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Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years Hardcover – October 8, 2013
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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“A brilliant tie-in for Trek devotees.” – San Fransico Book Review
"A bountiful, full-color coffee table book that reads like something that would exist in the Star Trek universe itself. Included in its high-quality pages are Starfleet records, biographies of Starfleet personnel (like that alien-loving James T. Kirk), and histories of the federation." - Kirkus
"A must own for all serious Trek fans." - Nerd Span
"Will keep Trekkies of all ages “engaged” for hours!" - Barnes and Noble Book Blog
"A delight and should provide hours of happy browsing for Trek fans." - Project Fandom
"This book is a must read for Star Trek and science fiction fans alike." - Universe Today
"Star Trek: Federation: The First 150 Years is an important title and one that should be found inside the stocking of every Star Trek fan this Christmas. Highly recommended." - CBS Action
"If you enjoy Star Trek the bottom line is you will find something to love in The First 150 Years." - Giant Fire Breathing Robot
"If you know a Trek fan who likes to geek out over worldbuilding, this is the Star Trek book for them." - io9 gift guide
"It’s the perfect gift for anyone who has ever wanted to know the “official” biography of James T. Kirk" - Den of Geek
"The book serves as a great connector of Star Trek chronology for hardcore fans, but it can also help new readers and viewers understand the groundwork for the Star Trek universe."
“For the discriminating Trekkie, this is the item of the guide.”
-aintitcool.com Holiday Gift Guide
"Federation: The First 150 Years aims to impress Star Trek fans from the moment they take it out of the box...The attention to detail is thorough."
"I will tell you, without hesitation, if you are a fan of any, or all, of the Star Trek series and movies, you must have this book."
"The artwork inside the book is gorgeous. These paintings depict many famous scenes, such as those from the ... Earth-Romulan War. There's no quick pasting of a screenshot from one of the TV shows here. Even scenes that could have easily been done this way have been rendered in pencils and inks, giving the book a consistent feel. The starship pieces are easily my favorite. I'd really like a desktop wallpaper of the “Starfleet's Greatest Vessels” piece."
"Without question, fans will want this and love this. This book is as indispensable as the Star Trek Encyclopedia, Chronology, or series' Companions. My hope is that there will be a follow up volume focusing on the 24th century. This is worth owning. Overall grade: A-"
“This holiday season's must have for the Trekkie in your life.”
–Seattle Post Intelligencer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Earlier books like the "Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology," which was the chief inspiration for this book, have attempted to do this before but have largely been outdated due to the ever evolving on-screen canon of Star Trek. This is most notably because of the television series "Enterprise" which expanded upon the pre-federation history that was once solely the realm of fan-fiction and speculation.
The book succeeds pretty well at combining old ideas with new canon facts and the author goes through great lengths to explain away some obvious inconsistencies and problems created by "Enterprise" specifically. The chapter on the Romulan War is one of the highlights and details what very well could have made up the bulk of the last two seasons of the show had it continued.
Unfortunately most of the fun of books like the "Spaceflight Chronology" came from the fact that they filled in the blanks of an era that, while sometimes referenced, we knew absolutely nothing about. Thanks to "Enterprise" having already covered much of that the majority of this book serves as a brief refresher course on the major events that shaped the Federation, events that Star Trek fans already know a lot about. The sections about the Romulan War and the early Federation are the only parts that give us a glimpse into a Star Trek we haven't seen yet outside of novels and the work of fans and it's no surprise that these non-canon sections are probably the most interesting parts of the book.
Once you get past that the book continues giving its brief synopsis of important canon events except for a few mentions of characters who weren't our heroes working behind the scenes, playing just as important part to history. This gave a new perspective to some of the events but none were exceptionally revelatory.
Another nice touch that lends to the text-book vibe is the copies of documents that helps to color the different alien races and historical figures. Most of them look rather generic as other reviewers have pointed out and could be made by anyone with access to Adobe InDesign but many were cleverly written and I appreciated their presence. The book of course comes with the bonus content of additional letters that didn't make it into the book. They're hardly necessary and seem like they could just as easily been edited into the book itself instead of being extras though the transparency scan of a Trill and its symbiote ends up being the star of the show. Cochrane's Warp 5 speech scribbled on an envelope is a clever gimmick as well and there's a nice Matt Jefferies blue print of the pilot episode version of original series U.S.S. Enterprise. The talking stand the book comes with is neat if you have room to display it but ultimately adds nothing to the value.
Much has been said about the art and I must say you'll either love it or hate it. The book having original art instead of simply screen shots from the show makes it feel more authentic and in-universe. Some paintings fair better than others, most of the paintings of people are in an impressionist style that doesn't quite work. Some of the paintings of the starships are quite beautiful though. The bad art does outweigh the good art, mostly due to the InDesign documents mentioned earlier, but there are still some very wonderful pieces in the book.
While I enjoyed reading it I ultimately feel like it was a missed opportunity. Goodman was either too afraid or not allowed to add too much non-canon information as there is a lot of time to cover and a lot of gaps to fill between the end of "Enterprise" and the beginning of the original series which feels only touched upon in this work. Other details are left sparse, while he mentions how many worlds belong to the Federation at the end of the book with Betazed as its newest entrant, he never gives so much as a list of those planets and very few other than the major powers get a significant mention. There is so much more mystery and so many more races that we know little about that could have been expanded upon in a book calling itself the history of the Federation.
Also pertaining to other races it's a very human-centric history of the Federation. Other than the history of Earth we get the most information about the Vulcans but much less about the Andorians and Tellarites even though their contributions are just as important to the success of the Federation. We don't really get much pertaining to their early histories and conflicts and how they came together as united worlds before forming the Federation. We only get this information about humans and to a lesser extent the Vulcans, the histories we already know the most about.
In any case, perhaps that kind of thing is still left up to the fans until Star Trek canon once again evolves to change everything we think we know about this juggernaut of science fiction entertainment. At its best, this book does a good job of rectifying the events of "Enterprise" with the original series, weaving a strong sense of continuity between the generations. It's definitely a fun and interesting book, with its staunchly in-universe appearance making it feel like an actual grade school history book brought back from the future, making it a nice collectible for a Star Trek fan. Whether or not you agree with its version of events might help or hinder your enjoyment of the text itself, so take that in mind if you already hold on to your own staunch opinion about the future's past.
The book itself is short and smaller than it appears in pictures thanks in part to its stand. The price is steep for what you recieve, both at $99 or even $50. My recommendation is that the book is worth reading and having as a Star Trek fan, but you should wait for a better deal.
The packaging is excellent (Amazon's shipping box was way too big and it didn't have any cushioning in it) so the item's box just shifted around and got banged up during international shipping , but even that did not hurt it's contents ,
I only got the stand for the George Takei's "Admiral Sulu" voice over , but that can be found on youtube these days .
The book itself was nearly excellent , but physically a bit small .
The content is very interesting for hard core Trekkies , and almost none of it contradicts established Trek lore (books and calendars OTOTH , don't ask ... :) ) .
If I had to purchase it again , I might have gone for just the book without the stand , which is way too big .