The Haynes Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual
By Rick Sternbach and Ben Robinson
121 pgs $28.00
The Haynes Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual is a book that will surely please fans of the Klingons as well as those Star Trek fans interested in ship design. For those who aren’t ship geeks, fear not, there are descriptions of Klingon culture that make the book well worth the read.
The book opens with a foreword by General Martok, who explains that he prefers his B’rel-class I.K.S Rotarran to any other class of Klingon ship, especially the Vor’cha class, preferred by his now-dead adversary Gowron.
The story of the B’rel class ship begins with its commissioning, which is not done through a centralized source as in the Federation, but by the powerful Klingon houses. The actual shipbuilding, however, is done by the Klingon Navy Academy (KNA). The KNA designs and produces the ships, which are then turned over to the specific Houses to be fitted out to their own specifications.
The main part of the book explains the layout of the ship and describes the weaponry, propulsion, navigation and ship systems. Photos are provided, with cutaways, detailed deck plans, and individual photos of specific components, such as weapons. Screencaps from Star Trek episodes and movies show familiar Klingon faces as well as scenes aboard a Klingon B’rel-class ship.
The story then turns to life aboard a B’rel-class ship. This section explains the Bridge and its stations, crew descriptions and the ship shift system. Previously unknown facts about life on a Klingon ship are shared including the revelation that most Klingon engineers would prefer death rather than abandoning a ship after a catastrophic malfunction, as they consider their inability to save the ship a personal humiliation. It doesn’t help that even if the engineer does survive after his ship is destroyed, he would never be permitted to serve on a Klingon ship again!
Other interesting revelations include the knowledge that not only do Klingons have redundant systems in their bodies, but that their ships are also designed with redundant systems in case of failure.
The book finishes up with a comparison of the various classes of Klingon ships, and a two-page English-Klingon dictionary.
The Haynes Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual is a splendid book, and is chock-full of information and graphics to delight fans of the warrior race. This book does not merely detail the build and systems of the ship which are interesting in and of themselves, but it provides a glimpse into the lives of those who run that ship. One does not only see the Engine Room of the I.K.S. Rotarran, but one understands what motivates the engineer, and how he spends his off-duty time.
The photos throughout the book are sharp and clear, with the exception of the screencaps which come off a bit on the dark side.
Priced reasonably, this is a definite “must have” for the fan of the Klingons. This Romulan-loving fan hopes that a Haynes Manual for the Romulan Warbird will appear in due course, although given Romulan paranoia and xenophobia, don’t count on it.
The Haynes Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual can be ordered atAmazon, for a discounted price of $18.48.