Saturday 28 September 2013

First look inside Stellar Cartography

Amazon have updated their listings for the Star Trek: Stellar Cartography, the forthcoming book and maps set by Larry Nemecek, with maps by Geoffrey Mandel, Ali Ries, and Ian Fullwood. The new images give us a good idea of the clamshell format of the set, the first look at the cover of the actual book, and a glimpse of all the maps, including a full view of the Vulcan system map:

For more on the book and maps set, see my previous reports, here and here, with comments from Nemecek describing what we've got to look forward to.

Japanese advert supplies solution to Scotty's underwater woes

For all those nit-pickers out there (and Scotty), concerned about the practicalities of hiding the Enterprise underwater, this new Japanese lubricant (Kure 5-56) advert solves at least one problem in the scenario:

According to Kotaku the Japanese actor (and general celebrity) inserted into these Into Darkness scenes is Shigeru Izumiya. They also provided the following pithy explanation of events in the advert:
Scotty says the ship is going to rust, but Izumiya says the 5-56 spray will prevent that from happening.

Then, Captain Kirk asks Spock if he's an acquaintance, and Mister Spock says he doesn't know the guy. (I don't blame him!)

The next shot shows Japanese Spock telling the Captain to sit down.
Into Darkness only opening in Japan last month, hence this latest promotional partnership only coming about now. But there have been plenty of other weird and wonderful tie-ins, check out the promotion section on my Into Darkness guide page to have a look at some of the other adverts associated with the film.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Enterprise season 3 bluray trailer and cover

CBS have released a trailer for the forthcoming release of Enterprise, season 3, on bluray. Enjoy the Xindi goodness:

Amazon have posted the cover, it's a bit fuzzy and contrasty, so I rather hope this isn't the final version:

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Comics news: Early Voyages and The Khitomer Conflict

Some comics news, starting with a new omnibus: Amazon have added a listing for The Stardate Collection Volume 2: Under the Command of Christopher Pike, a hardcover release due out in February, following from next month's Volume 1. Here's Amazon's description:
Star Trek: The Stardate Collection continues to collect the many comic-book iterations of Trek "as they happened"... by stardate! Helmed by Trek experts Scott and David Tipton, and featuring special commentary, creator interviews, and more, Volume 2 completes the early voyages of the Enterprise under the command of Captain Christopher Pike, and wraps up with two lost adventures from Pike's career.
With the promised commentary and creator interviews this has the potential to be quite interesting if it addresses the dangling threads from the final unresolved story in the Early Voyages series. I would assume the "two lost adventures" might be the one-shot Pike stories Alien Spotlight: Vulcans and To Walk the Night, or maybe Alien Spotlight: Orions (although that comes a bit later in the timeline than the rest).

Out this week is issue twenty-five of the ongoing comic series, which kicks off a new four-part arc called The Khitomer Conflict. IDW have released a seven page preview of this issue, which continues after the jump:

Tuesday 24 September 2013

QMx's cuddly new Romulans, plus a look behind the scenes

QMx have announced a cuddly new companion for their recently released USS Enterprise plush. Coming early next year will be an plush Romulan Bird of Prey:

QMx also recently posted some behind the scenes photos, showing some of their artisans at work making the high-end starship replicas. Here are QMx model makers at work on an Enterprise-D, USS Vengeance, USS Enterprise refit, and a whole fleet of ringships:

If you fancy one of those lovely replica ships, but feel quite ready to pay out the several thousand required, then Amazon may be you friend, as they are currently running a competition to win one of the Enterprise-refits, along with a bunch of other Star Trek stuff.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Starships Collection USS Dauntless, and other ships news

The Official Starships Collection's project manager Ben Robinson has been sharing photos on Facebook again, this time giving us the first close up look at the USS Dauntless. Due next year as issue seventeen of the series, this will be the first ship in the series to have only featured in one episode (I'm curious to see how they stretch out that content to fill the magazine). The Dauntless is of course one of the most significant guest ships too, giving us the first use of quantum slipstream drive, which has become such an important part of the novelverse in recent years. Check her out, looks like another excellent model:

Meanwhile in the do-it-yourself area of starship modelling, Round 2 have shared images of the CG model of their forthcoming 1:1000 scale USS Reliant model kit:

And finally, Wizkids are continuing to preview the Tactics III Heroclix game, this time showcase the USS Hathaway:

Peaceable Kingdoms cover and blurb have revealed the cover for Dayton Ward's Peaceable Kingdoms, the final novel in The Fall series, which is bringing the series to a conclusion at the end of the year.

Anyone recognise the ship the Enterprise is firing on? also posted a new blurb:
The United Federation of Planets takes the first hopeful steps beyond the uncertainty and tragedy that has overshadowed recent events in the Alpha Quadrant. Even as elements of the Typhon Pact have been implicated in a devastating attack against the Federation, William Riker holds key knowledge of the true criminals—a revelation that could threaten the fragile Federation-Cardassian alliance. Time is running out to apprehend those responsible for the brutal crime.

Questions and concerns also continue to swell around the ambitious Bajoran Ishan Anjar, who has risen through the ranks of the Federation Council while using the recent bloodshed to further a belligerent, hawkish political agenda against the Typhon Pact. Riker must dispatch his closest friend, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, in a desperate attempt to uncover the truth. But as Picard and the Enterprise crew pursue the few remaining clues, Riker must act on growing suspicions that someone within Ishan’s inner circle has been in league with the criminals from the very beginning…

Continue after the jump for a reminder of all the other covers and blurbs from the series:

Friday 20 September 2013

Books bits, including more ebooks, and a letter from Garak

The expanding line of new Star Trek ebook exclusive novellas continues to grow! I've recently become aware of a couple more titles due to come out next year, plus there are some new and changed release dates for the books previously known about:

Absent Enemies, by John Jackson Miller
Seasons of Light and Darkness, by Michael A. Martin
Shadow of the Machine, by Scott Harrison
TBA, by Scott Pearson
TBA, by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann
It looks to me like Simon and Schuster are going for an every other month release pattern here. So I would expect the two TBAs to slot into the gaps in June and August, or if something else shows up to fill one of those, then in December.

In other prose news, Una McCormack has revealed, in an an interview with TrekCore, that her mysterious new book, Home Again, is indeed real, and not just a glitch on Amazon. While Amazon currently only list it in ebook format, McCormack described it as a novel, and also suggested the title isn't final, but gave no other details.

McCormack also told TrekCore about her forthcoming book in The Fall series, The Crimson Shadow, explaining how it involves a Cardassian novel:
The title of my novel is a direct reference to Meditations on a Crimson Shadow. That book plays an important part in my book, and you’ll find out more about Preloc’s book when you read my story.
She also gave a brief overview of what to expect from the book to TrekCore, but gave a more detailed summary in another interview with
Picard and Garak are the central point of view characters with whom readers will be familiar. Garak's story carried on the theme that's been central to his narrative in the books: coming to terms with what's happened to Cardassia, and trying to make amends. The book is set in a post-war Cardassia that's choosing between returning to its old belligerence or forging on with the new relationships it has been forming with the other powers in the Khitomer Accords. With Picard, I was able to explore Federation ambivalence towards their new allies. There are a couple of other point of view characters, one of whom, a member of the Cardassian police force, is an original creation of mine, and another is the Cardassian officer Ravel Dygan, whom regular readers will know has been serving on the Enterprise and who played a part in my last novel Brinkmanship. Both of these are a generation younger than Garak, and so I was able to use them to reflect upon what it would be like to inherit a destroyed civilization, and know that your life's work is going to have to be patching up what the previous generation all but ruined.
See also told how her books fits into the overall narrative of The Fall:
...a "major event" happens in Revelation and Dust: The Crimson Shadow shows the build-up to this event from different perspectives, and some of the initial fallout. We learn more about what that event means, and this is picked up and expanded in A Ceremony of Losses.
If you make your way to Simon and Schuster's listing for the book, you can find an excerpt. Which starts with the following letter from Garak (continues after the jump):

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Into Darkness: Deleted scenes, displays, and USS Vengeance concept art

Another look behind the scenes at Into Darkness for you. Starting with another reason to glare at your inept bluray copy for not having enough extra features (see my review if you don't know what I'm referring to): As you might recall, if you get Into Darkness as a download via your Xbox, you are also able to experience additional content through the SmartGlass application, which lets you use mobile devices as a second screen to display behind the scenes imagery such as concept art. To announce this feature a range of the concept art on offer was released to the web a few weeks ago, and very appealing it looked too. But what was on offer gets even better, as apparently there are also deleted scenes connected to this release of Into Darkness.

TrekBBS user Cap.GRPrime1701 posted the following image, reportedly from one of these deleted scenes, which intriguingly appears to show a nuTrek version of the classic Constitution class, above Admiral Marcus' office (presumably another of his model starships): also revealed the details of another cut scene, in an interview with actress Nazneen Contractor, who played Rima Harewood, the wife of the Starfleet officer who blew himself up in exchange for Khan curing his daughter:
There was a scene at the end of the movie, after the memorial service, in which Chris Pine (as Kirk) comes up to me and my daughter. He sees us, and my daughter is now healthy, with a full head of hair, and I thank him for his speech. He looks up at me and he knows who I am, and then he looks at my daughter, and they both have this moment where they know they share Khan’s blood. But it got cut.
Elsewhere behind the scenes, one the interface artists from OOOii posted the following video of their work from the film on Vimeo, giving us a good look at some of the displays from the film:

Another TrekBBS user, Locutus of Bored, posted a pretty comprehensive breakdown of all the easter eggs hidden in the above displays. You can also see more examples of the interface design from Into Darkness in another of my behind the scenes reports.

One of the designers from Into Darkness has also posted lots of work to his portfolio. Tex Kadonaga worked on the design of the USS Vengeance, as well as the trade ship and garbage scowl. Here are a few examples, including an early concept for the Vengeance bridge, with a greater focus on it being operated by a single person, and a handy scale image. You'll find a lot more on Kadonaga's portfolio.

Finally, yet another resourcefully TrekBBS user, SalvorHardin, posted the following much earlier concept sketches of the USS Vengeance. I believe these are screencaps from one of the more elusive extra features on the bluray (more after the jump):

What TNG's effects could have looked like with 80s CGI

I little while ago I was excited to here we might get to see some early CGI test footage from TNG on a bluray special feature. Then I was disappointed to later find it was only being offered a as Best Buy exclusive extra in the US. While still not offered in the UK, that footage has now been made available to German fans, who can redeem a downloadable version when they get TNG Season Four. TrekCore have had a look at is, and posted some screencaps, giving us a look at the very different finish we might have got for TNG. The early test footage used the movie-era Enterprise, as the D hadn't been designed yet. As you can see it ranges from terrifyingly awful, to surprisingly good (for the time):

You can see mroe examples of this early shot at Star Trek CGI, and find out more about Best Buy's exclusive extras, on TrekCore.

More TAS art have now finished their preview of Juan Ortiz's new TAS poster series. So following on from sharing the first eight, here are the remaining designs in the series (continues after the jump):

Posters nine to twelve:

Tuesday 17 September 2013

All sorts of new starships nearing launch

With the fortnightly Starships Collection now under-way, I've been talking a lot about the model and magazine series from Eaglemoss lately. But they certainly aren't the only starship builders in town; other shipyards, producing ships both larger and smaller, have also been busy lately.

Just released by Round 2 Models, is their latest version of the 1:1000 scale NX-01 model kit, which comes with new parts to build the refit design. Here's the box art, which features a new rendering of the NX-refit from Doug Drexler:

Round 2 have also recently added a listing for a re-release of their AMT 1:1400 scale Enterprise-E kit. They expect that to be available from November.

If you prefer your starships pre-built, then look no further than the latest addition to DST's ship range. They have announced a new battle damaged variant of the Enterprise-B, featuring Nexus inflicted wounds as seen in Generations. You can look forward to reenacting the "death" of Kirk next year:

You could also simulate a bit of space turbulence for the Enterprise with Bif Bang Pow's new USS Enterprise bobble-ship. That's coming in November according to Entertainment Earth:

Finally if you like your starships at a smaller scale, then you must surely be looking forward to this month's release of the third wave of ships in the Tactics Heroclix game. Wizkids have been previewing these for the past few weeks, continue after the jump to check out many of the ships on the way:

Monday 16 September 2013

Books bits: Latest covers and author comments

Some books news, starting with new covers. UPDATE: New book news! TrekBBS user Kertrats47 spotted a new book listed on David Mack's website. Coming in December next year is Section 31: Disavowed. There's also a cover up on David Mack's site, though Mack has pointed out this is just a mock-up, not the real thing.

Now for some actual new covers: Cross Cult have released the first drafts of Martin Frei's new cover designs for both of the Romulan War novels. I was a little surprised to see these, as Cross Cult tend to keep the original art when it features nice ship scenes (which the second book, To Brave the Storm did), but I suppose they might be trying to keep a consistent style for their Enterprise series, and as you can see, the two books form a diptych:

Click to see new DS9 in high res
In other Enterprise cover news, Doug Dexler recently mentioned that the NX-refit design will be featuring on a future cover - Presumably for the next Rise of the Federation novel, Tower of Babel, after A Choice of Futures established the refit design, known as the Columbia class, in use as T'Pol's command, the USS Endeavour. The interview on the Trek Initiative Wiki covers a wide range of topics from Drexler's work on Star Trek, and also includes a super high-res version of the Revelation and Dust cover, sans titles, giving the best view yet of the new Deep Space 9; you can even see interior scenes through the windows.

Dayton Ward has also been interviewed lately, by both the G and T show, and Trek Mate. He talked to both about his most recent book, From History's Shadow (discussing it in spoiler-filled detail with Trek Mate), and also talked a little bit about future releases. Telling the G and T show about Seekers, he confirmed the first two novels will be telling a more directly linked story, before the alternating ship-series goes onto more independent tales:
The first story is going to be bridging two books, and the three of us are cracking the story for both books together. So even though Dave's book will have his name on the cover, and Kevin and I will have our name on the cover of book two, the story credit will be all three of us for both books. And then from there we'll go off and do our own thing. Then occasionally we might come back for a multi-part story-line if we decide we have a great idea.
He was much more coy about his entry to The Fall series, as his book, Peaceable Kingdoms, concludes the series, and thus is built upon the stories of the four books preceding. He did mention Corps of Engineers' Captain Sonya Gomez will be showing up in his book briefly, and reiterated the impact The Fall is going to have on the future shape of the 24th century story space:
I'm hoping that the stage will be set, by the time that we're done with these five books, that we're heading off in a different direction for 24th century novels, that hopefully people will like.
The G and T show also interviewed Larry Nemecek, who discussed his forthcoming book and maps set, Star Trek: Stellar Cartography, including a summary of the Romulan War map: is the Romulan War, like highlights of the Romulan War done by Starfleet's information service, two years after the Federation's founding. So it's like it's still the 2160s, so it's very recent, and you still have the graphics of the Enterprise-era labelling and everything, but it's just a couple of years afterward.
He went on to reveal the details of the Romulan War in this map are based on the account of the conflict from Federation: The First 150 Years, rather than novelverse version of events.

Conversely, speaking about his forthcoming book, The Klingon Art of War, on the TrekBBS, Keith R.A DeCandido he will be making numerous connections to the novelverse:
There will be references to Morjod's coup, the Borg invasion, Klag being the head of the Fifth Fleet, Lukara forming the Order of the Bat'leth, Presidents Zife and Bacco, and some other stuff besides.
Amazon have also posted a new blurb for this book, revealing the ten precepts that will be covered:
Passed down from the time of Kahless, ten precepts have shaped Klingon culture andindoctrinated Klingons in the Way of the Warrior. With this new translation, people from all walks of life—and all worlds—can harness the ancient Klingon wisdom and learn to embody courage, discipline, and honor.

• Choose your enemies well.
• Strike quickly or strike not.
• Always face your enemy.
• Seek adversity.
• Reveal your true self in combat.
• Destroy weakness.
• Leave nothing until tomorrow.
• Choose death over chains.
• Die standing up.
• Guard honor above all.
For more details of all the forthcoming books, hit the books button on my 2013 and 2014 schedule pages.

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