|NEW WORLDS, NEW
From the onset, this book has
an interesting premise an atlas, of sorts, of all the major worlds in
Trek. What could have been a slap-dash collection of publicity stills and
hackneyed text on planetary history has been transposed into a wondrous
snapshot of each planet, giving a guide book retelling of a visit.
Each part is presented as a
story told by an observer to the planet, the writers journey to
several important Trek worlds to explain such diverse points as
evolution of the Hirogen to the excavation of a Cardassian burial chamber.
One great pity is that the tone
of each piece though purported to be separate writers is that of
one voice, and indistinguishable from each other. Michael Jan Friedmans
travelogue text puts one in mind of a constantly awe-stuck Michael
Palin. A minor grievance, but something that could have easily have been put
right with the employment of other authors.
The up side of using Friedman
is that the pieces are interesting, and often revealing. The Q Continuum piece,
for example, takes time to explain the events of Voyagers somewhat
disappointing foray into the Qs realm in Deathwish from the
first-person perspective of Captain Janeway.
It embellishes incredibly, even
bringing significance to the barely-seen Starfleet scarecrow in a very
controversial and impressive manner. In fact, most of the work is of this
nature, and if you consider it canon quite inflammatory. The
artwork is superlative.
A year ago, I had the
displeasure to review The Art of the X-Files, a brave and disjointed
effort, and this knocks it into a cocked hat. Here the artwork is not only
inspired by the series, but also linking into the narrative. The Borg artwork
is darkly sensuous, and the afore-mentioned Q imagery is both clever and
comely. There is a little over-reliance to use computer-manipulated artwork;
the more traditional techniques less prominent.
|Written by Michael
|Reviewed by Dan
|Simon & Schuster
|ISBN: 0 671 88103
The only pieces that are
completely out of place are the somewhat comic-book renderings of Earth itself,
and the devastated San Francisco. It is completely at odds with the rest of the
work, and lacks any sobriety of the tone of the piece. On the whole, the
books unity and beauty is to be marveled at. If you are to get this in
your Christmas stocking, a proud fan you should be.