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

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

  1. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I sense the beginnings of a challenge contest for th fan-fic forum.
     
  2. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't know if this has been pointed out but the author of "Psycho" spelled his last name "Bloch".

    (Though a different spelling would be acceptable if this is a parallel world thing.:rommie:)
     
  3. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The original run with the misprint will be quite the collector's item! :shifty:

    You're welcome! :)
     
  4. The Lensman

    The Lensman Commodore Commodore

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    Well I did say this when I posted the cover :)

    "Both "Forbes" and spelling Robert Bloch's name "Block" are from the first appearance of his story "Broomstick Ride", the basis for the episode "Catspaw". "


    It was a nod to this actual cover:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. E-DUB

    E-DUB Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Whoops. Hey, as long as the check clears.
     
  6. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I've been giving serious thought to trying my authorial hand at this. I've already written up a detailed outline of a version of "Charlie X." And some of the Starbase 11 stories really would be fun to take a crack at.

    --Alex
     
  7. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish BillJ Premium Member

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    I've thought about it as well. Though I'm not sure I could write something authentic to the time period.
     
  8. The Lensman

    The Lensman Commodore Commodore

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    Sounds interesting. Since it's been awhile, here's a little info on the "real world" going on's in those early days:

    The first book in the series was Assignment: Earth. Roddenberry had a series in mind, but it was not about Earth's future space navy, it was about a time traveling alien named Gary-7. The publisher wasn't interested in that concept, and was far more interested in the space navy and future setting that the protaganist of Assignment: Earth, Capt. Johnny Archer, inhabited and asked for a book where that setting was at the forefront.

    That book was "Charlie X". At this point Roddenberry still did not intend to do a series, so "Charlie X" ends with Charlie smiling as he watches Ramart and his first officer beam away. Charlie devises their destruction almost as an after thought as he is lead away on the new ship (can't remember which one it was right now).

    "Charlie X" is one of the few books where I know how it ends, but not much else. I always felt that the story probably felt like an episode of "The Twilight Zone" with Charlie tormenting or at least intimidating the crew of the Antares.

    Another thing I can't remember right now is what answer Roddenberry gave him when fans asked him whatever happened to Charlie X, since that book doesn't cover Charlies time aboard the Enterprise counterpart, and so we don't see the Thasians show up and take Charlie away.

    I created this to help me keep track of all the many and varied niggling details which have cropped up with this series:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  9. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I would love to have access to that U.E.S.P.A. Handbook.

    My take on the "Charley X" tale conflates the Antares and the [/i]Enterprise[/i] parts of the episode. It begins with a slightly bigger and more different version of the Antares arriving at Thasus to conduct a planetary survey and there discover the remains of an earlier unexpected wreck of an Earth ship with some unusual circumstances. Charley is found therein also and brought aboard. Once there, unlike Kirk who wanted to dodge the father-figure routine, Ramart is more inviting to the boy and wants to reach out. But Charley's antics escalate very much like in the episode, and the ending is not so different from the episode, except that Ramart's compassion is better set-up that Kirk's. (IMHO)

    It's fun to see different takes of a familiar story.

    --Alex
     
  10. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Makes sense as I kind of got the impression from the episode that that rather than being a starfleet (or U.E.S.P.A) exploration ship like in this thing, the Antares was a freighter that stumbled on to the situation like the Nostromo from Alien.
     
  11. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wait a minute.

    No. The Nostromo didn't stumble onto the situation.

    They were diverted there intentionally by the Company to bring back an Alien, but without the knowledge of the crew (except the android). The reveal of that is the big twist of the film.
     
  12. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually the twist was the the Company knew the "distress" beacon was really a warning to stay away the whole time and they wanted the dangerous thing even if it caused the deaths of the crew except the android.

    But the point I was trying to make was that Antares didn't really seem like an exploring ship like in this fan art series thing and the Nostromo was the closeted thing I could think of for a freighter checking out something you would thing an military/explorer type vessel would deal with.

    Though thinking about it it probably would have been better to go with the Anesidora from Alien Isolation since it's a way better fit.
     
  13. The Lensman

    The Lensman Commodore Commodore

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    Trust me, in it's current state the cover is the coolest thing about it! :guffaw:


    Typically I post these covers, story summaries and any bit of "real world" info on my DA page, then paste that info here in this thread. When I put "Charlie X" on my DA page in 2014, I thought that I had posted the below info when I started this thread. Apparently I had not. So, from my DA page:

    "Roddenberry's tale of the last voyage of the Antares. The book ends with Charlie finally winning in the contest of wills with Captain Ramart and boarding a star liner bound for Colony 5. Before Ramart can warn anyone, the Antares is destroyed. Roddenberry never really followed up on Charlie, but after constant fan questions, he suggested that Charlie had died in a plague outbreak on Colony 5 mere weeks after arriving."

    I found something humorously funny about Roddenberry suggesting that Charlie actually made it to Colony 5, but dying of something like a virus before he could really do anything bad on a large scale. There's something darkly anti-climactic about it. :evil:

    I agree that variations on familiar stories are fun!
     
  14. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This series leaves me more in awe every time...
     
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  15. The Lensman

    The Lensman Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks Klaus!

    Wow, I didn't realize I hadn't done any UESPA stuff since 2015. Recently I discovered that damn near all of my Michael Moorcock books were missing, and not being able to find them, I went out hunting for them. Found a couple of cool used bookstores not driven out of business by Half Price Books and those places were like coming home. Mostly filled with the kind of books I remember seeing in used book stores in the 80s-90s. Lot's of cool OLD stuff, picked up the first five books of Norton's Witch World series (ACE editions! Yeah!) and seeing all those cool old books got me wanting to do some vintage covers again. So here's a couple of ACE edition UESPA covers:

    [​IMG]

    The very first book to feature UESPA, though in a background capacity. Eugene Roddenberry intended to write a series of books under the banner "Assignment: Earth" featuring stories of Gary-7 and Roberta Lincoln as they thwarted aliens and communist super science plots against Earth (which in this case usually meant "America"). The story featured an Earth ship from the future, the U.E.S.S. Exeter led by Johnny Archer, a well meaning captain who believed Gary-7 to be a hostile alien with sinister intentions towards Earth. A game of "cat and mouse" ensues as Archer tries to thwart 7's attempts at saving the Earth, in the end he is shown the error of his ways and the Exeter returns to the future as Gary-7 begins his new assignment of protecting the Earth.

    Unfortunately the publisher didn't care for the Gary-7 concept, but was more interested in the future world and space navy hinted at in the conversations between 7 and Archer. Since "Future History's" were all the rage at the moment, the publisher pushed Roddenberry to write more stories set in that millieu. Roddenberry reluctantly agreed, mainly due to financial concerns, but was not initially happy with the rejection of the concept he was most interested.

    Artist Note: Anyone who frequented used book stores (or was buying this stuff new) back in the day will recall having seen, whether they know it or not, the work of Richard Powers on one sci-fi cover or another. His stuff was pretty trippy looking and you definitely knew you were looking at his work. Powers did hundreds of covers and so I've decided that in order to be period accurate, some of the UESPA covers will be done in (as close as I can get anyway) that style. His style is not for everyone, but he was everywhere on book covers, and all this UESPA stuff is already niche' anyway. The cover for "Assignment:Earth" is my first, and very simple, attempt at his style.



    [​IMG]

    Roddenberry's first true UESPA novel was "The Omega Glory". A novel he wrote while still bitter about his "Assignment:Earth" concept being rejected. He made it a priority to have Johnny Archer, a character his publisher loved, a disgraced captain who violates his most sacred oath as a captain while also engaging in mass murder. The publisher wasn't happy with this as they hoped to use Johnny Archer as the foundation of a new series of books, but Roddenberry's retort was that they wanted a "Future History" and that such incidents, being part of real history, would also occur in any future history. Roddenberry also pointed out that as it was a Future History, Archer would only be around for a short time anyway, so why wait. With a need to get the book out, they published it as written, and the book had solid sales numbers which mollified Ace Books. The rest is, as they say, history.

    Artist Note: I really wanted to do some retro spaceships, and figured they wouldn't have started with the ship profile we're familiar with. While saucers and rockets may have dominated the popular sci-fi of movies and t.v. in the 50's and early 60's, sphere shaped ships were pretty prevalent in the literature. The reasoning being that sphere's make the best most economical use of space. IIRC, H. Beam Piper had a sphere shaped ship named "Enterprise" in his novel "Space Viking" (published by ACE books, natch) which predated Trek by 3 years or so. So I've worked up a sphere shaped ship for the UESPA series, variations of which will probably be on some of the early covers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
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  16. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    HEY! I was thinking about this project of yours in the last few weeks. I'm glad to see you're back in the saddle. I'm not personally familiar with the work of Richard Powers but I do like the trippiness of the style.

    --Alex
     
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  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    The ship in Space Viking stolen by Andray Dunnan was named Enterprise. Lucas Trask bought a second ship under construction and named it Nemesis to use to hunt down Andray after Dunnan killed Trask's wife.
     
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  18. Ptrope

    Ptrope Agitator Admiral

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    Nice work, The Lensman - as always ;). You know I'll always respond to anything remotely inspired by H. Beam Piper :bolian:.
     
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  19. Cyfa

    Cyfa Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These vintage book covers are wonderful! And it's nice to learn a little about your inspiration for them - thank you.
    How do you make them look old? I mean the folds and creases, and bent back corners, that sort of thing - Is there a program or tool that you use for it, or do you do it individually by hand somehow? I've seen this on a few artists' book covers - including Ptrope's recent Art Challenge.
     
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  20. psCargile

    psCargile Captain Captain

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    I can spell the old mustiness.
     
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