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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Live by the Code preview

Out now is Live by the Code, a new Enterprise novel by Christopher L. Bennett. This is the fourth book in Bennett's Rise of the Federation series, which depicts the continuing adventures of the Enterprise crew in the early days of the Federation.

This book picks up some of the threads from the previous instalment, Uncertain Logic, which explored the threat of the "Ware" (the creepy automated technology seen in the fantastic episode Dead Stop). The Klingons are also set to return this time, as the cover (by Doug Drexler) dramatically depicts, and the blurb from the back cover describes below.

Continue after the jump to read preview pages from the first chapter:

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Star Trek The Animated Series coming to bluray, plus new 4K Ultra HD movie releases

At long last Star Trek: The Animated Series is coming to bluray! The second ever Star Trek TV series is relatively easy series to bring up the HD standards, in comparison to the only other series Trek series still awaiting bluray treatment, DS9 and Voyager, which will require significant reconstruction efforts to see them upgraded to higher resolutions - Indeed TAS has apparently already been scanned at HD resolutions, so for CBS it's a pretty straightforward release. According to The Digital Bits CBS are looking to get the new blurays out in time for the holiday season this year, so we should be just a few months from being able to examine TAS's glorious and exotic aliens and settings in crispy high definition.

One thing I dream of them doing, and that would be a lovely addition for this 50th anniversary year, is creating a brand new TAS episode, using the original cast recordings made for the cancelled video game Secret of Vulcan Fury.  The game had a story by TOS writer D.C. Fontana, and all of the main original cast had already recorded their parts of the script before the plug was pulled. Obviously it would need a bit of tweaking to make it work as an episode rather than a game, but what an amazing thing it would be to get the last combined efforts of the entire original cast resurrected as a brand new episode of Star Trek! Given the relatively simple animation style of TAS, the actually making the episode shouldn't be too tricky, so long as those recordings can be recovered. (See trailers for the game here, and here)

Anywho, in other home video news, Star Trek is set to be among the first film series to get releases in the new 4K Ultra HD format, which is four times higher resolution than standard bluray. The Digitial Bits again report that both Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness will be released in this format, and they expect Star Trek Beyond will follow too (as I would imagine most big movies will from now on). Additional one lone entry from the older film catalogue is getting remastered for a 4K release, The Wrath of Khan. A new bluray release will see both theatrical and director's cuts of the film using the new remaster. Posting on Facebook, director Nicholas Meyer seems very enthusiastic about how good it will look:

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Star Trek Beyond and Ultimate Voyage soundtracks

Good news Star Trek music fans, you can already pre-order the soundtrack for Star Trek Beyond! As we already knew, Michael Giacchino will be returning to compose his third Star Trek score, which Amazon are expecting to arrive on CD from Varese Sarabande Records on the same day as the US release of the film, 22nd July.

I've no doubt it will also be available digitally, and who knows, maybe on vinyl too: Into Darkness was the first Star Trek soundtrack to get a vinyl release in a couple of decades, which arrived a few months after the CD and download versions. Both Star Trek (2009) and Into Darkness got complete soundtrack releases some time after the album version too, a trend I hope Beyond will continue with!

Meanwhile if you want some Star Trek music right now, there is a new album featuring all the music from the touring Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage concert. Available via the concert's online shop, the album, and concert, features music representing most of the Star Trek TV series and movies, and even some video games. This is a new recording of the tracks, from the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Justin Freer. Here are the covers:


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Kubros Spock figurine and other Mega Bloks updates

As you may know, this year Mega Bloks will be returning to the world of Star Trek (more than a decade after their previous single release, a model of the USS Enterprise-D). They have already announced a range of TOS construction sets, including models of ships, and playsets of key locations.

In addition to those, Mega Bloks are also launching a new range of brick built figurines, called Kubros. This series will pull from many of Mega Bloks' licensed brands, including Halo, Terminator, Masters of the Universe, Assassins Creed, Aliens, Power RangesMinions, and of course Star Trek,

At the recent New York Toy Fair they revealed Star Trek characters in this series will include TNG's Worf and Captain Picard. But before them, the first series of Kubros features a TOS character, Spock, who along with the other first series characters from other franchises is now available to order directly from Mega Bloks' online shop, making him the first release of the new Star Trek assortments. Of course that means Mega Bloks have also released lots of images to show off this blocky Mr Spock.


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Starfleet Academy #4 preview

Out this week is the penultimate issue in IDW's Starfleet Academy series. As the series races towards the conclusions of the two sets of cadet's stories, and the end of the Centennial Competition, there is a twist I certainly didn't see coming, which makes me eager to read the final issue. But we've got another month to wait for that, so until then, continue below for a five page preview of issue four.

This issue is available in three covers, the standard one comes from Derek Charm, then there's a subscription cover by Robert Wilson IV, and a striking retail incentive cover by David Malan. The book, and indeed the entire series, is written by Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrott.



Monday, 14 March 2016

Eaglemoss' Aeroshuttle, Federation fighter, Breen, and more

Lots of Eaglemoss updates today, including new images of The Official Starships Collection's Federation Fighter, Breen warship, Enterprise NX-01 refit, and more.

First up, the first look at Voyager's Aeroshuttle, care of the series manager Ben Robinson. This will be the first ever model of the ship which is both in every single episode of Voyager, and has also never been seen. If you're not familiar, the Aeroshuttle launches from the bottom of Voyager's saucer (it's that funny shape in the middle). However it was never seen to do so in the series, so in some ways it's a non-canon ship! We don't know the issue number for this one yet, but if there's a model on Ben's desk already, it cant be too far away.


New cover and preview pages from Redshirt's Little Book of Doom

Coming in July from Insight Editions is the latest Star Trek parody book, the Redshirt's Little Book of Doom. Written by Robb Pearlman and illustrated by Anna-Maria Jung, the book features full page artwork chronicling the troubled life of a TOS red shirt, dealing with alien encounters, his crew-mates, and his everyday problems.

Amazon have now updated their listings with a brand new cover, and a load of preview pages, giving a nice idea of the humour and diversity of the book. Continue below to check them out:


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Force and Motion cover

Due out in June is Force and Motion, a new Deep Space Nine novel from Jeffrey Lang, which is due to feature Chief Miles O'Brian, Nog, and O'Brian's former captain, Benjamin Maxwell. StarTrek.com have now revealed the cover, which is not credited, but looks like a Doug Drexler creation to me:


I wonder what all that swirly sparkling stuff is up to - We'll find out in a few months. Here's a reminder of the blurb:
In 2367, Captain Benjamin Maxwell of the starship Phoenix ordered the destruction of a Cardassian warship and a supply vessel, killing more than six hundred crew members. Maxwell believed that the Cardassians were arming for a new attack on the Federation, and though history eventually proved he was probably correct, the Federation had no choice but to court martial and incarcerate him.

Almost twenty years have passed, and now Maxwell is a free man, working as a maintenance engineer on the private science station Robert Hooke, home to crackpots, fringe researchers, and, possibly, something much darker and deadlier. Maxwell’s former crewmate, Chief Miles O’Brien, and O’Brien’s colleague, Lieutenant Commander Nog, have come for a visit. Unfortunately, history has proven that whenever O’Brien and Nog leave Deep Space 9 together, unpredictable forces are set into motion…
To keep track of all the latest releases, hit the books or prose buttons on my 2016 and 2017 schedule pages. You can also find series reading lists and author bibliographies on my dedicated Star Trek lists site.


Trek TV updates: Roddenberry to produce, and CBS plans

A few more titbits about the new Star Trek TV series have been revealed recently. The latest announcement, via StarTrek.com, is that Roddenberry Entertainment will be joining the production, with Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry and Trevor Roth signing on as the latest producers. Rod is of course of the son of Star Trek's creator Gene Roddenberry, as well as being president of Roddenberry Entertainment, and is perhaps best known as the producer and star of the Star Trek fandom documentary Trek Nation. He also has a writing credit to his name, for an episode of Earth: Final Conflict. Trevor Roth meanwhile is the COO of Roddenberry Entertainment, and also produced Trek Nation. Roddenberry had this to say on his new role:
Moral dilemmas, human issues, complex characters, and a genuine sense of optimism: These are the cornerstones of Star Trek and are what have made it such an influential and beloved franchise for the last 50 years. While I will always be humbled by its legacy and the legions of fans who are its guardians, it’s a genuine honor to be joining a team of imaginative and incredibly capable individuals whose endeavor it is to uphold the tenets of Star Trek’s legacy while bringing it to audiences in a new era and on a contemporary platform. 
While showrunner Bryan Fuller seems pleased to have a Roddenberry on board:
Gene Roddenberry, the Great Bird of the Galaxy, left a finely feathered nest for all who love Star Trek to enjoy,” Bryan Fuller said in a statement. “And it is only fitting that Rod Roddenberry and Roddenberry Entertainment join our new Trek adventure to ensure that his father’s legacy of hope for the future and infinite diversity in infinite combinations runs through our tales as Gene Roddenberry intended.”

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Star Trek Beyond expands cast in reshoots, plus international release dates

The production of Star Trek Beyond is setting up cameras again next week, as they go into a period of reshoots. These new scenes will include a new member of the cast, Shohreh Aghdashloo, who Deadline report is the "High Command of the Federation" (Federation President? Starfleet Commander in Chief?).

There are no details of what role this character will have in the story. Does this imply we'll get scenes in the President's office in Paris? Is the character Human? How come another character is being added only now? Who knows! Reshoots aren't exactly uncommon for big films these days, and if adding a new character implies something lacking before, well, hopefully said new character fills that gap!

Aghdashloo should feel at home as a sci-fi politician, having recently starred as a UN official in Syfy's series The Expanse (pictured). Her long acting career has seen appearances in many films, TV series, and voice work for animation and video games, including diverse roles in comedy, drama, action, and sci-fi, such as 24, Grimm, and X-Men: The Last Stand.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Legacy of Spock, part 1 preview

Out this week is issue fifty-five of the Star Trek ongoing comic series, which is the first part in a new four-issue story, Legacy of Spock.

The miniseries takes us back to earlier in the nuTrek timeline, and follows Spock as he sets out to find a new home-world for the Vulcans following Nero's attack. The series is also expected to flashback to earlier in Spock-prime's life, and events from the prime universe. This issue starts by expanding the elder Spock's moment from the end of the first nuTrek movie; as you can see in the five-page preview below.

This issue is available in two covers: The standard cover is by Tony Shasteen, who also provided the interior illustration (you can see how Shasteen developed this cover in an article on 13th Dimension). A subscription cover is by J.K. Woodward. As ever, nuTrek comics mastermind Mike Johnson wrote this issue.

Monday, 7 March 2016

New blurbs for John Jackson Miller's Prey trilogy, and Christopher L. Bennett books

Lots of new prose blurbs today, for all the books in John Jackson Miller's TNG-era Prey trilogy, and Christopher L. Bennett's forthcoming TOS novel and Department of Temporal Investigations novella. Continue below to check them all out.

Due out in the final months of this year, John Jackson Miller's Prey trilogy is to feature the crews of the Enterprise-E, and Titan, in a story setting the Federation and Klingon Empire at odds. There will also be elements from TOS, as the new blurbs describe. Amazon have revealed these new details in listings for the books, with the titles also being posted for the first time. Those are: Hell's Heart, The Jackal's Trick, and The Hall of Heroes. If you're especially spoiler-averse, the three blurbs give plenty of detail, so proceed with caution:

Hell's Heart begins the trilogy, and will be the October book:
Continuing the milestone 50th anniversary celebration of Star Trek—an epic new trilogy that stretches from the events of The Original Series movie The Search for Spock to The Next Generation!

When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.

Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

New Women of Star Trek postage stamps

It's a good year to be a Star Trek fan who collects stamps! Hot on the heels of news of the recent DS9, Enterprise, and TOS stamps, here's another set. Issued in January by Tuvalu, was the new Women of Star Trek collection, featuring prominent female characters from all the prime timeline series. Like other recent releases, this series comes in the form of two miniature sheets, one featuring six stamps, and the other a single higher value stamp.

The six stamp sheet stars Doctor Beverly Crusher of TNG, Nyota Uhura of TOS, Captain Kathryn Janeway of Voyager, Hoshi Sato of Enterprise, and two characters from DS9, Kira Nerys, and Jadzia Dax.


Seperate from the rest is a second Voyager character, Seven of Nine.

Preview pages from Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics

Due out in April from IDW's Library of American Comics is one of the most exciting and long-awaited Star Trek books, the first volume of The Classic UK Comics, reprinting for the first time the rare UK comic strips from the 1960s and 70s.

Like their US contemporaries, the Gold Key Comics, the UK strips take some occasionally unusual takes on Star Trek, and present what now seems a very retro sci-fi take on the series. They also feature some gorgeous and lavish artwork.

Thanks to Amazon's Look Inside feature we already have several preview pages from this book, comprising the first three two-page spreads from the first story in the book. This particular story sees the Enterprise visit a planet of robots, and indeed landing on that planet, as you can see in the second spread. Continue below to check it out: