For Ben Robinson, one of the co-authors of the Haynes USS Enterprise Owners’ Workshop Manual, the “real feel” of Star Trek was what attracted him to the book project.
Approached by Haynes through CBS, Haynes decided that having Robinson write the book would be a good idea. “Initially it was just to offer a little advice,” said Robinson, “but as we talked it became apparent that it really would make a lot of sense if I wrote the book. There’s something particularly charming about the idea of a Haynes Manual for the Enterprises. A large part of Trek’s appeal is that it feels very real and that things have been thought out thoroughly.”
Robinson wanted the book to be easier to follow than the previously published Star Trek technical manuals. “It was important to me that we do something a little different with the Haynes Manual,” he said. “From the word go I knew I wanted it to be a bit more approachable than the tech manuals. I mean, they’re brilliant, but they are also pretty hardcore. Sometimes when you’re reading them you think it would help if you’d already been to Starfleet Academy. So I wanted to write something that retained that accuracy but would make more allowances for the ‘casual’ reader, something that someone who loves Trek but doesn’t have a science or engineering background could really get their head around.”
Although Robinson is an “old school Trek fan,” he got the most enjoyment from the chapter on the NX-01 from Star Trek: Enterprise. “I have to say that the single most satisfying chapter was the NX-01, and a lot of the credit for that should go to Doug Drexler, who designed it,” said Robinson. “Doug was amazingly generous with his time and pulled out sketches and diagrams from his files that revealed all sorts of things he’d put into the ship that never made it on to screen. That ship’s incredibly well thought-out and there’s masses of fantastic detail that we were able to include in the book.”
The U.S.S. Enterprise Owners’ Workshop Manual will release on November 2.