Star Trek
Ships of the Line (Hardback)

Editors: Doug Drexler and Margaret Clark
Pocket Books
RRP: 12.99, US $19.95, Cdn $25.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 4165 3243 9
ISBN-10: 1 4165 3243 9
Available 04 December 2006

Here for the very first time collected together are the spectacular images from the highly successful and acclaimed
Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars. Gloriously rendered, each of these illustrations was created exclusively for Pocket Books. With text by Michael Okuda (The Star Trek Encyclopaedia), the story of each of these valiant starships comes to life...

They dared to risk it all in a skiff of reeds or leather, on a ship of wood or steel, knowing the only thing between them and certain death was their ship. To explore, to seek out what lay beyond the close and comfortable, every explorer had to embrace danger. And as they did so, what arose was a mystical bond, a passion for the ships that carried them. From the very first time humans dared to warp the fabric of space, escaping from the ashes of the third World War, they also created ships. These vessels have become the icons of mankind's desire to rise above the everyday, to seek out and make the unknown known. And these ships that travel the stellar seas have stirred the same passions as the ones that floated in the oceans.

While every captain has wished that their starship could be outfitted in the same manner as the sailing ship H.M.S. Beagle - without weapons - that proved untenable. From the start, Starfleet realised that each vessel, due to the limited range of the early warp engines, must be able to stand alone against any attack. Thus arose the idea, taken from the days of wooden sailing ships, that every Starfleet vessel must stand as a ship of the line. Through the actions of their captains and crews, countless starships have taken on that role. Here we remember some of those ships and their heroic crews.

Imagined scenarios, new worlds and historic battles are all brought to life between the pages of this impressive book, as settings for the spectacular starships which have graced the Star Trek universe throughout all five television series. This is what happens when you turn loose some of the most talented computer generated artists in Hollywood - who also just happen to be Star Trek fans - and ask them to create images they would like to have seen on Star Trek.

Over the past seven years, wall calendars called Star Trek: Ships of the Line have displayed breathtaking art, specially commissioned for the Ships of the Line series, only to be discarded at the end of the year. To celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Star Trek, the best calendar images of Star Trek battleships have been collected together, with new additional descriptions and history to give them their proper setting in the Star Trek universe. The result is a sumptuous visual record and a magnificent reference book which any Star Trek fan would be proud to own.

The majority of the images in this collection are of the Original Series Enterprise (NCC-1701) and The Next Generation TV series Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). But there are also images of Voyager, Reliant, Deep Space Nine's Defiant and the Enterprise from Star Trek: Enterprise.

There are a few images inspired by the movies and TV shows, including the Enterprise from The Next Generation's Encounter at Farpoint and the Klingon Bird of Prey from Star Trek VI: The Voyage Home, as well as a few images where the ship illustrated is not identifiable (or maybe it is to those that are true Starfleet spotters).

The images are, on the whole, fantastic. My only complaint is that the accompanying text is a little weak. This collection would have benefited greatly from a few paragraphs from each artist explaining why they chose that particular ship and what they were trying to convey with their creation.

On the whole though, this is a great collection that will find a welcome home on most fan's coffee tables.

Pete Boomer

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