Heavy Metal is getting into the novel business. Not the graphic novel business (though the novel will certainly contain some graphic stuff - it's a Heavy Metal production after all), but an honest-to-goodness series of sci-fi prose. Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance looks to kick off a massive, 10-book endeavor for the company and SYFY WIRE has the exclusive first trailer.
Co-written by Heavy Metal CEO Matthew Medney and aerospace engineer John Connelly, with illustrations from Utku Ozden, the first book looks to set up an ambitious universe of alien politics, hard sci-fi, and that inescapable need for humans to get their grubby little hands on everything they can. Humans don't know about aliens in the Beyond Kuiper world. That's exactly how the aliens want it. But when a disaster leaves astrophysicist Bernard William Hubert alive, the only reasonable explanation he can figure is "aliens." So, like any self-respecting scientist, he forms a company and starts looking to the stars.
Despite its alien-centric premise, fans can expect some grounded engineering throughout the story - partially thanks to Connelly's background at Lockheed Martin. "While the story of Kuiper is truly fantastical, the science of it is not," the authors explained. "Everything we asserted in building this world had to pass what we call the 'Bill Nye Test.' If anything in our story required an alignment with true science, we made sure to do our homework."
But, as the first trailer clearly shows, there's still plenty of fantastic fiction in this sci-fi adventure. Just get a load of those aliens in Ozden's lovely art.
Take a look:
“We want all readers of the Beyond Kuiper series to journey into exploration and discovery,” Medney said in a statement. “We want them to not only travel through a 'Hi-Fi' science fiction adventure, but also to engage with the most astronomical questions about our place in the universe."
If fans still have any questions about the tone, here's a look at the first book's cover:
Yeah, this is going to go after some big questions. The book is also getting an audiobook version from Podium Audio with narration from Kyle Perrin, who and produced, sound designed, and co-wrote its score with Medney.
“We’re incredibly excited to be co-producing the audiobook for Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance,” said Scott Dickey, Podium Audio CEO. “The high quality audio production combined with a soundscape, sound effects and original music, will take listeners on a truly immersive adventure into the world of Matthew Medney’s science fiction universe.”
Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance hits bookstores on Nov. 11, but is available for pre-order now in print and audiobook. There will also be an e-book version published by Aethon Books. Heavy Metal fans can look forward to a tease for the universe in Heavy Metal #300, titled "Dark Wing," when the issue drops on Aug. 19.