As every Star Trek fan worth his salt knows, well known and often mentioned as they are – the Vulcans are a stoic and aloof race, and their home planet, barely glimpsed in the fifty run of the franchise is shrouded in mystery and steeped in ritualistic tradition that borders on the mystical to outworlders.
There is now a guide to the elusive planet and its inhabitants, written as a travel guide, with contributions from three notable Vulcans: Spock, Sarek and T’Pol. There is a bluffer’s guide to ancient Vulcan history, including the splintering of a large number of Vulcans who left their home planet to establish a new race on the twin planets of Romulus and Remus.
In the spirit of the traditional travel guidebook, there are a number of useful phrases and their English counterparts – so should you be caught short and need to ask a Vulcan for directions to the nearest bathroom, you will be well prepared. There’s even a reassurance here that if you don’t manage to pronounce the phrases correctly, the Vulcans will appreciate the effort you make in trying.
Travel hints are here in abundance, from the best places to eat and stay in the Vulcan capital of Shikahr to the safest means of navigating Vulcan’s Forge and remaining comfortable and health in the planet’s hot, arid climates. (Basically, wear light clothing and keep yourself hydrated.)
The book is culled, not only from the TV shows including the animated series of 1973 the ensuing films that we’ve all enjoyed for the past half century, but also from several novels and information gleaned from various Trek websites, so it gathers together a wealth of knowledge that is both canonical and from presumably the extended universe. From that point of view, it might well be a handy reference book for the most ardent and serious of Trekkers. But when the text turns to gift shops at Raal, or the best coffee shops in the Kir province, the book seems to lose its value and takes on the relevance of, say Nurse Chapel’s recipe book.
Essentially, though nicely illustrated and well researched, it’s a novelty book branded as Star Trek that will have a very limited appeal overall other than to completists.
Dif-tor heh smusma (Peace, live long and prosper in Vulcan.)
HIDDEN UNIVERSE TRAVEL GUIDES – VULCAN / AUTHOR: DAYTON WARD / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW