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"Star Trek" Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future

Title : "Star Trek" Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future 'Star Trek' Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future
Writers : Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and Doug Drexler
Published : 1999
Publisher : Pocket Books
ISBN : 0671536095
Rating : 5
Editions : The Encyclopedia comes in three editions. The first is paperback and has the images in black and white. The second edition is hardback, with colour images on glossier paper. The third edition is a paperback reprint of the second with an additional section in the rear which brings the book up to date through the end of Deep Space Nine and around the midpoint of Voyager. That makes it a little more awkward to use, as you have to check for whatever you are looking for in two different places. Apparently this was adopted as a cost-cutting exercise, saving the time and expense of re-editing the entire book into a seamless whole - it's said that without this measure there would never have been a third edition at all. With the demise of Enterprise the time is surely perfect for a fourth edition to appear...

Review

A comprehensive guide to just about everything you want to know about the Star Trek universe. The pages are mostly laid out in a two column format, with small pictures scattered throughout the text. There are a great many pictures - it's a rare page that doesn't have at least one or two. Some of the larger or more significant articles have larger images, which range up to a full page in size. At the rear of the Encyclopedia are a number of useful appendices covering a brief timeline of Trek events, episode listings, ship size comparison charts, etc.

Overall it's hard to fault the encyclopedia; it covers pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about Star Trek, right down to the smallest minutiae. The majority of the information is directly from episodes and movies, but the writers have chosen to also include a fair amount of non-canonical material. It's usually flagged as such but it's not always completely crystal clear, which can be a little frustrating from time to time. But that's a minor quibble - overall this is an excellent book that makes fascinating reading. In terms of "bang per buck" it's certainly the best of the Trek reference books by far, and a definite must have for anybody with a serious interest in the show.


Copyright Graham Kennedy