The U.E.S.P.A. Series of books...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by The Lensman, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is a project that celebrates it's tenth anniversary this year. It started as an entry into a 2004 TrekBBS Art Challenge, which was to create a book cover based on a Star Trek episode. My entry was done in the style (or as close as I could manage it at the time) of the old Bantam editions from the 70's. Unlike the other entries, I did not include the words "Star Trek" on my cover, only the episode title, and as an afterthought added the words "A UESPA Series Book" on the back cover over a United Earth symbol.

    Over the last ten years this project has increased in it's complexity because the series has an internal in-universe history and timeline. And then there's the fictional publication timeline, as well as doing different covers to reflect the changes that cover art saw from the 50's to the early 70's. Last year I thought I had stumbled onto a solution to a problem that had been bugging me for about six or so years. It was one of those "Why didn't I see this before!" moments and you can see the results of that thinking in this thread:
    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=211486

    All of my works in that thread were intended to be part of the UESPA series.

    Late November, early December I wanted to post some new covers here and on my DA account, so I thought I'd go back and add some spines and back covers to some covers I'd done a few years back. I also had another one of those moments of vivid insight where I was thinking "Why did you take that approach?!" and have gone back to a hopefully more streamlined approach a little more inline with the original concept. I finally figured out the new "first story", though I don't know yet if I'll do magazine covers, or what elements I'll keep from the linked thread. The "Ultimate Computer" and "Requiem For Methuselah" covers will be kept.

    I do know when and with what episode the series ends...1974 and it ends as the series began. I've had that front cover done for about two or three years. Since the 70's era covers are fairly easy, I will probably finish a couple off to compliment the following early ACE Books era covers.

    Anyway, you came in here to look at pretty pictures, not listen to me ramble ;)






    This is the original cover that started it all from 2004:

    [​IMG]


    Since I recently found all of the base files for this, I think I'l be "re-mastering" this cover soon. Kirk and the Gorn will be redone with better positioning and a hopefully less "filtery" look. :techman: As of right now, I don't know which book this is in terms of publication history. I imagine it being at about the mid point, but whether it's the 14th book or 35th book I can't say yet.





    I can however say that this is the third book in the series:

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    The first three stories collected in one volume:

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    This is where the series hit it's stride. A fantastic cover by Jefferies, and a great story to boot. This is the ninth book in the series...

    [​IMG]





    A cover from the later, more well known and remembered, Bantam collected editions:

    [​IMG]



    There's something really clumsy feeling in the title of this last one, and for some reason I find it amusing. People would be like "what is this called? Yoo Eee Ess Pee Ayy 5? WTF?"

    Anyway, that's all for now, I need sleep. :techman:
     
  2. FredH

    FredH Captain Captain

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    These are wonderful. Thanks for making them!
     
  3. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, you found my books. I wondered who I loaned those to. ;)Those look great!
     
  4. Potemkin_Prod

    Potemkin_Prod Commodore Commodore

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    Awesome. Love that old look to Paperbacks!
     
  5. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks guys! And Sojourner...uh...I'll get those back to you soon, I swear!:techman:
     
  6. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    By 1971 the UESPA series was in decline and Bantam decided that a shake up was needed to rejuvenate interest in the series. Norman Spinrad was brought on board and joked about killing James Kirk, one of the more popular characters in the series. Bantam approved of the idea to Spinrad's surprise and he wrote the swansong of Kirk.

    Many fans disliked this story as it killed not only Kirk, but destroyed the Enterprise, a ship which had featured in the early UESPA novels where it was commanded by Chris Pike. Bantam's reply was that they wanted a shake up and that some segment of fandom was going to be unhappy with a character death. There was a temporary sales spike, but the series continued the slow decline.

    [​IMG]


    When I got to this later phase of the series, I had contemplated that all of the UESPA captains would die off as they had in the actual show. Decker would commit suicide, Tracy go rogue, etc with the result being that Bantam decided to streamline the series due to low sales and that there would be a collective freak out and resulting shit storm from the fans of those captains. Complaints that those long standing characters had all had ignominious ends in order to make Kirk look good.

    When it came time to do this cover, for whatever reason I thought it'd be interesting to reverse the Kirk-Decker roles and have Kirk be the crazy Ahab seeking to avenge his fallen crew. And yeah, UESPA fandom still bitched about that turn of events. :lol:
     
  7. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ...as awesome as ever! :techman:
     
  8. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love these. The "retro" look of the ships is great. I'd love to see a "Triskellion" cover. The silver bikini would fit right in with the lurid paperback covers of the fifties and early sixties.
     
  9. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    This is really cool. One wonders what would happen with "Ultimate Computer" or "Errand Of Mercy"
     
  10. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks all! Shik, you can see the front cover for "Ultimate Computer" here: http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=8059144&postcount=22 as well as "Requiem For Methuselah"....Really just need the back covers to be done. As for "Gamesters Of Triskellion" and "Errand Of Mercy", all I can say is "patience".

    Till then.....here's this:


    [​IMG]

    By this time Roddenberry had grown largely tired of writing the series, but it had proven so popular that ACE, with Roddenberry's approval, contracted other writers to write new tales of the UESPA. The series "Golden Age" was only just beginning.





    An early Bantam edition....

    [​IMG]

    This is a "remaster" of one of the original three UESPA covers. Only the front cover has been redone. Aside from some very minor, barely noticeable tweaks, the rest is the same.

    Here's the original version from 2004 for comparison

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  11. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The second collected edition by ACE.

    [​IMG]

    The anthologies, while fun to do, serve two purposes. First, helping me recall the publication history of the stories. Second, as placeholder covers for stories I either don't have idea's for yet, or am not sure I want to do at this stage. I certainly don't intend (at this point) to do all 79 episodes. Ideally, around 30ish.

    I'll probably get the backs done for the other two 70's editions, rework "Arena" and maybe "Court Martial" (the other two original covers) and then take a break for awhile.
     
  12. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    You know "Arena" actually was a published short story before it was a TOS episode, right? Same name & everything, just no Trek elements.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    You should Google the author's name of that short story and then take another look at the U.E.S.P.A. "book cover". :techman:
     
  14. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    Or, I could Google the author's name of that short story and then take another look at the U.E.S.P.A. "book cover".
     
  15. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Somewhere, in some alternate universe, these novels exist--I hope.

    Now to get there somehow.
     
  16. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    LOL! Thanks!

    Here's the "remastered" cover for "Arena", despite the fact that the original has been nagging at me for so long, I finally got around to doing it.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  17. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Commander Red Shirt

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    Brings back memories of my trip into the city to a huge bookstore where I would get the newest released Bantam Trek Novel or PhotoNovel. If I could relive those days.
     
  18. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Love these. Classic stuff.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  19. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thanks guys! I have fond memories of those old books as well.
    Here's a new one, hopefully to be followed up with the next one or two in the next few days.

    [​IMG]



    In 1974, Bantam Books released the UESPA stories in collected form, and it's these versions that are most familiar to modern readers. The stories were presented in the order of release and they are:

    1. Assignment: Earth - This is the story that started it all. It featured an alien named Gary-7 (Seven) who was working on Earth, behind the scenes, at the behest of mysterious alien beings. The antagonist of the story was Earth captain Johnny Archer who worked to stop Seven from completing his mission. In the end, everything worked out and the two foes found common ground and understanding. Roddenberry had originally planned to write a series of stories featuring Gary-7, but found he was more interested in telling stories about the space navy of that future Earth.

    2. Charlie X - Captain Ramart and the crew of the Antares find Charlie Evans, the sole survivor of a spaceship crash, on the planet Thasus.

    3. The Omega Glory - Captain James Winter of the U.E.S.S. Horizon finds sister ship Exeter, captained by Johnny Archer, in orbit of Omega-4 with all crew dead of a mysterious disease. Beaming down, Winters discovers Archer alive, and find that he's violated the most important of U.E.S.P.A. directives: General Order #1.

    4. Bread And Circuses - Captain Robert April and the Yorktown crew discover a planet where the Roman Empire never fell

    5. Mudd's Women - Follows space rouge Harry Mudd as he tries to run a "mail order bride" service to the frontier worlds. He runs afoul of Captain Edward Fitzpatrick of the U.E.S.S. Republic.




    ***Artists Note: I have finally worked out the sequence of stories and captains of all 79 episodes. At some point in the future I will revise the older "3 From Tomorrow" cover to reflect the current order of stories. If I don't, then I'll rationalize it as "Well, Archer played such a small role in Assignment: Earth that ACE didn't really feel it deserved to be included in the series proper". Works for me.***



    ******Note to Marc Cushman: this cover is fan made, not some lost artifact from the 70's.******:guffaw:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  20. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, that is lovely. It is if my bookstore dreams came true.