Voyages of ImaginationBy Jacqueline Bundy
Posted at October 29, 2006 - 10:03 PM GMT
Title: Title: Star Trek: Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion
Author: Jeff Ayers
Release Date: November 2006
Format: Trade Paperback
For over 30 years Star Trek fiction has allowed fans world wide them to appreciate and enjoy the rich tapestry that is the Star Trek universe through the power of prose narrative. As the years have passed, and each television series has come and gone, the fiction has continued to expand the Star Trek universe and to make it an even richer place.
The fiction provides a whole host of choices. With hundreds of novels and short stories published to date, the diversity is staggering. Some fans read everything and others pick and choose but no matter what era, what crew, there is something for every taste.
At long last a comprehensive reference to the Star Trek fiction is available. Researched and written by Jeff Ayers, Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion is an extremely thorough and readable book that covers the first forty years of professionally published Star Trek fiction.
Organized into four parts, Voyages of Imagination covers the entire gamut. Part one covers the Bantam era, part two the Ballantine books, and part three the titles published by Pocket Books. Part four is an updated edition of the comprehensive fiction timeline that places each novel or short story in its proper place in the Star Trek chronology.
Part three is, naturally, the most extensive since Pocket Books has held the publishing license since 1979. It is further broken down by each series, covering both the numbered and unnumbered novels. Be it novelizations, miniseries, anthologies or young adult fiction it's all here.
Listed in order of production each entry includes the title, author, page count, month and year of publication and either a plot synopsis or table of contents. Fully illustrated with black and white versions of the cover art for each book, the volume is indexed by title and author.
With Ayers' background as a librarian, he knows what information makes for an excellent reference title but he has taken Voyages of Imagination a step further by providing glimpses into the thought processes behind the creation of the fiction.
Over three hundred of the authors and editors involved in producing the nearly six hundred books currently available express in their own words how their stories came to be. Their individual personalities and sensibilities come through loud and clear as they expand on, among other things, why they were drawn to write Star Trek, and where they drew their story inspirations.
Many of the authors and editors have been interviewed before but Ayers manages to bring new information to light. The comments aren't always positive, but they are honest and I particularly appreciated that the short stories got the same full treatment as the novels.
At almost 800 pages, Voyages of Imagination is a pretty hefty book and a must-have for every Star Trek fans library.
Jacqueline Bundy reviews Star Trek books for the Trek Nation, writes monthly columns for the TrekWeb newsletter and the Star Trek Galactic News, and hosts the Yahoo Star Trek Books Group weekly chat.