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Sunday, 31 May 2015

This Month: May 2015's Star Trek releases

It's been a curious month of Star Trek stuff: There have been two Delta Quadrant adventures, but neither of them featuring Voyager. There are several different models of the USS Enterprise, one of them chopped in half! Plus all sorts of other curiosities, including gnomes, coins, and tribbles. Continue below for the full run down of all May's Star Trek releases.

Books

Dave Galanter returns to the TOS TV era, for his new novel Crisis of Consciousness:
The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is completing a diplomatic mission with the Maabas, an alien race with whom they’d been sent to sign a treaty. The Maabas are a peaceful people who are not native to the star system they now inhabit, but were refugees from a great war long ago. Several hundred thousand took shelter on their new planet, and have been there for thousands of years. While they have warp capability, they do not travel the stars, but seek to explore within. The Federation’s interest is in the Maabas’s great intellectual resources. Their science, while behind Federation standards in some areas, excels in others. They are highly intelligent, with unique approaches, and their philosophy is in line with that of the Federation. But just as the pact is signed, the Enterprise is attacked by an unknown ship. They manage to show enough force to keep the alien vessel at bay…but a new danger arises, as their mysterious foes are the Kenisians—a race that used to inhabit this planet thousands of years ago, and now want it back.

Wrath of Khan steelbook

A little randomly, Best Buy have released an exclusive steelbook edition of the Wrath of Khan bluray. It is available in the US (although has already sold out online there), and Canada.


I say randomly, because this is the first prime-timeline Star Trek movie to get a steelbook release, and it doesn't appear to be part of any greater scheme to release the other films in the fancier packaging. It does join both of the nuTrek movies, which have had multiple different steelbook designs released already. And if you're a German disc collector you can also pick up TNG and TOS bluray season sets in steelbook packaging.

Ships of the Line model kits on the way

Due out next month, Round 2 Models have announced a new range of Ships of the Line branded model kits! There will be four 1:2500 scale kits on offer, the TOS USS Enterprise, USS Reliant, USS Defiant, and Klingon D7. All the kits have previously been released as part of the Cadet Series range, but this time they come pre-painted, and as they are snap together kits too they'll be a quick way to build your own ships.

Each kit comes individually packaged, and is accompanied by a wide-format trading card, featuring related artwork from the Ships of the Line calendar series. The kits will be shipped in cases of twelve, with the Enterprise and Reliant being more common, with four of each in each case, while there will be two per case of the Defiant and D7s. So far only the Reliant has been previewed (image via Tower Hobbies).


Also new from Round 2 Models is their re-issue of the AMT USS Enterprise cutaway model kit. This 1:537 scale kit was first released a couple of decades ago, and the new release comes with an expanded decal sheet, a base, and a new box art (which you can check out after the jump, via Monsters in Motion):

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Platinum tribbles, for the discerning trekkie

QMx don't appear to have got their tribble breeding program under control yet, as they have just started shipping out a new generation of everyone's (non-Klingons at least) furry little friends. The new tribble is a "platinum" breed (aka grey), and like their previous releases comes in a bespoke tribble containment unit, with instruction for care.



This is the third individual tribble QMx have offered, following their previous brown ones, and last year's Loot Crate exclusive ginger ones. They also had a tribble family, with baby tribbles that could be placed inside their mother to recreate a tribble birthing scene! QMx don't seem to offer that mama tribble anymore, although Entertainment Earth are still taking pre-ordered for expected delivery (teehee, punny), next month.

Wobbling whales with a spring in their tails

Entertainment Earth have revealed the first of their 2015 San Diego Comic Con exclusives, and they're going to make sure trekkies have a whale of a time, with the new George and Gracie bobble-heads - Or more accurately, bobble-tails. Recreating the scene from The Voyage Home, the pair of humpback whales are joined by a little swimming Spock too. These will be available in a rather curious edition of one-thousand-nine-hundred-and-ninety-eight, and as is always the case with Entertainment Earth's Comic Con exclusives, while they will be available first at the event, in July, any remaining will be dispatched to those who order online.


In other wobbly news, Bif Bang Pow also have a TOS phaser on the way, joining their smaller scale Monitor Mate range of bobbling things. You can check that out after the jump, and will be able to get one yourself, from Entertainment Earth, in August.

Starships Collection's Centaur class, Klingon Attack Ship, TOS shuttlecraft, and more

The latest two issues in The Official Starships Collection have been solicited, giving us a new image of issue fifty-two, the Centaur class, and the first look at the Klingon Attack Ship model from issue fifty-three. These two issues will be reaching the UK first in August, with the rest of the world following as the series unfolds in different markets. Note, I've tweaked the colours here of the images that have been released, which were insanely over-saturated.



The Klingon ship's cover hasn't been released yet, but the Centaur class has. Continue after the jump to check out that, plus the first look at the TOS shuttlecraft model, and other updates from the series.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

More Green Lantern crossover covers!

The first issue of IDW and DC's forthcoming nuTrek/Green Lantern crossover, The Spectrum War, already had an impressive seven covers on the way, and now with the first Star Trek San Diego Comic Con exclusives revealed, that rises to an unprecedented ten covers for the first issue alone -  This is a new record for Star Trek comics, beating last year's first issue of The Primate Directive (the Planet of the Apes crossover), which had nine covers in the end, including a second printing variant, which very probably will happen with this new crossover too! (Thanks to the Star Trek Comics Checklist for making that so easy to look up!).

Available at the Comic Con in July, these covers are not yet finalised (at the very least they are lacking the creator credits). Previews say there will be three-thousand available of each design, all featuring artwork by Joe Corroney. Those are a wraparound cover, and two separate releases each using half of the wraparound design. Continue after the jump to check them all out, plus more new Trek art from Corroney:


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

New Star Trek gnomes, and summer-ready novelty goods

Big Mouth's new range of novelty Star Trek items are now in the wild, ready to populate gardens and pool-sides for the summer.

Perhaps the most distinctive pieces they have come up with, the Star Trek gnomes, have become ThinkGeek exclusives. There are four different gnome designs on offer: A Gorn confronting gnome-Captain Kirk, a dead redshirt, and figurines of Kirk and Spock-styled gnomes.

Continue below to check out all the gnomes, and other items on offer from Big Mouth.

Monday, 25 May 2015

New starship lands in China, comes with T-Rex and X-Wing Fighter!

China has developed a bit of a reputation in recent building-boom-years, of creating some pretty, unique, buildings; some gloriously creative expressions of modern architecture, some just plain weird. There's lots of blobitecture, all sorts of quirky skyscrappers, and novelty buildings including giant gods, a big glass violin, and a huge stargate! That wondrous collection now includes a starship too, reportedly officially licensed by CBS no less!

Completed last year, but only just discovered by the western parts of the internet (thanks to Mashable), the new headquarters of NetDragon Websoft is modelled on a Star Trek starship. This is due to the company's chairman, Liu DeJian, being a huge Trekkie, and being in a position to indulge in this multi-million dollar extravagance!

It appears to be based on the Enterprise-E (as you'll see in the concept art below), but I'd say it's ended up with a bit of a Voyager feel too. As you can see from this drone video, the enterprising shape only really becomes obvious from above:



This building is just one of many being built by NetDragon Websoft on their campus site in Fuzhou, continue below for a look at the building in situ, and how its design evolution.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ron Moore's little ships

Remember back in the day, before Captain Picard broke his little ships on the Enterprise-E, he had some bigger ones on the D? Well, part way into the run of TNG thy took them off the conference room wall, and they ended up in a skip, from where writer Ronald D. Moore rescued them, and now all these years later, they are finally back on a wall, as Moore poster on Twitter:


Neat!

So, time for ThinkGeek to make ones we can all put up now?

Friday, 22 May 2015

IDW August titles, and other Star Trek comics news

IDW have released their solicitations for August, which include three Star Trek titles. There's the start of a new two part story in the nuTrek ongoing series, the second issue in the Green Lantern crossover, and an omnibus book. Continue below for full details of all of those, plus some other Trek comics news:

Star Trek (nuTrek ongoing) #48: Five-Year Mission - Deity, Part 1
Written by Mike Johnson, with art by Tony Shasteen.
In this all-new 2-part story called DEITY, the crew of Starship Enterprise discovers an uncharted world whose inhabitants worship vengeful gods... gods who now turn their wrath on Captain Kirk and his crew!
There are two covers for this one, the regular by Tony Shashteen, and the photo subscription cover.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Next movie title confirmed: Star Trek Beyond

In an off-hand close to a blog post discussing social and economic impacts of geek-culture, Simon Pegg, one of the writers of the next Star Trek movie, confirmed the title will be, as rumoured by TrekMovie some weeks ago, Star Trek Beyond.

Pegg's very thoughtful blog came on the back of a recent interview in which he pondered whether the growing popularity of genre entertainment, and the escapist spectacle many such films present, is dumbing down a generation:
Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema but part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste.
It is a kind of dumbing down, in a way, because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or moral questions that might make you walk away and re-evaluate how you felt about … whatever.
Interestingly in the same interview he made a comparison between the Marvel mass popularity, and Star Trek current success, or indeed, relative failure:
They had a script for Star Trek that wasn’t really working for them. I think the studio was worried that it might have been a little bit too Star Trek-y.

Avengers Assemble, which is a pretty nerdy, comic-book, supposedly niche thing, made $1.5bn dollars. Star Trek: Into Darkness made half a billion, which is still brilliant. But it means that, according to the studio, there’s still $1bn worth of box office that don’t go and see Star Trek. And they want to know why.
His pro-offered solution it to:
...make a western or a thriller or a heist movie, then populate that with Star Trek characters so it’s more inclusive to an audience that might be a little bit reticent
Which I think is pleasingly Star Trek-y! It is one of the great strengths of Star Trek, that it can take just about any other genre and make a Star Trek story out of it. That, hand-in-hand with Pegg apparently pondering the lack of depth in big budget spectacle, gives me hope he will offer the script for Star Trek Beyond as the solution! And if that happens to also make a billion plus, and spawn a Marvel-style movie and television mega-franchise rebirth, well so be it!

Meanwhile, with the title now confirmed and production weeks away from shooting, I've set up my Star Trek Beyond Guide page. As I did with Into Darkness, I'll be compiling all the latest news and updates from the movie production, and tie-in comics, toys, and such, into that one easy to find place, linked to from the menu bar at the top of the site. Amazing that there is little over a year until we see the film!

Complete 2016 Ships of the Line line-up revealed

Last month the covers were released for the 2016 Ships of the Line calendar, but unusually the back cover did not showcase all the images within. Well now that has been amended, as Amazon have now posted a new back cover featuring all thirteen images, and revealing all the artists who won a place in the calendar, following the new competition submission process for this edition.


Continue below for a run-down of what's featured there, and a closer look at some of the images.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More new covers! Costumes, TOS and COE.

The avalanche of new book cover continues! And the latest new releases come from a diverse range of forthcoming titles.

Insight Editions have plans for several non-fiction Star Trek books, and the first of those will be comprehensive exploration of costume design throughout the history of the franchise, in Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann's Star Trek: Costumes - Five Decades of Fashion from the Final Frontier. The book is due out in September, and StarTrek.com released the cover:


I think this is likely to be one of the most interesting non-fiction books in some time, and I hope it does well, as it might open the door to exploring other aspects of Star Trek production in the same fashion. Here's the blurb:
From the classic Starfleet uniforms and daringly provocative outfits of The Original Series, to flowing Vulcan robes, flamboyant Ferengi fashions, and formidable Klingon wedding attire, Star Trek: Costumes explores how these designs have played a key role in transporting fans to distant worlds and alien cultures over the last five decades.

Filled with exclusive photography, stills from the saga, rare concept art, and other striking visuals, Star Trek: Costumes also focuses on the talented individuals who have brought the Star Trek universe to life, including original costume designer William Ware Theiss and his successors, Robert Fletcher, Robert Blackman, and, most recently, Michael Kaplan.

Featuring extensive information on the creation of each featured costume, with insight and anecdotes from interviewees including Blackman, Kaplan, J.J. Abrams, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes and Ronald D. Moore, this book is a comprehensive and captivating celebration of the incredible artistry that has made Star Trek’s costumes as innovative and imaginative as its futuristic technologies.

Also newly released is the cover Child of Two Worlds, Greg Cox's Pike-era TOS novel. This book is due out in December, and with the release of this cover, all the 2015 novels have now been revealed! Continue after the jump for a reminder of the blurb, plus the latest Cross Cult cover art.

The Next Generation coins

The Perth Mint in Australia has revealed their second set of Star Trek coins, a TNG pair, featuring Captain Picard and the USS Enterprise-D. These follow the previous TOS coins, and are part of a series of five releases, which will presumably encompass all five of the prime captains and ships.


Like the previous release, these coins have a face value of one dollar, but you'd be unwise to pop along to the shops in Tuvalu,  where they are legal tender, as they've been struck in silver, so are somewhat more valuable!

Each coin is available separately in an an illuminated display case, or together in a novelty transporter room inspired case.  Continue below for more images.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Starships Collection updates: USS Enterprise, Relativity, and more hints of things to come

Ever since he joined Twitter, The Official Starships Collection's manager, Ben Robinson, has been pouring out hints and images, and generally discussing the series at length with tweeting collectors. Continue below for the latest highlights from those tweets, starting with two new images of the original USS Enterprise, which is coming as issue fifty in the series, due in the UK in July (and following at the usual pace in other markets).


Issue fifty-nine, due out in November, comes from much further along in the timeline, the 29th century Wells class timeship, USS Relativity. Ben posted the first ever image of this model (still work in progress), with its subtle purple/green iridescent paint job.


Continue after the jump for more news and previews from the series.

Books covers: Atonement, Ascendance, and posters!

The novel cover reveals are coming a pace at the moment, hot on the heels of the latest Seekers and Titan covers, Pocket Books have released a couple more.

Due out in September is Kirsten Beyer's Atonement, the final book in the current trilogy within her Voyager relaunch, continuing on from Protectors and Acts of Contrition. StarTrek.com have released the cover, featuring an illustration of Admiral Janeway by Alan Dingman:


Here's a reminder of the blurb:
Admiral Kathryn Janeway faces a tribunal determined to execute her for supposed crimes committed during Voyager’s maiden trek through the Delta Quadrant. Captain Chakotay knows that the Kinara, several species now allied against the Full Circle fleet, are not all they appear to be. The Confederacy of the Worlds of the First Quadrant—a pact he cannot trust—is his only hope for unraveling the Kinara’s true agenda and rescuing Admiral Janeway. Meanwhile, Seven and Tom Paris are forced to betray the trust of their superiors in a desperate bid to reveal the lengths to which a fellow officer has gone in the name of protecting the Federation from the legendary Caeliar.

Coming in January will be David R. George III's Ascendance, a follow-up his forthcoming DS9 novel, Sacraments of Fire. David has released that cover on his Facebook page, which features both the new DS9 and the Defiant (with something exciting happening to it!), with the artwork by Doug Drexler:


Continue after the jump for the blurb for this one too, plus news of some new posters featuring novel artwork!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Resistance preview

There are two new Star Trek comics on the shelves this week, and in fact it's almost three, as one of those is the latest double-length photo-comic in John Byrne's New Visions series. Issue six, Resistance, features a familiar alien opponent not so well known to the 23rd century crew of the Enterprise - The title (and cover!) might give you a slight hint!

IDW have unusually picked out not just the first few pages (three this time), but also thirteen to fifteen, to tempt you with for this story. Continue below for those preview pages, plus the latest behind-the-scenes from the series.

Eurydice, Part 3 preview

There were two new Star Trek comics out this week, one of which was issue forty-four of the nuTrek ongoing series, the third and final part in the Eurydice story.

Continue below for a five page from this issue, which picks up directly from the previous issue, with the Enterprise and crew in peril!


Monday, 11 May 2015

Titan: Sight Unseen cover

Coming in October is James Swallow's new Titan novel, Sight Unseen, and StarTrek.com have now revealed the cover, featuring artwork by Tobias Richter, showcasing his fantastic Titan model (first seen on the cover of Swallow's last Titan story, The Fall: The Poisoned Chalice) once again:


While the Titan and crew have featured in a novella, Absent Enemies, and a more TNG and Aventine focused novel, Takedown (both by John Jackson Miller), this will be the first Titan novel since The Fall, so should be interesting to see how the series adapts to Riker's new job in the admiralty.

Continue after the jump for a reminder of the blurb:

Monday, 4 May 2015

Closer look at this year's Star Trek Hallmark Keepsake ornaments

Hallmark have updated their website with listings for their three Star Trek Keepsake ornaments for this year. Their listings include much higher resolution versions of the previously released images of all three designs, plus previews in other media. Continue below to check out the range.

In-keeping with their offering for the past few years, the three ornaments continue three distinct styles of decoration. There is a starship, which this year is the USS Enterprise-C. The model is just short of five inches long, and features a battery powered light feature, which you can see demonstrated in a video on the Hallmark website.


There is a recreation of a scene, for the second time since this range began in 2004, we get a moment from The Wrath of Khan, this time the death of Spock. As is typical of this format, there is also a sound feature, playing out the dialogue between Kirk and Spock, and you can listen to that on the Hallmark website too.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Amazing new covers for Seekers, Corps of Engineers, and more.

Behold, two of the most exciting Star Trek book covers ever! The next two books in the Seekers series: Long Shot, by David Mack, and All That's Left, by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. Both featuring cover art by Rob Caswell, the artist that inspired the book series. Images via StarTrek.com.



Continue below to read the blurbs for both these books, plus some new cover artwork from Corps of Engineers and Typhon Pact.