02nd Nov2013

Book Review: Star Trek Federation – The First 150 Years

by Phil Wheat

Star-Trek-Federation

The Star Trek universe is in flux right now. On the one hand we have the classic series, the movies that followed, Next Generation, Deep Space Nine et al. On the other we have J.J. Abrams new take on the Trek mythos with the big screen Star Trek and its recent follow-up Star Trek Into Darkness. Its a division of old and new… Yet in the world of literature it seems old Trek still reigns and its to those hardcore Trekkers out there that still lean to the old Roddenberry days that Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years will appeal.

Seemingly inspired by the recent Star Wars books The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force and Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years is an “in universe” history of Star Trek complete with excerpts from Starfleet records, chronicling the pivotal era leading up to mankinds first contact with the Vulcan’s in 2063, the Romulan War in 2156, the creation of the Federation in 2161 and the first 150 years of the intergalactic democracy up until the year 2311.

Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the United Federation of Planets. Meticulously researched, this account covers a multitude of alien species, decisive battles, and the technology that made the Age of Exploration possible. It includes field sketches, illustrations, and reproductions of historic pieces of art from across the Galaxy, along with over fifty excerpts from key Federation documents and correspondence, Starfleet records, and intergalactic intelligence.

Penned by David A. Goodman, who has written for Star Trek: Enterprise, Family Guy and scripted the award-winning Futurama Star Trek homage, “Where No Fan Has Gone Before”, Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years brings together the entire history of original Trek – from Zefram Cochrane and his first contact through to the original William Shatner-starring series, whilst managing to insert Star Trek: Enterprise and its convoluted history into the official Trek timeline too!

There’s plenty of stories, events and characters that fans will recognise and connect with, from the infamous Khan (whose relationship with Captain Kirk is covered brilliantly in extracts from Kirk’s “official” biography) to Deep Space Nine’s Jadzia Dax – whose connection to the Klingons, as Curzon Dax, is explored thoroughly, giving a greater depth to the fan-favourite character than the TV show ever did. But where Star Trek Federation comes in to its own is in telling the history of the creation of the Federation – the Romulan War, Earth’s trouble with the Klingons and the structuring and development of the Prime Directive. All the things which shaped the Star Trek I grew up with.

For those with a passing interest in Star Trek this book may be hard-going but for those, like me, who devoted hours to watching each and every iteration of the franchise, sitting down every week to that 6pm sci-fi slot on BBC2, Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years makes for very interesting reading.

Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years is available now from Titan Books.

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