The cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu!

I was holding off on this until they pimped it at the big Star Trek convention that’s still going full-tilt boogie out in Vegas. But, there was an apparent technical glitch during the publishing panel which saw to it this wasn’t one of the titles highlighted. Add in the fact it’s been up on the Simon & Schuster website, Amazon.com, and other bookseller sites as well as various Trek fan news sites for the past several days, I figure I should join the party.

Oh, the hell with it. Enough ado. Behold the cover for Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual, coming March 3, 2020, from Insight Editions!

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-cover


As captain of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise, James T. Kirk engaged in his share of fisticuffs, besting opponents with a slick combination of moves and guile that remains unmatched. Is there anyone you’d rather have watching your back as you take on Klingons, alien gladiators, genetically engineered supermen, and even the occasional giant walking reptile?

Kirk Fu is a series of unarmed combat techniques developed by one of Starfleet’s most celebrated starship captains over several years of encounters with alien species on any number of strange new worlds. A blend of various fighting styles, Kirk Fu incorporates elements of several Earth-based martial arts forms as well as cruder methods employed in bars and back alleys on planets throughout the galaxy. It is as unorthodox in practice as it is unbelievable to behold. Including excerpts from Kirk’s own notes and personal logs, the Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual is the perfect training guide for surviving the depths of space. With proper training and practice, every Starfleet cadet can become one with Kirk Fu.


For those who’ve been with me here in this space for a while, you know Insight Editions is the publisher behind the two Star Trek travel guides I wrote as well as — through their IncrediBuilds imprint — the Star Trek and Toy Story book/model kits to which I contributed…you know…the book part of those projects.

With text by me and illustrations by artist Christian Cornia, Kirk Fu is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for years. This little 64-page slice of awesome also holds the honor of being my first ever hardcover Star Trek publication.

Because that’s just so damned perfect, isn’t it?

KirkFu-concept2

I know I’m hopelessly biased, I am honestly giddy with anticipation for the release of this thing. I’ve seen the finished book’s layout and it turned out even better than I’d hoped when I pitched the thing. The combination of Christian so hilariously illustrating the absurdity of some of these moves when combined with the text I wrote is exactly the tone I was going for. He had me laughing pretty much all the way through. I can’t wait for the green light so I can start teasing some of the finished pages.

Stay tuned for more info about Star Trek: Kirk Fu as I’m able to share.

KirkFu

(WARNING: Don’t actually try any of this shit.
I mean, for real. You’re just gonna get your ass kicked.)

IncrediBuilds: Buzz Lightyear

IB_Buzz_Book_Env_111318.inddToy Story

Build and color your own 3D Buzz Lightyear!

From space ranger to toy ranger, Buzz joins sheriff pal Woody as one of Andy’s best toy friends. Now fans can recreate Toy Story for themselves by building their own 3D wood model of the Star Command captain. In addition to a do-it-yourself, freestanding wood model, each set features a fun and informative hardcover book of facts, character images, and craft ideas that will help you reach to infinity, and beyond!

TS-IB-Buzz-RegularIncludes:

–Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
–Step-by-step instructions
–Coloring and crafting ideas
–A Buzz Lightyear guidebook

Order the Deluxe hardcover edition!
Order the Regular edition (softcover)


This project, along with Buzz’s partner, Sheriff Woody, was another adventure with the IncrediBuilds team over at Insight Editions. For me, these were follow-ups to last year’s Star Trek original series U.S.S. Enterprise and its successor from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The book I wrote to accompany the model helps you revisit the events of the first three Toy Story movies from Buzz’s point of view, and even offers a few tantalizing bits about what you’ll see when Toy Story 4 makes its way to theaters in June.

And hey! The model that the book accompanies is pretty cool, you know.

Both the Buzz and Woody models are aimed at the 8+ age bracket. They’re really easy to put together and you can custom paint and/or decorate them any way you like. Cool, right?

IncrediBuilds: Sheriff Woody

TS-IB-Woody-DeluxeToy Story

Build and color your own 3D Woody model!

Brave, loyal, and kind to everyone, Woody is one of Andy’s favorite toys. He fearlessly leads the toys through many adventures and fun-filled hijinks—along with his best friend Buzz Lightyear, of course! Now fans can re-create their favorite Woody moments from the Toy Story films by building their own 3D wood model of the beloved character. In addition to a do-it-yourself, freestanding wood model, each set comes with a fun and TS-IB-Woody-Regularinformative booklet of character images and facts—including an early look at Toy Story 4as well as craft ideas to help bring your vision to life!

Includes:

–Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
–Step-by-step instructions
–Coloring and crafting ideas
–A Woody guidebook

Order the Deluxe hardcover edition!
Order the Regular edition (softcover)


This project, along with its Buzz Lightyear companion, was a return to the IncrediBuilds side of the Insight Editions house after last year’s Star Trek original series U.S.S. Enterprise and its successor from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The book I wrote to accompany the model helps you revisit the events of the first three Toy Story movies from Woody’s point of view, and even offers a few tantalizing bits about what you’ll see when Toy Story 4 hits movie screens in June.

And hey! The model that the book accompanies is pretty cool, you know.

Both the Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear models are aimed at the 8+ age bracket. They’re really easy to put together and you can custom paint and/or decorate them any way you like. Cool, right?

More IncrediBuilds action from me and Insight Editions. This time? Toy Story!

To IncrediBuilds…and beyond!

Some of you likely know that last year, Insight Editions released the first two Star Trek entries in their ever-expanding series of IncrediBuilds book-and-model sets. I had the very fun job of writing companion books for their models of the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original Star Trek series as well as its Star Trek: The Next Generation counterpart.

What, exactly, are IncrediBuilds? Well, according to 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, DC Comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, video game franchises, and so on.

Among the various things I worked on last year were the books to go with two more IncrediBuilds models. This time I visited the world of Toy Story, and just in time for the fourth film in that series which will hit theater screens in June. Even though I pretty much finished my part of the process last summer or so, it’s only now, with the new film bearing down on us, that new merchandise is being announced. Being Disney, you know that means all kinds of cool new stuff including these new kits, and Insight Editions decided that there were no better ambassadors than Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear! The IncrediBuilds site lists a “Regular” and “Deluxe” edition for each kit, with the main difference being the book I wrote, which is offered in softcover and hardcover editions, respectively.

(Click on each image to get the product info from the IncrediBuilds site.)

Intended for kids 8 years old and up (including grown-ups who remain kids at heart), the wood models are easily assembled, and the book I wrote for each character and containing their “back story” also features pages devoted to instructions along with a painting and crafting guide.

As things currently stand, all four kits will be in stores beginning Tuesday, May 6th, giving you plenty of time to build them, paint them, stick them on your dashboard or hang them from your rearview mirror before Toy Story 4 opens on June 21st.

As with the Star Trek IncrediBuilds projects, these were a lot of fun to do. Will I do more? Well, I’m always hopeful….so be sure to buy a dozen or more of each kit, and then tell all your friends to do the same.

“Reach for the sky!”

Klingon Travel Guide wins PubWest Gold Medal!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Look, by any reasonable measure, I’ve had a pretty good week. The highlights included Michi’s birthday and both kids doing awesome at the second meet of this year’s neighborhood swim league. On the work front, I have two new releases on store shelves, I was able to announce a new writing project, and just yesterday I was offered yet another one. What more do I need to make the week end on a high note?

BAM.

PubWest 2018 Book Design Awards!

What are we talking about? According to their website, “PubWest is a vibrant, dynamic trade association of small- and medium-sized book publishers, printers, editors, proofreaders, graphic designers, binderies, and related editorial and service companies. Established in 1977 as the Rocky Mountain Book Publishers Association, PubWest is now dedicated to helping member book publishers succeed and has grown to include members in 31 states and 4 countries.”

As for their annual awards, which have been a thing for over 40 years, they “recognize industry innovators, those who have influenced publishing in the West, exemplary book design and production, and extraordinary service to PubWest and its membership.”

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Unbeknownst to me, the good folks at Insight Editions submitted Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire for this year’s award consideration. Specifically, it was submitted for the award program’s  “Guide and Travel Book” category.

I’m not even kidding.

And wouldn’t you know the book took the Gold Medal in this category? How insanely cool is that?

Now, what this means is that the artistic and design talents of everyone involved in the book – Elaine Quo, Alix Nicholaeff, Chrissy Kwasnik, Ashley Quackenbush, Livio Ramondelli, Peter Markowski, and my editor, Chris Prince – are all as kick-ass awesome as this very slick tome they helped create. This award recognizes their efforts in turning my pages of pithy descriptions and other blah blah blah text into an amazing book.

Take a bow, everyone. Each and every one of you deserves it, along with who knows how many people working behind the scenes that I’ve never had the chance to meet or thank for their hard work.

IncrediBuilds: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D

IB_ST_TNG_Kit_Pkg_022118.inddStar Trek: The Next Generation

Get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before with this exciting Star Trek: The Next Generation wood model set. The 32-page softcover book is packed with information on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, from its basic capabilities to its pivotal role in the Star Trek universe. Complete with stunning imagery and behind‑the‑scenes content, this book and model set is a must-have for any Star Trek fan. The wood model is easy to assemble and snaps together to form a dynamic, displayable 3D version of the Enterprise that fans will love.

Includes:
– Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
– Step-by-step instructions
– Coloring and crafting ideas
– A U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D book

Skill Level: Advanced

Order directly from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds website!


This project, along with its original Star Trek series counterpart, was something of a departure for me, writing-wise. The book accompanying this nifty little model presents a bit of an overview of the Galaxy-class starships, with obvious emphasis on the Enterprise and its noteworthy adventures as chronicled on Star Trek: The Next Generation. That portion of the book is presented “inside the box,” as though the missions of the Enterprise really happened.

For the rest of the book, I took a step back and offer a brief history of the Enterprise‘s design for the series by Andrew Probert, the building and use of different filming miniatures, and even how they filmed the crash sequence that marks the end of the Enterprise-D’s service in Star Trek Generations.

And hey! The model that the book accompanies is pretty cool, you know.

Given that the IncrediBuilds kits are aimed at the 10+ age bracket, this along with the original series Enterprise was a fun way for me to bring a bit of Star Trek to a younger audience. If these first two kits do well, there may be others. I guess we’ll see!

IncrediBuilds: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701

Incredibuilds-1701-coverStar Trek

Get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before with this exciting Star Trek wood model set. The deluxe 32-page book is packed with information on the U.S.S. Enterprise, from its basic capabilities to its pivotal role in the Star Trek universe. Complete with stunning imagery and behind-the-scenes content, this book and model set is a must have for any Star Trek fan. The wood model is easy to assemble and snaps together to form a dynamic, displayable 3D version of the Enterprise that fans will love.

Includes:
– Laser-cut, FSC®-certified wood sheet with easy-to-assemble pieces
– Step-by-step instructions
– Coloring and crafting ideas
– A U.S.S. Enterprise book

Skill Level: Advanced

Order it directly from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds website!


This project, along with its Star Trek: The Next Generation counterpart, was something of a departure for me, writing-wise. The book accompanying this nifty little model presents a bit of an overview of the Constitution-class starships, with obvious emphasis on the Enterprise and its noteworthy adventures as chronicled on the original Star Trek series. That portion of the book is presented “inside the box,” as though the missions of the Enterprise really happened.

(Wait. They’re not?)

For the rest of the book, I took a step back and offer a brief history of the Enterprise‘s design for the series by Matt Jefferies, the building and use of the 11-foot filming model, and even its display (and recent restoration) at the National Air and Space Museum.

And hey! The model is pretty cool, you know.

Given that the IncrediBuilds kits are aimed at the 10+ age bracket, this was a fun way for me to bring a bit of Star Trek to a younger audience. If these first two kits do well, there may be others. I guess we’ll see!

More presents from the Book Fairy!

What’s this? New books with that new book smell? Awwwwwwwwwww, yeah.

The good folks at Insight Editions sent me a present yesterday, in the form of author copies of my two latest publications: a pair of IncrediBuilds wood model kits, each with their own book as scribbled by me! Check it out, y’all:

(Click to biggie size.)

Aimed at a younger audience, the models are designed for easy assembly and require no glue, tape, or anything else. Everything fits together all nice and snug. I’ve not yet built either of these, but my kids and I have experimented with a couple of the Star Wars IncrediBuilds offerings. These things are kinda fun. 🙂

I was first able to talk about these back at the end of March, when Insight and StarTrek.com made the official announcement. Each book is 32 pages, stuffed to overflowing with various facts, stats, and little anecdotes about the ships as portrayed on TV and film, along with a few behind the scenes nuggets.

Both model/book sets are due in stores on or about on Tuesday, June 12th. I’m pretty happy with how these came out, and we’ve had conversations about potential future entries in this series. Stay tuned for more info as details develop!

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.

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.