So, this guy, Rob Caswell? He keeps infiltrating my house.
It started small, you know.
First, there was our initial discovery of the artist in his natural habitat, dwelling and creating and whatnot over on DeviantArt, and where we found some expressions of his love for Star Trek in the form of his “re-mastering” of the cover art that adorned the classic James Blish adaptations of original series episodes in the 1970s. I even babbled a bit about that, way back when.
Next, we discovered that among his many creations, there also existed other “imaginary” book covers for another set of episode adaptations, this time novelizing a Star Trek spin-off series Rob called The Seekers. For this exercise, he posited the idea of the episodes being adapted by science fiction author Frederic Brown, and created covers which were reminiscent of the Blish books while featuring an Archer-class scout, ala the U.S.S. Sagittarius which of course was introduced in the Star Trek Vanguard novels.
And that’s when things really started getting crazy.
Not long after Rob created these covers, fate saw to it that Dave Mack and I were wandering around a museum here in Kansas City, idly positing ideas about what the three of us – him, me, and Kevin Dilmore – might do as a writing collaboration now that we’d put Star Trek Vanguard to bed for good. Should we team up on something non-Trek? Maybe take a crack at creating something else within Gene Roddenberry’s sandbox? Whatever it was to be, we knew that it would be fun to repeat our back-n-forth shtick from Vanguard, if we could find the right project.
Then, one of us mentioned seeing Rob’s art, and the idea of creating a spin-off series of novels leading out from Vanguard, with Dave writing for the crew of the Sagittarius while Kevin and I took on the U.S.S. Endeavour and its crew, started taking shape. We decided it would be fun to have the ships alternate from book to book, and go with one title as an umbrella for both sets of adventures. What to call it? Well, Rob had already given us the perfect name: Star Trek: Seekers.
You know the rest of the story, right? By now, you may already have read the series’ first book, Second Nature, written by Dave, and you’re eagerly awaiting book #2, Point of Divergence. I mean, you are, right?
Star Trek: Seekers had its official premiere last weekend at the Shore Leave convention, including a special advance sale of Point of Divergence just for the con. Also there just for the show, was an all-new poster-print featuring new artwork created by Rob as an exclusive for the event. Yes, it’s pretty sweet.
Now, what’s the point of all of my incessant rambling? It’s that thanks to Rob, I’m starting to run out of wall space in my home office.
Way back before the covers were revealed to the world, Rob sent to Dave, Kevin, and me autographed prints of the artwork for both books. Nice, shiny 20″x16″ jobs, suitable for framing and the whole nine yards. As my home office is pretty much a sanctuary for all sorts of quirky, cherished mementos thanks to my service days, things I’ve picked up over the course of my so-called writing “career,” and my general weirdness, the print fit right in, and currently occupies a place on one wall. I don’t actually have much in the way of book covers on display, aside from a blowup of the cover for Open Secrets, my favorite of the pieces Doug Drexler provided to us for the Star Trek Vanguard novels, but I simply had to hang up this baby.
Now, I have to find a place for my copy of the print we had made for Shore Leave, and if that’s not enough? Rob still wasn’t through. In another thoughtful gesture, he gifted each of us with yet another print, one he’d created for the con and which he actually was entering in the convention’s art show. This new piece showcases the very art that, really, brought us all together in the first place. Behold, yo:
So, it looks like I’ll be moving stuff around on my walls. You know, again.
I think it’s more than appropriate and fair to say that if not for Rob, we likely wouldn’t be here, launching this new series of books. Dave will soon be starting to write the third book, and Kevin and I are getting set to begin plotting what will be #4.
And yeah, I already have a vague idea of what the cover will look like. I’ll probably want that one on the wall, too.
Rob Caswell at DeviantArt