This is the cover for Memories of the Future, Volume One


This is the cover for Memories of the Future, Volume One.

I looked at a bunch of different designs (and at least one of them may be a variant cover at some point) but when I saw the comp that ended up leading to this cover, I knew that this was the one I'd want to use, because I just love 1950s and 1960s pulp Sci-Fi covers. For me, they evoke a unique sense of nostalgia that is strangely timeless, and that's something I hope to do with the text in these books.

I asked my friend Will Hindmarch, who did the interior and cover design, to talk about the process a little bit, and here's what he had to say:

We went through a few cover designs before settling on this one. I see it as a mix between classic, pulpy Penguin covers and a bit of modern texture-driven design. The decision not to do an actual fake distressed cover, here, with ragged edges and all that, was deliberate. So it has some of that distressed texture, but it's cleaner than a beat-up, hand-me-down copy pulled out of an attic somewhere. This is some remarkably clean copy you found in a second-hand shop somewhere.

The thing also needed to intuitively evoke Star Trek memories without being too on-the-nose. I immediately latched on to that familiar uniform shape and did two or three variations on that idea. This is the one that Wil grabbed out of my various sketches. We wanted something that sort of looked back but was also sort of about the future, but we needed something that we could riff on for a series of books. So it's got a formula that we can tweak and alter as we move forward. I think, once we have two or three of these covers sitting next to each other, they'll interact in fun ways.

I'm already looking ahead to the imagery for volume two. 

Memories of the Future, Volume One will be released next month. I will announce the exact date soon. A little more information about Memories of the Future, Volume One can be found here.

82 thoughts on “This is the cover for Memories of the Future, Volume One”

  1. Quick thanks on the Happiest Days update from me, too (another pre-order here). And now for something completely different:
    To borrow from two above, this tome really DOES look like “the space jellyfish that fell in love” book. Only that title needs more. Just a few more words.
    Oh, yes. I’ve got it!
    I now pronounce your latest as The Space Jellyfish That Fell In Love…With Star Trek book.
    It’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, that cover design makes me not only proud to be a geek, but also as a graphic designer. Well done Will and uh, Wil.

  3. Man, this week has been like, a Wil Wheaton spectacular for me. Not only did I see this book cover and the episode of Leverage, I also saw the Season 3 opener of The Guild, started relistening to your first adventures with Penny Arcade and PVP playing D&D, and just now I saw that apparently a NEW ADVENTURE PODCAST has just been released from Wizards of the Coast featuring you guys again! It’s been a good week to be your fan. You’re really shining brightly, man.

  4. According to today’s “update on all books” email from SubPress it’s being proofread right now. I assume from there it will move on to production.

  5. That cover art is awesome! This looks like something I would grab off the shelf and read just because I like the cover art (not that I wouldn’t grab it up anyway because of the author).

  6. Instead of a pyramid, I thought it looked like a street trailing off into the distance. Farpoint was the beginning of the journey and so forth.

  7. I have to say, this cover art inspires in me “Great Joy and Gratitude”. Seriously killer artwork. I love how it doesn’t say Star Trek on the cover. This is hardcore.
    Whoever pointed out the black shape at the bottom was like the bottom of the TNG uniforms, THAT was a good catch. Wow. I can’t wait for the whole series. I hope you continue to use that textured vector silhouette style. I’m trying to think of objects/symbols that could be used.. a Ressikan flute, android’s severed head, the rotating door of that alien graveyard hotel floating in space, Data’s exocomps, Portal-esque diagrams mocking trek tech schematics.. *drool*
    Very good work Wil and Will.
    More ideas: Golden Gate bridge silhouette (with futurey element to the skyline), borg cube/dice, one of those evolution of man parodies that go from ape, to man, to android, to Neanderthal Riker! I must stop. :)
    Last word here.. I love how this cover, and your writing perfectly capture the mix of reverent nostalgia and cheesiness that I love, looking back on TNG.

  8. I fondly remember a set of 1970’s paperback presses of CS Lewis’ Space Trilogy that my dad had. Not sure he ever read them but as a kid I cherished them because they had just outstanding hypercolored/stylized illustrations for the covers. I think back to 1960’s/1970’s sci fi covers as a golden age of abstraction and care put into representing the text. An ode almost, an art unto itself. Ringworld, Alas Babylon, A Canticle for Liebowitz, Under Pressure, the original cover to Rendevous with Rama.
    If I admired the nod-to-geeks of the binary bubble trickle on sucken treasure, I worship this.

  9. That’s the first thing I thought of. The Farpoint aliens. On the bottom right, is that design Crusher’s rank insignia or something? No, can’t be, they don’t use stripes in ST, just those pips or whatever they’re called.
    But this means something. Can’t put my finger on it.

  10. Beautiful cover, Wil. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
    I also write about something completely off-topic, but which I believe might be of interest to you and, perhaps, your readers. I knew of no other way to make this pitch to you, so I thought I’d try here:
    The producers of Reading Rainbow have announced that they are canceling the show after 26 years.
    For those not aware, the nationally syndicated PBS children’s show attempts to foster a love of books, and is hosted by LaVar Burton. There are few of a certain age bracket who will not have grown up watching the show or at least having been exposed to it.
    I wanted to let you and everybody know that there are a few places on the web where action can be taken:
    There is a campaign at ThePoint attempting to create a critical mass of support:
    There’s a wiki with some basic info:
    A Facebook group:
    and a typically snarky but mostly sympathetic discussion on Reddit:
    I hope you’ll forgive the thread hijacking. I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t thought it likely that you and many others would appreciate knowing.

  11. Have you ever thought about putting on a Starfleet uniform, shaving and going to cons then record how many people say “Great Costume” or “You make a horrible Wesley”? Sounds like a book idea right there! … Goto Dragoncon next weekend, stand in line to get Patrick Stewarts autograph and go totally “fan boy” on him… … Ok, i’m straight out giggling here, let me stop! …

  12. Oh man this cover is brilliant! I can’t wait to see how the style is used in the other volumes. This is going to be a very fun collection to own.

  13. I’m really looking forward to this book Wil. Any chance you might do a signed 300 like you did for Happiest Days?
    I’ve just read about your dog. I hope you and your family are pulling through.
    Take care

  14. Great cover Wil – Cannot wait to purchase. Keep your ideas/stories flowing – you are a very good story teller and entertainer.

  15. If I can make the math work out, I will certainly consider doing a limited edition of 300. That was a lot of fun with Happiest Days, and I bet it would be fun again.

  16. Wil,
    It is amazing, to me, that good art can be so timeless from many different points of views. Some great art work from William Shakespeare can be seen on our big screen and still draw a crowd. Some forty year old bands can play a two hour set that seems like it lasted an half hour. Then some artist revise their work until the day they die. These works which somtimes never ends are amazing, to me.

  17. I’ve been a lurker since before you went into ‘exile’,
    and a fan since the ‘ensign Crusher’ era. I really hate
    to get in touch with you this way, but it seems to be
    an appropriate topic to ask you about this.
    I have been a long time regular on a site called P2Pnet out
    of Canada, run by Jon Newton. For many years we have been
    trying to convince people that as artists of any kind they
    can be successful using the internet, and bypassing the
    middlemen such as the Music Labels, just by using the tools
    provided on the ‘net. You won’t get wealthy, but you can
    be successful.
    You are a model of this kind of success.
    You’re recent successes with self publishing, and respect
    for your fan’s by avoiding DRM an other garbage is a perfect
    example of the kind of success that ANY artist can achieve.
    If you have the time ( I know you are very busy ) I would
    like to ask you to pay a visit to P2Pnet, and possibly, if
    you feel it is appropriate, to talk to the members about
    your successes in self publishing. As I said, you are a
    perfect example of someone who has broken free from the
    chains of the middlemen, and garnered success AND respect.
    P2Pnet is not a den of people wanting to get things for free,
    but it is a place where like minded individuals try to
    show proof that a real artist can succeed properly using
    the tools available, without the need of middlemen or
    ridiculously restrictive copyright or contracts.
    I believe that everyone can benefit by your story of success
    in the digital market, and everyone at p2pnet would love
    to here your story.
    Once again, I sincerely apologize for the threadjack and
    hope to hear from you or see an article from you at p2pnet.

  18. Hey Wil,
    Will you be recording audio versions of Memories of the Future? I loved listening to Just a Geek, and I think these stories would just come alive with your own narration.

  19. Thanks, man.
    I’m considering it. I don’t know if a full audiobook would actually “work” in the creative sense, as it would end up being about 13 hours long, but I’m considering excerpts for a podcast-style thing.

  20. “…I knew that this was the one I’d want to use, because I just love 1950s and 1960s pulp Sci-Fi covers.”
    Because us sf folks are inveterate nitpickers, I have to point out that actual pulp sf magazines had all died before 1960, and were mostly gone by 1950, after peaking in the Thirties. There’s no such thing as an actual pulp magazine from the Sixties. There are a lot of collectors who really care about what will strike many as a trivial, geeky, point.
    More to the point, the design on your book goes back to the tradition of such sf cover artists of the Fifties and Sixties as Richard Powers, rather than that of the pulps at all; you’re conflating entirely different eras.
    Very nice design; I’ve greatly enjoyed your Trek memories and funny comments as you’ve been putting them out, and look forward to all the remaining one you have in you.
    I’ll never forget your encounter with Lawrence Tierney.

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