Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Star Trek Encyclopedia by Michael and Denise Okuda

This week's featured item is an essential reference for any serious Star Trek fan, especially for a fan of the original series:

This book is an exhaustive reference of every detail in Star Trek. The authors both worked fairly extensively on various series of Star Trek, and Academy Award winning makeup artist turned graphic designer Doug Drexler provides excellent illustrations throughout. In addition, the book is filled with photos taken from the shows and movies.

This book was originally published in 1994. My copy is an updated edition published in 1999, with information from shows and movies produced since the original edition included as an extra section at the back of the book, rather than being integrated into the rest of the book.

This appears to be the latest edition published. Now, for an original series fan like me, this book has everything I might need. However, for fans of later series, it has an obvious shortcoming in that there were many episodes, a couple of movies, and an entire new series produced since this publication.

I have also seen a Star Trek Omnipedia, which contains the information in this book along with narration by Mark Lenard, plus some other extra features, and which could be registered and updated via internet. This appears to have been produced in 1995, however, so I don't know if updates are still available or in effect. In addition to this, the Encyclopedia has been produced in a CD-ROM format, the most recent edition being, like the book, put out in 1999.

Even if the Omnipedia is current, I'm not inclined to purchase a computerized version of this book. In the words of Samuel T. Cogley:
"I've got my own system. Books, young man, books, thousands of them. If time wasn't so important, I'd show you something: my library. Thousands of books. This is where the law is, not in that homogenized, pasteurized, synthesized — do you want to know the law? The ancient concepts in their own language? Learn the intent of the men who wrote them? From Moses to the tribunal of Alpha Three? Books!"
Yes, I know it's ironic to put that quote on a blog, but that's exactly how I feel when it comes to books.

This book, in print and on CD-ROM, as well as the Omnipedia, are available on, but remember that I'm not sure if the Omnipedia can still be registered and updated. Also, if you buy the book, make sure that you're getting the most recent edition (1999):

Next week on Zach Trek: Check in next Thursday for an action figure from possibly the most prolific maker of Star Trek action figures.

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