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Reviewer : Zeke Thorne
Ave Rating : 2.0000 for 2 reviews
Title : Star Trek : The Next Generation Technical Manual Rating : 4
Writers : Michael Okuda, Rick Sternbach Year : 1991
Review : Ah, back in the glory days when Starfleet vessel design still made some kind of sense and more torpedo launchers didn't automatically make for a superior vessel. Sternbach and Okuda have always been champions of the minor detail, and this reference guide is their opus in that regard. Unlike other reviewers I was actually pleased by the distinct lack of "flashy graphics" because, to my mind, the schematic diagrams and simple line drawings added to the authenticity of the premise - that is to say, one gets the distinct impression that, if we had the technology available to us we could conceivbly use the TNGTM as a template from which to construct our very own Galaxy-class starship. Fascinating if occasionally contradictory or nonsensical minutiae, with the aforementioned eye to detail upon which Sternbach and Okuda have built their reputations. The "side notes" regarding actual Star Trek production info were an outstanding addition to an already-solid work of technical fiction. The Tech Manual was a solid addition to my collection when I bought it in the early 90s and it remains so today.
Title : The Return Rating : 0
Writers : William Shatner Year : 1996
Review : In a word: trite. Absolute, unadulterated trite. This is the stuff of fan fiction, and I'm appalled that Bill Shatner would go to such lengths to over-idolize his own character. I picked up this novel when I was much younger, lured by the prospect of juicy space-battle scenes waged between Starfleet's finest and the malevolent Borg, who had (somehow) managed to ally themselves with the Romulan Empire - a neat trick for a species initially introduced as "(like reasoning with) a hurricane". Honestly, not even Voyager came close to "de-Borging" the Borg the way this novel did. Though the storyline might have been at least marginally entertaining - or at least canonically believable - in the hands of a more talented author, as it stood this turned into a cosmic wank-fest immortalizing the indomitable strength of Captain Kirk. I can't begin to imagine that any fan of either TOS or TNG would be able to sit back and stomach this. For example: according to "The Return", in order to destroy the Borg Collective, the mighty Captain Kirk (of course) must PULL A LEVER. Let that roll around in your head for a few minutes, and then tell me that Shatner's ghost writer was older than 13. That's your big contribution to Star Trek mythos? Pull a lever? I could go on and on about the nonsense storyline, the underdeveloped character interaction (with the notable exception of a scene with Worf hunting on Q'onos, though it was spoiled when Kirk showed up and ruined Worf's shit in a bat'leth fight), the absolutely infantile treatment of both the Borg and the Romulans, and the aforementioned cosmic-wank fest that was the Kirk character, but why bother? Take my advice: save your money for the latest issue of YM - it probably has more substance.

Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 721 Last updated : 20 Dec 2014