Over the summer Titan publishing announced that the official Star Trek Magazine was being relaunched as Star Trek Explorer. The first issue arrives today and TrekMovie spoke with editor Nick Jones as well as Inside Trek/Fiction Editor Jonathan Wilkins about what’s new for the Star Trek periodical.
Relaunching for a new golden age of Star Trek
Star Trek Magazine ran for many years as the official Star Trek magazine, but Titan felt that it was time for a change. Editor Nick Jones explains:
The change is a result of a number of facts, chief amongst which is that with this bold new era of Star Trek we’re in the midst of, with so many new shows debuting – some have called it a new Golden Age – it felt like the right time to relaunch the magazine. The Star Trek universe has changed a lot in the four years since Star Trek: Discovery debuted – a change that arguably began with the 2009 Star Trek movie – and the magazine needed to reflect that. We had 25 years under our belt as Star Trek Magazine, so when the covid pandemic forced a pause in publication, we and our partners at CBS took the time to reflect on everything we’d achieved, reassess where we wanted to go, and forge a new future. Hence, Star Trek Explorer.
Explorer will be different than the previous magazine in a number of ways, these include:
- New original short fiction written by some of Star Trek’s best-known authors.
- Inside Trek, a new magazine-within-a-magazine, which goes deeper on a given subject.
- Trek 101, which gives readers, new and old, the lowdown on a key aspect of Trek (for the first issue it is all about Gene Roddenberry)
- The Q Continuum, where Star Trek luminaries (actors, writers, directors, etc.) are all asked “a big question”
- The Definitive Guide (the first issue focuses on Enterprise)
- Trek Through Life, a celebration of fandom in all its infinite diversity.
- For subscribers: a digital supplement (including more new fiction, plus other added content)
Issue one has a focus on Star Trek: Discovery including interviews with stars Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander, guest star David Cronenberg, and co-showrunner Michelle Paradise. While the relaunch is inspired by all the new shows, Jones emphasized that the magazine will continue to balance content with what has come before:
We’ve always tried to strike a balance between the legacy shows/movies and the new ones, and that will continue to be the case, but things like “Inside Trek” and “The Definitive Guide” do give us more scope to explore aspects of legacy Trek in greater depth. Often though, elements or plotlines of the new shows will inspire reassessments of the older ones, the perfect example of that being Larry Nemeck’s “A Fistful of Data” column and Chris Dow’s “Treknology” column. Larry and Chris are experts at picking up on new developments in Discovery and Picard and the other shows and seeing how those relate both to established canon and to the wider world.
New short Star Trek fiction
As noted above one of the biggest new things for Explorer is the inclusion of new original Star Trek short fiction in each issue. These stories will be coming from writers like James Swallow, Una McCormack, Chris Cooper, and Lisa Clink, the stories also include brand-new art.
Fiction Editor Jonathan Wilkins gave a preview of issue one, and what is to come:
For the first issue we have some stories featuring Q. He’s such a big character in the franchise that we thought we would explore him a little. And, of course, he is back in the new season of Picard, so it felt timely to let him pop up on the pages of Star Trek Explorer and cause mischief. He even has a run-in with a certain James T. Kirk… We like to surprise readers, so I won’t say too much about what’s coming up next, but be prepared to engage the Borg…!
Picard gets a focus in issue 2
The first issue of Explorer arrives just in time for Thursday’s launch of Discovery season four. Being quarterly, issue two will arrive in February which also happens to be when the second season of Picard launches. Nick Jones explained how this synergy will fit in with Explorer:
We aren’t necessarily tied to the new shows in terms of which interviews we run, but we will certainly be running interviews with actors and behind-the-scenes folk from the new shows. That said, issue 2 does have a distinct Picard focus, not just in terms of the interviews, but in that some of the themes of the issue are inspired by the themes of Picard season 2. As I mentioned, the new Trek series continue to inspire us to look at legacy Trek anew.
Jones also revealed that issue two will include new interviews with Star Trek: Picard’s executive producer Akiva Goldsman, as well as star Jeri Ryan and Annie Wersching, who is playing the Borg Queen. The Inside Trek mini-magazine will focus on the Borg, and the Definitive Guide will spotlight Star Trek: First Contact and Trek 101 will profile Jean-Luc Picard. In Issue 2 they also ask Robert Beltran, Jonathan Frakes, Jason Isaacs, Nichelle Nichols, Brent Spiner, and others to nominate Star Trek’s greatest guest star, and there’s a feature on how science fiction author Alistair Reynolds has been inspired by Trek. Jones also revealed that issue 3 will include an interview with John de Lancie.
If you subscribe to the print magazine for $29.99 annually you will receive an exclusive digital supplement, including two additional short stories. CLICK HERE to subscribe in the USA/Canada, and CLICK HERE to subscribe in UK/Europe.
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