Archive for the ‘News’ Category

How cool is this?

Many of you on my friends list have probably already read this on daytonward‘s LJ, but I wanted to note it on mine, as well.

This weekend, the “remastered” original-series Star Trek episode “The Ultimate Computer” will feature a new effects shot that includes a space station whose design is based on that of Starbase 47, aka Vanguard.

For those folks who find this post via Google and and don’t know this, I developed the Star Trek Vanguard literary series with editor Marco Palmieri, and I’ve had the pleasure of being a writer for the series, with Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and James Swallow. So this is a special thrill for me, to see something I helped bring to fruition become a retroactive part of the TV series I’ve loved since I was old enough to remember camping out in front of the TV.

The real kudos, of course, belong to designer Masao Okazaki, who created the exterior and interior schematics of the station, thereby inspiring several sequences in the Vanguard books. And we’re all immensely grateful to special-effects wizard Doug Drexler, who has worked on such series as the new Battlestar Galactica, and who also did the CGI renderings for all three Vanguard book covers to date, for making the effort to include our shared creation in his remastering efforts.

So, set your DVRs, TiVos, and VCRs, mein freunds!

Two Down. One to Go.

As of this evening at 9:15 p.m. ET, the draft manuscript for Star Trek Destiny: Mere Mortals, is finished. Final word count: just a wee dram over 100k.

Spell check is completed.

Now I’m putting it down for 48 hours. Tomorrow is a day off with my lovely wife, and on Wednesday I must report back to my full-time job.

But on Wednesday night, when I come home, and after I have dinner, I will begin my read-through and polishing draft. If all continues to go as hoped, it will be off to my beta readers over the weekend.

And while I await their feedback, I will begin the last leg of my literary death march, into part the third: Lost Souls.

Happy New Year, f-listers!

~ Dave

A rarity worth sharing

I’m happy to report that I’ve had an unusually productive day of writing today: 3,000 words, comprising four scenes of Mere Mortals, book two of my Star Trek Destiny trilogy.

Just seven scenes to go, which I hope to have finished by New Year’s Day. Then I can scrawl out the acknowledgments, paste in the About the Author copy, treat myself to special ice cream, and start my spell-check and polishing draft.

With a little bit of luck, I’ll have the draft ms. out to my ever-helpful beta readers by Friday, January 4, and a revised version to my editors by Wednesday, January 9.

Then I can begin the final part of this franchise-shaking saga: Lost Souls, coming to an editor near me sometime in April and to bookstores everywhere in December 2008.

Yee. Haw.

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

I just received an e-mail from Neil Peart of RUSH thanking me for the inscribed and autographed copies of A Time to Kill and A Time to Heal that I gave to him (via Geddy and Alex) on the band’s Snakes & Arrows tour back in July.

You think the Pacific Ocean is wide? You should see my grin right now.

Naturally, I’m trying to think of what brief message I might write back, without gushing like a twit. This will be a matter that requires serious consideration. Until then, I will continue grinning. (Not that I could stop right now, even if I wished to.)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

I went to see Blade Runner: The Final Cut tonight with Kara, during its limited engagement at the Ziegfeld theater here in New York.

In a word? Awesome.

And I do not say this lightly. I have been a major Blade Runner geek since I first saw the film on cable in the early 1980s; I came to revere it during my four years at NYU Film School, during which I saw a special theatrical screening of the original film at the Cinema Village theater on 12th street. Over the course of my film-school education, I wrote at least four, and possibly five term papers on various aspects of Blade Runner, ranging from its cinematic inception of cyberpunk to its blending of eras and genres to its religious symbolism, and much more.

As much as I have always loved and admired this film, I have also been one of the most unforgiving critics of both its original theatrical version and its so-called “Director’s Cut”, which in fact was nothing of the sort. The original and Director’s Cut versions are rife with glaring continuity errors both visual and spoken, as well as poor stunt-double shots. The original was marred by the peripatetic voice-over and the tacked-on happy ending; the Director’s Cut did away with those atrocities, but did nothing to address the other, more systemic problems.

This version does. Blade Runner: The Final Cut is the movie that I have always wanted to see. All the visual continuity errors I’ve been bitching about for nigh on 25 years? Fixed, thanks to the magic of Dolby ProTools and digital restoration. The bad stunt-double shots? Fixed, thanks to a re-shoot with actress Joanna Cassidy and more digital magic. The dialogue continuity errors? Re-edited and fixed. And best of all? These repairs are all subtle and seamlessly integrated into the film. If you hadn’t known where the errors originally were, you’d never know they’d been fixed.

The picture looks better than I’ve ever seen it, with stunning clarity, depth, and color intensity. The sound quality is hypnotic and crystal clear. I could’ve done with a touch less gore during Roy Batty’s scene with Eldon Tyrell, but I can live with it if that’s what Ridley Scott wants.

Don’t write this off as just another cheap ploy to make you buy another copy of a movie you already own. For the first time that I can remember, this one is actually worth it. I pray someone holds this up to George Lucas’s face one day and says, “See, you heavy-handed butcher of other directors’ films? This is how you restore a classic work of cinema! Get on your knees and grovel before Ridley Scott!”

As if you had to ask — I am definitely putting this DVD on my Christmas wish list. And if you have a chance to get out to the theater to see this on the big screen, I beg you: Go.

Houston, we have a manuscript

I am pleased to post that, as of 2:30 a.m. today, I have finished the first-draft manuscript for Gods of Night, the first book in the Star Trek Destiny trilogy.

As a reward, I will now have ice cream. Then I will sleep.

Tomorrow, I will watch some DVDs and read a bit, just for pleasure.

On Monday I will start my read-through of the ms., to make certain that it’s internally consistent, and to polish it up as I go along. If all goes well, I will turn it in to my editors by the end of the week, and move on to book two, Mere Mortals next weekend.

One down, two to go. Yee. And, might I add, Haw.