This morning, readers of USA Today‘s “Book Buzz” section were treated to the first public reveal of the covers for the first two novels of Star Trek: Seekers, an all-new original literary series by myself and the writing team of Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore.
The angle of the story is that it marks a first for Star Trek, in that the series was inspired by the digital illustrations of artist Rob Caswell, who had envisioned in his DeviantArt gallery an alternate reality in which Gene Roddenberry produced a 1970s-era sequel to the original Star Trek called The Seekers.
Just as episodes of the original Star Trek had been novelized by James Blish, Caswell imagined that the adventures of The Seekers would be novelized in the same style — and he crafted six brilliant, retro-style covers for these books that never were, and made them look like well-loved (and stained and stamped) library editions.
In March of 2012, just after the final novel of the Star Trek Vanguard series had been released, I was talking with Dayton about what we wanted to work on next. We were interested in developing another series on which we could alternate writing duties, as we had done with Vanguard, but we weren’t sure what form that series might take.
Then I showed him Rob’s work on DeviantArt. Rob had used the original Archer-class starship design by our Vanguard illustrator Masao Okazaki as an element in his faux Seekers covers, and he had styled the covers with the 1970s-era typography and design that had been used on the classic Star Trek novelizations that Dayton and I both had devoured as young Star Trek fans in the ’70s.
When we saw Rob’s cover illustrations, Dayton and I agreed we wanted our new series to be exactly what we saw there: an homage to classic Star Trek, right down to the retro look and feel of the art and the type on the covers. We also knew that we wanted to call it Star Trek: Seekers — and that we wanted to bring Rob aboard as our creative partner on the new series, since it had been his imaginative leap that had brought the vision into focus for us.
One of the best moments of my career as a Star Trek writer was the afternoon when I got to be the one to call Rob and tell him that his work had inspired us to make his imaginary series a reality in prose — and that we wanted him to join our team and work on it with us.
Now, thanks to the support and hard work of a great many people at Simon & Schuster and CBS Television Entertainment — including editors Margaret Clark and Edward Schlesinger, publicist Juliana Horbachevsky, and licensing executive extraordinaire John Van Citters — that dream is about to come to fruition.
Star Trek: Seekers, Book 1: Second Nature, by David Mack, will be released July 22, 2014. Star Trek: Seekers, Book 2: Point of Divergence, by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, will be released August 26, 2014. Pre-order both books from your favorite retail sites, or directly from simonandschuster.com.