IncrediBuilds: Klingon Bird-of-Prey

IncrediBuilds-BoPStar Trek

Get ready to boldly go where no one has gone before with this exciting Klingon wood model set. The 32-page softcover book is packed with information on the Bird-of-Prey warship, 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 Trek fan. The wood model is easy to assemble and forms a dynamic, displayable 3D version of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey 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 Klingon Bird-of-Prey book

Skill Level: Intermediate

Order it directly from Insight Editions’ IncrediBuilds website!


Like the previous Star Trek and Toy Story IncrediBuilds projects I’ve worked on for Insight Editions, this is a departure from the sort of things I usually write, but still a lot of fun. The book I write to go with each model is aimed at the younger audience (10+ in this instance). Most of the material is offered from “inside the box” as though providing something of an historical record about the ship, while the last few pages talk about how the BoP was created for its use in the Star Trek films as well as how the design as evolved over the course of the subsequent television series up to and including Star Trek: Discovery.

As for the model? For my money, this may be my favorite one so far. They really did a nice job translating the ship’s design into the IncrediBuilds mold, and the instructions include options for painting and customizing yours once you build it. No tape or glue required!

There’s been some talk about doing additional Star Trek IncrediBuilds projects. Assuming I’m involved with any of those, I’ll be sure to share all the juicy details as I’m able.

Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-coverAs 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 exploring deep space. 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, 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.

Continue reading “Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual”

Kirk Fu reviews for YOU!

Look,

I think we all can agree creating a book based around the inimitable fighting style of Star Trek‘s very own Captain James T. Kirk is a bit on the silly side. But, here’s the thing: If anybody was going to do such a book, I wanted it to be me.

I mean, come on. You’ve seen me goofing off here and on social media, making or sharing all manner of Star Trek jokes, pics, cartoons, and whatnot. Remember the American Chopper meme? Coming up with Trek-themed April Fool’s gags like fake book projects or breaking up with Kevin? The idea that the voyages of the Starship Enterprise may have been faked?

And of course, there was Spock of Ages.

SpockOfAges-Poster

Such shenanigans are one of the main reasons I even bother with social media at all.

So, yeah. I’m the perfect clown to do something like a book about Kirk Fu. What I didn’t count on was the number of people who actually thought this was a good idea, let alone wanted to see it become a reality.

And yet, here we are.

star-trek-kirk-fu-manual-cover

It’s been a long road – as they say – getting from there to here. “There” being when I first pitched the idea to Chris Prince, my editor at Insight Editions, as I was finishing up work on the Vulcan Travel Guide. His initial enthusiasm for the idea was undeterred by the obstacles presented by a fickle publishing world, and he kept bringing it up at meetings and wherever else it was appropriate to broach such subjects.

By the time I was given a green light to actually write the book, editor Paul Ruditis was overseeing my efforts. Fate and circumstances saw to it Paul had to move on to other projects while I was still finishing up the manuscript, but he made sure I was left in good hands with the very awesome Holly Fisher, with whom I’d previously worked for the first two Star Trek IncrediBuilds projects. Holly was all about Kirk Fu from the jump, and she did an amazing job corralling not just me but also artist Christian Cornia while punching this thing into the end zone.

What I didn’t anticipate was how much attention the book would get.

To but this in perspective, my books don’t typically attract much in the way of mainstream interest. Yes, Star Trek and other genre news sites, fan sites, and reviewers report on them along with everything else going on in the Trek publishing sphere, and of course the hardcore Star Trek readers who follow what we do – day in and day out, month in and month out – are a treasure. But beyond that? It’s pretty rare for my work to be noticed “out there in the real world.”

That changed a bit with the aforementioned Vulcan Travel Guide, which gathered a bit of attention from higher profile outlets like Nerdist.com and even Entertainment Weekly. I don’t mind saying that last one was a pretty big deal for me. That my editors and the marketing group at Insight felt strongly enough to push the book in that direction told me they had real confidence the thing could sell. They keep calling me to write for them, so I guess I’m doing something right.

Which brings us to my latest Insight offering: Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual.

You’ve been reading about this thing for the last couple of years as we slowly – s-l-o-w-l-y – move ever closer toward publication and now that we’re in the home stretch the marketing team has been going all out. In addition to sending review copies to literally hundreds of outlets well over the book’s on-sale date, they’ve even created what I’m told is the first of two different book trailers. Wanna see? BAM:

See? You’re ready to stretch and warm up and get on with fighting aliens Jimmy T style, aren’t you?

Another surprise this time around is that Insight has given the go-ahead to the various outlets to publish their reviews well ahead of the book’s release date. I’ve already done a handful of interviews, the first reviews started popping up weeks ago, and we’re still two weeks away from publication. As with the travel guides, I can only guess this means my publisher is jazzed about this book and is happy to get the word out well ahead of time so folks can pre-order their copies. In an ideal world, everybody will soon be Kirk Fu fighting, with me and Christian as your guides.

Here’s a rundown of some of the reviews I’ve seen, including some by fans that are just really cool:

TrekMovie– January 31st
Captain Foley/Trekyards – January 31st (YouTube video)
Starburst Magazine – February 4th
TrekToday – February 4th
Trek Central – February 5th
Syfy Wire – February 6th
Borg.com – February 6th
Treksphere – February 12th
The Future of the Force – February 14th
Irish Trekkie – February 14th (YouTube video)
Trek on the Tube – February 14th (YouTube video…and beware the Canon Cop!)
Daily Star Trek News – February 17th (podcast)

These are just the ones I know about.

People are picking up what I’m throwing down, and I’m so totally here for it. I mean, it’s been almost a month since the first reviews started popping up, and here we are flying headlong toward Publication Day and I cannot wait to see this thing in stores. With all of that said, I’m still sorta gobsmacked this book has gotten the traction it seems to be enjoying, and to think: this is my first hardcover publication.

My high school English teacher and guidance counselor so owe me monster apologies.

You’ve pre-ordered your copy, right?

KirkFu

More Star Trek IncrediBuilds action. This time: the Klingons!

Regular followers of this space know I’ve been writing various things and bits for Insight Editions for the past few years. It started with the Vulcan and Klingon Travel Guides before I was asked about writing for another of their imprints, IncrediBuilds. My mission: write “guidebooks” to go with special, eco-friendly wood model kits they were creating for the 10+ age bracket. I started with books for the original U.S.S. Enterprise and its counterpart from Star Trek: The Next Generation. These were followed with a deviation to another licensed property, Toy Story, for which I wrote the books to go with models of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear. Both of these were fun because I got to go for an audience that was slightly younger even than that for which the Star Trek kits were intended.

Oh, and it’s possible you may have heard about my coming Kirk Fu book.

Another project I did for Insight/IncrediBuilds last year and which is getting set for release is a return to the Star Trek realm, and this time we’re doing the Klingon Bird- of-Prey!

IncrediBuilds-BoP(Click to Biggie Size)

As with all IncrediBuilds kits, this little guy is designed to be assembled without the need for glue or tape or anything else holding it together. Even though it’s meant for slightly smaller hands, the model has a few itsty-bitsy parts, and the guidebook also includes tips on painting and customizing the model. Once you put it all together and maybe slap some paint on it? For my money this may be the best of their three Star Trek offerings to date.

KlingonBOP-IncrediBuild Model(Click this pic and you’ll get a nifty pre-order link!)

As for the book I wrote, I cover a general history and lineage of this ship class, notable Klingons who’ve commanded such vessels, and battles and other encounters which have involved Birds-of-Prey. There’s even a section about the “H.M.S. Bounty,” the ship captured by Admiral Kirk and his crew in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and used so extensively in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Finally, I step out of the box a bit for an overview of the ship’s design for the films and how it was used in later movies and TV series episodes, as well as how it inspired designs seen in the prequel series Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery.

As with my previous IncrediBuilds collaborations, I had a lot of fun writing this one, thanks in no small part to my editor at Insight, Holly Fisher, with whom I’ve worked on all of these to date and who’s been awesome from the jump. It’s always fun to delve into a bit of Star Trek lore and present it in a way younger readers might enjoy. There are already plans afoot for more of these book/model kits, and I’m obviusly hoping Insight will see fit to bring me back for more IncrediBuilds action.

In the meantime, the Star Trek: Klingon Bird-Of-Prey IncrediBuilds kit will be released on or about March 23, and you can pre-order your very own copy (or six) by clicking on this little linky-type thing right here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here putting one of these together. For the children, you understand.

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!