Sternbach: Creators Disregard Tech Concerns

By Antony
January 12, 2003 - 8:14 PM

Former Trek senior illustrator Rick Sternbach, recently expressed his concerns over the approach to technology in Enterprise.

Although he wasn't picked to work on Enterprise, Sternbach revealed (while answering questions at STARTREKUK.COM) that he did give some information to the show's producers, including astronomical data for Enterprise's time period. However, Sternbach believes that his work has not been used, and criticized the show's disregard for technology. "As far as I could tell from the very few episodes of Enterprise that I've watched, none of the data had any effect," he said.

"They write the tech with no real concern as to whether it means anything," he continued. "Interesting tech isn't part of the equation any more. Good science fiction has always been a melding of those two words, science and fiction, and while you can have media SF biased to either the science side or the fiction side, I believe Enterprise has concentrated on the latter, actively retreating from any believable science and technology that was so well weaved into previous Trek shows. I believe Braga said something about Enterprise stories no longer needing to rely on technological solutions."

Sternbach explained some of the information "that he offered to the show's writing team. "What I was offering was some simple bits of information concerning the operational radius of a starship at certain low warp factors, between WF2 and WF5, using the old scale of WF cubed to get the equivalent number of times c (lightspeed). From the total radius of year's worth of travel, you'd be able to get at least some sense of the number of stars you could visit within a season. The maximum radius isn't the same as a random walk within the sphere, of course, but you can still derive some number of targets."

One of the questions that he also answered regarded a new technical manual. Sternbach wrote manuals for both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, However it's "very likely there will be no Voyager Tech Manual." That's the disappointing verdict from Sternbach, when asked for an updated on the development of the book. "Pocket Books has changed their publishing emphasis to fiction and the occasional splashy color production, like Geoff Mandel's Star Charts (which *are* quite nice, and I'm not just saying that because I helped him a little)."

"Voyager and DS9 have run their course as far as tech publishing goes," he continued. "If anyone does work up a manual for Pocket, it won't involve me, as their offer was simply too meager compared to the amount of work needed to make it the best manual possible. Trek tech fans may blanche at this, but I don't believe we're going to see any more manuals or blueprints from Pocket Books ever again."

You can read the full Q&A session here.

In other news, Rick Sternbach is once again holding an auction for fans to own a piece of unique Star Trek memorabilia.

The auction, which will have a number of 'The Motion Picture' and The Next Generation items will be held next month. The auction is being run by Profiles in History, a company that also hosted auctions for TOS creative staff Bob Justman and Matt Jeffries.

There currently isn't much information available, but you can find out a bit more at Profiles in History's web site.

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