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Sunday, 30 June 2013

2014 Star Trek prose schedule starts to take shape

Amazon have added listings for several new Star Trek novels, which begin to reveal what we should expect in prose adventures next year. Simon and Schuster seem to be moving away from the blocks of books by era which have characterised the schedules for the past couple of years, with the first third of the year so far revealed being a mixture from across the Trekverse:
So far Amazon are only listing the kindle versions of each of these books, I expect paperback options will appear in due course. UPDATE: Amazon are listing kindle versions of each of these in most markets, while paperback options are only starting to appear in a few countries so far.

There is also some news and what will be an ebook only release: Michael A. Martin has recently mentioned he has written a new TOS novella, Seasons of Light and Darkness, set amongst the events of The Wrath of Khan. Martin was expecting this to be released in June or July this year, however Amazon has added listing for this one too, and they indicate it won't be coming until April next year. So it appears the new line of ebook novellas will continue to be annual treats for now, rather than anything more regular.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

TNG season five bluray trailer

There's a still a month to go until the release of TNG season four on bluray, but the nice people at CBS must be feeling enthusiastic, as they have just released the first trailer for season five! Have a watch:



The trailer also reveals the cover for this set, a nice dark blue addition to the TNG bluray rainbow. TrekCore have released an image of the cover too:


Friday, 28 June 2013

Blow up the USS Enterprise!

Those innovative people at ThinkGeek are at it again. If you weren't content to imagine commanding your own starship from your inflatable captain's chair, they might have the answer for you, as you can now blow up an entire starship. The inflatable Enterprise maintains structural integrity via air pressure, input through a docking port in the engineering hull, which might also ideal for launching tiny crew-members to board enemy ships; with a squeeze of the ship, giving a high pressure gas exhaust release. Starfleet has also had loops built into the hull, so you can hang it for display. You might also find it handy for playing practical jokes on Romulans...


nuKlingon Mimobot coming with exclusive Into Darkness home video releases

Details of another exclusive release of Star Trek Into Darkness on home video have been revealed. Walmart will be offering an exclusive new Mimobot USB stick/figurine, based on the nuTrek Klingons; the lid is the helmet, which slides off to reveal the Klingon face beneath:


So far I can only see this listed on the Canadian Walmart online shop, which is offering it with the 3D bluray, bluray, and DVD releases of Into Darkness, as well as a bluray two-pack with both Into Darkness and the 2009 film.

Amazon in the UK are also offering an Into Darkness/Star Trek two-pack, on either bluray or DVD.

The other exclusive edition of Into Darkness so far announced is Amazon's version which comes with a QMx phaser replica. TrekCore have released some photos showing off the prop from more angles:


There are more photos on TrekCore. So far Amazon.com and Amazon.fr are offering the phaser exclusive, the latter with the bluray in steelbook packaging.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

New Star Trek maps book

Good news everybody, there's another new "non-fiction" Star Trek book on the way; coming in December is Star Trek - Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library. The book is written by Larry Nemecek, who's various previous Star Trek works include contributions to the most recent Star Trek maps book, 2002's Star Trek: Star Charts. This new book is the latest "deluxe" offering to the Star Trek library; the forty-eight page hardcover book comes in a clam shell case, with a set of ten large maps (thirty-six by twenty-four inches each). It is being published by 47North, an Amazon imprint, which previously brought us Federation: The First 150 Years. Here's the cover and description from Amazon:

The Starfleet Reference Library: Stellar Cartography collects together ten original, never-before-seen large-format maps of the Star Trek universe. Pulled from the cartography archives of Starfleet Academy, these beautifully reproduced maps provide a rare opportunity to view the expanse of Federation space (and beyond) through the multiple lenses of the Galaxy's key players.

The maps include an ancient Vulcan map, a Klingon Empire map from the pre-Organian Peace Treaty era (in the native Klingon), an official Romulan government map of the Empire, a native Cardassian Union map from the Bajor occupation, along with Federation maps from the modern era. Housed in a handsome clamshell case and paired with a fully-illustrated reference book providing detailed information on planets, systems, and topography, this exclusive collection showcases the Star Trek universe like never before.
UPDATE: Nemecek has now posted about this on his blog, describing some of the maps to be included:
We took the bedrock work of Geof Mandel in the 2002 Star Trek Star Maps as our touchstone—indeed, we got Geof back for a massive "historical" UFP map in the set of 10—and then got artists Ali Ries and Ian Fullwood to help take it from there for the various vibes needed. Together, they sweated a lot of our details—and that cover you see here does not begin to reveal the depth of what we get into.

You get the set of ten 2x3 maps plus a hardback guidebook I authored—all in the guise of a curated collection from the analog and digital archives of Memory Alpha. In those pages, we update for the Prime universe since 2002 (real-time) as of 2386 (canon time), we tie together a lot of threads like that whole confusing "Alpha Quadrant powers" thing, and we even deal with the onetime "Delphic Expanse" of Enterprise and, in a special update, JJ's Romulan subspace supernova.

What I may be most singly proud of, though, is for the first time finding a way to choreograph the known elements of the Dominion War onto that grid in a way that makes sense—including all that "threatened Federation homeworlds" business—and not only illustrate some major canon battles but make sense of those onscreen DS9 wall maps, too.
Sounds like fun to me. Star Charts is one of my favourite Trek books, but having the maps loose should make them a bit a easier to browse, and get a better sense of how everything is laid out. Giving us maps from different historical periods and cultural perspectives is also a really nice idea, allowing us to explore the Star Trek galaxy through time and space.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

At last, a new John Byrne Star Trek comic!

One of the best things IDW has done in their time doing Star Trek comics is get John Byrne writing and drawing Trek. His series have been some of the most creative, engaging, and story dense books IDW have produced, exploring corners of the Trekverse rarely glimpsed (the Romulans, Gary Seven, Number One, and Doctor McCoy's lost years), and doing so with incredible visual flare; Byrne really knows how to lead a comic reader around the page! So it was pretty sad a couple of years ago when three years of near constant Byrne Star Trek releases came to an end. Byrne has been busy working on other projects with IDW, but at last he returning to the Trekverse, albeit in a very unusual way.

A few months ago Byrne started posting samples from something he was playing with on his forums, making new photo-comics using screencaps from TOS episodes. Initially he was doing straight retellings of episodes, but quickly landing on the idea of producing a lost episode, using combinations of existing shots, as well as building new scenes by compositing different elements together. Today Byrne announced that CBS and IDW have approved this project for publication, expected some time in 2014.

Here are the most recent iterations of the pages Byrne has so far previewed on his forum - Not necessarily the final versions of the pages. In a story called Strange New Worlds, the crew of the Enterprise return to Delta Vega to find a lost crew-mate. Byrne hasn't posted with dialogue for all pages, so not to spoil what he's up to (preview continues after the jump):

First look at Kre-O USS Vengeance

Target have added a listing to their website for a new set in the Star Trek Kre-O range, the USS Vengeance. It is currently listed as "unavailable" and "not sold in stores", with no indication of a release date - Hopefully this just means those details haven't been put up yet, rather than this being a lost cancelled set.

It seems like a pretty good representation of the ship, although of course it takes more liberties with the design than the Hot Wheels version, the only other model of the ship at the moment. It appears to be using the same nacelle strut element as the Enterprise set, which make the nacelles a bit close to each other, and it appears to have a cockpit element in the bridge area of the ship to house the crew. The kreon figures included are stow-away Scotty, two generic "specialists", and the "specialist captain" aka Admiral Marcus. Check her out:


We knew Hasbro had plans for additional releases after Into Darkness, I posted images of the first of two planned additional series of the Kreon figures a couple of months ago for instance. But it's great to see that appearing to actually be happening. Playmates also planned to add more toys to their range from the previous film, but cancelled them after their line of toys flopped. Hopefully the Vengeance is the first reveal in a second wave of sets.

After Darkness Part 2 preview

IDW have released previews for their new comics out this week, including the twenty-second issue of the Star Trek ongoing series, After Darkness, Part Two, the continuation of the post-Into Darkness tale begun in the previous issue.

I've been fortunate enough to read through the whole issue already, and there's some really interesting stuff going on as they start to build up the astro-politics of the nuTrek timeline. It's great to see this series really forging ahead in carving out something original, a big step up from the early episode retellings. There's also some great art in this issue, with two particularly pleasing splash pages towards the end of the book - One of which you might mistake for a 70s Trek novel cover; a bit of a mixture of Devil World and Spock, Messiah!.

Here's the first seven pages (continues after the jump), to get your Vulcan blood boiling in anticipation:

More J.K. Woodward Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover art

Last week I posted some of the awesome artwork J.K. Woodward has been working on, to be included in IDW Limited editions of the TNG/Doctor Who crossover comic, Assimilation2, specifically for the second omnibus of the series. Now Woodward has posted colour versions of several of those pieces on Twitter; there are some fantastic pieces, I've picked a few of my favourites, but you can see a lot more on Woodward's Twitter:

 
 

Make sure to scroll a good way into Woodward's Twitter gallery too, I didn't go far enough last time, and missed out on finding a load of art he had done for the Volume One book as well. So here are a few of my favourites form that selection too!



Redemption trailer

CBS have released a new trailer for Redemption, the TNG two-parter which is getting a stand-alone bluray release along-side TNG season four in July. Have a look, there are some pretty nice (and now HD remastered) effects, in this Klingon civil war episode:



As with the similar release of The Best of Both Worlds along-side TNG season three, Redemption features a new audio commentary and behind-the-scenes documentary exclusive to this release.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

First details of Tactics III

Wizkids have announced the first details of the forthcoming third series of releases in their Star Trek Heroclix game, Tactics. Tactics III will have something of a Borg focus, featuring several Borg ships, as well as assimilated vessels. The addition of assimilated ships will add a new quirk to the game-play, as they will feature both the abilities of the original ship's faction, as well as additional Borg characteristics. Also included in the series are ships from the Bajorans, Kazon, Species 8472, Federation, and Earth. As with the previous series there will be a four ship starter set (which includes a rule book and maps), as well as individual ships available to expand your fleets. The starter set includes the USS Enterprise-D, a Kazon Olga Predator class ship, the Razik, Borg Assimilator 84 (as seen in Descent), and Borg Scout 255 (presumably the small crashed ship seen in I Borg):


There will be twenty-eight ships to collect in the individual expansions, those seen in Wizkids' solicitation include a Borg Cube and Diamond, an Assimilated Galaxy class, a Species 8472 ship, Bajoran raider, and an NX class:


CCG Borg Scout card
All this is expected to arrive in September. There are a few interesting connections to previous Star Trek tie-ins in the Borg ships offered here. The designation Assimilator was also used for the Descent ship in the video game Armada II (replacing an original design for the same type of ship in the original Armada). The Borg Scout meanwhile appears to be the same design seen in the Star Trek Customizable Card Game a couple of times. To the best of my knowledge this will be the first time there have been models of the Borg Scout or Diamond, and to the Assimilator, Bajoran, Kazon, and Species 8472 are all pretty uncommon.

In other news from Wizkids, they have announced they will offering a promotional captain card for their forthcoming new Star Trek game, Attack Wing, to those who attend GenCon in August. A Khan Noonien Singh card will be available to those buying Attack Wing games at the convention, and will look like this:


Wizkids have also updated their website with an image of all the Attack Wing ships being offered at launch:


QMx's latest starships

QMx have added product pages for two new starships. What must surely be the most extravagant product based on Star Trek: Enterprise ever, the artisan replica Enterprise NX-01 is on the way. Like QMx's previous artisan starships, the NX-01 comes on a mirrored base giving you a neck-friendly way to examine the details on the underside. The model features over one-hundred-and-fifty LED lights, as well as sound effects which can be played with a variety of sequences such as warp and impulse travel, rotating bussard collectors, and firing weapons. It will also come with a dedication plague with Doug Drexler's signature.

It apparently takes six artisans one-hundred-and-fifteen hours to make each of these models, which can also be customised, should you prefer to add the Columbia to your fleet or such-like (I wonder if they'd go as far as the refit design...). There will be just one-hundred of them made, and one can be yours for just shy of four-thousand dollars (which is actually the cheapest Star Trek starship in the artisan range at the moment). Here are some pictures, you can see more on QMx's website:


At completely the other end of the scale, QMx's other new ship is a new cuddly toy version of the TOS USS Enterprise. Believe it or not this is at least the second plush USS Enterprise, following in the footsteps of the ThinkGeek version. The new QMx take on the idea has much more detailing, check her out:

 
 

QMx also released their latest Trekkies comic strip in their most recent email newsletter, it's full of tribbles:


Incidentally, ThinkGeek have out-paced QMx with this too, tribble slippers are real things!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Publishing bits: Next Voyager novel, Enterprise relaunch uniforms, more calendars, and French comics

A variety of bits and pieces from all corners of the Star Trek publishing world for you: First up, Kirsten Beyer's next Voyager novel appears to have a title and publication slot. Simon and Schuster now list a Voyager book called Protectors, which is expected in late January, making it nominally the February book, and the first book of the 2014 publishing schedule. Oddly this book is not appearing very widely on the Simon and Schuster site, it only comes up under the author page, not if you just look for Star Trek, or even specifically Voyager novels. I only became aware of thanks to TrekBBS user Madzilla pointing it out.

Much closer to the present, next month's book, the first in the new Enterprise relaunch, Rise of the Federation: A Choice of Futures, is starting to appear right now. The author, Christopher L. Bennett, posted a sketch of his uniform design for the series on his website. The design combines elements from uniforms before and after the early Federation setting of the novel, and also notes a nice explanation of the different insignias we saw in TOS.


In a completely different area of publishing, there's potentially worrying news for UK Star Trek calendar fans. Last year Danilo published two Star Trek calendars in the UK market, a TOS design, and a nuTrek ships collection. As a result the US calendars, including Ships of the Line, from Universe Publishing, were not distributed in the UK. We were looking safe this year, but now two 2014 calendars from Danilo have appeared, offering either a "movie" or "ships" calendar. At the moment both Universe and Danilo's calendars have been listed by Amazon in the US and the UK, but if it's like last year only each country's calendars will only be distributed locally, so you'll have to rely on secondary sellers if you'd prefer designs from the opposite side of the ocean (which ever side you're on).

There is also going to be a German Star Trek calendar this year, like last year it is being published by Panini. Listings for this initially suggested a May release, but that has now been pushed back to July.

If you are a Ships of the Line fan, be sure to check out Mark Rademaker's latest blog post, he has written about how he has come to design an almost real-world warp ring-ship for NASA, which is also his contribution to the 2014 calendar. He's also posted lots of artwork, like the following image, check out his blog for much more,


Finally good news Star Trek comic fans in France, a couple of days ago Countdown to Darkness was released in French, on Kindle. There doesn't appear to be a physical version at the moment. Unusually for foreign language releases, IDW itself is listed as the publisher, rather than selling on the rights to a local company.

If you're curious about French Star Trek comics, check out my 8of5 Archives report, which lists every comic that's ever been released in a French translation.

More little ships

Earlier in the year Hot Wheels added something different to their Star Trek range, a much smaller scale model of the nuTrek USS Enterprise, offered as part of their toy car range. Hot Wheels release several series of these smaller scale toys each year, and, as T-Hunted report, the latest releases again have a USS Enterprise, mixed in with all the toy cars; this time it's a battle damaged variant of the same model. Brazilian website Seeman posted an image in their listing for it:


UPDATE: A toy car blog called The Lamley Group has posted an exhaustive set of photos of this new model. Here's one, you'll find a view from just about every other angle you could imagine, on The Lamley Group.


The previously released larger scale damaged nuEnterprise
The pattern of damage is unfortunately not based on the extensive destruction dealt to the Enterprise in Into Darkness, but is quite similar to Hot Wheels' previously released larger scale battle damaged variant of the nuEnterprise - The saucer damage appears to be exactly the same, while the nacelles have different scorch patterns on this smaller edition.

These smaller Hot Wheels toys seem to be quite widely distributed, so I would expect the new battle damaged mini-Enterprise to be popping up all over the world in the next few weeks.

In other little ships news, The Official Starships Collection Facebook page recently announced they have got official confirmation that they are allowed to go ahead with plans to include nuTrek ships in their range of model starships. They plan to have "Special Editions" of the magazines to launch them. At the moment it's not wholly clear what they mean by that; whatever form the release takes it will be great to have models of the nuTrek ships, accompanied by some of the first written information on their designs and in-universe functions.

The Official Starships Collection also posted this image of the USS Prometheus, to demonstrate how they are using the original CGI models from the productions to build the models for manufacture of the little ships:


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Review: Pon Farr perfume

The nice people at Palm Beach Beaute asked me if I'd like to review one of their new Star Trek fragrances (which I posted the details of previously). Alas I'm not much of a fragrance wearer myself, so I didn't feel in a position to give an informed review on the subject. Fortunately my very good friend, and fellow blogger, Natasja, is much more familiar with smelling of loveliness, so I asked her to do the honours. And so, here is the first ever guest writer on The Trek Collective:



Pon Farr Parfum for women is a fragrance that will drive any male Vulcan wild. Every seven years a woman must have her way with a man so she can live long and prosper; this is where Pon Farr Parfum comes in. At first glance, it gives off a soft and subtle yet significant scent. It pulls you in for more.

When applied to your skin the delicate flowery fragrant becomes more powerful as the vanilla musk and sandalwood take over. It has a very pleasant and alluring smell that even I cannot stop smelling. After having done so for a while, the muskiness tones down a bit and the flowery scent returns.

Even the bottle plays with your mind; it looks simple and see-through but becomes a rich shade of purple depending on the angle. Pon Farr Parfum is easy to wear, seductive but not overwhelming, this makes it accessible to any event of your liking; bahan, fasan, taman and especially for those personal experiences. So, be ready to leave logic behind!



Pon Farr, and the other fragrances in Palm Bench Beaute's Star Trek range, are available now from Entertainment Earth and Amazon.

If you're wondering, Natasja tells me bahan, fasan, and taman, are Vulcan words for various activities. If you'd like to read more of Natasja's musings on beauty, baking, and the trials of being a young woman, check out her blog, Eyes Painted Black. Her latest post is on a bit of a spacey theme too, featuring starscape nail art.

Latest Star Trek stuff around the home

Several companies have revealed new Star Trek stuff to use at home, and when out and about. Coming soon to Westland Giftware's Star Trek range is their latest cookie jar, and I think their best one so far; based on the USS Enterprise, they've filled in the gaps between the nacelles to make a warp effect, so there's plenty of room for cookies within:


Also new from Westland is something they've not done before, wine stoppers. They are launching three different TOS designs, the USS Enterprise, Captain Kirk, and Mr Spock. Their website also has an an image of what I believe is a counter-top display unit they'll have for these in shops:


Finally from Westland, their latest Star Trek clock:


It's normally a few months before new stuff Westland display on their websites is available, so I'd expect these to be turning up towards the end of the year. Meanwhile, they aren't the only ones make Star Trek clocks, earlier in the year Underground Toys announced a pretty big range of watch and clock designs. Things From Another World are now listing a selection of these, expecting them to come in August. Their listings include better images than those previously released.

From the watches they are offering the USS Enterprise saucer design, the command uniform watch, and a Captain LCD watch (although they haven't posted an image of the latter yet):


 

They have two of the clocks, both bell alarms, either an Enterprise-D image as the face, of a TOS Starfleet delta:


They are also offering one of Underground Toys' float-pen designs, the USS Enterprise. I particularly like their description for this one, sounds like an especially terrible Gold Key comic:

From Underground Toys! The starship Enterprise has become trapped within the shaft of this floating pen!
Finally, Vandor have added one new item to their Star Trek range as well, coming in August or September will be a ceramic travel mug, with the Starfleet delta on: