waiting to see what the Doctor Who crossover is like before they commit to it. They have no interest in Infestation.

Meanwhile Spain is also seeing a minor resurgence, as Likantro has just recently released a Spanish translations of Spock: Reflections (Las Reflexiones de Spock), following on from their previous translations of Countdown and Nero. Interestingly this latest volume apparently has some added content in the form of some sort of Spock biography by Carlos Diaz Maroto and Luis Alboreca, with illustrations by Javier Aranda and Cels Piñol.

Finally back in the English-speaking world Tim Bradstreet has released his latest title-free cover art, this time for the tenth issue of the ongoing series. It has lots of lovely cogs:

They almost built the Enterprise, full size, in Las Vegas!?!

A couple of decades ago the people in downtown Las Vegas were looking for a new attraction. They eventually went for a big projected display thing apparently. But the original first choice was what would surely have been the most incredible Star Trek thing ever built; a full size real world replica of the movie era TOS Enterprise!


The attraction would have included all the major rooms seen in the film, tours and rides, a big starfleet restaurant and such. It had a design team working on it for several months and was ready to get going. It would have been truly monumental (just look how it compares to other large buildings and monuments), and was surely a testament to power of Star Trek as a brand and cultural force then, and a way to cement its ongoing presence in the popular conscience.


All that was left was to get it signed off by Paramount. The licensing team was enthusiastic, so it came down to one meeting with the president of Paramount, Stanley Jaffe. Carefully considering the huge source of ongoing revenue and the massive boost to the Star Trek brand that would continue for years, Mr Jaffe turned the offer down, because maybe it would have been a flop, and maybe it wouldn't have had the company and brand boosting effect expected. And so the whole idea was scraped!


You can read and see more about this project on the Goddard Group blog, the company that worked on it.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

In Tempest's Wake, a Vanguard coda

In his latest summary of writing projects, Dayton Ward has provided some clarification on what In Tempest's Wake, his forthcoming TOS/Vanguard ebook, actually is. Here's what he had to say:
Back in early February, I was approached by my editor at Pocket Books about writing an e-Book exclusive novella for publication later this year. Specifically, I was asked to write a “coda” for the Star Trek: Vanguard novel series, which recently was given its grand finale in the form of the kick-ass book Storming Heaven by series co-creator David Mack. Though I admit I was reluctant at first to take on such a project, I was able to work with my editor to develop an idea I thought might work, told primarily from the points of view of non-Vanguard characters.

Nice new First Contact T-shirts

The StarTrek.com store has launched some new First Contact inspired T-shirts. One makes use of the Gold Key comics Star Trek font (which seems to be popping up more and more these days):


And the other does that text thing (this one's is also available in your standard Star Trek division colours too):


They also have some new watches: