REC.ARTS.STARTREK.TECH READING LIST

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News and Rumors


Contents:

  1. Episode Guides - Can you name the episodes?
  2. Official Technical Manuals - Quasi-canonical stuff
  3. "The Making Of" and Other Licensed Works - Good, but don't quote them on matters Treknical
  4. Pretty Pictures - Gorgeous diagrams
  5. Blueprints - So how do you get to the reactor control room from the airlock?
  6. Gaming Materials - FASA, SFB, etc.
  7. The * of Star Trek - A whole new genre of publishing
  8. Clubs and Periodicals - Tech Groups & Fanzines
  9. Isn't There... - What books there aren't
  10. Where Can I Get Them? - Mail-ordering info
  11. Contributors

Typical question:

 Could somebody post a list of "canon" material?  And maybe a *brief*
 list of the major "non-canon" items, such as FASA...?

As Gym Z. Quirk (Taki Kogoma) has often pointed out:

The rec.arts.startrek.tech newsgroup and most of fandom define some shades of gray. This FAQ is intended to list the reference books of interest to the .tech community, and provide a review of sorts of their various merits.

Michael Griffiths has pointed out the seeming contradiction between this FAQ and its siblings - namely, in the other FAQs, non-canonical materials (such as Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise) are listed as "not to be trusted", "unreliable" or worse, whereas in this FAQ they are praised and denoted as required reading. Huh? Let me clarify - just because a work has been contradicted by official information, or merely doesn't have the official stamp of approval does not mean it isn't cherished by the Trek community, or considered valid speculation. On the contrary - these unofficial documents are the result of hard work by people just like us who adore speculating about the unanswered technical details in the Star Trek universe, and have gone so far as to get themselves published! Far from being rejected for the purposes of discussion about the canonical details, they should be considered supplementary discussion in their own right. And even those works which now outright disagree with the established canon are valuable reading at the very least for historical purposes and because everybody else has read them and will be considering them in any tech discussion.


1. Episode Guides

While Vidiot and Hackman have on-line (free) episode guides for both TOS and TNG, you can't walk into a store and buy them printed and bound (at least, in my part of the world). If you're looking to spend money, these are the ones most bookstores will have.


THE STAR TREK COMPENDIUM

Allan Asherman.

Pocket Books, 1993. ISBN 0-671-79612-7
In print. US$13.00.

"The complete reference book" to the Original Series, the Animated Series, and the Film Series. Various editions exist; one including Star Trek VI is the latest, and has a white cover. The author tends to (IMHO) harp on minor items in Star Trek, and interprets everything from the IDIC view, as if that drove the writers of every episode. Each episode or film is given a short summary, and a behind-the-scenes analysis about twice as long as the summary.


THE STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION COMPANION

Larry Nemecek

Pocket Books, 1995. ISBN 0-671-88340-2
In print. US$14.00

A compendium for the Next Generation. I personally prefer this style to Asherman's companion. Each episode is given a short summary, but the accompanying notes are strictly factual, and don't include much analysis. This is a must-have book for Treknologists, as it includes info such as ship classes for barely glimpsed ships, information on yet-to-be-seen maps and the like. (The earlier edition with a blue cover covered seasons 1-5; a newer edition for seasons 1-7 and Generations is out with a maroon cover.)


NITPICKER GUIDES

THE NITPICKER'S GUIDE FOR CLASSIC TREKKERS

THE NITPICKER'S GUIDE FOR NEXT GENERATION TREKKERS

THE NITPICKER'S GUIDE FOR NEXT GENERATION TREKKERS, VOLUME II

THE NITPICKER'S GUIDE FOR DEEP SPACE NINE TREKKERS

Phil Farrand

(TNG: Dell Publishing, 1993. ISBN 0-440-50571-2)
(TOS: Dell Publishing, 1994. ISBN 0-440-50683-2)
(TNG2: Dell Publishing, 1995. ISBN 0-440-50716-2)
(DS9: Dell Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-404-50762-6)

In print. US$12.95.

Synopses of episodes (through season 6 for NG in Vol. 1, 7 and Generations in Vol. 2 plus more glitches from the rest), and movies (through ST:VI in Classic) plus any of continuity glitches (which arm someone is leaning on), effects muckups (when they forget to light something, or the mike boom shows), technical inconsistencies (holodeck matter, door controls), and various rants. The author has a deep seated communicator obsession.

Apparently, Paramount has quashed the publication of this series. Don't expect any more updates - at least it was fun while it lasted. (Thanks to Marco Radke for the unfortunate news.)

Phil has a web site set up - Nitpicker Central (http://www.nitcentral.com/).


THE STAR TREK CONCORDANCE (First Edition)

Bjo Trimble.

Ballantine Books, 1976. ISBN 0-345-25137-7-695.
Out of print. Cover price: US$6.95. Listed as US$60-$100.

One of the first big Star Trek publications by fandom, this volume is hard to come by. The cover is an "episode wheel" giving page numbers and abbreviations for all of the episodes detailed within - in the 1976 edition, both TOS and TAS are treated equally. Episodes are listed by stardate, a brief interlude of fan art takes up a few pages, then a season-by- season listing of the episodes with a short synopsis fills out the first half of the book. The second is a lexicon, or encyclopedia of sorts for TOS and TAS era information about Star Trek, much of which is still valid, some of which has strange quirks. Throughout the book is line art and tracings from cels of the animated series.


STAR TREK CONCORDANCE (New Edition)

Bjo Trimble.

Citadel Press, 1995. Trade paperback, 322 pages. ISBN 0-8065-1610-0.
In print. US$19.95

The new edition of Bjo Trimble's classic work, the "Star Trek Concordance" is well worth the cover price. She has expanded on the earlier Ballantine incarnation of the Concordance. The new version still covers TOS and TAS, but has also expanded to cover the films as well as TNG and DS9 episodes concerning TOS characters (i.e. TNG's "Relics"). Although references to TNG/DS9-only information are minimal. There now separate sections covering vessels (lotsa NCC numbers here), and locations in the ST universe (clearing up a lot of weird pseudo-astronomical ST place-names). This book is an essential companion piece to Okuda's Encyclopedia and Chronology, IMO. [Victoria Aeron Mackey]

Sadly, no Secret Star Trek Decoder Wheel on the cover of this one.


2. Official Technical Manuals

These are generally accepted by the .tech community as being fairly definitive sources, although not perfect by any means. Since they are written and illustrated by those involved in the production of the television and movie series they are more likely to be used as reference and agree with future aired material than other publications. But even these have been contradicted repeatedly by on-air material. At the very least, these give a great insight into what the production team was thinking (how big was that ship supposed to be? what's behind that door?) in a way that even the best fan produced materials can't touch.


STAR TREK CHRONOLOGY: THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE

Michael and Denise Okuda.

First Edition: Pocket Books, 1993. ISBN 0-671-79611-9
Second (?) Edition: Pocket Books, November 1996. ISBN 0-671-53619-9.
In print. US$25

A comprehensive look at the timeline of Star Trek, from the distant past through both generations to the future. It is based on "official canon" with the occasional speculation from episode scripts, Roddenberry's own writing and TAS episodes, but on the whole, it is derived from the show with few assumptions.

The second edition is full color, and covers DS9 seasons 1-4 and Voyager seasons 1-2, as well as some notes on First Contact.


THE STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE TECHNICAL MANUAL

Rick Sternbach, Doug Drexler, and Herman Zimmerman

Pocket Books, 1998. ISBN 0-671-01563-X
 

Includes blueprints of the station, over 200 color illustrations, and information about the Defiant and Runabouts as well as DS9 itself. Not as textually reliable as the TNG Technical Manual, especially when it comes to the Defiant, because its writer Rick Sternbach did not work on the show for the full seven seasons like he did on TNG. It's excellent in terms of graphics, done by Doug Drexler who worked on the show full-time as scenic artist, as well as input by DS9's production designer Herman Zimmerman who (in his words) is responsible for everything we see on-screen except for the actors.


 

THE STAR TREK ENCYCLOPEDIA: A REFERENCE GUIDE TO THE FUTURE

Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda, and Debbie Mirek

Pocket Books, 1994. ISBN 0-671-86905-1 (trade paperback) ISBN 0-671-88684-3 (hardcover)
2nd Edition: Pocket Books, 1997. ISBN 0-671-53607-9 (hardcover)
3rd Edition: Pocket Books, 1999. ISBN: 0-671-53609-5 (soft cover)
In print. US$27.95 (3rd edition soft cover).

Get it. Not much more needs to be said about this reference. 630 pages of references and cross-references, definitions and citations. From "'audet IX" to "Zytchin III", with a mini-chronology, and a "Ships of the Galaxy" chart - very nice color renditions of almost all Federation and other starship classes (including those from Star Trek: First Contact).

Some mistakes have already been found and are being tallied up in the newsgroup, and there is always the debate about what material should/ shouldn't be included (as usual, TAS is out but Okuda/Jein/Sternbach registry numbers are in, etc.) But it is still a wonderful volume.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION TECHNICAL MANUAL

Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda.

Pocket Books, 1991. ISBN 0-671-70427-3
In print. US$13.00.

The authors are the Technical Advisors for both TNG and DS9 (as well as designers and graphic artists). It is an in-depth look at the workings of the Galaxy Class starship, specifically the Enterprise. It offers a lot of information that would be too boring to present on the show, and has occasional conflicts (mainly when writers "cheat" with technology), but as a whole, a must-read.


STAR TREK OMNIPEDIA

Michael and Denise Okuda.

Simon and Schuster Interactive, 1995. ISBN 0-671-52889-0
In print. US$49.95.

"This is a CD-ROM version of the encyclopedia and the chronology. It is a must have. It does not contain Generations or Voyager, but it does the first two years of DS9. It allows you to search for information, view by category, view by episode (and it allows you to specify which groups: TNG, DS9, etc) and it also allows you to view by timeline. Very well done. A lot of video clips were added to just about every entry. (If not, then it seems that way.) Even the Wolf 359 scene from DS9 'Emissary' was included. It is suppose to have voice recognition, but I have not tried that." [Frank W. Patnaude Jr.]

Adam Wells points out that the update service means that the Omnipedia will never be too obsolete: "The one sold now includes all of TNG (though some season 7 stuff is incomplete), DS9 1-2, and no Voyager. However, when you buy it (and register), you get one free update, and subsequent updates for a discounted price." He notes that the rate of updates isn't specified, but "the first update will go out in January, and it will include DS9 season 3 and VOY season 1."

In December 1997 a new version of the Omnipedia was released; it has the same cover art as the updated Encyclopedia. "[It] has a lot more pictures and includes Voyager info, up to and including Seven of Nine. The episode guide and the references are now on separate CD's. It's titled "Star Trek Encyclopedia", presumably to tie-in with the paper version." [Kasey Chang]


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION INTERACTIVE TECHNICAL MANUAL

Narration by Majel Barrett and featuring Jonathan Frakes as Commander Riker.

Simon and Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-671-89078-6.
In print. US$39.95.

A CD-ROM version of the TNG Tech Manual with QuickTime 2.0 "VR" video allowing interactive walkthroughs and multiple views of objects. Available for Macintosh and Windows. "A bit pricey, but I personally felt it was worth the cost." [Benjamin Chee]

The Windows version initially shipped with QuickTime for Windows v1.2 and was very buggy, but later releases have QuickTime v2.0 which is apparently much more stable.


WRITER'S GUIDES

These are the bibles that help acquaint writers with a series. They are created by the producers of the show and often contain information not found anywhere else that help shape the Star Trek universe. This includes ship listings, character background, and occasionally technical info. They are basically "canon until proven otherwise" but they often get contradicted as a show develops and the characters and ship grow beyond the original terse description.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION FIFTH SEASON WRITER'S GUIDE

"... very general, with statements like "Picard trusts his Number One absolutely" or "Geordi can best be described as a blithe spirit" ... as Ron Moore said when he autographed a copy of this for me, "This is a very precious document. You're going to treasure it for a long time." It can best be thought of as an intro to TNG for beginners." [Benjamin Chee]


ORIGINAL SERIES WRITER'S GUIDE

Available from Lincoln Enterprises.


DS9 WRITER'S GUIDE


VOYAGER BIBLE

Parts are floating around as the "Voyager Technical Guide". This is "the technical background material that Paramount handed out to their authors during the first season. It contains several charts and trek pseudo-technical terms that came from the Okuda/Sternbach's TNG technical manual with updates regarding the Voyager stuff, a size comparison chart for Galaxy, Intrepid and Constitution class (very splotchy), a blueprint cut through the Voyager and drawings of the ship from front, side and top." [c/o Armin Lenz]

 

 


3. "The Making Of" and Other Licensed Works

"Making Of" books are valuable to Treknical discussions because they offer a view into what the production crew was thinking - if the Defiant was designed around certain ideas, those might reoccur later on. But more than anything, these licensed works are valuable simply due to the authors having access to the production itself - they have photographs of the models, set blueprints, prop design sketches, preliminary starship renderings, etc.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION: THE CONTINUING MISSION: A Tenth Anniversary Tribute

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Pocket Books, November 1997. ISBN 0-671-87429-2.
In print. US$35.

A retrospective on Star Trek: The Next Generation - from pre-production on the series through the movies. Good, but light on information for us technogeeks to sink our teeth into. Most of the interesting tech information consists of Okudagrams, blueprints, model photos, and such, many of which have been printed before.


STAR TREK PHASE II: THE LOST SERIES

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Pocket Books, March 1997. ISBN 0-671-56839-6.
In print. US$16.

The inside story of the series that never was (which later evolved into ST:TMP). It contains a lot of never-before published material : production sketches, artwork, storyboards and technical info, even including a summary of the first 13 episode story-lines commissioned (but later discarded after the series cancellation). However, too much of the book was taken up by a verbatim reproduction of the first (ST:TMP) draft script "In Thy Image" (by Harold Livingstone) as well as the script of "The Child" (by Jaron Summers and Jon Povill, which was later rewritten for ST:TNG). [Review c/o Benjamin Chee]


THE MAKING OF STAR TREK

Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry.

Del Ray/Ballantine, 1968. ISBN 0-345-35019-1
Back in print for the Trek 25th and 30th anniversary.

First published in 1968, and is meant as a "how to write for Star Trek". Part I of the book is a discussion of how Star Trek came to be. Parts III-V are a look at the production of the episodes. Most important here, however, is Part II of the book "An Official Biography of a Ship and Its Crew", written as a reference guide for writers - how does the ship work, who are the officers, etc. While it has some anachronisms (Starship Class instead of Constitution Class), it is a very good source of Tech information about the original series, and the closest thing to an official TOS reference we're ever likely to see.

Stephen Edward Poe (Whitfield is a pseudonym) defined the "making of" genre of books with this work, and it was the first technical manual for Star Trek. Poe recently passed away, and will be dearly missed by the Star Trek fan community.


THE MAKING OF STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE

Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

Pocket Books, 1994. ISBN 0-671-87430-6
In print. US$16.00.

A 320 or so page look into the background of DS9, the development of the pilot script, and a detailed look into the various teams and people that produce DS9 on a weekly basis. Very nicely written, including interviews with Berman and Piller, as well as Sternbach and Okuda for us technophiles. The dialog about why latinum can't be replicated is priceless. The book does tend to worship Berman (who does a hell of a job, admittedly) to the extent that he's being annoying praised on every other page. A quality sequel to Whitfield's original "The Making of..." "There is an irritating flaw inside, though - in one of the chapters, they get the sidebar numbers mixed up." [Benjamin Chee]


MR. SCOTT'S GUIDE TO THE ENTERPRISE

Shane Johnson.

Pocket Books, 1987. ISBN 0-671-70498-2
In print. US$12.95.

A tech manual for the movie-era Enterprise. It contains detailed diagrams, and a thorough discussion of ship's systems. There are many photographs of the ship from the films, and many pre-production sketches "repurposed" as prototype drawings by the ship's designers. Since the author was working on his own, and well before the Star Trek: The Next Generation production team was well underway in designing the new series, its take on a lot of the treknobabble is at odds with what was later established as "canon". This means that while much of the speculation contained within is quite good and was justified at the time (for example, placing TransWarp drive on the Enterprise-A, relying on FASA's calendrical assumptions, etc.), it has been retroactively invalidated in many respects.

Regardless, the book contains deck plans and system analyses of the Enterprise that are wonderful, and stand the test of time, and it's a "must have" for anyone on the rec.arts.startrek.tech newsgroup.


SCIENCE LOGS: AN EXCITING JOURNEY TO THE MOST AMAZING PHENOMENA IN THE GALAXY!

Andre Bormanis

Pocket Books, March 1998. ISBN 0-671-00997-4.
In print. US$16.00.

Review by Mark Hofer II

It is an interesting book and is easy to read. It is broken up into chapters, and in each chapter is a one to two page sections on a particular subject like telepathy. It hits a wide area of subjects. Andre Bormanis, science advisor for the Star Trek franchise, explains the science in broad layman's terms, but enough to explain the basics and the logic behind what the team did.

I enjoyed reading it even with a sever lack of previous knowledge in some of the areas. It gave a neat look into the why they handle the science on the show. If you don't have too much time to sit down and read or you just want to have something to read during the commercials, this is an good book to have.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION MAKEUP FX JOURNAL

Michael Westmore and Joe Nazzaro.

Starlog Press, 1992.
In print? US$6.95.

Another Starlog publication, detailing what goes into making the aliens of Star Trek. From a tech standpoint, it gives some background and names for some alien species, straight from the makeup artists.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION TECHNICAL JOURNAL

Shane Johnson.

Starlog Press, 1992.
In print? US$6.95.

A set of diagrams and plans looking at the Enterprise. While the text is of dubious quality, and doesn't add much, the diagrams are very useful, and the fold-out cross- section of the Enterprise graces my wall. It is done in "Okudagram" style, and makes a good companion to the TNG Tech Manual.


A VISION OF THE FUTURE: STAR TREK VOYAGER

Stephen Edward Poe

Pocket Books, April 1998. ISBN 0-671-53481-5
In print. US$18.00

Writing as Stephen E. Whitfield, this author wrote the historic "The Making of Star Trek" with Gene Roddenberry. Presumably, this book is full of good stuff too.

(Review, anyone?)


THE WORLDS OF THE FEDERATION

Shane Johnson.

Pocket Books, 1989. ISBN 0-671-70813-9.
In print. US$12.95.

A detailed look at all known aliens encountered on Star Trek up to season 1 of TNG. It includes TAS aliens, and is a very good volume. The author does offer a lot of speculation beyond what was known at the time, some of which has been contradicted by later episodes.


4. Pretty Pictures

These books range from behind-the-scenes photographs of studio models and early sketches by the production crew to hard-core, fan produced technical manuals and blueprints. This section is distinguished from the previous not by the quality of the work (which in most cases is exquisite, but by the usefulness of the information vis--vis a


THE ART OF STAR TREK

Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens.

Pocket Books, 1995. ISBN 0-671-89804-3
Hardcover: US$50.00.

Tons of pre-production sketches, beautiful photographs of models, matte paintings, and just all around gorgeous. Tech-wise it has great photographs, set plans and diagrams, as well as designs for ships that might have been. It also has some information that has lead to some confusion on the newsgroups - sketches of the Defiant labeled "Valiant-class U.S.S. Valiant", for example. A great coffee table book.


STAR TREK: "WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE" - A HISTORY IN PICTURES

Text by J. M. Dillard, introduction by William Shatner

Pocket Books, 1994. ISBN 0-671-51149-1
Hardcover: US$44.95. (A soft cover version is now out, presumably cheaper.)

Not really tech, but a very nice coffee-table book. A bit pricey, and to top it off there are two different dust jackets (one with 1701-A and one with 1701-D). In here 'cause it does have some gorgeous ship frames from movies and episodes.


HISTORY OF THE VESSEL ENTERPRISE, FROM THE 16TH TO THE 24TH CENTURY

Ronald M. Roden Jr.

First INTERGALACTIC Printing, 1992. ISBN 0-962-94323-1
US$14.95.

A collection of over 150 different vessels from the past 4 centuries, including British, United States, French warship class ships as well as many privately owned vessels bearing the name Enterprise. From the Enterprise of England in 1587 all the way to Starship Enterprise NCC-1701D. "A very interesting book." [Mike Welsh]


STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION SKETCHBOOK: THE MOVIES: GENERATIONS & FIRST CONTACT

John Eaves and J. M. Dillard

Pocket Books, May 1998.
Out of print. US$18. ISBN 0-671-00892-7

Kevin H. Martin (a staff writer for the wonderful special effects magazine Cinefex) has a review of this book up on Amazon.com that he offered to let me use here - alas, Amazon's license says I can't. Suffice it to say that Kevin says it's good, and he knows what he's talking about.

 


STAR TREK SKETCHBOOK

Herbert F. Solow and Yvonne Fern Solow

Pocket Books, 1997.
In print. US$20. ISBN 0-671-00219-8

The Star Trek Sketchbook is a very nice collection of pre-production material from the original series. It contains starship design sketches by Matt Jeffries, costume designs by William Ware Theis, photographs of set mockups, prop designs, and much more.

It isn't attempting to be any more than it is (no political commentaries on how X screwed over Y to make the show!), and it's a nice addition to any Star Trek reference collection - but it's not full of useful technical information either.


STAR FLEET MEDICAL REFERENCE MANUAL

Editor: Eileen Palestine; Associate Editor: Geoffrey Mandel; Research and Illustrations: Doug Drexler, Anthony Fredrickson.

Published by Star Fleet Productions, Inc. First Ballantine Books Edition, October 1977
Out of print. ISBN 0-345-27473

A medical book written for the TOS era, with some faults which could be considered poetic license since this is an early work. Concentrates on the Human, Vulcan, Klingon, Gorn, Andorian, and Tellarite species. Those that want a canonical work will probably question what is written. An interesting look back at the TOS era. - Debbie Stressner

Major sections include: a medical time line, overview of the medical field, life sciences, first aid, and Starfleet medical equipment. 160 pages.


JACKILL'S STAR FLEET REFERENCE MANUAL: SHIPS OF THE FLEET

Eric Kristiansen.

Ships of the Fleet Vol. 1 $15.95

Ships of the Fleet Vol. 2 $15.95

Ships of the Fleet Vol. 3 $15.95

Done in the style of the "Jane's" series of contemporary military journals. "...not exactly accurate with regards to Trek's starships. The diagrams of the ships are quite excellent, almost on par with FASA's [Tactical Combat Simulator]. It is clearly a one-man show, however..." [Benjamin Chee]

Volumes 1 and 2 focus on Movie-era ships. Volume 3 focuses on Movie-era ships, including those built using Excelsior-derived technologies (warp nacelles, primary hull, etc), and the Enterprise-B from Generations.

There's a review of these on the web by Michael R. Brown viewable (via the Wayback Machine) at: http://web.archive.org/web/20041119232531/http://www.sfcommand.com/captains_log/number_42/book_review.html

An associated work is Jackill's Light Attack Craft, Vol. 1 (which, if my memory serves, focuses on fighters from other fictional universes besides Star Trek).




SHIPS OF THE STAR FLEET

VOLUME I: CRUISERS AND FRIGATES

VOLUME II: AKYAZI PERIMETER ACTION CRUISERS

Todd Guenther.

Mastercom Data Center. Vol. One: 1991, Vol. Two: 1992.
In print. Vol. One: US$29.95, Vol. Two: US$17.95.

"... a more refined and complete version of "Starship Design." ... The attention to detail and the quality of the graphics make it one of the best treknology purchases I have ever made. Alas, you get what you pay for, and the few remaining copies are pricey, and IMHO likely to get pricier still as collectors glom onto them and despite Paramount's wishes, hang onto their copies with both hands."

Volume One: "... discuses something they refer to as "Class 1 & 1A" starships. Basically, the big heavies, TOS Enterprise, Movie-era E, the Reliant, and variations on those themes. Missing are the Excelsior and Grissom."

Volume Two: "... more speculative than Volume 1... covers an entirely non-canon patrol ship class. However, the book is very imaginative, and at the same time completely in keeping with the what is known about the 23rd Century Starship technology."

[Reviews c/o A. J. Madison]


SPACEFLIGHT CHRONOLOGY, STAR TREK

Stan and Fred Goldstein, illustrated by Rick Sternbach.

Pocket Books, 1980. ISBN: 0-671-79089-7
Out of print. Cover: $8.95, going for US$25-$45.

The pioneering days, the major events, the turn of the 21st century, the birth of the Federation, the first starship Enterprise, Starfleet and the trek to the stars. Actually begins in the 20th century with the launching of Sputnik I in 1957 up to the 23rd century with the starship ENTERPRISE NCC-1701. "Lots of pictures in this one!!!!!!" [Mike Welsh] I recently picked up a copy - kind of fun, but very few of the ship designs actually look like something from Star Trek.


STAR TREK MAPS

Geoffrey Mandel

Bantam Books, 1980. ISBN 0-553-01202-9
Out of print. Cover price: US$8.95. Asking price: US$250.

Another staple of pre-TNG Treknical fandom; well researched and held in fairly high regard, but contradicted by many things in the TNG/DS9/VOY era. "... a collection of two sheets depicting the Federation, Klingon, Gorn, Romulan and other boundaries. Also included was a booklet titled Introduction to Navigation - Star Fleet Command. In this manual, there is a section describing the principles of the original Cochrane warp drive as used in TOS. The booklet contains quite a lot of written information on the development of warp drive systems and how warp travel is affected by matter density in a given area of space." [Joe Chiasson]

New Eye Studio had the original copies of these which were on display at the Smithsonian Institution. A bargain at US$1000!


STAR TREK: STAR FLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL

Franz Joseph.

Ballantine, 1975. ISBN 0-345-34074-4.
In print. US$12.00.

First published in 1975. It houses a number of sections - Articles of the Federation, Starfleet Command, ships of the Starfleet, a detailed look at the Class I Starship (Enterprise), and standard equipment. While this was a mainstay of Tech discussions in the past, it is unfortunately beginning to show its age - it has many conflicts with later information (hardly the fault of this work - the author was careful to speculate only as much as he felt necessary), and the writing is both sparse and hard to follow, explaining little. The first edition (a collectors' item) is now selling for US$35-$85.


STARFLEET DYNAMICS


Out of print. Asking price: US$50.

A look at TOS through Movie-era ship design, technical information, and tactics. Said to be very good by "regulars". Covers basically about ever single point from [the classic films] and earlier, predominantly focusing the movies - uniforms, communication protocols, escape pods, starship classes and designs, Genesis project, bo'sun's whistles, you name it. I would not hesitate to describe it as the Bible of [film-era] Trek. [Benjamin Chee]


STARFLEET PROTOTYPES: THE JOURNAL OF INNOVATIVE DESIGN AND IDEAS

"Another book, very similar to _SotSF_1_, while imaginative, suggests various designs that have a kind of "let's play with AutoCAD" look to them. Its cute, but some of the ideas espoused are sketchy, and require some suspension of disbelief to think Starfleet would actually commission any of these designs." "Comment: they got too artsy-fartsy in attempting to suggest the book really was published in 2292..." [A. J. Madison]


STARFLEET SHIP RECOGNITION

Fan produced. "Setup similar to "Enterprise Officer's manual" by Geoffrey Mandel" [Chris Wayne]
(Starfleet Publications Office)


STARSHIP DESIGN

Todd Guenther. "It's set up like a tech journal. Ships of the Star Fleet are produced by the same company as are many other things. It give many technical layouts of various ships." [Chris Wayne]
(Devon-Aurora Publications, 1987.)


STAR TREK: STARSHIP SPOTTER

Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz, Robert Bonchune.

Pocket Books, November 2001. ISBN 0-743-43725-X
In print. Cover price: US$16.00.

Thirty craft (using the term loosely) are presented by those hard workers at Foundation Imaging, the special effects house that takes care of the Star Trek franchise. Each ship is given a background blurb, a wire-frame rendition, a statistics block giving dimensions and capabilities, and a two-page full fidelity rendering of Foundation's CGI model of the ship. Mojo (who hangs out on Treknical forums) has taken the stance of disregarding "official" statistics when they don't make sense, and going with more plausible fan-deduced dimensions in cases. The length of the Defiant is a key example.

The attempt is excellent, but a few things spoil it for me. The wire-frame seems out of place, the full color renderings of the ships are split across two pages, and finally the book is just frustrating close to ideal - not quite enough ships, not quite enough charts, not quite enough renders. Toss in 3- or 5-way views of each ship instead of the wire frames and dedicate shorter articles to every known type and I'd be in bliss.

This is the closest thing to an official "starship book" that's come out yet, and were it not for more complete and detailed on-line, fan-produced sites this would be a key part of any library. Unfortunately, I think this book will end up being a footnote in the history of Treknical publications.


U.S.S. ENTERPRISE OFFICER'S MANUAL

Geoffrey Mandel. "I believe it currently exists in two versions - the original (which was spiral bound) and an updated version which was modified by Shane Johnson ... [including] modifications to the dates (in Earth-years) as reflected in his Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise" [Todd Guenther]
(???, 1980.)









Star Trek: Ships of the Line Calendars

Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz, Robert Bonchune.

Pocket Books. Cover price: US$12.00.

Included here for completeness, the Ships of the Line calendars are a new staple discussed passionately on technical forums, although perhaps more for nit-picking than sheer wealth of information.

The 2001 calendar features action shots of the "star" ships of the various series, and some sedate filler shots such as the Utopia Planitia orbital fleet yards. The 2002 calendar takes a more artistic bent, aiming to replicate what a Federation photojournalist in the right place and time might have captured.

The 2003 calendar has entirely atmospheric shots, and each image is a two-page spread. No word yet on the 2004 calendar other than the cover.


5. Blueprints

Paramount has only ever officially endorsed three sets of blueprints, and these are listed first. Note that among the treknical community, even these aren't regarded as definitive works.


U.S.S. ENTERPRISE NCC-1701-D BLUEPRINTS

Rick Sternbach.

Pocket Books, 1996. ISBN 0-671-50093-7.
In print. US$24.00

From decks 1 through 42, from Stellar Cartography to the cetacean tanks, from the starboard power coupling to the captain's yacht, detailed blueprints from one of the authors of the Technical Manual. The blueprints are as detailed as one may wish, with a few caveats: they don't detail the interiors of the warp nacelles; they tend to be fairly repetitive (quarters for 1,016 after all); and they don't have any ducks, porches, signs, or other discernable in-jokes. At least, that I've noticed yet.


STAR TREK BLUEPRINTS

Franz Joseph Designs

Ballantine Books, 1973. SBN 345-24471-0-500
Out of print. Cover price: US$5.00. Asking price: US$40 or more.

12 sheets, 9" x 30". A perfect companion to the Star Fleet Technical Manual, but a collectable on its own. The blueprints are actually of U.S.S. Constitution, NCC-1700, but that's a minor detail. Very detailed. These were endorsed by Paramount and actually featured as screen displays in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. However, Paramount later changed its collective mind regarding printed works in the Star Trek canon. Since these predate the "known" explanation of what dilithium is for, etc, the location of some ship components like engineering is questionable. But on the whole, these are still invaluable reference materials.


STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE 14 OFFICIAL BLUEPRINTS

Wallaby/Pocket Books, 1980. ISBN 0-671-79106-0
Asking prices: Blue pack, $25; Original, US$45.

There are actually two versions of these: the 1980 Wallaby Books version (blue plastic package) and the original (not quite sure what the difference is - presumably not blue!). According to the New Eye Studio catalog, these contain 32 views of the Enterprise and all the other ships in the film.


Blues Reviews

A special section courtesy of David Winfrey:

Assorted Ships Profiles - Valley Forge, U.S.S. Enterprise, Battlestar and Orion Shuttle

L. Allen Everhart Jr., Starcraft Productions, 1979 -11 x 17 (2 pg.), scales unstated -- $3.00

I'm delighted to begin these capsule reviews with the man I consider the best in his field, though not at his best by contemporary standards in this minimalist set. Included are side views of "2001's" Orion spaceplane, "Silent Running's" Valley Forge, the well-known Battlestar (presented here without its proper name) and the "interim" publicity-poster Enterprise refit for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," which is essentially an original series "E" with dorsal torpedo bay and swept-back-pylon nacelles bearing a close resemblance to those of the subsequent film (the design originated with pre-production work for the unmade "Star Trek II" TV series, for which a model was at least begun, as seen on pp. 60-61 of Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens' THE ART OF "STAR TREK;" it also appears as the Constitution II class of SHIPS OF THE STAR FLEET VOL. 1, which rendering is dissimilar to Everhart's). Everhart also shows a "scrap view," one half of a forward profile and the inner half of the aft for hangar, deflector, impulse and torp bay positioning; no pylons or nacelles appear here.

Bridge Blueprints

Michael McMaster, Galactic Designs and Productions, 1976 - 17 x 22 (10 pg), 1/24 scale -- $6.95

Another departed master of the field, who delivered slideshow lectures at New York conventions of the late 1970s, McMaster undertook the most painstaking research into canonical design work to my knowledge ever performed. These plans are a comprehensive rendition (right down to 1/8 scale diagrams of the shapes of console buttons) of every element of the original series' bridge. Operational notes, including a well thought out list of keystrokes, are also featured. The plans reflect live canon save for inclusion of a "secondary exit" (not a turbolift) to the left of the main view screen. One emerges from a study of these plans convinced that did the Enterprise exist, one could learn to "fly" it, thanks to McMaster.

Class F Shuttlecraft Blueprints

David Winfrey, Omega Prints, 1987 - 11 x 17 (6 pg. + 2 8.5 x 11 detail pages), 1/24 scale -- $6.95

Time to toot my own horn. I'm not as pleased with these as I'd like to be, nor are they in print (save in rip-off form; see Galaxy Class, below). A revision's long overdue. This, my own entry into the blues field, was meant to provide the most accurate possible drawings of the original series shuttlecraft. "Possible" is a joker here, since the interior set and "full scale" soundstage model didn't match (the former was larger by about 50%, and hollow; interiors were filmed separately). I took the interiors as canonical (the reverse to "Franz Joseph's" take on things), and enlarged the exterior to hold 'em. I rendered every panel, every button, showing changes by episode. I took one liberty, though, which a long-delayed revision will address - I widened the interior to fit the outer walls, rather than dropping it midline, leaving room on either side to spare. My plans include a forward-looking interior shot from "Metamorphosis," though, by which the discerning modeler could correct that error. Professionalism in both linework and printing (not done on an offset press) leave something to be desired, but scale data is without peer (an exterior photo of a model by Mark Nehmzow appeared in Finescale Modeler some years back). Shane Johnson phoned in his compliments, and Allen Everhart gave praise in person (end of plug, for now; but see "Star Trek" Modeler's Blueprints, below).

Enterprise Construction Profile Blueprints

L. Allen Everhart, Starcraft Productions, 1977 - 11 x 17 (4 pg), scale 1.5 in. = 20 meters -- $5.95

Everhart at his finest. Two sheets present the primary hull, two the secondary, both in five stages of construction, from the laying of keels to hull plating and component testing. By coincidence, the plans are a minute fraction smaller than AMT/ERTL's Enterprise cutaway model (whose details do not reflect theirs). Allen's work was not based on Franz Joseph (Schnaubelt)'s STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL or CONSTITUTION CLASS plans, nor does it reflect Matt Jeffries' cross-section as featured in Stephen E. Whitfield's THE MAKING OF "STAR TREK" (his hangar deck, for example, extending to the front edge of the nacelle pylon, not the aft). Purists will note the primary's reflection of AMT's upward-sloping underside, a feature absent from the original series larger miniature (though present on the three-foot model, from which the AMT models were derived). The set also lacks rendition of the nacelles. Its interior profiles are interesting, however, as is its inclusion of the ship's electrical mains, complete as to volts and amps. One can only wish Everhart had undertaken "refit" plans as well.

Galaxy Class Cruiser Interior & Exterior Drawings

11 x 17 (11 pg.), scale unstated -- $9.95

This is nothing more than outright copies of work appearing in Rick Sternbach's and Michael Okuda's NEXT GENERATION TECHNICAL MANUAL. Now, I'm all for bending copyrights to some artistic purpose, whether it be rearrangements of canon starship modules or (when it was out of print, at least) reproducing designs from the STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL in an otherwise original fanzine tech publication like "Starship Design." But this is theft outright, which I'm ashamed to have paid money for. Rather than giving heat to semi-canonical designers, Viacom ought to be taking on this kind of trash. It's also common to see convention dealers selling xerox copies of fan blueprints, often combining the work of several people, typically without attribution. I haven't seen such things offered through the mail - but if you're buying in person, look for the maker's mark. If you don't see one, ask for the dealer's business card. There's some kind of legal action possible here, maybe, given time and effort - and as for Viacom's lock on franchise stuff, the biggest violator of all, Todd Guenther, won with his professionally-distributed SHIPS OF THE STAR FLEET books the honor of involvement with Rick Sternbach's NEXT GENERATION BLUEPRINTS. If that doesn't beat a "cease and desist" letter like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I'm an Aldebaren shellmouth.

Galileo Shuttlecraft Plans

L. Allen Everhart, Starcraft Productions, 1981 - 18 x 24 (2 pg), scale 2 in. = 1 meter -- $3.00

An impressive effort at documenting the original series shuttlecraft, far superior to that shown in the STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL (whose artist had access to the "full scale" soundstage prop, as I suspect Everhart did not). The plans feature fore, aft, left exterior and left interior ("hatch walls" both, in other words) views with a pleasing amount of detail, capturing even the door button just to the "porch's" left (though if Everhart correctly labeled it "PUSH" it goes illegible on my set). The chairs seem a bit inaccurate, and Everhart's established size does not reflect that of the televised interior set - but he does show the nacelle pylons' inside bracing, and was far before his time in positing the shuttle as a warp-capable vessel, a canon-established fact (the nacelles left a trail of antimatter in "Metamorphosis") then overlooked by professionally-produced "tech" literature (e.g. FASA's). Everhart's least well-presented set, sold in an end-opening envelope whose exterior profile can barely be seen - but if you see these for sale, grab 'em. They're worth a look.

Glenn Class Fleet Survey Vessel U.S.S. Grissom

L. Allen Everhart, Starcraft Reproductions, 1985 -- 18 x 24 (4 pg), scale 1.75 in. = 20 meters -- $5.95

Everhart's oddest product, in that the first page's overhead view and the second's interior profile show the trajectory and point of impact of the torpedo which destroyed the first-ever shown of the vessels since canonically dubbed the Oberth class. Nomenclature and idiosyncrasy aside, these plans are a delight to see. Top, fore, aft, side and bottom views (with sections removed for full views of the primary) are rendered in a variety of line weights, reflecting structural elements and hull gridwork. A nice series of "behind the scenes" photo cards were available about that time; these presumably gave Everhart the reference needed to produce this well-crafted set. The envelope bears a triangular logo for the "Star Fleet Corps of Engineers," a feature of Lawrence Miller's Regula 1 prints (which see), also.

K Class Space Station General Plans

Kenneth Altman and Geoffrey Mandel, 1976 - 17.5 x 22 (4 pg), scale 1.5 in. = 20 meters -- $3.00

A virtual one-man blueprint industry, Geoffrey Mandel produced a number of "General Plans" sets from the mid-'70s on, as well as a dozen or more volumes of his "Starfleet Handbook" fanzine (he did some "Space: 1999" work as well, and had Eagle blueprints in Starlog magazine). A workmanlike draftsman of the "Franz Joseph" school, Mandel lacked the bent for canonical accuracy. His K Class blues are a perfect case in point, being based not on K-7 as shown in "The Trouble With Tribbles," but on the sharply angled (and mercifully un-re-released) AMT model kit. The last page features an interesting centerline cutaway, but save for this, there is nothing here to interest any but the most maniacal completist. Of late, Mandel produced signage (wall labels) for the short-lived series "Space: Above and Beyond." His "Trek" blues include nearly every original series and animated vessel, as well as a version of the aforementioned "Motion Picture" poster refit, but none are reflective of canon. He was graced with semi-professional distribution of his STARFLEET MEDICAL REFERENCE, a likewise exhaustive but otherwise unimpressive effort, and achieved full professional standing with his work on Bantam's STAR TREK MAPS (whose ship plans were also inaccurate). The Handbooks were distributed under the "Interstellar Associates" masthead, and are also of little merit.

Klingon Blueprints

Michael McMaster.

I mislaid my set of these original series plans years back (I'd gladly trade my spare Bridge set for a copy), but recall them as a multi (10?) page set of "Franz Joseph" scale drawings, complete to every deck. I recall some fan comment (perhaps alluded to by McMaster) of the high levels of engine radiation suffered by the secondary hull crew, which danger the "command pod" left its occupants immune.

Merchantman (Federation Class J, Type 3)

L. Allen Everhart, 1986 - 17.5 x 22.5 (5 pg), scale approx. 2 5/8 in. = 20 ft. -- $6.95

Side, top, bottom, fore & aft views, a centerline cutaway and plans of the upper and lower of four decks (quarters and engine room/hold respectively, those between being duplicates of the latter), these plans present an impressively detailed study of the little ship that got blown away in "The Search for Spock" (to which incident Everhart makes allusion). Are the surface details accurate? My inclination is to say "who cares?" - but given the Battlestar comment (see Assorted Ships, above), I'd bet my first edition of THE MAKING OF "STAR TREK" on it.

Regula 1 Space Laboratory

Lawrence Miller, 1985 - 17 x 22 (5 sheets + 6 pg. 8.5 x 11 text supplement), scale 1 in. = 40 ft. -- $8.95

A well-done "Star Fleet Corps of Engineers" rendering by Miller, a sort of warm-up for his "Starbase 79" (which see), beginning with "front," side and top views, proceeding to a cutaway profile, then an exploded side view with isometric details, and concluding with an exploded top view of the living area, including variant connector arm configurations (as used in the "Centroplex" of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," which the effects crew of "The Wrath of Khan" inexplicably flipped upside-down to produce Regula). Good general data for modelers, but differs proportionally on close examination from a partial plan printed in an old issue of Starlog (see "Starbase 79" for further explication of this caveat).

Robot Cargo Ship

David Winfrey, Omega Prints, 1989 - 11 x 17 (3 pg.), scale "Franz Joseph's" -- $ 4.95

A "beauty" set of plans of the grain ship from "More Tribbles, More Troubles," painstakingly researched if a bit roughly rendered, with off-the-screen "cel tracings" showing elements that appear and disappear from one angle to another. See Modeler's Blues for further notations on my work.

Romulan "Bird of Prey" Blueprints

Michael McMaster, Galactic Designs and Productions, 1977 - 18 x 24 (5 pg.), scale 1/157.5 -- $6.00

I don't know how McMaster derived this ship's size. According to him, the ship's only 68 meters long (223 feet, about half the diameter of the original Enterprise's primary hull, since denied by canon - e.g., the Okudas' and Rick Sternbach's "STAR TREK" ENCYCLOPEDIA). That said, these are the first (and for many years, the only) accurate plans of the original Romulan "warbird." Exterior plans and full deck layouts are featured, as well as many technical notes. The "bird" painting is well represented. I've long intended to modify AMT's abysmal model kit to match this one's lines, a project these plans - coincidentally twice the model's size - would make a breeze. Unfortunately, that kit's long out of production (as are indeed all original series kits, for the present anyway). Nor does the little MicroMachine replica (accurate though it is) satisfy my urge to breech the Neutral Zone. But McMaster set the course, and a well-flown course it was, though too short, alas, by far.

Size Comparison Chart

Michael McMaster

The original item of this name was a large (24 x 36?) one-sheet with three-views of the Enterprise, Klingon, Romulan and Tholian vessels, as well as the K-station, set against a "backdrop" of a section of Baylock's Fesarius ("The Corbomite Maneuver"), of which a full scrap view appeared also at reduced scale. A masterful piece of work, and the finest rendition of a K-station ever created.

Starbase 79

Lawrence Miller, 1990 - 17 x 22 (6 pg + 5 8.5 x 11 supplemental pg., 4 text, 2 drawings) -- $12.95

I gave up on Miller after this. The cover lists him as having done (in addition to Regula) the U.S.S. Enterprise Bridge (series unstated), the Hornet and Lynx (both original designs, I think), all well-drawn, I'm sure - but "Starbase 79" is the weirdest set of plans I've ever seen. This is "Spacedock" from "The Search for Spock" - sort of. That is to say, Miller's "crushed" it, making all elements taller in relation to their diameter than shown on-screen. This cannot have been accidental; good reference shots of Spacedock appeared in Thomas G. Smith's INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC: THE ART OF SPECIAL EFFECTS (1986), a book which, while costly (for its time), should have been readily available to Miller through interlibrary loan if nothing else. I can only presume he altered the thing's shape (and name) to keep clear of potential legal action by "Trek's" copyright holder Viacom. I'd be the last to call this paranoia; a couple of years back, the franchise boys shut down some not-for-profit websites due to their inclusion of screen captures and the like, and put the fan community on notice that copyright could be applied against any and all derivative works (a practice not followed up as yet, thankfully). Too, I've heard that one of the two mail-order markets long given to selling fan tech materials have been warned off that tack by Viacom. All that said, however, "Starbase 79" is a dunsel. I suppose one could run a revision off on an X/Y axis altering laser copier, but the cost of that would equal or surpass that of the plans themselves. That said, this is a nice piece of work, replete with exterior and interior detail, and including the fanboy's delight of a STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL scout/destroyer docked adjacent to a refitted Constitution class ship. Miller's tech details are fascinating, and he even shows a representative section of the station's quarters. But if you're looking to scratchbuild a Spacedock, don't invest your bucks in this.

"Star Trek" Modeler's Blueprints Set I

David Winfrey, Omega Prints, 1989 - 8.5 x 11 (16 pg.), scales 1/48, 1/92, 1/639, 1/1597 and 1.5 in. = 50 ft. -- $6.95

Yep, me again. First off, a note on scales. The Class F (original series Galileo) and (animated) armored shuttles appear in 1/48 and 1/192, the scales of the AMT/ERTL Galileo and Surak shuttles, respectively; the (animation's) robot cargo ship, K-7 station and Botany Bay are done to the scales of the small and large AMT Enterprises, with a "bonus" page of the Botany Bay to the scale of "Franz Joseph's" CONSTITUTION CLASS plans. Same note on errata applies to the Galileo as in my Class F review above. Armored shuttle includes off-the-screen "cel tracings" of the interior and Enterprise's jam-packed hangar deck , former color-keyed (as is the set entire). Robot cargo ship ("More Tribbles, More Troubles") includes cel tracings and an "alternate design" from an old fanzine; K-7 includes a scrap view of the real-world Douglas Aircraft Company space station design on which it was based. Botany Bay plans are likewise due revision by dint of since-acquired detail photos of studio miniature, but proved to be within a fraction of an inch of that miniature's dimensions, despite having their size derived from extremely limited reference (e.g., 2 wallet sized photos and episode videotapes). Font is that of an IBM Selectric II, my "word processor" of choice circa 1989. Not the most aesthetically attractive set of blues the world has seen, but good modeler's reference, if I do say so myself. And I do.

(David has supplied some additional reviews of non-Star Trek blueprints - see the HTML version of this FAQ, in which this paragraph is a link to that document.)


Publishers and Blueprint Series

ZANART

A company known as Zanart produces licensed "blueprints" for Star Trek and Star Wars - external pictures with interesting detail call-outs. Colin Wyers describes his copy of the Star Trek set: ... it has front, top, back and side views of the Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D, as well as top and side views of Deep Space Nine, and a mini-specs sheet (crew compliments, amount of shuttles, speeds, etc.) It has the Paramount logo on it, and each blueprint is 11" x 14".

JACKILL'S TECHNICAL READOUT DATA SHEETS

Eric Kristiansen, author of the Jackill's Series has been kind enough to supply this comprehensive list of what he's printed - including prices! (I've trimmed it down to the "data sheet" part of his listing; his books are listed elsewhere in this FAQ.)

  • Klingon Ships
    1. B'rel Scout (Klingon Bird of Prey) ($6.00)
    2. K'T'Inga Battle Cruiser (Movie Klingon Cruiser) ($6.00)
    3. K'oloth Battle Cruiser (Early Klingon Cruiser) ($6.00)
    4. Vor'Cha Battle Cruiser (TNG Klingon Cruiser) ($6.00)
    5. K'vort Frigate (Big Klingon Bird) ($6.00)
  • Federation Ships (Pre-TOS Era)
    1. Exploration Craft Daedalus Class (DS-9 Office Display) ($6.00)
    2. DY-100 Botany Bay (Sleeper Ship) ($6.00)
    3. Warp Drive Prototype PHOENIX Cochrane's Ship (First Contact) ($8.00)
  • Federation Ships (TOS Era)
    1. Heavy Cruiser Constitution Class 1st Pilot (1701) ($6.00)
    2. Heavy Cruiser Constitution Class 2nd Pilot (1701) ($6.00)
    3. Heavy Cruiser Constitution Class (NCC-1701-Classic) ($6.00)
    4. Scout Hermes Class (Classic Scout) ($6.00)
    5. Destroyer Saladin Class (Classic Destroyer) ($6.00)
    6. Heavy Frigate Vindicator Class (Classic Heavy Frigate) ($6.00)
    7. Frigate Benning Class (Classic Frigate) ($6.00)
  • Federation Ships (Movie Era)
    1. Heavy Cruiser Enterprise Class (NCC-1701-A) ($6.00)
    2. Star Cruiser Constellation Class (Stargazer Ship) ($6.00)
    3. Recon Cruiser Explorer Class (Recon Cruiser) ($6.00)
    4. PT Destroyer Abbe Class (ABBE Class) $6.00
    5. Destroyer Jenghiz Class (Movie Era Destroyer) ($6.00)
    6. Scout Anabus Class (Movie Era Scout) ($6.00)
    7. Deuterium Tanker Huntington Class (Movie Era Tanker) ($6.00)
    8. Warp Sled Tai/Atai Class (Vulcan Warp Sled) ($6.00)
    9. Research Vessel Oberth Class (Oberth Class) ($6.00)
  • Federation Ships (Excelsior Era)
    1. Transwarp Prototype Excelsior Heavy Cruiser (Excelsior NX-2000) ($6.00)
    2. Enterprise Heavy Cruiser (NCC-1701-B) ($6.00)
    3. Heavy Cruiser Excelsior Class (Excelsior NCC-2000) ($6.00)
    4. Scout Michael Adam (Excelsior Scout) ($6.00)
    5. Destroyer Loki (Excelsior Destroyer) ($6.00)
    6. Command Joshua Class (Excelsior Command Cruiser) ($6.00)
  • Federation Ships (Enterprise-C Era)
    1. Heavy Cruiser Ambassador Class (NCC-1701-C) ($6.00)
    2. Scout Vanguard Class (Ambassador Scout) ($6.00)
    3. Destroyer Defender Class (Ambassador Destroyer) ($6.00)
    4. Interceptor Prowler Class (Ambassador Interceptor) ($6.00)
    5. Zurkov Heavy Cruiser (Ambassador Modification) ($6.00)
  • Federation Ships (TNG)
    1. Enterprise Heavy Cruiser (NCC-1701-D) ($8.00)
    2. NCC-1701-D Refit Heavy Cruiser (Galaxy Class Refit) ($8.00)
    3. Runabout Danube Class (DS-9 Runabout) ($8.00)
    4. Exploration Cruiser Intrepid Class (Voyager) ($6.00)
    5. Defiant Escort Cruiser (Defiant) ($8.00)
    6. Tactical Cruiser Nebula Class (Nebula) ($8.00)
    7. U.S.S Phoenix Tactical Cruiser (Phoenix) ($8.00)
    8. Cruiser Sasser Class (Galaxy type Cruiser) ($8.00)
    9. Fast Tactical Cruiser Alexander Class (Galaxy type Cruiser) ($8.00)
  • Space Stations
    1. Spacedock Ournal Class ($8.00)
    2. Trading Station (K-7) Kepler Class ($8.00)
    3. Spacelab Regula Class ($8.00)
    4. Communication Station Epsilon Class ($6.00)
  • Borg Ships
    1. Assimilation Cube Borg ($6.00)
  • Extra Data Sheets
    1. Silhouettes $10.00

Benjamin Chee describes some of the earlier sheets thusly: Each contains 3-4 A3 sized data readouts of the ships, along with pertinent specs, including details such as surface area (good for enemy targeting calibrations ...), cutaway views, alternative configurations (no less than 4 different "heads" for the Vor'Cha cruiser !).

FEDERATION FRONTIERS

Mike Rupprecht and Mark Wilson have joined forces to offer their deck plans for sale online (http://members.aol.com/FdFrontier).

Mark's plans include:

  1. Federation Shuttlecarrier Comparison Chart ($5.50)
  2. Federation Shuttlecraft Identification Chart ($5.50)
  3. Ships of The Delta Triangle, Vol. I - Automated Fuel Transport U.S.S. Skagerrak ($5.50)
  4. Ships of The Delta Triangle, Vol. II - Large Survey Vessel U.S.S. Aliquippa ($5.50)

Mike has detailed blueprints of the Reliant-type ship (Miranda, Avenger, whatever) available for sale at http://members.aol.com/FH1860/ under the title "MIRANDA CLASS GENERAL PLANS". Interestingly, Mike started off with the plans titled "AVENGER CLASS BLUEPRINTS", before the term Miranda ever came into popular usage - and now offers the same plans with either name. Now everybody can be happy!

Mike was kind enough to send me a copy of the plans. They've highly detailed, elegantly rendered, and just generally nifty. A construction history and detailed ships directory are included, as is a legend explaining just what all those fiddly bits of machinery actually are. This is what the "official" TMP blueprints should have looked like.

 

THOMAS MODELS

Thomas Models has some pretty TOS-era "tech specs": the Constitution-class - for the pilot ("The Cage"), the second pilot ("Where No Man Has Gone Before") and the series (yes, there are subtle variations), and the "Scout/Destroyer" class from the Franz Joseph Technical Manual. These plans are intended for modelers who want to get the detailing on their creations perfect, but can be enjoyed by everyone. $4.95 each.

(December 2001: No longer available on the Thomas Models web site, http://www.thomasmodels.com)

Other Blueprints

This is a partial list of other blueprints and similar technical diagrams taken from The Official Price Guide: Star Trek and Star Wars Collectibles, Third Edition, not already listed above. Any additions are welcome.

  • Alaska
  • Almeida Class Heavy Cruiser-Freighter (M. Morrissette)
  • Animated Freighter Blueprint Set (Geoffrey Mandel)
  • Aurora
  • Avenger Class (1983, D. J.. Nielsen)
  • Caracal Class Command Cruiser (T. Guenther)
  • Decater (Starstation Aurora)
  • Detroyat Class Heavy Destroyer (M. Morrissette)
  • Dreadnought (Allie C. Peed III)
  • Drone Blueprints
  • Durance Cargo Tug Class Starship (T. Guenther)
  • DY 500 (Starstation Aurora)
  • Enterprise (various versions)
  • Enterprise Blueprints (FASA)
  • Enterprise Construction Plans (A. Everhart)
  • Enterprise Evolution
  • Enterprise Exterior Profiles (Starcraft Productions)
  • Enterprise Legacy
  • Excelsior (Starstation Aurora)
  • Federation Reference Series, Vols. 1-6 (Star Fleet Printing Office)
  • Federation Size Comparison Charts, Vols. I and II (Starstation Aurora)
  • Federation Starship Profiles Chart
  • Gorn Blueprints
  • Hornet Class Starship
  • Katanga Class Klingon Vessel (Starcraft Productions)
  • Klingon D-7 Blueprints (FASA)
  • Klingon K'torr Blueprints
  • Klingon Scout Vessel
  • Kobayashi Maru (Daniel Nielsen)
  • Lynx Timeship (Lawrence Miller)
  • Olympus Class Battle Dreadnought
  • Paladin Class Scout/Destroyer
  • Renner
  • Romulan L-85 Battleship
  • Saladin Class Destroyer Scout (Starcraft Productions)
  • Vadenda Class Freighter Plans
  • Warp Drive Blueprints (1984)

6. Gaming Materials

Last Unicorn Games

Licensee ??? through 2000.

(Update c/o Nelson Eisel)

From the late 1990s through 2000, Last Unicorn Games (LUG) published a series of Star Trek RPG materials. On the technical side of things, they included rough designs for some new classes of ships. In 2000, LUG was purchased by Wizards of the Coast (WotC); not long after, Paramount pulled WotC's license to produce a Star Trek RPG and gave it to Decipher (see below).

Many of the Star Trek RPG writers from LUG have been re-hired by Decipher's RPG division; the first books scheduled for release in 2001.

Here is a complete list of the books Last Unicorn had released for their Star Trek RPG series:

Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • Core Game Book
  • Narrator's Toolkit
  • Price of Freedom: The United Federation of Planets Sourcebook
  • A Fragile Peace: The Neutral Zone Campaign, vol.1
  • The Way of the Kolinahr: The Vulcans
  • The First Line: Starfleet Intelligence Handbook
  • Planets of the UFP: A Guide to Federation Worlds
  • Planetary Adventures, Vol. 1: Adventures in Federation Space
  • The Way of D'era: The Romulan Star Empire
  • The Player's Guide
  • Starfleet Academy Boxed Set
  • Holodeck Adventures

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

  • Core Game Book
  • Narrator's Toolkit
  • Pirates, Merchants and Traders

Star Trek: The Original Series

  • Core Game Book
  • Narrator's Toolkit
  • Among The Clans: The Andorians
 

Crossover Line

(information shared between all three games)

  • All Our Yesterdays (time travel sourcebook)

At the time of the acquisition and termination of the license, many additional projects were under way or close to completion. Several of these unfinished works of the LUG RPG writers have been made available online:

Decipher

Licensee 1992 through present.

Decipher makes the Star Trek Collectible Card Game (CCG) and through its license gets to "fill in some of the details" in the Star Trek universe that the aired material leaves unanswered in a somewhat official way. I wouldn't recommend going out and buying packs of the cards for the sole purpose of seeing what they've decided to label some class of starship - check the card list on their web site instead: http://www.decipher.com.

Amarillo Design Bureau / Task Force Games

Article by Euan Holton, with additions by Kasey Chang

The Star Fleet Universe series:

Designed by Amarillo Design Bureau (and published by Task Force Games through 1999, ADB thereafter), these products are loosely based on TOS/TAS era Trek and extended the background in a very different direction to what has been since established by the movies and later series. In this timeline, political and territorial pressures had erupted into a large and destructive General War, creating lots of opportunities for scenarios for SFB and PD, and the primary focus for F&E.

All the TOS favorites are there - Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Gorn, Tholian, Orion Pirates, Andromedan Invaders (not quite as per "By Any Other Name" [TOS], though) - with one from TAS (Kzinti), and several that have been added since, some quite recently.

The background material, because of major discrepancies with TNG+ established material, is definitely not canonical, but contains a lot of interesting data nonetheless. Those familiar with the work of Franz Joseph designs (Star Trek Blueprints, Star Fleet Technical Manual) will find the Federation material heavily influenced by it, with classes mentioned in the latter work (Tug, Scout, Destroyer and Dreadnought) appearing. Klingon fans might like to note that John M. Ford's work - long regarded as definitive amongst fans until TNG totally changed the basis on which we knew Klingons - figures heavily in the Klingon nature here.

Interestingly, SFB is based only on Franz Joseph blueprints and other early material that has entered the public domain (with ADB's interpretation and additions), not on Star Trek directly - for legal reasons. They are not licensed for any TNG or later material. They have their own interpretations of what happened since, called X2 (Second Generation X-ships) but that's out of print and no longer considered "valid" for SFB play. For r.a.s.tech background, SFB is not a good source, and is best considered as a parallel universe.

Products include:

Star Fleet Battles

Prime Directive

I believe expansions are out giving further details on the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Federation and Empire

There are a few expansions to this game as well. As a place for background material, it is a lot more limited.

Journals

FASA

Licensee 1986 (?) through 1988.

FASA had a short lived license for RPG and spaceship combat games based on the film series era, and also the first season of TNG. They introduced several ship designs and chronologies which were referenced in materials such as Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise and even the rare Okudagram.

In the early 1990's FASA's line of products was despised on the net. FASA had ignored "established" Treknical fandom and invented its own names for ship classes and explanations for how things worked, and diverged from the "established" Star Fleet Battles speculation. Since TNG/DS9/VOY came along and did exactly the same thing, by the early 2000's more people were worrying about how Enterprise would ignore established TOS fact and had forgotten FASA entirely. It isn't bad, but it contradicts established canon in a number of places, and the dates are out of whack (by 52 years). FASA apparently lost its license to produce Star Trek material after the Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual was withdrawn from print at Paramount's request.


STAR TREK STARSHIP TACTICAL COMBAT SIMULATOR

FASA Corporation, 1986.
Out of print.

Pages 59 through 78 give rather nice pictures of "real" classic film-era ships (Excelsior, Enterprise, Reliant, Grissom, D-7, Klingon Bird of Prey, Romulan Bird of Prey), and not so "real" ships. It also provides speculation about the speeds, weaponry, defenses, and other data about all of the ships.


FEDERATION SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL (2301)

KLINGON SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL (2302)

ROMULAN SHIP RECOGNITION MANUAL (2303)

FASA Corporation
Out of print.

"Okay, these weren't the best in the world. They do have some really nice designs in them, however (others bite big weenies). Ignore the time line info (or add 52 years to each date, which brings everything up to snuff), and add about double the number of phasers to each Fed design (they forgot that there are two pairs of phasers per mounting on the dish, dorsal and ventral). if you get the chance, pick them up cheap; they are going to be worth money someday (I've seen their asking price double already)." [Scott Taylor]


SHIP CONSTRUCTION MANUAL (2204)

FASA Corporation.
Out of print.

Kind of fun. Description of how to design and build Starfleet, Klingon, Romulan and other starships in FASA's TOS/classic film-era. Diagrams and background of warp and impulse drive development, but not much detail.


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION OFFICER'S MANUAL (2012)

FASA Corporation, 1988. ISBN 1-55560-079-4.
Out of print. Going for $30-$50.

"This is the work that is claimed to have been the final straw between Paramount and FASA. Although, I do not know what the exact points were." [Chris Wayne] It's a first crack at a TNG Technical Manual, and not too bad. Has some odd ideas like a Medusan navigator on board every Galaxy-class starship. If you see one for sale, buy it - it's a collector's item already. (There are some shoddy bootleg copies going around, however.)


STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION FIRST SEASON SOURCEBOOK

FASA Corporation.
Out of print.

TNG's first season with the races and characters redone in FASA's Star Trek RPG format with stats for all the races encountered, as well as stats for the major characters, plus a few bits of additional background info. [Kasey Chang]


7. The * of Star Trek

While not necessarily related to Treknical discussions, there's been a flood of books out lately with the name "The * of Star Trek" - insert some branch of science here. Some of them are quite good!

Some of these books half-heartedly try to rationalize some of the technobabble and pseudoscience that makes up Star Trek, but that's not their purpose. Their purpose is to use the phenomenon of Star Trek as a cultural icon to introduce concepts like relativity to the general public by way of their implicit acceptance of what they've seen on television. And they also don't mind bursting a few bubbles along the way - Star Trek is flat out wrong many, many times.


THE PHYSICS OF STAR TREK

Lawrence M. Krauss, forward by Stephen Hawking.

BasicBooks (HarperCollins), 1995. ISBN 0-465-00559-4. (Also available in audio format)
In print. US$18.00.

This book isn't exactly what it seems to be from the name. It does not attempt to rationalize the physics we see on the show; instead it uses the physics we see on the show and uses it to explain how the real world works. On the side, it comments on how plausible or implausible Star Trek technology is. "I'm really enjoying it, although for some, it may ruin the "magic" of star trek. It's fairly deep into physics, with almost no math (just my kind of book). The author has a sense of humor, obviously enjoys Star Trek, and is almost apologetic about telling you why things like the transporter will most likely never be a reality." [Lawrence Matter]


THE METAPHYSICS OF STAR TREK

Richard Hanley

BasicBooks (HarperCollins), 1997. ISBN 0-465-09124-5.
Out of print.

I read this one out of guilt - the author sent me email out of the blue complimenting me on these FAQs and so I felt compelled to read his book. I'm glad I did - it's an engaging look at some metaphysical issues through the eyes of Star Trek. Is Data alive? Is it safe to be transported? Are Curzon and Jadzia Dax the same person?

If you read this book and enjoy it, I'd recommend The Mind's I collection by Hofstadter and Dennett as another gentle introduction into the field. And if you want some fiction based around these ideas, I'd recommend almost anything by a talented writer named Greg Egan - Permutation City and Diaspora are my favorites.


LIFE SIGNS: THE BIOLOGY OF STAR TREK

Robert Jenkins and Susan C. Jenkins

HarperCollins, 1998. ISBN: 0060191546
In print.

Review, anyone?


TO SEEK OUT NEW LIFE: THE BIOLOGY OF STAR TREK

Athena Andreadis

Three Rivers Pr, 1999. ISBN: 0609804219
In print.

Review, anyone?


THE COMPUTERS OF STAR TREK

Lois H. Gresh, Robert Weinberg

Basic Books, 2000. ISBN: 0465012981
In print.

Review by Mark Hofer II

If you know anything about computer engineering, kindling is a good use for
this book. This book covers the possibilities of the uses for the computers,
not the explanations of how they work (get the TNG Technical Manual for
that). The authors know a great amount about computer science, but each and
every time they venture beyond this they look like idiots. They neglect
computer engineering concerns of space, power, and other practical matters.
They also neglect civil liberties issues. They suggest that putting chips in
the heads of the crew would be a great way to communicate with the computer.
Although this may be faster, it also allow the computer to track you.

Their analysis of the Enterprise-D computer as a 1960's model mainframe is
fairly correct, but they start to use this as a basic assumption in every
analysis afterward even when it isn't warranted. They also neglect the
possibly of a more complicated client-server architecture. If you go to the
Holodeck, just because you can access your personal programs, doesn't mean
that they are stored on the main computer.


8. Clubs and Periodicals

The last purely "tech" clubs I had listed (the Galactic Engineers' Concordance) is now defunct. Many lower-key clubs have sprung up around websites (most named "Utopia Planitia" or "ASDB" it seems) now that it's easier to collaborate online. If you want to be listed here (whether you're a physical or virtual club) please send me a blurb.

Since May 1999 there's been an official "Star Trek: The Magazine" available in North America. As a Technical Briefings section in each issue it reprints information from "The Star Trek Fact Files", an Australian/British publication that's been around for several years. The creators of the magazine have access to the people working on the show, so the magazine is considered a reasonably good source of "behind the scenes" information - although there are usually as many different answers to questions treknological as there are people on the show to ask. The magazine also has a reputation (on the newsgroup) for propagating incorrect information (e.g. errors in the Encyclopedia) without verifying its accuracy. At the very least, it has gorgeous (and mostly accurate) renderings of some of the ships - sometimes, background ships barely glimpsed on screen. Subscription and ordering information is available at their web site: http://www.stmagazine.com


9. Isn't There...

Keep an eye on those rumors, though!


10. Where Can I Get Them?

Most of the Pocket Books-published books which are still in print can be had at major bookstores throughout North America or major online bookstores. Outside North America, contact a local bookstore and supply them with the name, author, and ISBN number, and they should be able to order it for you, if there is no regional online bookstore or direct shipping is unavailable.

Some sources for in- and out-of-print items:

New Eye Studio - http://www.neweyestudio.com/

Intergalactic Trading Co. - http://www.intergalactictrading.com/

Both New Eye and Intergalactic specialize in collectable and rare SF items, including technical reference manuals and other books.

Starland (http://www.starland.com) has some blueprints and cut-away posters listed in their Star Trek section.

I also heartily recommend the following online services (and their competitors) for acquiring some of these items:

As always: caveat emptor - buyer beware!


11. Contributors:

Nelson Eisel James Dixon
Steve Pugh Benjamin Chee
Erik "Jackill" Kristiansen Inge Heyer
David Winfrey Mike Welsh
Colin Wyers Chris Wayne
Debbie Stressner A. J. Madison
Euan Holton Scott Taylor
Joseph M. Osborne Sashi Alexandra German
Javier Redal Victoria Aeron Mackey
Lawrence M. Matter Adam B. Wells
Lawrence M. Krauss Armin Lenz
Frank W. Patnaude Mark Hofer II

Joshua Bell inexorabletash@gmail.com