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Features: Articles & Interviews

Eagle One Media and Space: 1999

By Michael Faries

In January 2002, spoke with Eric Reichert of Eagle One Media, publisher of the re-released E.C. Tubb novel, "Space: 1999 - Alien Seed." (The book can be ordered via their site. It is scheduled to ship January 31, 2002.)

It is refreshing to see "Space: 1999" back in literary form. What was the motivation to republish E.C. Tubb's "Space: 1999" novel, "Alien Seed"?

"Alien Seed" book cover - click to enlarge.

The book cover for "Alien Seed" (front and back).

I was always a fan of the show and remember seeing it when it first aired. When I was growing up as a kid I had built the models and heck, one Christmas even received the action figures with the 2 foot+ size Eagle playset. So I'm not a novice to the series.

Space: 1999 has sort of been the forgotten child compared to other sci-fi series. You can find merchandise, books, etc., from many shows but nothing on Space: 1999. Our goal has been to get product out in the retail market in a quick manner and start to build some interest in the show for the people who may never have seen the series. The best way to do this was to revisit some of the previous published work. Originally, we wanted to do english translations of the german novels that were done. However, to this day we have not been able to get in contact with the authors, their agents, or the publishing company that produced them (if anybody has any leads please let us know). E.C. Tubb's "Alien Seed" novel was our next choice because he's an accomplished writer, many people are familiar with his work and it's a good storyline.

To a new reader -- and new fan of Space: 1999 -- how would you introduce the story? And, for those familiar with Space: 1999, what can they expect from the book?

I think it's a great adventure/sci-fi story that anybody can enjoy. You didn't have to see the series to know what is happening.

Was the novel re-edited from the original? (Or left as is?)

It's the originally published text. We've reformatted the text, added spec inserts on Alpha and the Eagles. And E.C. Tubb has written a Preface for the novel where he explains how his involvement with the series originally came about.

How did the cover art come together?

I asked Michelangelo Cicerone (yes, that is his real name) someone I've known for over 20 years to do the cover. He's always been a sci-fi buff, was familiar with the show, and has considerable artistic talent. An illustration was the only way to go. You look at your Star Wars, Star Trek, etc., novels and they all have original cover art representing a facet of the storyline that the novel is about. To paste a photo cut out (such as the original books) would be a "cheap" way of doing things. From a marketing standpoint you want to have a cover that will stand out from all the other novels sitting on a bookstore's shelf and I think he was able to accomplish this in the final rendering.

We've received a lot of compliments on it. I know our only regret was not being able to use the facial likeness of the Landau and Bain characters. Carlton is still negotiating with their agents, so we couldn't use them. It would have been a different cover if we could legally have used them.

Had you learned of any feedback on E.C. Tubbs's works from Carlton Communications? Fanderson?

I know the folks at Fanderson are big Tubb fans and that they have one of his Space: 1999 novels in the works. I think Carlton is still getting a sense of what Space: 1999 is about and how they can capitalize on it. As far as Tubb's and the other authors' books, I really don't think they are familiar with the work.

Are there plans to continue publishing previously available Space: 1999 books? May we learn what is coming next?

If "Alien Seed" is successful we plan on doing some more of the previously published work. As I mentioned, to do the german original story novels and have them translated into english would almost be like having new novels because many people have not read them. (Because they don't read german.)

How can readers obtain the book? And are there plans to offer the book on online shopping venues, like and

At present you can go to our website and order a copy. We have an order form and simply instructions on how to order. We'll have the novel at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and some others, shortly after the novel comes off the press. [Editor's note: The book is now available via's Store section.] Our main marketing focus however is to get the book into the bookstores where people will see it. The idea is to build interest in the show amongst those who haven't seen it. Selling a couple books here and there off a website wouldn't accomplish that in my opinion.

Where can readers provide feedback about the book?

They can e-mail us off our website.

We've received numerous letters encouraging us on and, of course, wanting more Space: 1999 stuff.

Is offering other sci-fi/other genre books (or other products) in the near future?

Stay tuned. We have negotiations currently going on with several studios and licensing agents to bring on other well-known properties.

Are there any indicators that Carlton Communication, owners of the Space: 1999 property, are showing any interest in reviving the series?

As mentioned, in my opinion, Carlton is still feeling out Space: 1999. They bought the ITC library from Universal a little over a year ago and this was just a tiny piece of the vast film library they wanted. And while at Universal, Space: 1999 just collected dust on the shelf for years, so to speak. I think with vendors starting to put together different types of merchandise from the show and getting it out in the marketplace, you may see a gradual increase in interest. It's going to be all about money. If they see an opportunity, I think something may happen. If the studios are resurrecting Battlestar Galactica and now Lost in Space, why not Space: 1999? Eagle One Media is going to try to do it's part to build interest in the show.

Another publishing company, Powys Media, is also releasing an original Space: 1999 novel this year which continues the adventures of the original series. Does Eagle One Media have the license to embark on a similar venture of new stories, or are you focused on republishing older Space: 1999 novels?

We'll see how "Alien Seed" does for us. Doing some original stuff down the line is not out of the question. We have nothing but respect for what Powys Media is doing and wish them all the best. Our products compliment each other and we don't see this as some type of "competition." The success of their books can only help ours and we'd like to think ours will help theirs.

Any chance that Eagle One Media would consider compiling and republishing the Charlton Comics's Space: 1999 comic books and comic magazines in a special edition (or editions)?

We've looked at the comics, but Charlton has been out of business for so long that it's going to take time to track down whoever owns the rights to the work. If there is anybody. I just don't see it legally happening.

We wish Eagle One Media success with their endeavors. Be sure to order your copy of "Space: 1999 - Alien Seed" -- and spread the word!

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