The Star Trek Visual Dictionary covers the entire prime timeline Star Trek universe, or at least all the live-action TV series and films. TAS is left out, but I can understand why; it could have made the otherwise all "real" visuals inconsistent. After a forward from John de Lancie (aka Q) and a two page spread introducing the the Star Trek universe with a map of the galaxy, the book is in vaguely chronological order. Each of the series gets spreads for the hero ship, each captain, and each crew. The entire rest of the book is then arranged around the various species of the Star Trek universe, with the founding members of the Federation coupled with the Enterprise area of the book at the start, and species most strongly associated with DS9 and Voyager towards the end of the book, while the middle of the book includes everyone else, after the TOS and TNG intros. Each species gets anything from half a page, up to two two-page spreads for the major races (Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Dominion, and Cardassians). See the contents page image for an idea of exactly what's covered:
In some ways this feels like a fresh take on the old The Worlds of the Federation book, which also took a species-by-species view of the Star Trek universe, although with rather more non-canon expansions in that book. The downside of this format is that a few reasonably major areas of Trek are left out; there are no references to the mirror universe, alternate timelines, or the far future of the Trek universe we have occasionally glimpsed. While these are big areas of Star Trek lore, I can imagine their omissions being an editorial choice to focus on the core prime timeline. Perhaps more notable for a starship lover such as myself is that only the TV-hero Starfleet ships get any love; while mentioned, you wont see the Enterprise-A, Enterprise-E, Excelsior or any of the minor ships of Starfleet here. Starship designs from other species are well represented however.
Indeed the choice to mostly arrange the book by species gives some of the more obscure races a chance to shine as the book explores the culture and technology of each subject it covers. One of my favourite recurring elements in the book is spotlighting alien musical instruments, from the familiar Vulcan lute, to the bizarre Klingon concertina.
|Andorians getting some much deserved attention.|
|A page full of Klingon props|
|Insert on the Carbon Creek Incident, with brilliant retro Vulcan weapon.|
|Phlox and his gadgets|
Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary is due out next month, although Amazon appear to have already started shipping it in some countries, so you needn't wait that long! It's also due out, translated into German, in April.
Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.jp, Things From Another World, Entertainment Earth, Forbidden Planet.
Thanks to DK for sending me a copy to have an early look at. You can seem more sample pages on my previous reports, here, here, here, and here, plus pages from the German edition, here.