There’s always something going on in the Star Trek universe, whether it’s favorite actors landing new roles or Star Trek extending its pop culture claws into our everyday lives. Here, we take a look at some Star Trek – and Trek people -- in the news.

William Shatner’s soon-to-drop album is coming into sharper focus. It’s entitled Searching for Major Tom and Shatner will cover songs by Frank Sinatra, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, Deep Purple, Steve Miller Band, The Police, Black Sabbath, Thomas Dolby and, of course, David Bowie. And, yes, the track list is heavy with space- and space-travel-themed songs: She Blinded Me with Science, Space Trucking, Lost in the Stars, Space Cowboy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Iron Man, Walking on the Moon and a reprise of Rocket Man. Among the musicians joining the former Star Trek star are Peter Frampton, Michael Schenker, Johnny Winter, Warren Haynes, Brad Paisley, Zakk Wylde, Dave Davies, Steve Howe, and Toots of Toots and the Maytals.

Congratulations are in order for Zoe Saldana, Star Trek’s new Uhura. The actress – along with a not-yet-announced male counterpart -- will be honored on April 23 during the fourth annual Midnight Awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival. According to a SFIFF press release, the awards “honor a dynamic young actor and actress who have made outstanding contributions to independent and Hollywood cinema and bring intelligence, talent and depth of character to their roles.” Saldana will be on hand to accept her award in person and sit for an interview with the evening’s host.

Bridgewater College in Virginia recently celebrated “De-Stereotype Day,” in which students and faculty alike wore tee shirts that on the front read “Stereotype Me” and featured a description of themselves, and on the back included additional information about what made them unique and special. Click here to read the article and its Trek connection.

We don’t know quite how J.J. Abrams does it, but the tireless writer-producer-director has just taken on another project. He’ll be overseeing, though not actually writing, a novel. The book has no title yet and Mulholland Books offered no details about the plot, but whatever it is, it’ll be out in the fall of 2012.

Kirsten Dunst is busy with a diverse trio of projects. The actress, who very early in her career guest starred as Hedril in the “Dark Page” episode of TNG, has wrapped the films Melancholia, Upside Down and On the Road. Melancholia is a sci-fi film directed by Lars von Trier; while Upside Down is a sci-fi/romance with Jim Sturgess; and On the Road is a big-screen adaptation of the Jack Kerouac book in which Dunst shares the screen with Kristen Stewart, Garret Hedlund, Viggo Mortensen and more.

Joel Grey, Tony Award and Oscar-winner, as well as Voyager guest star – he played Caylem in the episode “Resistance” -- is currently back on Broadway (at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre), co-starring in an acclaimed revival of the musical Anything Goes. But that’s not all for the actor, who turned 79 on April 11. He’s also co-directing a revival of The Normal Heart, set to open on April 27 at the Golden Theatre in New York City, and he is the subject of an exhibit called “Joel Grey – A New York Life,” running now through August 8 at the Museum of the City of New York.

Leonard Nimoy made his long-awaited return to Fringe on Friday night. He reprised his role as William Bell in the episode entitled “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.” And, speaking of Nimoy, the Star Trek legend will touch down on May 22 in Dallas for the Dallas Comic-Con.

Dahmer vs. Gacy. Now this is a movie we want to see. Check it out: a scientist works feverishly to create the ultimate killer by combining the DNA of infamous serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy. Only, they escape and must be stopped by Ringo, a soldier who’s been trained by God. Tracking down Dahmer and Gacy, Ringo encounters not only an army of Japanese ninjas, but also a “super serial killer.” So what’s the Star Trek connection? Well, Voyager’s Ethan Phillips co-stars as the “super serial killer.” Dahmer vs. Gacy will arrive on DVD on May 10 via Walking Shadows. Also, Phillips just guest starred on The Mentalist, appearing in the episode “The Red Mile,” which aired on March 31.

John de Lancie has his next gig. Star Trek’s Q will lend his talents to another wildly popular sci-fi franchise, as he’s set to guest star in Torchwood: Miracle Day. Torchwood, of course, is a spin-off of the venerable British program, Doctor Who. Miracle Day will debut in July on Starz.

And this isn’t actually new, but did any of you catch former TNG star Marina Sirtis on Grey’s Anatomy last month? In the March 24 episode, “This Is How We Do It,” Sirtis was heartbreaking as a woman who is afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s and is part of a study/trial being conducted by Derek and Meredith. 

J.J. Abrams