Sunday 28 October 2012

Return of Rademaker!

Friend of the site, and master starship designer, Mark Rademaker has been a little quiet these past few months, but he's returned with a fleet full of new ships in his latest blog post - He continues to develop his designs for the Full Circle fleet, and let slip he is continuing to work as a sort of consultant for Kirsten Beyer for her next Voyager book (so hopefully that will be appearing on the 2013 novel list soon!).

UPDATE: Another friend of the site, Unreality SF's Jens Defner, has pointed me to a TrekBBS post where Beyer confirms she is working on another novel, but that she doesn't expect it to appear on our shelves until early 2014!

Beyer's most recent Voyager book, The Eternal Tide, included a saucer separation for Voyager, which has led Mark to rethink his Voyager refit somewhat, her is the latest iteration:

Meanwhile his sleek Vulcan/Andorian hybrid design for the USS Demeter continues to come along nicely:

The USS Curie variant of the Merian class is also looking pretty sharp:

Mark is also working on a prototype variation of perhaps his most prominent design so far, the Vesta class. The ship is also set for release in Star Trek Online soon, and STO's Thomas Marrone recently posted a new Starfleet development patch for the class on his blog:

Make your way to Mark's blog to find out more about his designs recently appearing in the Hive comic, plus his work on several non-Star Trek projects; including concepts for the first real warp ship!

The Folded World cover

Doug Drexler has posted on Facebook his very exciting looking new cover (with background by Ali Ries) for Jeff Mariotte's forthcoming TOS novel, The Folded World. Have a looksie:

Thursday 25 October 2012

Assimilation2 #6 excerpt

This week's comics from IDW include the sixth issue of the TNG/Doctor Who crossover, Assimilation2. Here are the first seven pages to tempt you (continues after the jump):


Wednesday 24 October 2012

McCoy Origins blurb

IDW have released their solicitations for January, which include the first issue of Countdown to Darkness, which got an advance preview last week, the second Assimilation2 omnibus, which appeared on Amazon some time ago, and the latest issue of the ongoing series, the cover of which was also released last week. The blurb is new though, for this first issue in a run of origin stories:
As the release of the next STAR TREK film gets closer, the ongoing series focuses on the never-been-seen origins of the Enterprise crew in the new movie timeline! First up is Doctor Leonard "Bones" McCoy: find out how the cantankerous miracle worker found himself on a shuttle to Starfleet Academy with James T. Kirk! With a story overseen by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci, this all-new tale sets the stage for the upcoming film!
The solicitation gives Claudia Balboni as the artist, although the cover at the moment credits Stephen Molnar.

Meanwhile over on Amazon a listing has now appeared for the fourth omnibus book for the ongoing series. This will likely contain issues 13-16, and is due in March.

Star Trek Into Darkness audiobook

Amazon have added a listing for the recently announced Alan Dean Foster novelization of Star Trek Into Darkness. They have also added a listing for a simultaneous audiobook release of the book.

The listing suggests it will be an unabridged version, matching the 2009 novelization. Zachary Quinto narrated that last one, but there's no one yet announced for the sequel reading.

The Persistence of Memory excerpt

The Persistence of Memory, the first book in David Mack's new TNG trilogy, Cold Equations, is starting to show up in shops about now, with the ebook release a week away. Simon And Schuster have posted an excerpt on their website to entice you. Here's the start of chapter one:
With a sonorous hum and a luminous flare, the transporter beam faded and Commander Geordi La Forge found himself alone in the dark, staring down the barrel of a phaser rifle. The hard-eyed Tellarite security officer behind the weapon lurched forward, tensed for confrontation as he challenged La Forge in a harsh voice. “Identify yourself!”

Hands raised and palms open, the veteran Starfleet engineer recoiled, only to freeze in place as he noticed on the edges of his vision more rifles being brought to bear against him. “La Forge, Enterprise. What’s going on?”

The Tellarite glared down his snout at La Forge, his bearing laced with suspicion and hostility. “We’ll ask the questions.” He nodded at someone behind La Forge. “Search him.”

Singsong tones from a tricorder broke the eerie silence as La Forge was scanned, then rough hands patted him down, stripped his field tricorder from his hip pocket, and plucked the padd from his left hand. A burly Denobulan with sinister-looking ocular ridges stepped into his line of sight and showed the confiscated devices to the Tellarite. “These are all he had on him, sir.” Somewhere in the distance, sirens wailed in the night, their cries faint but drawing closer.

Despite his subordinate’s assurances, the Tellarite lieutenant commander kept his rifle aimed squarely at La Forge’s face. “What are you doing here?”
Continue reading on the Simon and Schuster website.

Friday 19 October 2012

First look at January comics

Previews have previewed IDW's January solicitations with an early peek at the first issue of the Star Trek Into Darkness prequel comic, Countdown to Darkness:

The countdown to the motion picture event of 2013 begins here, in this blockbuster 4-issue prequel mini-series that sets the stage for the upcoming STAR TREK film! Like the best-selling STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN in 2009, this all-new series leads directly into the next movie, with a story by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson (STAR TREK ongoing series), and drawn by the original STAR TREK: COUNTDOWN artist, David Messina! STAR TREK 2013 PREQUEL is the can't-miss lead-in to the new adventures of the Enterprise crew! 
Meanwhile Star Trek ongoing regular cover artist Tim Bradstreet has posted his next cover on his Facebook page, he notes issue 17 as "McCoy Origins":


Star Trek Into Darkness tie-in fiction, and other IDW plans

At the recent New York Comic Con, IDW announced some of their plans for 2013, including some early hints at the direction of their Star Trek comics. Comic Book Resources reported what IDW told the convention, with the biggest news being the confirmation of a Countdown-like four-issue prequel series running into the new film, Star Trek Into Darkness, cunningly titled Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness. It appears Mike Johnson will continue to be the go-to new movieverse writer, with David Messina returning to do the artwork. They did also show a cover, which Bleeding Cool got a snap of and I have straightened up a little.

Meanwhile, the Star Trek ongoing series will continue concurrently with Countdown to Darkness, and will be filling in the origin stories of Bones, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekhov.

IDW also report the TNG/Doctor Who crossover Assimilation2 has being doing well, and they are already thinking about a potential sequel.

Back in the new-movieverse, also recently announced the inevitable novelization of Star Trek Into Darkness, with Alan Dean Foster returning to write it.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Gold Key on everything

The Gold Key retro Star Trek stuff collection continues to expand with the latest Star Trek merchandise from Half Moon Bay. The company has produced various Star Trek bits and bobs before, but it's all seemed a bit generic compared to the new Gold Key infused designs, which Forbidden Planet expect in the UK later this month.

They've got a cool bag, and tote tin:

A wallet, which has a passing resemble to one of Might Wallet's various Gold Key designs:

And my personal favourite, a set of Gold Key cover coasters, and there's a mug to go with them too:

Picard and Kirk, figures.

Whether you like to concentrate on a nice bust, or enjoy a full figure, you're spoilt for choice if you want a model of Kirk or Picard in the coming months.

Diamond Select Toys have now officially announced the second offering in the new Star Trek Select range, Kirk and Khan will join the initial Spock and Horta release. This second duo is expected in March. Here's the new photo of the display piece and DST's description:

A Diamond Select Release! Designed and Sculpted by Art Asylum! It's an all-new Star Trek action figure line designed especially for collectors, and the newest offering in this series is Captain James T. Kirk! Kirk comes with a part of the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, and can be displayed in combat with Khan from the classic episode "Space Seed." Packaged in display-friendly Select packaging, each 7-inch scale figure comes with a diorama-style accessory and interchangeable parts for a variety of display options.

Moving up the price scale, Titan Merchandise have re-announced the start of their Masterpiece Collection range of busts. So far nine different characters have been previewed for the range, with Kirk and Picard originally expected some months ago. Now it seems they will finally be kicking the series off in November.

And finally for the most indulgent of Trekkies, Hollywood Collectables have given A Piece of the Action previews of forthcoming additions to their Star Trek sculpture range. There's a new McCoy sculpt, presumably joining the previous Kirk and Spock releases in either the 1/4 or 1/6th scale ranges:

And what looks to me like perhaps their best sculpt so far, is also their first TNG release; 1/6th scale Captain Picard in his chair (A Piece of the Action has many more images of this one):

Wednesday 10 October 2012

More images from Federation: The First 150 Years

Amazon has updated its listing for Federation: The First 150 Years; mainly swapping out the early preview images with some new photos which make the book look rather luxurious. The new photos do include a new preview from inside the book too; the first look at the Romulan War chapter opening page:

New photos continue after the jump:

Inside the Klingon Bird of Prey Haynes Manual

Amazon have added preview images to their listing of the Klingon Bird of Prey Haynes Manual (which is just a few weeks away). The new images include an updated version of the cover, which has more extensive cut-away sections than the previous version:

There's also the contents page, which gives us a nice overview of what the book contains. Focusing primarily on the B'rel class, this book goes into a lot more technical detail than the previous Enterprises Manual, with at least a couple of pages for all the major systems. There are also to be several pages of deck plans, and crew manifests. The book does touch upon other Klingon ships too; with the final chapter giving a couple of pages to most of the canon Klingon starships.

Here are a few of the systems pages. The warp coil page seems the most interesting to me, with an interesting take on the wings as part of the warp drive systems:

Another Star Trek attraction on the way!

Another Star Trek theme park is on the way; hot on the heels of developments in Jordan and Spain (pictured below), the Los Angeles Times now reports Paramount have signed a deal with London Resort Co. Holdings to build another new Paramount themed attraction in the UK, just outside of London.

The agreement will see the new attraction, aiming for a 2018 opening, host areas themed on Mission: Impossible, Paranormal Activity, and of course, Star Trek. The developers are also looking to sign up "major British brands" for the park.

Finally one of these places I might actually get round to visiting!

Enterprise coming to bluray!

Those eagle-eyed people over at TrekCore spotted Star Trek writer, Mike Sussman, sneakily announcing, on twitter, that Enterprise will become the third Star Trek series on bluray, starting next year!:
Have it on good authority that another Trek series is making its Blu-Ray debut early next year...
Trippin' down memory lane: just wrapped up an interview for the @StarTrek Enterprise season 1 Blu-Ray set coming next year. #itsabouttime
About time, that the only native HD Trek series got its bluray release! I wonder if this is a sign the TNG blurays have done incredibly well? Or maybe they're just trying to ride the new movie wave. Either way I can't wait!

Friday 5 October 2012

Prose updates, covers and more

The cover for David R. George III's forthcoming TOS novel Allegiance in Exile has been released. The rather stylish design looks like this:

UPDATE: Somehow completely failed to notice: They added "The Original Series" as a subtitle. About bloody time!

In other 2013 novel news, William Leisner's TOS novel, formerly using the stand-in title, A Conflict of Strangers, has been rechristened, The Shocks of Adversity. At the moment the Simon and Schuster listing for this is using the blurb previously (and still) used for Jeff Mariotte's The Folded World.

Meanwhile on (but seemingly no where else yet), there is a new blurb for Greg Cox's next Trek novel, The Weight of Worlds:
Kirk and the Enterprise crew face off against an ancient extra-terrestrial cult known as the Crusade, who believe that ancient prophecies proclaim the universe will soon be destroyed and recreated, but only those who surrender to the Truth will be saved. The Crusade is on a sacred mission to bring the Truth to Kirk's universe before the End comes. But how do you fight an idea? And is the Crusade here to save or subjugate the Federation?

Back to this year; this month's novel, Brinkmanship, and ebook, In Tempest's Wake, don't seem to have excerpts on the Simon and Schuster site, but if you want to try before you buy, both have a small sample you can read using Amazon's look inside feature. So, have a look, here, and here.

On the subject of In Tempest's Wake, Doug Drexler posted on his Facebook an unused alternate cover for the book:

He also posted the artwork for Raise the Dawn, which reveals the final artwork was cropped in quite significantly. Check out the runabouts with cargo modules! Curiously he refers to this as a cover from Pocket's Omega series.

Finally the Star Trek Czech books Facebook page posted a higher res version of the new cover for Kobayashi Maru, coming soon in Czech from Laser Books:

Shortest, trailer, ever

J.J. Abrams has released the first footage from Star Trek Into Darkness on Conan. The tease of teases last 3 frames! Featuring Spock in a volcano:

You can see more looking at the still, but if you want to see the over frames, you'll find the clip, with J.J. Abrams' introduction, here.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Star Trek Magazine #42 covers

Check out this Klingon-tastic previews exclusive cover for the next issue of the Star Trek Magazine, due at the end of the month:

The standard edition isn't quite so exciting:

Here's the blurb (via Things From Another World) for this issue:
We explore the strangest of strange new worlds, and discover the seven wonders of the Trek universe. Treknology Challenge takes you to the stars, as we pre-invent the shuttlecraft, Quark's Bar is invaded by Klingons, and the origin of the Borg is revealed, when we investigate Star Trek's manga makeover. Featuring interviews with the late Robert H. Justman, and everyone's favorite Vorta, Jeffrey Combs. Plus all your favorite regular features, news and reviews, and the latest on the new Trek movie. Available in Newsstand and PREVIEWS Exclusive editions.

The art of Federation: The First 150 Years

The release of Federation: The First 150 Years draws ever closer (although the expected publication date does seem to have slipped from November into December), and seem to be terribly excited about it, with teases coming every week or so! There latest is this first page of the Articles of Federation:

They have also run interviews with the book's illustrators - Jeff Carlisle compared the book to recent ambitious Star Wars books, The Jedi Path and Book of Sith, which explore facets of the Star Wars universe from a detailed in-universe point of view. Joe Corroney expanded on this:
...they pitched the book to me as an official, "real world"-type journal chronicling the history of the Federation that would make the reader feel like they are living in the Star Trek universe and reading a history book that actually existed for the characters. They wanted the book to feel as real as possible and I think they were hoping our artwork would lend an authenticity to it for that theme. Most of the art I was asked to contribute were illustrations rendered in a "field-guide" style for the book, as if a Starfleet historian was chronicling these historic events and documenting these important items as they were happening or being discovered. In fact, during the first round of approvals for these field-guide style pieces I was asked to make them look even "sketchier" and less refined. It was fun to kind of break down my style and attempt some different, quicker techniques with these pieces.
Each of the artists involved gave an overview of what they have contributed to the book (I have included screencaps from the previous trailer for the book, they are organised at my best guess at attribution per artist). Cat Staggs, a vetran Star Wars illustrator, comic book artist, and recent Smallville cover artist, dealth with a lot of the portrait work:
I'm especially proud of my Captain Kirk and Spock. I also got to draw a few scenes and characters that have never been seen or depicted before, including an avian, so that was really fun. It's always awesome to be able to contribute artistically to something that is going to forever be part of the canon.

Mark McHaley, another illustrator with a Star Wars pedigree, illustrated the chapter-openings, along with a few other images throughout the book. He was particularly pleased with:
The standoff between the Klingons and the Federation over Organia was a nice little piece of unseen history. The launch of the Phoenix was a particularly satisfying illustration for me.

Joe Corroney, who has the most extensive history with Star Trek projects of the four illustrators thanks to his years of covers and more recently interior artwork for IDW comics, got into the book after working on his forthcoming Stuck on Star Trek sticker book:
I was asked to be a part of the project back in 2011, I believe. I was actually working on artwork for another Star Trek book proposal for becker and mayer! at the time called Stuck on Star Trek. So right after that initial artwork was completed for that proposal I was asked by my art director if I would like to contribute some illustrations to Federation. I was excited about this opportunity because most of my Trek work up to this point was for comic books and this project represented new territory for me. It allowed me to flex some different artistic muscles and experiment with different styles than I normally get to do in my usual artwork for Star Trek, which I enjoyed.
My work consisted primarily of illustrations depicting some important, iconic moments and historical objects throughout the years of the birth and development of the Federation. I also created artwork for things like Klingon weapons and armor, artifacts, Starfleet Academy, some starship diagrams and a Starfleet propaganda poster, too, which was especially fun to work on.
There were a few of the historic scenes I was really excited to draw, like the Vulcan ship landing in San Francisco at the site of the future Starfleet Headquarters and the meeting of the Starfleet engineers during the construction of the Enterprise. I included a nice nod to Gene Roddenberry in that illustration, actually, which I hope fans will appreciate.
Finally, Jeff Carlisle was invited to contribute to the book relatively late on, and delivered four of the loose documents and illustrations:
I created the Enterprise blueprints, The Trill Medical Diagram, an interior illustration of a Vulcan relic and some sketches/handwritten notes of Zefram Cochrane written on an envelope.
Interesting the new diagram of the Enterprise will be from the Pike era:
The first thing we had to decide was which version of the Enterprise we would be showing, and it was decided that it would be the original Enterprise from "The Cage" -- and that's when I went into research mode and learned everything I could from a variety of sources about the construction not only of the Enterprise but of the Constitution class itself. I gathered a lot of research, including Matt Jefferies' original sketches, various renderings and plan views of the ship, including the amazing cutaway designed by Doug Drexler that was used in the two Mirror Universe episodes of Enterprise. At one time I even wrote notes back and forth between the ship designers to be in the margins of the blueprint, but they ended up not using them. I just wanted people to understand that the Enterprise was itself a design revision from the Constitution... I guess I got a little excited!

Carisle also put a lot of effort into developing his trill biology image: first the image was going to be a simple Starfleet medical scan with a little red blip showing the Symbiont inside of a Host, but then you have to figure out HOW they fit together. They enter through the abdomen, but there has to be a real link between their systems. The symbiont needs to get sustenance and expel waste as well as have the mental link. So I always thought that it would have to be somewhere between the liver and stomach, possibly connected to the intestines, possibly with tendrils connecting it to the spine of the Host. When the idea was pitched to CBS, the response was overwhelmingly positive. We also decided to turn the whole readout into a Trill diagram, basing our layout and the writing on one of the few Trill computer screens that was shown in the show
You can read the full interviews with Cat Staggs and Mark McHaley, here, and Joe Corroney and Jeff Carlisle, here.

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