Review: Star Trek Federation – The First 150 Years / Author: David A. Goodman / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now
Star Trek is the sort of franchise that seems to welcome immersion; blueprints and manuals for The Federation are readily available for fans to dive into, and Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years is another in the long list of books that also double as in-world props for the sort of fan who really wants to live in the future. Specifically, this book reads and feels like the sort of textbook one would have to study if you joined Starfleet Academy, and the sort of thing you’d expect to see on the bookshelf of any self-respecting Federation admiral.
The book begins with the Zefram Cochrane’s galaxy-altering first flight and goes right on up to the death of James T. Kirk. It’s written as if The Federation had hired a historian to create an official account. That also means that anything that has happened in the TV show that the Federation didn’t know about is only mentioned in passing. For example, the Xindi (from the series Enterprise) are dealt with quite lightly here, despite being a major part of that show. This not only makes sense, it adds weight and credibility to the text. It is littered with artefacts from the world of Star Trek, which appear as full-colour plates, usually as a way of bookending subjects and chapters. Everything from personal letters, to translated intercepts from Klingons, to Presidential speeches have been lovingly mocked up and turned into art. The illustrations are similarly good, and the entire work is beautifully presented.
Those not used to reading history books may find this a little dry, but if you’re a big fan of Trek and looking for a new angle on a subject you know well, then you’ll get a real kick out of comparing the ‘official’ history to stuff that you know from the show. There’s plenty in here for the casual fan as well, and it makes a great text to dive in and out of casually when you’re in the mood for a bit of Star Trek fun. This is an invaluable text for the die-hard fan, and a great bit of fun for everyone else.
The book is available in two formats; one comes with extra letters, maps and a weird electronic pedestal thingy that lights up and speaks. The other version is just the book on its own. To be honest, the book is good enough on its own without the gimmicks. A must-have for any fan of the show.