Doug Drexler Talks About The Fall
Star Trek: The Fall -- a five-part The Next Generation-Deep Space Nine crossover penned by five popular authors, with covers created by three Star Trek artists -- won’t kick off until, well, the fall. But we here at StarTrek.com are so excited about the upcoming Simon & Schuster project that we’re devoting several days of coverage to it, including interviews and art.
David R. George III has written Revelation and Dust, out in September, while Una McCormack is on board for The Crimson Shadow, scheduled for October. It will be followed in November by A Ceremony of Losses by David Mack, with The Poisoned Chalice, by James Swallow, coming in December. And, finally, in January 2014, readers can feast their eyes on Peaceable Kingdoms, by Dayton Ward.
Speaking of feasting your eyes, the covers of The Fall books have been rendered by the tandem of Doug Drexler, Andy Probert and Douglas Graves. They’ve created a brand-new Deep Space Nine station, a necessity since, in book-canon, the previous station was -- SPOILER ALERT -- destroyed at the end of David R. George’s 2012 novel, Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night. Drexler, Probert and Graves were challenged to visually answer the question: If the Federation had the opportunity/need to build a new Deep Space Nine station, what would it look like? And their answer is the amazing art that will grace The Fall books.
Right below is a synopsis of The Fall: Revelation and Dust provided by Simon & Schuster. And under that, you’ll find an interview with the uber-talented Doug Drexler, who also contributes the recurring The Drex Files guest blog to StarTrek.com. And visit StarTrek.com again on tomorrow to read interviews with Andy Probert and Douglas Graves.
THE FALL: REVELATION AND DUST SYNPOSIS
WELCOME TO THE NEW DEEP SPACE 9
After the destruction of the original space station by a rogue faction of the Typhon Pact, Miles O’Brien and Nog have led the Starfleet Corps of Engineers in designing and constructing a larger, more advanced starbase in the Bajoran system. Now, as familiar faces such as Benjamin Sisko, Kasidy Yates, Ezri Dax, Odo, and Quark arrive at the new station, Captain Ro Laren will host various heads of state to an impressive dedication ceremony. The dignitaries include not only the leaders of allies—such as Klingon Chancellor Martok, Ferengi Grand Nagus Rom, the Cardassian castellan, and the Bajoran first minister—but also those of rival powers, such as the Romulan praetor and the Gorn imperator. But as Ro’s crew prepares to open DS9 to the entire Bajor Sector and beyond, disaster looms. A faction has already set in action a shocking plan that, if successful, will shake the Alpha and Beta Quadrants to the core.
And what of Kira Nerys, lost aboard a runabout when the Bajoran wormhole collapsed? In the two years that have passed during construction of the new Deep Space 9, there have been no indications that the Celestial Temple, the Prophets, or Kira have survived. But since Ben Sisko once learned that the wormhole aliens exist nonlinearly in time, what does that mean with respect to their fate, or that of the wormhole...or of Kira herself?
STARTREK.COM INTERVIEW WITH DOUG DREXLER
We’re not sure how closely you follow the Star Trek books. Were you aware that Deep Space Nine had been destroyed in Plagues of Night? Either way, what was your reaction once you heard about its destruction?
DREXLER: Between my work schedule and various side projects, I don't have time for reading fiction. I'm familiar with them only as far as understanding the book cover assignment. Yes, I knew (the space station) had been destroyed in Plagues pretty early on. I'm never shocked or stunned by an event like that in the realm of Sci-Fi. As Leonard Nimoy once said, no one dies in science fiction. After all, I think we destroyed the station several times on the television show, didn't we? I'm sure Terok Nor exists in some alternate timeline, right?
How pleased were you when Simon & Schuster reached out to you about creating a NEW Deep Space Nine space station?
DREXLER: It's no secret that I am a huge Trek fan, so nearly anything Star Trek is right down my alley. It's in my DNA. My molecule resonance responds the same way it does to ice cream, Carnegie Deli Pastrami or a space shuttle launch.
The idea is that it's the first brand-new 24th century Federation space station that's been built in this era, begging the question: what would that look like? How did you, Probert and Graves hash out the idea for the new space station's look?
DREXLER: The basic configuration of the station had been predetermined by David R. George, the writer. There wasn't much wiggle room there. Andy, Deg (Douglas E Graves) and I are creative guys with our own ideas. I'm sure if left to our own devices there would have been three different and unique ideas. But we are also commercial artists. Our job is often to take a non-visual person's idea, sweeten, focus, massage... and then, hopefully, (provide) the proverbial happy ending.
I love Federation and Starfleet design, so I liked the idea of a Starfleet-ized DS9. I also love Andy Probert and think that his visual sense for Starfleet is second to none. I had been given the option of styling David R. George's station design myself, but frankly, given the choice I'd much rather see what Andy would do. That's the fan in me.
How did you then divvy up the process of creating the 3D model and renderings?
DREXLER: I called Andy, and he began some rough sketches based on George's description. Once they signed off on it, the designs went to Deg, and he began the build.
How long did it take for you all to agree on the look?
DREXLER: It was a couple of weeks. Remember that there is significantly less time and budget for a book cover than you might have on a feature or television show. Terok Nor for Deep Space Nine took months to design, and with many, many ideas and sketches generated. The shortness of time and resources is a handicap, but in other ways a challenge that can yield good things. Once we had the model, I set up renders.
The way I approach one of these novel covers is not at all the way I approach a shot for a television show. On a show, we go for as real as possible. On a novel I go larger than life and painterly. I try to channel the great Frank McCarthy, who was a master movie poster painter when I was growing up. He created larger than life posters for movies like The Dirty Dozen, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and The Blue Max.
Take us through the final look. What elements most excite you? What do you think will surprise/please fans?
DREXLER: For me, it's all about Andy's Sarfleet styling of David R. George's preexisting design. That's what excites me. The Probert candy coating is the star. I think fans will feel the same way.
Did you work in tandem at all with David R. George and any of the other authors so far as the station's function within The Fall storyline? Maybe even give/get suggestions for the inner workings of the space station?
DREXLER: It was really David's ball of wax. We did what he wanted. We had freedom with the fleet candy coating, but the basic configuration is all his.
Visit StarTrek.com again tomorrow for interviews with Drexler’s fellow The Fall collaborators, Andy Probert and Douglas E. Graves.