Author: David A. Goodman

Illustrators Joe Corroney, Mark McHaley, Cat Staggs, and Jeff Carlisle

Publisher: Titan Books (October 8, 2013)

ISBN-10: 1781169152

ISBN-13: 978-1781169155

If you're a fan of the Star Trek universe, well, universes, and the whole thing is all just fun and entertainment for you, then coffee table books like David Goodman's Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years will add to your reading pleasure. However, if you're among the purists who demand total consistency in all things Trek, you might have some quibbles with Federation.

Federation purports to be a sort of "Star Trek 101" history celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the United Federation of Planets. It begins in 2063 with Zefram Cochran’s first warp drive flight that led to the first contact with the Vulcans. If you've seen Star Trek VIII: First Contact, you'll immediately note some missing folks on the flight, not to mention some rather obvious differences between the Cochran of that film and the man in Goodman's book. Likewise, Goodman later claims James T. Kirk was born on the U.S.S. Kelvin, which isn't the established lore of the good captain actually being born on March 22, 2233, in Riverside, Iowa.

If you're not a stickler for such details, you should be interested in Goodman's weaving together Trek history using events from both the original series, a few of the films, and especially the last TV series, Enterprise. On top of all that, he adds descriptions of events we've never seen on either the large or small screen like the Romulan War (2155-2160), how the Federation was organized (2160-2245), and of course all the duels with the Klingons.

The visuals are handled by illustrators Joe Corroney, Mark McHaley, Cat Staggs, and Jeff Carlisle who provide field sketches and reproductions of art from across the Galaxy mixed in with excerpts from Federation documents and correspondence, Starfleet records, and intergalactic intelligence. Adding verisimilitude, Goodman adds a selected bibliography of his sources, all Star Fleet publications that, of course, haven't been published yet. I'm aware a special collector's edition of this book is available with additional goodies, but I can't attest to the joys of the more expensive version.

I often wonder if Gene Roddenberry, "The Great Bird of the Galaxy," could have realized his golden egg would be yielding a never-ending universe of new merchandise long after his own passing. Well, Star Trek remains a bottomless well that keeps on giving, and Federation is as worthy as many other offerings to be in a Trekkie, or Trekker's, collection. Just don't take it too seriously.

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