Pre-order links for my Star Trek IncrediBuilds book/model sets!

Hey!

Remember last weekend when I finally was able to announce two of the mystery projects with which I’m currently involved? It was nice to come in from the darkness, albeit briefly, and talk about the pair of Star Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects I’ve been working on for Insight Editions. Both book/model sets are due for publication on Tuesday, June 12th, and now we have pre-order links…well, sorta.

incredibuilds-trek-covers

Because I know you want to buy copies for you and all of your friends:

Star Trek: The Original Series – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Star Trek: The Next Generation – U.S.S. Enterprise
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million

The TNG Enterprise set seems to be having some issues to sort out so far as its “availability.” Amazon is showing its pub date as May 2030, and B&N doesn’t even have it listed. Only Books-A-Million seems to have its act together. As things get sorted out, I’ll be sure to post updates, because I know you all want to get a jump on your holiday shopping.

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In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.

Lunch time is a dangerous time for Dayton. It’s during this period on may a day, as I eat my salad or sandwich, that I tend to contemplate mischief.

Yesterday was one such day.

Those of you into the whole meme thing know that they tend to come and go. Somewhere, somebody does something clever and/or funny and shares it to their circle of online friends, some of those friends share it with their friends and/or total strangers, and if the conditions are just right, said clever and/or funny thing suddenly finds itself going “viral.” Its ability to grab someone’s attention continues for a few days (or longer if it’s really nifty) before something else starts the vicious cycle all over again.

This past week, it was the “American Chopper” meme, which was actually created several years ago but is now enjoying renewed attention thanks to the recent announcement that the television show is returning to Discovery later this year.

Rather than explain the whole thing, here’s a handy link, which comes with several notable examples from this past week: Inverse.com: The 20 Best ‘American Chopper’ Memes.

So, that brings us to me, sitting there at lunch, eating my sandwich, and contemplating mischief. Fresh off our April Fool’s gag, I was looking for something new to goof around with, and because I like to cross my streams and mix my drinks when I ponder this kind of silly stuff, I immediately began contemplating how to apply the AC meme formula to a Star Trek joke.

It didn’t take long:

Continue reading “In which I over-explain my Star Trek/American Chopper meme.”

Happy First Contact Day, Trekkies!

April 5th, 2063: We’re only 45 years from this most excellent of events, yo.

While we wait, we continue to look to the future with hope and excitement. After all, we know that this monumental meeting between humanity and intelligent beings from a world beyond our own will usher in a new era of peace, optimism, prosperity and collaborative spirit as the people of Earth take their first tentative steps into a larger universe.

first-contact

So, grab yourself the first Vulcan (or other non-terrestrial biological entity) you meet, wriggle to the left, wriggle to the right, and do the Ooby Dooby with all of your might. Let’s get this party started, all while living long and prospering in forthright, logical fashion, of course.

Talking Star Trek Adventures with the Continuing Mission STA blog!

People, people, people.

When are you going to learn?

Despite all my attempts to dissuade danger seekers, people insist on wanting to interview me. I do everything I can to make them reconsider the wisdom of granting me airtime or space in their publications. I routinely ignore such requests as, “You need to take this seriously,” “I wish you wouldn’t drink while we’re recording,” or “No, you really, really have to wear pants for this and holy shit but what’s with the purple underwear,” but do they listen?

NooooOOOOoooo.

So, here we are. Again.

This time, the poor soul who stepped into the breach is one Michael Dismuke, he of Continuing Mission, a blog devoted to the Star Trek Adventures role-playing game produced by Modiphius. Those of you who follow this space know that I was involved in some work for the game back during its development and early rollout of its “living campaign” setup.

The game is firing on all thrusters now, with the living campaign in full swing and the core rulebook and other supplements being released at a fairly regular pace. So far as I can tell, response to STA has been overwhelmingly positive, and I know lots of good things are still waiting in the wings as the development team continues to march merrily along.

Michael tossed me a handful of questions about my involvement with the game and how I approached writing for this new platform and audience. As I’ve said before, it was a bit of a learning experience, but also a lot of fun, thanks in large part to friend and fellow writer Scott Pearson, with whom I worked on the living campaign, and other friend and also fellow scribe Jim Johnson, who invited me aboard in the first place. Both of these gents, along with a whole bunch of other cool people, are continuing to create new material for the game, and I’m as interested as anyone in seeing where things go next.

Meanwhile, you can read my interview with Michael here:

Continuing Mission:
New York Times Bestselling Author Dayton Ward Talks STA!

Many thanks to Michael for reaching out. If you’re an STA player, be sure to check back with Continuing Mission, as he has interviewed Jim as well as other game contributors.

March writing wrap-up.

mad-writer

2018: 25% in the books. Already.

I mean…..the hell?

At least March brought with it my ability to announce some of what I’ve been working on, with a couple of projects being revealed just as the month rang out. Let this be fair warning: you leave me without much or even anything to talk about, and I’m just going to start making up things. Know what I’m sayin’?

As has been the case since late November, my daytime hours are devoted to writing for my regular day job, leaving me with evenings and weekends – and not even all of those – for my other writing. That said, we did have a few things move around during March. Let’s have a look:

Continue reading “March writing wrap-up.”

My latest Star Trek project!*

I know that I’ve been vague and evasive these past several months with respect to the different projects I’ve got going. Most of that is due to the wishes of my various employers and their desires to roll out “official” announcements at what they feel is the right time. Then there’s my own weirdness about making sure everything’s nailed down, dialed in, and whatever else before going public with news. Sometimes it’s because I’m fussy about every last detail and want to make sure there are no typos or other goofs in artwork or other aspects of a particular project.

As often as not, it’s because the timing has to be “just right.”

Example? Today’s announcement. Come along as I unveil the all-new Star Trek tale Kevin and I have been brewing! Behold, yo:

Continue reading “My latest Star Trek project!*”

Come build some Star Trek with me!

After several months hinting, vaguebooking, and yammering about “unannounced projects” I’ve been working on, I’m finally able to talk about a couple of them.

I’ve been having some fun with new projects for Insight Editions, the publisher of my Vulcan and Klingon Empire travel guides. Last year, I was asked about my interest in writing a couple of new offerings for Insight’s IncrediBuilds imprint.

IncrediBuilds-logo

From their own website: “The IncrediBuilds collection features do-it-yourself, customizable, freestanding models that are sure to delight fans of all ages. Each model is made of Earth-friendly, FSC®-certified wood, and all products include step-by-step directions and coloring and crafting ideas. No glue or tools necessary. Informative and interactive, both kids and adults can use these projects to explore their creativity and create unique, displayable art.”

IncrediBuilds projects cover subjects from a variety of categories, including famous buildings from around the world, animals, and several licensed properties including Disney, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.

Anybody want to guess where this is going?

dayton-enterprise-model

That’s right, kids! IncrediBuilds is venturing into the Final Frontier, and the first projects out of the gate are the original U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701 and its Galaxy-class counterpart from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Check out StarTrek.com’s preview of these new kits by clicking on this linky-type thing right here:

 StarTrek.com: Craft Your Own Enterprises

IB_MillFalcon_Env_final_withstars.inddSeveral of the IncrediBuilds kits are offered in what are called “Deluxe Editions,” in which the model comes with a special 32-page book that offers all sorts of juicy details about the item being…you know…built. For example, the book accompanying the Millennium Falcon build offers some history of the ship, “tech specs” and a tour of its features, its owners, “famous flights, and so on. There’s also a bit of “behind the scenes” info about its creation for the Star Wars films, including an interview with one of the people responsible for designing and building the original model.

For both Enterprise editions, I took a similar approach with the books I was asked to write, so you’ll get a brief rundown of the ships and their place in Starfleet history, as well as a look at each filming model’s design and creation for their respective television series. Lots of pictures are jammed into both books, as well.

Hey. Wanna sneak peek?

IncrediBuilds-TOS

The original and still the best, U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
(click to biggie size)

IncrediBuilds-TNG

Aaaaaaand an Enterprise for the Next Generation (see what I did, there?).

Both “Deluxe” book/model sets are currently slated for release on Tuesday, June 12th, each with a retail price of $16.99.

I had a ton of fun with these, and I can’t wait to see the models they’re making to go with them. Writing anything Star Trek with a younger audience in mind is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. This will hopefully be the first of several such Trek-themed IncrediBuilds projects, and we’ve already had a brief discussion about possible follow-ups for these two. Meanwhile, I’m currently working on two additional, non-Trek IB books.

More on those later, so if you’ll excuse me…I need to get my butt back to work.

“Assignment: Earth” at 50.

Though we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series premiere back in September 2016, it’s been fun to recognize various favorite episodes as they each reach their own respective golden milestone. Landmark installments like “Arena,” “The City on the Edge of Forever,” and “The Doomsday Machine” have all gotten a bit of love as they turned 50, but it’s also fun to recognize those episodes which might not often show up on various “Best of” lists while still being personal favorites.

For me, “Assignment: Earth” is one such episode.

Continue reading ““Assignment: Earth” at 50.”

It’s William Shatner’s birthday, everybody!

Today we’re celebrating the 87th birthday of the Man himself. Captain Kirk, T.J. Hooker, Rescue 911 Guy, Denny Crane, Priceline Negotiator, and CAPTAIN JAMES TIBERIUS BY GOD KIRK.

:: ahem. ::

The one and only William Shatner: 87 years old, and still running circles around people half his age. I’ll have what he’s having.

insp_captkirk

Happy Birthday, sir. May you enjoy many more.

The Write Music.

starwars_lpI’m fairly certain that anybody who’s followed my antics for any length of time knows that I have a thing for film and television music. The very first album I remember buying with my own money was in 1977, and it was the original 2-record edition of John Williams’ score for Star Wars.

A few more would follow in that album’s footsteps: Superman: The Movie, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien, The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and so on. As I grew older and had more money to spend, my selection of titles expanded, and to this day such music accounts for a sizable percentage of my rather eclectic collection.

Later, when I started writing, and particularly with my writing an awful lot of Star Trek fiction (you may have heard me mention that, once or twice), I discovered that I really liked having film and TV music playing in the background as I worked. Then I started playing particular scores (or portions thereof) to help get me in the groove for writing certain stories or scenes. For writing Star Trek? Music from one of the television series or films is always in the rotation, but I also try to mix it up.

Lots of action? Star Wars, Star Trek, Black Hawk Down, Superman, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so on just to name a few.

Quieter, moodier, and/or more contemplative scenes? The American President, The Shawshank Redemption, Jurassic Park, Alien, Outland, and so on.

(Oh, and don’t forget that individual pieces from any of these and so many others can work for end of the spectrum I’m describing, and everything in between.)

When I started buying these things, the formats of the era – LP vinyl albums, cassette tapes, and even :: gasp :: 8-track tapes – limited the amount of music which could be included on these commercial albums and still make them profitable for their publishers. Even when CDs began showing up, the average running time of these albums didn’t seem to increase to any real degree. It was a common thing to buy the album for a newly released movie, and discover that it doesn’t include one or two of what you realize are your favorite cues from the film itself.

STTMP-SoundtrackCoverThen, somebody somewhere got the amazing idea that selling expanded or complete scores for films which may only have received a truncated music release was something worth doing. Whoever that person is, they are a national treasure. They should be canonized, and their face carved into Mount Rushmore. Because of this admittedly niche market, I’ve been able to acquire complete scores for each of the Star Wars films, the entire original Star Trek series, Alien and Aliens, Outland, Rambo, Predator, and…of course…each of the Star Trek films, including an effort over 30 years in the making: Jerry Goldsmith’s wondrous complete score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Scores from the past few years that I’ve enjoyed adding to my stack include Interstellar, The Martian, John Wick, Captain America: The First Avenger, Mad Max: Fury Road, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Shape of Water, and the three most recent Star Trek films just to name several examples off the top of my head.

(Yes, I’m sure I didn’t list one that you think I should have included. Just pretend it’s there. I’ve got too many of these things to make a comprehensive list. 😀 )

Film and TV music helps me set the mood for writing, but I also just enjoy listening to this type of music just because. Hearing the composer’s work without it being drowned out or pushed aside by dialogue, sound effects, and other noise is an experience all its own. There are times you realize you’re truly hearing some of this music for the first time, and you realize that – as often as not – a mediocre film might possess a truly first-rate, all but unappreciated score.

Anybody got some favorites they want to share?