Star Trek: “Mesin Waktu Mr. Spock”

“Excuse me?”

TrekVM-01

TrekVM-05Old school Star Trek fans likely know that View-Master, the wonderful company which has been offering since 1939 all sorts of photographic and (later) stereoscopic imagery goodness for education and entertainment, has not forgotten the Final Frontier.

View-Master dipped its toes into the Star Trek pond no fewer than five times, which packets of stereoscopic “3D” images showcasing the original series episode “The Omega Glory” and the animated episode “Yesteryear” (packaged as “Mr. Spock’s Time Trek”) along with Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Finally, the second-season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “A Matter of Honor.”

Of these, the “Yesteryear” adaptation is the most interesting. Rather than rely on set or publicity photography as was the case with its live-action counterparts, “Mr. Spock’s Time Trek” benefits from Filmation’s having rendered special recreations of the selected images designed for use with the View-Master format.

Way back when, the resulting packets of three “card wheels,” each featuring 7 images (2-each, working together to achieve the intended 3D effect), was accompanied by a booklet summarizing the story being told. The text was partnered with illustrations, which in this case are different from those depicted in the images. View-Master actually issued this in two versions: the “regular” edition, and one with a soundtrack narrating the text from the booklet.

You’d think that would be enough glomming onto one bit of Trek lore, right?

Wrong.

A few weeks ago, friend Rich Handley alerted me to the existence of a book he’d never seen in all his travels as a researcher of all things obscure Star Trek. He came across it while searching for rare copies of Indonesian and other foreign language Trek comics, at which time he asked if I was interested in it.

Hell yeah. I love this quirky stuff. So, what did I end up with?

MesinWaktuSpock01

Published in 1979, “Mesin Waktu Mr. Spock” (loosely translating to “Mr. Spock’s Time Machine”) appears to be exactly what it looked like when I first saw it: an Indonesian adaptation not of the “Yesteryear” episode,” but indeed the View-Master presentation of that same episode.

It contains almost but not all of the images from the original reels, accompanied by text which – so far as I can tell – is far more detailed than the story summary provided with the original View-Master booklet. Hardcore Trekkies will grind their teeth and clench their jaws upon realizing that every single image is flipped/reversed/inverted/wrong. Personally, I think it’s hilarious:

And so it was that yet another bit of oddball Star Trek publishing weirdness found its way to my disturbingly large library.

Many thanks to Rich for turning me onto this little nugget of nostalgia. It makes me want to start digging to see what else is out there.

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Posted in books, fandom, feelin' nostalgic, nerdity, trek, weird shit | 2 Comments

Pre-order Star Trek: Discovery – Drastic Measures!

Now we’re talking.

The book gods have seen fit to provide us with pre-order options for Drastic Measures, my forthcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel, which will be published on February 6th, 2018. As with David Mack’s Desperate Hours, my book will be available in trade paperback, e-Book, and digital audio formats.

“Hey, Dayton!” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “What’s it about?” I’m glad you asked:


It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner”….


So far, only the trade paperback and e-Book editions are available for pre-order:

Simon & Schuster
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Links for the audiobook edition are still forthcoming. Stay tuned!

ST-Discovery-FBheader

Posted in books, trek, writing | 1 Comment

Predator: If It Bleeds

“IF IT BLEEDS, WE CAN KILL IT.”
Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (from Predator, 1987)

predator-antho-coverOver the centuries, extraterrestrial hunters of the Yautja race—also known as the Predators—have encountered (and stalked) humans on Earth and in the depths of space. Offered here are sixteen all-new stories of such hunts, written by many of today’s most extraordinary authors:

Kevin J. Anderson
Jennifer Brozek
Larry Correia
Mira Grant
Tim Lebbon
Jonathan Maberry
Andrew Mayne
Weston Ochse
S. D. Perry
Steve Perry
Jeremy Robinson
John Shirley
Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Holly Roberds
Peter J. Wacks and David Boop
Wendy N. Wagner
Dayton Ward

Inspired by the events of the original Predator movies, graphic novels, and novels, these adventures pit hunter against prey in life-and-death struggles where there can be only one victor.


Awwwwwwwww, yeah.

I still remember when editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt reached out to me, gauging my interest in contributing a short story to this anthology he was assembling. The invitation came at just the right time, as I was in sore need of a pick-me-up to help combat various personal and family issues during that time. The original Predator is one of my all-time favorite 80s films, and thirty years later I think it still holds its own against most of the action movies which have come along since it was first on theater screens.

As for If It Bleeds? I am thoroughly jazzed to be sharing a table of contents with this roster of word pushers, which includes several people I’m proud to call friend. The stories run the gamut and span centuries from the distant past to the far future. My story, “Recon,” takes place in 1968 and is set in Vietnam.

If you can’t obtain a copy of this bee-yoo-tiful tome via your local independent bookseller, there’s always the online merchant option, so let me hit you with some link action:

Trade Paperback and Kindle e-Book from Amazon.com
Trade Paperback and Nook e-Book from Barnes & Noble
Trade Paperback and Various e-Book formats from Books-A-Million

In addition to providing a permanent home for links to find and order the book, this entry also will serve as our book’s “official” Q&A thread. Those of you who want to chat about the book, feel free to post your questions/etc. to the comments section. For those of you who’ve found this page and perhaps not yet read the book, BEWARE THAT SPOILERS ARE POSSIBLE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

Posted in my books, my stories, predator, writing | 1 Comment

It’s Jupiter 2 Launch Day!

October 16th, 1997:

“This is the beginning. This is the day. You are watching the unfolding of one of history’s greatest adventures–man’s colonization of space beyond the stars. The first of what may be as many as ten million families per year is setting out on its epic voyage into man’s newest frontier, deep space. Reaching out into other worlds from our desperately overcrowded planet, a series of deep thrust telescopic probes have conclusively established a planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri as the only one within range of our technology able to furnish ideal conditions for human existence.

Even now the family chosen for this incredible journey into space is preparing to take their final pre lift off physical tests. The Robinson family was selected from more than two million volunteers for its unique balance of scientific achievement, emotional stability, and pioneer resourcefulness. They will spend the next five and a half years of their voyage frozen in a state of suspended animation which will terminate automatically as the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the new planet.”

Lost In Space, “The Reluctant Stowaway”

jupiter2-missionpatch

Posted in fandom, nerdity, tributes | 2 Comments

Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 6.

We can’t quite call it a comeback, but it was a pretty decent effort.

bucs-2014-logo

Cardinals 38 – Bucs 33

The game’s big story so far a Bucs fans are concerned involves quarterback Jameis Winston, who was forced to exit the game in the second quarter after suffering a shoulder injury. As I write this, the word is that Winston’s X-rays were negative, and he’s scheduled to undergo an MRI this coming week. Here’s hoping he isn’t in the same boat as Packer’s QB Aaron Rodgers, who’s likely out for the rest of the season.

With Winston out and the Bucs down 31-0 after the Cardinals spent the early going smacking Tampa’s defense all up and down the field, backup Ryan Fitzpatrick took control of the Bucs offense and began piecing together a damned fine attempt at climbing out of that hole. Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 32 passes for 290+ yard and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense held Arizona to just eight more points while recovering a fumble and returning it for a Bucs touchdown. Tampa pulled to within five points with two minutes left in the game, but Arizona recovered the expected onside kick. Tampa, having no time-outs, was unable to stop the clock and the Cardinals were able to take a knee to end the game.

:: sad trombone sound ::

The loss drops Tampa to 2-3 and keeps them in the basement of the NFC South Division. Despite their loss, the Carolina Panthers remain in first place. New Orleans had a shoot-out against Detroit (52-38!) and is on a 3-game winning streak, so watch out, Panthers. Like the Bucs, Atlanta has also lost two in a row. Yeah, this division is as scrappy as ever.

Next up? The Bucs go home to host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday. With Winston at QB I’d think Tampa had a good shot at a win, but it’s possible Fitzpatrick could start in Winston’s stead. If he has a day like he did today, the Bucs could still be cooking with gas. Even so,  there are still some questions about the defense that need answering, and quick.

Here’s hoping they find those answers.

Bucs life, amirite?

Posted in bucs, football | 2 Comments

Your Moment of TrekZen*.

It was to be a battle for the ages.

6a8

Aim high, dude. Oh, and duck.

(* = inspired by the “Your Moment of Zen” segments from The Daily Show)

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In Discussion with…me!

Tony Healey is a busy guy.

He’s a writer, for one thing, but when he’s not hard at work penning his own novels and short stories, he takes time here and there to talk with other writers. It’s a new segment on his website called “In Discussion With….” and I have the honor of batting third in the lineup of interviews he’s assembling.

What do we talk about? Well, the interview was prompted by my recent Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Hearts and Minds, but his questions to me cover a fair bit of ground, including my origin story as well as working for licensed properties like Star Trek and 24, and how I juggle the so-called life of being a freelance writer for hire. We also talk about my collaborations with Kevin and my upcoming Star Trek: Discovery novel along with various other topics. Then Tony hits me with a surprising round of “rapid fire” questions designed to keep me on my toes. It was a fun interview, and now it’s available for you to check out:

TonyHealey.com – In Discussion With…Dayton Ward

daytonward-vegas01

Many thanks to Tony for the interview. Be sure to check out his own list of novels and short fiction over on his site!

 

Posted in fandom, friends, interviews, q&a, writing | Leave a comment

Cover description for Drastic Measures, my Star Trek: Discovery novel!

The things you find on the internet. 

StarTrek.com has revealed the back cover copy for Drastic Measures, my Star Trek: Discovery novel which will be published on February 6th, 2018.

It is 2246, ten years prior to the “Battle at the Binary Stars,” and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.

While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.

In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner”….

DRASTIC MEASURES


My book, of course, follows in the footsteps of friend David Mack‘s initial novel for this new series, Desperate Hours, which was published just a few weeks ago. Like that book, mine also was developed in close cooperation and coordination with members of the Discovery writing staff, which includes changes I made to the manuscript right up through the writing of the show’s final episode of its inaugural season. Due to that level of involvement, this novel is unlike any of my previous Star Trek outings.

Drastic Measures will be available in trade paperback, e-Book, and audiobook formats. Once pre-order links are made available, I’ll be sure to post that info.

dsc-lorca-georgiou

Posted in books, trek, writing | 2 Comments

Phaser Daser! Leaf’s 1967 Star Trek card set.

When I was a kid in the 1970s and early 80s, I collected all sorts of trading cards. Baseball and football cards, for sure, but also a ton of “non-sports” cards. Star Wars had major representation in my house, of course, due in no small part to the three…four…six bazillion sets Topps produced just for the first film, followed by multiple sets for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Then there were all manner of sets for a variety of films and TV shows. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Space: 1999, Planet of the Apes, Alien, The Six Million Dollar Man (actually a set of card-sized stickers) to name just a few, along with…naturally, Star Trek.

I don’t have much in the way of card sets, anymore. However, Topps in recent years has  seen fit to release special books revisiting some of the more popular non-sports sets. The 1976 Star Trek set along with Star Wars and Planet of the Apes, for example. These have proven to be an inexpensive means of revisiting these fondly remembered cards from yesteryear, as finding original sets can be challenging, and pricey.

One set I never expected to see in the flesh is the very first collection of Star Trek trading cards. Produced by Leaf in 1967, they were apparently distributed in limited quantities and were of course long gone from store shelves by the I time was wandering around with loose change in my pockets. I’d seen a few individual cards, sold by dealers at cons over the years, and suffered sticker shock when I saw how much a complete 72-card set might cost me.

Leaf-967-Star-Trek-Wrapper

Like so much other Star Trek merchandise from the 1960s and early 70s, this card set is fun and at least a little goofy. The card images are black and white, which by itself is rather retro and cool. Publicity photos — including a few which had to be taken before the show’s premiere — are mixed in with what look to be stills taken during filming of various episodes. Most if not all of the images are naturally from Star Trek‘s first season, including a good number from the pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

What kills me about this set are the captions on many of the cards. They only rarely have any connection to the image or the episode from which said image was taken, and a few have no link to any episode at all. For example:

I know, right?

Flash forward this year’s Star Trek convention in Las Vegas. I’m wandering the exhibitor hall and come across a dealer selling stacks of card sets. Sitting on the table was a set of the Leaf cards for a rock-bottom price. I was informed that this was a reprint set, and that was good enough for me, as I just had to have it.

I’ve since learned that Rittenhouse created a different reprint set back in 2006 for Star Trek‘s 40th anniversary, and even included a special subset of “new” cards to go with the originals. I may have to see about hunting those down.

If you’re a Trek or card collector and don’t have these, I’d recommend tracking down a set. They’re like a wacky little time capsule from a period when the original Star Trek was still in production, and therefore hold a charm forever lost to card sets that came years later.

In the meantime, call me “Big Joker.” I have no idea why.

 

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Bucs Blog! 2017 Season, Week 5.

I’d like to say a loss like this is a real kick in the teeth, but that one went wide left, too.

bucs-2014-logo Patriots 19 – Bucs 14

The hell, Tampa? You’re hosting in prime time before a national – nay, global – audience. You’re pitting our offense against a defense that’s ranked dead freakin’ last. Your defense is firing on all cylinders. This was really your game to lose.

Well…nice job.

I guess we should just get this out of the way: Yes, if Bucs kicker Nick Folk makes two of the three field goals he missed during this game, that covers the score gap and Tampa goes home the winner. Sure, making a 56-yard attempt is a tall order. We can give him that one because kickers miss from that distance all the time. The 49-yarder is a little iffy, but hey! We’re playing NFL football, here. And the kicked from 31-yards? Well, it seemed pretty clear that Folk was deep in his own head by the time he was asked to notch that one, late in the fourth quarter and with the Bucs needing two scores to have any chance of stealing the win out from under the Pats.

Wait. I already gave you the final score. Spoiler alert.

Despite Folk’s difficulties navigating the uprights, the Bucs somehow managed to keep things close. The defense handed Tom Brady his first interception of the season, and also recovered a fumble. Unfortunately, the Tampa offense was unable to capitalize on either of these opportunities, which included one of Nick Folk’s aforementioned critical missed field goals. Despite throwing for 330+ yards, Bucs QB Jameis Winston only managed a single TD pass. New England managed to stall and stymie Winston and his crew most of the night. Still, workhorse running back Doug Martin contributed another score and was Tampa’s leading rusher, collecting 74 hard-won yards on 13 carries.

For a brief moment, it looked like Winston might engineer his second last-minute come-from-behind victory in as many weeks, as he guided the Bucs offense to within striking distance of a go-ahead touchdown with just seconds remaining. It came down to the wire with Winston firing one last pass toward the end zone which never found tight end O.J. Howard. End of game.

Bummer.

Despite a valiant effort that more cynical folks might classify as “too little, too late,” the Bucs drop to 2-2 and the cellar of the NFC South Division. New Orleans and Atlanta won’t play this weekend, leaving only Carolina with a chance to improve to 4-1 and retain control of the division.

Next up? Tampa won’t play until a week from Sunday, when they travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, who are also nursing a 2-2 record going into this weekend’s game against Philadelphia. The Bucs have ten days to figure out what’s what, particularly with Nick Folk. Here’s hoping they get some things sorted.

Sigh. Bucs life.

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