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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
20
Star Trek the Visual Dictionary
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£14.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 24 February 2013
The Star Trek Visual Dictionary covers the entire prime timeline Star Trek universe, or at least all the live-action TV series and films. TAS is left out, but I can understand why; it could have made the otherwise all "real" visuals inconsistent. After a forward from John de Lancie (aka Q) and a two page spread introducing the the Star Trek universe with a map of the galaxy, the book is in vaguely chronological order. Each of the series gets spreads for the hero ship, each captain, and each crew. The entire rest of the book is then arranged around the various species of the Star Trek universe, with the founding members of the Federation coupled with the Enterprise area of the book at the start, and species most strongly associated with DS9 and Voyager towards the end of the book, while the middle of the book includes everyone else, after the TOS and TNG intros. Each species gets anything from half a page, up to two two-page spreads for the major races (Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Dominion, and Cardassians).

In some ways this feels like a fresh take on the old The Worlds of the Federation book, which also took a species-by-species view of the Star Trek universe, although with rather more non-canon expansions in that book. The downside of this format is that a few reasonably major areas of Trek are left out; there are no references to the mirror universe, alternate timelines, or the far future of the Trek universe we have occasionally glimpsed. While these are big areas of Star Trek lore, I can imagine their omissions being an editorial choice to focus on the core prime timeline. Perhaps more notable for a starship lover such as myself is that only the TV-hero Starfleet ships get any love; while mentioned, you wont see the Enterprise-A, Enterprise-E, Excelsior or any of the minor ships of Starfleet here. Starship designs from other species are well represented however.

Indeed the choice to mostly arrange the book by species gives some of the more obscure races a chance to shine as the book explores the culture and technology of each subject it covers. One of my favourite recurring elements in the book is spotlighting alien musical instruments, from the familiar Vulcan lute, to the bizarre Klingon concertina.

I really know my Trek, so it's hard to be objective, but it feels like this would function well as an introduction to the Star Trek universe to newer Star Trek fans; covering all the major characters, species, technologies, and moments of Star Trek history. At the same time it's a real treat for those of us that are deeply familiar with Trek, thanks to the wealth of high quality imagery, particularly when it comes to props; some of which are delightfully obscure, and I'm sure have never had this level of attention in a Trek publication before. The chance to get a look at some of these alone, especially the brilliantly designed and incredibly well made props from Enterprise, are reason enough to buy this book. The production design from across the Star Trek series really gets a chance to shine here.

The author, Paul Ruditis, manages the same balancing act as the designers, in making the book both an accessible introduction to Trek, while giving the more familiar reader something interesting. Managing not too go into too much detail about subject one could easily get carried away on, while at the same time giving over room to give us paragraphs on such subjects as Human literature, the Carbon Creek incident (with one of my favourite props accompanying), and the inherent collectability the Ferengi design into their weapons to give them more of a market.

My favourite part of the text by far though, are the labels accompanying most of the images. Some are practical guides to parts of technology or biology, but many are gloriously deadpan; with Porthos labelled simply "beagle", on the same page Keiko O'Biran is used to illustrate a typical Human female, with the excellent label informing us "leggings common in women's fashion". My favourite is on one of Phlox's animal containers: "Altarian marsupial (in cage)"

At ninty-four pages this book manages to cram an impressive amount of Trek in. I feel it would be a great introduction for newbie trekkies, but also has lots of treats for the more familiar. I really hope this book is a success, as I would love to see similarly attractive and in-depth treatment to other areas of the Trekverse; perhaps a Star Trek starships guide in the same format, a look at all the lovely new designs coming out of the nuTrek films, or maybe one of DK's incredible cross section books!
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on 30 March 2014
I love this book as a reference guide to all the Star Trek series'. Everything from the Original Series, to Voyager and the latest, Enterprise are covered.
Its format is very nice and tidy with sections on all the alien groups from Klingons to the Kazon. There is even sections on the props, bits and pieces, ie: a tricorder.
This is a great companion for any Trek fan...
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on 2 April 2013
super extra wonderful. I love it all the instruments ,aliens, and federation stuff beautiful. lovely marvellous . thank you very very much
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on 5 August 2013
Bought this as a present for my boyfriends birthday. He absolutely loved it, really great detail and pictures showing all sorts of props, people and ships. Great book for any star trek fan!
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on 17 October 2016
Used it to teach my very young daughter all about star trek before she headed to her first convention.
We took it with us in the end and when she saw someone cosplaying a certain alien or characte,r we looked them up in the book so she knew all about them.
Perfect for raising little trekkies
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on 5 August 2016
While this is an entertaining book to peruse, in no way is it a dictionary. For instance, if you want to find out what 'stardate' refers to, one would suppose that there would be an 's' section to look it up in. There is not. Illogical
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on 2 February 2016
Although previously owned this book was in very good description. It was delivered within days and was well packed.The big plus is this was sold by a charity, brilliant job everyone! Thank you
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on 22 July 2013
An essential book for any star trek fan. Although it misses a whole TV series of star trek, the illustrations and photos are equalizing the dissapointment. A must buy
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on 11 July 2013
Bought this for my partner as he is a huge trekkie fan, the book is very interesting and informative, good pictures too of
of all within. Well worth getting
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on 13 October 2014
Bit of a trekkie always on the lookout for something I haven't read yet. A lot of stuff i'd read before but some new stuff in a quality colourful book.
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