Star Trek Magazine #39!

Spring may not be here just yet, but I know it can’t be too far away. Why? Because the latest issue of the official Star Trek magazine has arrived, and it’s the “Spring 2012” issue! Since I got my copy in the mail, you can expect to see it in stores within the next week or so. I can sense your breathless anticipation coursing through the interwebs to me.

“Spies and Secret Missions” is the theme du jour this time around. What’s that? You say you want the rundown on what all fills this new issue to the bursting point with all sorts of Trekkie goodness? Well, all righty then. Here we go:

First, there’s the usual assortment of news pertaining to the production of the latest Star Trek film, as well as info on new products including a rundown of all the new Star Trek novels coming in 2012 from Pocket Books. There’s a fun update on the rediscovery of the long-lost and believed gone-forever shuttlecraft Galileo full-size prop from the original series.

A tribute to Charles Napier, popular character actor with a resume spanning more than forty years, who passed away back in October. Napier had guest turns in the original series episode “The Way to Eden” as well as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s “Little Green Men.”

Calum Waddell has a new interview with Garak himself, Andrew Robinson.

I contribute a feature titled “Spy Trek,” which takes a look at all sorts of clandestine missions and secret agent shenanigans as carried out by various Trek characters across the various series. Carrying on with the issue’s theme, Brian J. Robb takes a detailed look at Section 31 in “The Spying Game.”

The “Star Trek 45s” series concludes in this issue, with looks back at the Voyager episode “Dragon’s Teeth,” and the Enterprise episodes “Fight of Flight,” “The Breach,” and “Divergence.”

An interesting article contributed by Mark Phillips examines what various newspapers and magazines were saying about the original Star Trek series back in the day.

Dr. Chris Dows returns with his regular “Treknology” column, and Larry Nemecek is back with his usual helping of “A Fistful of Data,” showcasing anecdotes and rare photos from Trek‘s long production history.

Another set of articles takes a look at the final episodes of each of the Star Trek series. I supply a quick-hit retrospective of the last original series episode, and the other series are ably covered by Kirsten Beyer, Keith R.A DeCandido, Kevin Dilmore, David Mack, Marco Palmieri, Scott Pearson, and Bernie Watson.

The world of Trek fiction gets its usual love, in the form of an exclusive excerpt from the latest novel, The Rings of Time by Greg Cox. There also are reviews of recent novels and comics from IDW.

And there you go.

This issue is the last to be edited by Paul Simpson. Paul first approached me and Kevin to write for the magazine back in 2006, and since then–working together or solo–we’ve contributed nearly forty articles covering a wide range of topics. Two in particular–the Captain Proton retrospective and episode guide, and our “updates” to the fan-favorite Spaceflight Chronology reference book–rank among some of the most fun things I’ve ever written. Paul has always been open to ideas, honest and deliberate with editorial direction, and respectful of the writers in his charge. It was a pleasure to work with him on Star Trek, and I hope we can work together again sometime soon.

But, for now? Head on out and get yourself a copy or two of this new issue, whydontcha?


Star Trek Magazine #38!

Today’s mail delivery brought with it my contributor’s copies for this latest issue of Star Trek Magazine. Yet another helping of nerdity as I do GeekDad things with the girls (in and around catching snippets of the Firefly marathon on the Science Channel).

My contributions to this issue are actually pretty minor, in the form of providing the first draft of the script for the seventh and final installment of extended storyline featured in “The Trek Life,” the comic drawn by artist David Reddick and included in each issue of the magazine for the past several years. Editor Paul Simpson and I then tweaked the script before sending it on to Dave so that he can do the voodoo he does so well. Working on the story was a lot of fun, I must say.

So, what else is in the magazine this time around? Let’s have a look, shall we?

  • Paul Simpson interviews Captain Jonathan Archer himself, Scott Bakula.
  • The “Star Trek 45s” coverage continues, with Lance Parkin revisiting the Voyager episode “Coda,” Christopher L. Bennett’s look at “Concerning Flight,” and Allyn Gibson taking a peek at “Timeless.”
  • A look at the mean, misguided, or just plain crazy captains, admirals, and other Starfleet leaders by Brian J. Robb
  • David R. George takes a long, hard look at the “Miracle Worker,” Montgomery Scott, and whether he deserves that title.
  • Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its theatrical release, Howard Weinstein takes a look back at Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
  • David A. McIntee ponders Star Trek‘s portrayal of the law, legal proceedings, and other lawyerly mischief.
  • An excerpt from Michael A. Martin’s second novel taking place during the Romulan War: Star Trek: Enterprise – To Brave the Storm.

In addition to all of that, there’s the usual assortment of news tidbits, fan spotlights, the newest installment of Larry Nemecek’s “Lost and Found” and “A Fistful of Data, Dr. Chris Dows’ “Treknology” column, along with product news and reviews.
That should tide you over during the coming holidays, right?

Star Trek Magazine #36!

Well, I can’t be in Las Vegas this weekend for the big Star Trek convention, so I hope all of my friends who are attending the show keep me in mind as they pass the freebie tables and when taking pictures of awesome actors, props, models, costumes, and the gang as they hang out and have an awesome time.

(Too pathetic? Yeah, could be.)

Anyway, I at least have the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine to keep me company.

(I almost typed that with a straight face.)

The new issue hit my mailbox yesterday, which means you can start looking for it in stores within the next week or so. I know, I know…can’t hardly wait, can ya?

Following on the heels of the pretty dang popular issue #35 (the “Starships and Space Stations Special!”), #36 kicks celebrating Star Trek‘s impending 45th anniversary into high gear with “The Ultimate Guide.” As the moniker suggests, the magazine presents the first of a 2-part special feature which will take readers on a journey through the entire star Trek saga, starting with the first episode of the original series and culminating with the 2009 film. Separate articles will focus on individual seasons of each series, offering quick recaps, a “Top 5” list of episodes from each year, the “worst episode” of that season, and even a nomination for that year’s “Most Valuable Player.” Some of the choices for best and worst may end up surprising you.

Now then, what’s to be found in part one of the “Ultimate Guide?” Take a look:

  • Star Trek:
    • Season 1, by moi
    • Season 2, by Kevin Dilmore
    • Season 3, by Paula M. Block
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series, by Scott Pearson
  • The first six Star Trek films (starring the original cast), by Lance Parkin
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Season 1, by William Leisner
    • Season 2, by Jill Shirwin
    • Season 3, by Robert Greenberger
    • Season 4, by Rod Edgar
    • Season 5, by David A. McIntee
    • Season 6, by Kevin Lauderdale
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Season 1, by Steve Lyons

The rest of TNG and DS9, as well as the TNG films, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and the 2009 film will all be included with Part 2, coming in issue #37 in about 6 weeks.

In addition to all of that, there’s the usual assortment of news tidbits, the newest installment of Larry Nemecek’s “Lost and Found” and Dr. Chris Dows’ “Treknology” columns. Oh, and hey! Part 5 of the ongoing storyline in The Trek Life, written by editor Paul Simpson (with a teensy assist from me) and drawn by super-doodler David Reddick.

That should tide you over for a bit, I think.

So, you’re reading this on your smartphone or iPad while you stand in line for autographs in Vegas while waiting to buy your copy, right?

Star Trek Magazine #35!

This was one of the highlights of the day’s mail…the latest issue of Star Trek Magazine, which is set to start showing up in stores in another week or so. The mag is chock full of all sorts of Trekkie goodness, with lots of stuff that’s sure to make fanboy naughty bits go all a’tingly.

So, what’s between the covers this time around? Let’s have a look-see, hmmm? In addition to the usual assortment of news updates and product reviews, you’ll also find:

  • A full-page tribute to the late William Campbell (Trelane from “The Squire of Gothos” and Koloth from “The Trouble With Tribbles” and DS9’s “Blood Oath”), who passed away back on April 28th.
  • Dr. Dwayne Day remembers Walter “Matt” Jefferies and the standard he set for Star Trek that are still observed and respected more than four decades later.
  • The “Star Trek 45s” observances continue, this time with (in order) DS9’s “Profit and Loss,” Voyager‘s “Heroes and Demons,” and DS9’s “Accession.”
  • Dr. Day lands the second part of his one-two punch for this issue, with a look back at the seminal work of Franz Joseph Schnaubelt and his Star Trek Blueprints and the Star Fleet Technical Manual, two publications which continue to inspire Trek enthusiasts, fan and pro alike, more than thirty years after their creation.
  • David R. George III provides the latest in his recurring “Meet the Crew” series, this time turning the spotlight on Captain Christopher Pike.
  • Marc Shapiro has an all-new interview with Odo himself, Rene Auberjonois, catching up with the veteran actor and offering an update on his latest activities.
  • Larry Nemecek digs into the Star Trek vault, unearthing some rare photos of the original U.S.S. Enterprise filming model from way back when, and answers reader mail.
  • Marco Palmieri offers up a history of Starbase 47, the centerpiece of Pocket Books’ fan-favorite spin-off novel series, Star Trek: Vanguard, including interviews with station designer Masao Okazaki and Vanguard cover artist (and Oscar and Emmy Award-winning cool guy) Doug Drexler.
  • And speaking of Vanguard, there’s also an excerpt from Marco’s novella, The Ruins of Noble Men, which is included in the forthcoming Star Trek: Vanguard anthology Declassified.

As for Kevin’s and my contributions this time around? I provide a tribute to Richard C. Datin, Jr., who led the team responsible for the construction of the U.S.S. Enterprise filming models for the original Star Trek series. Mr. Datin passed away back on January 24th, and I was thrilled to talk with his daughter, Noel Datin-McDonald, while writing this piece.

I also worked with editor Paul Simpson on the fourth installment of the ongoing storyline unfolding in The Trek Life drawn as always by the uber-awesome David Reddick.

Finally? Kevin and I got to go Hog Wild Fanboy with our biggest contribution to the issue, that being a big ol’ 12-page tribute to the Star Trek: Spaceflight Chronology reference book from 1980. This is still one of our favorite books, so it was a complete blast to provide “new pages” for what one could (hopefully) imagine being an updated version of this unparalleled work. I haven’t had this much fun with an article since Editor Paul let me go completely unhinged with a Captain Proton retrospective a few years ago.

And…I think that’s enough for one issue, don’t you?

So, you’re reading this on your smartphone while you’re standing in line to buy your copy, right?

What a naughty blogger I’ve been.

Yes, I’ve been remiss in my social media responsibilities these past several days. Chalk it up to being first on the road to Denver, then consumed by the awesome chaos that is the annual Starfest Convention, during which I had Clan Ward with me to enjoy the fun, then the road trip back to Kansas City yesterday. On top of all of that? I was sick, fighting whatever bug had burrowed its way into my system a little over a week ago, and which only seemed to get more determined as the convention got into full swing. Even now I’m still fighting the damned thing. Despite that, we had a blast, and a more detailed after-action report will be forthcoming.

For now? I need to address a few administrative items:

  • First, it was announced last Friday that my Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel Paths of Disharmony was voted the Story of the Year by the good folks at Unreality SF, the website devoted to news, reviews, and interviews focusing on the world of media tie-in writing. It was a tough group of finalists, which makes the selection that much more gratifying. I’m even told an actual trophy is on its way to me in the near future. Rest assured there will be a shameless photo of me mugging with the thing once it arrives at stately Ward Manor. Many thanks to everyone who voted for the book, and for the Unreality SF gang for hosting the poll.
  • Also on Friday, Kevin and I received the copyedited manuscript for our forthcoming Star Trek: Vanguard novel, What Judgments Come. We have until the 28th to address any notes, make any revisions/fixes, and so on. Guess that’s the next big thing on the agenda, but not until I finish….
  • The outline for the Star Trek original series novel Kevin and I will be writing this summer. I’m behind a bit on this, owing to the Denver trip and being sick. I expect to finish it this evening, though, so that I can get on with finishing my still in-progress article for Star Trek Magazine which is due on the 22nd.
  • I also need to take a more detailed gander at the outline for David Mack’s next Vanguard novel, Storming Heaven, which is due out next summer. I gave it a cursory read today just to get a gut feel for the thing, and I have to tell you people who read the Vanguard series (and really, the rest of you who don’t but should), that this promises to be EPIC MACK. That’s right, I just invented a new descriptor, of which “Awesome” will evermore be known as a subcategory. Grab your socks and hose and pull, folks; it’s gonna be a hell of a ride.

Anyway, I’ve got enough to keep me busy over the next few days.

So, what did I miss? Y’all behave while I was away?

Star Trek Magazine #33!

The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine hits stands today, chock full of all sorts of tasty Trekkie goodness. What will you find within its 66 pages? Let’s have a look-see:

  • The latest “Treknology” column by Dr. Chris Dows.
  • David A. McIntee (lonemagpie) takes a look at the oft-overlooked and under-appreciated members of Starfleet Security (aka, “the Redshirts”) in “The Thin Red Line.”
  • The “Star Trek 45s” series continues, with looks at “The Outrageous Okona” by John S. Hall, and “The Best of Both Worlds” by David A. McIntee.
  • David R. George provides the latest installment of the “Meet the Crew” series, with an in-depth look at Pavel Chekov.
  • I offer up some thoughts and observations on various Star Trek characters who’ve made “The Ultimate Sacrifice.”
  • Larry Nemecek gives us another trip down Memory Lane, with rare production photos from the original Star Trek episode “Obsession.”
  • John and Maria Tenuto show us how the fictional universe of Star Trek has made the occasional connection to real-world U.S. presidents.
  • And last but not least, Part 2 of Carl, Kate, and Steve’s search for the long-lost Galileo shuttlecraft, in The Trek Life. Story by editor Paul Simpson and me, with Dave Reddick supplying his usual sweet artwork.

Throw in the latest news updates from across the Star Trek franchise, an excerpt from author Christopher L. Bennett’s upcoming Star Trek novel Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock, reviews of the latest novels, comics, and other merchandise, and there’s enough in this latest issue to keep you living long and prospering until the next one comes out in six weeks or so.

(Now you see why I don’t make a living writing marketing copy.)

So, head on out to your local newsstand or bookstore and grab yourself a copy, whydontcha?

Ask Navaar…the Rush fan?

First, a bit of setup: issue #32 of Star Trek Magazine carried a “romance theme,” with several pieces focusing on the various relationships, love affairs, and so on to which fans have been treated over the years. In addition to these articles, editor Paul Simpson also wanted some more lighthearted faire, and asked Kevin and me if we had any ideas.

One of the pieces we provided was “Dear Lwaxana,” in which readers of Lwaxana Troi’s relationship advice column (she has one, you know. Honest.) write in and seek sage wisdom from the Daughter of the Fifth House herself. Readers sending in letters for this particular column include a first officer who wonders if she might ever be “number one” in her captain’s heart, a nurse with a thing for her ship’s Vulcan science officer, and another(?) Vulcan wondering if there’s anything to the budding relationship he shares with a junior communications officer.

The other piece, “Ask Navaar” was presented as a more straightforward “tips” column. In this case, Navaar, a sultry Orion if ever there was one, offers hints on weathering a stormy relationship with your mate, and how to tell if the reason for your troubles is because he (or she) has been replaced by a clone or android duplicate, or has perhaps been possessed by an alien entity.

We figured the pieces would garner a chuckle or two before everyone moved on to something…you know…more interesting. I didn’t expect anyone would actually write to the magazine commenting about either article, except maybe to take exception to the frivolity on display in both pieces (Star Trek is serious business, you know). What I didn’t figure on was a fan letter written “to Navaar.”

All the gory details…behind the cut!

Star Trek Magazine, Issue #32!

The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine should be hitting subscriber’s mailboxes by now, and it’s due to be on shelves next Tuesday. The theme this month? Romance! Love is in the air (or the stars, if you prefer), with an examination of the various romantic pairings, lost loves, pairings and other hook-ups you might’ve wished had gone down, and so on. Also included in the issue is the start of the magazine’s year-long celebration of Star Trek‘s 45th anniversary, with special articles designed to take a look at the franchise as it evolved over the course of the various television series, making pit stops at every 45th episode along the way.

What will you find between the pages this time? Let’s have a look-see:

Complete issue rundown…behind the cut!

Getting a Trek Life!

As part of my last couple of monthly “writing wrap-up” blog entries, I’ve been hinting at some fun stuff with which I’ve been involved over at Star Trek Magazine. Back in November, editor Paul Simpson invited me to brainstorm with him and artist David Reddick on some ideas for an ongoing story arc to be presented in The Trek Life, the comic strip created, written, and drawn by the aforementioned Mr. Reddick. The strip, originally commissioned for, has also been enjoying continued life in the pages of the magazine for quite a while now. Paul was looking for something to “change things up a bit,” and asked me if I had any thoughts on the subject for some kind of continuing storyline.

My first thought? A quest. Carl and the gang go off in search of…something. Hilarity ensues as they follow the clues and travel the countryside, hunting for a long-lost Star Trek “artifact.” This was actually something I’d been considering as a possible sequel to “The Enterprise Job,” the mythical and supposedly humorous Trek fanboys story I keep saying I’ll make available for reading some day. Anyway, I pitched this basic idea along with a handful of others, and this is the one that stuck.

Now armed with a basic premise, Paul and I tossed a few other ideas to bone up the storyline, and Paul set to work developing notes for Dave so that he could get started drawing. Dave took to the idea with his usual enthusiasm, and delivered the strip for the first installment to Paul for his review right before Christmas. The first couple of strips are already plotted, and I’m hoping to get more heavily involved with the remaining installments — maybe even writing one or two of them myself — now that other writing projects are beginning to work their way off my “To Do List.” Unlike the comics that regularly appear in the magazine, these won’t be self-contained “gag strips.” Instead, it’s one story arc spread across the next eight issues, beginning with issue #32. If it works, then we have ideas already slotted for sequel stories. Anyway, if you end up thinking it’s funny, then Dave and Paul deserve the lion’s share of the credit, and I thank them for inviting me to play along.

So, what is the mysterious artifact that prompts the quest? Well, you’ll just have to wait for issue #32 of Star Trek Magazine to find out! Muwhahaha….

Star Trek Magazine, Issue #31!

Cover for STM #31
The latest issue of Star Trek Magazine is hitting stands as I type this, and as usual the mag is chock-full of all sorts of TrekkieGoodness(tm). The focus this time around is on the “strong women of Star Trek,” and to that end, you’ll find the following:

  • Steven Eramo has a new interview with Roxann Dawson (B’Elanna Torres)
  • Paul Simpson interviews Chase Masterson (Leeta)
  • Marco Palmieri gives us some new insight into the character of Nyota Uhura, both the “classic” and the rebooted versions, as portrayed on screen and even on the printed page.
  • Larry Nemecek raids the Star Trek archives for some choice photos and anecdotes highlighting Torres and Masterson.
  • Kevin and I get in on the action, with a look at some of Star Trek‘s “savvy lasses,” all of whom stand toe to toe with their male counterparts and make us wonder why we have to draw such distinctions in the first place.

In addition to all of that, we also have:

  • Marco takes a look at the Andorians and how they’ve been portrayed across the various series, in novels, and even in the Star Trek Online MMORPG.
  • Larry answers reader mail, in his regular “A Fistful of Data” column.
  • Reviews of the latest novels, comics, and other merchandise, including the recently released Haynes U.S.S. Enterprise Owners’ Workshop Manual, about which I babbled a bit in this blog post back in November
  • And, lest I forget, there’s also an excerpt from my forthcoming Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel, Paths of Disharmony, which is due to start showing up in stores toward the end of this month.

Okay, with all that awesome nerdity, what’s not to love? What are you waiting for? Go buy three or four copies, whydontcha?