Subtitled ‘A Reference Guide to the Future’, I bought my copy in 1995 when ‘DS9’ had only just started and ‘Voyager’ was just a rumour. I presume there is a more up-to-date edition, but is a printed version now needed in the twenty-first century when so much is online? So this is a review of the 1994 edition. There are 396 pages.
In the introduction, the editors announce how, “It is increasingly difficult for those involved with the show (either as viewers or as production staff) to remember the enormous body of details that has been created for the show. This book has been created to help keep track of all that stuff.”
Basically it is an A-Z of people and peoples, planets and star systems, ships, equipment, organisations, and … well, all the rest that exists in the ‘Star Trek’ universe. The entries are helpfully crossreferenced, and every episode up to the date of publication is also helpfully included. As well as giving some behind-the-scenes information, there is much extraneous material of use. Did you know, for instance, that Gene Roddenberry originally intended the ‘Enterprise’ to have been called the ‘Yorktown’?
The editors occasionally display a witty sense of humour (see, for example, under ‘Chocolate’, ‘Heisenberg Compensators’, or ‘Pulaski, Doctor’). But one annoying feature of the book is that a people, take ‘Ferengi’ for instance, is listed only at the end of the other entries relating thereto. It is also a disappointment that all illustrations are in black and white. At the book’s end there are three appendices: 1. a timeline of the ‘Star Trek’ universe from 1957 to 2370; 2. a timeline of ‘Star Trek’ productions, 1960-1993; and 3. an episode list.
Whatever the level of your interest in the series, this can be a useful supplier of information about virtually all aspects of the series.