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!


Dan Gunther said...

Very cool! This made me want to read them (even though they, of course, don't exist).

8of5 said...

Likewise, I think it would make a nice short story anthology - Novelizations of a TV series that didn't even exist.

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