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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical ManualOrder this bookStory: Covering not just the DS9 space station, the Technical Manual also spreads out to delve into the Defiant, runabouts, phasers and tricorders, Cardassian and other alien ships, and more. The text is written from the Starfleet perspective as of DS9’s seventh season, locked into a bloody war with the Dominion, making it an interesting departure from the cheery “enjoy all the great features of your new Oldsmobile” owner’s manual approach of the TNG Technical Manual.

Review: This book is long overdue; even the introduction by producer Ira Steven Behr asks the question “Why the hell did this take six years?” of the book’s own publishers, and even notes that the long-promised “Deep Space Nine Companion” (which, at the time, had been a tentative ghost on the Pocket Books schedule since 1995 or so) is even more overdue. (With respect to Mr. Behr, considering DS9’s probable lack of a big-screen future, it made a bit of sense to wait for the end of the series to come, since it would be silly to publish a DS9 companion volume in 1998 and then wait a couple of years to release an updated version with only one additional season’s worth of information.) Continue reading

Star Trek Starfleet Technical Manual

Star Trek Starfleet Technical ManualStar Trek Starfleet Technical ManualOrder this bookStory: Once upon a time, Starfleet Headquarters was a vast space station floating in the space between two of the galaxy’s spiral arms. Starfleet tug ships hauled enormous cylindrical spaceliners, loaded with passengers, from destination to destination. Dozens of Constitution-class starships roamed the final frontier, while the next big design on Starfleet’s drawing boards was a triple-warp-engine dreadnought designed to better protect Federation interests from the Klingons – just in case the Organians blinked. Oh, and tricorders were full of big honkin’ transistors and capacitors, too – so long as you happened to be looking at the declassified 23rd century documents that wound up in the hands of a 20th century publisher after a mysterious time-travel mishap.

Review: The first professional publication of its kind (and certainly of its scope), Franz Joseph’s “Star Trek Starfleet Technical Manual” extrapolated the future of Kirk and Spock based on the information available at the time. Which, in 1975, was 79 hours of television, and a couple dozen animated stories. Though Paramount Pictures and Gene Roddenberry were quietly ramping up their efforts to bring Star Trek to the big screen that year, it would be a long and torturous process – and nothing that the public would hear about for at least another two years. Continue reading

Mr. Scott’s Guide To The Enterprise

Mr. Scott's Guide To The EnterpriseOrder this bookStory: On behalf of the 23rd century’s own Miracle Worker, the author guides us through external and internal schematics of the movie-era U.S.S. Enterprise, with a travelogue of the more interesting destinations on every deck of the ship, set photos where they exist, and illustrated guides to uniforms, weapons, landing party equipment, and secondary spacecraft such as the Enterprise’s shuttles and work pods. An appendix brings the book up to date with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Review: An interesting hybrid of text and blueprint, “Mr. Scott’s Guide To The Enterprise” is a throwback to a different day and age in Star Trek publishing. At the time, the only new adventures on the horizon were the movies, which appeared every two to three years, and a two-hour action-adventure flick every couple of years or so seemed unlikely to delve into the workings of the ship, so why not fill in the gaps a bit? Continue reading