Yesterday was the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery (a weekly recap and discussion will begin on Wednesday) and on September 28 is the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation. To celebrate both new Star Trek and 30 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation, here are 30 Star Trek books to add to your reading list.
Star Trek Reference Books
1) Star Trek: The Original Series 365 by Paula M. Block with Terry J. Erdmann; Introduction by “D.C.” Fontana
Star Trek: The Original Series 365 is great for both Star Trek trivia buffs and people who like extra behind-the-scenes details. Weighing in at just over four pounds, it’s quite the hefty book, making it a not-light-read in more ways than one. It’s jam-packed with never-before-seen production stills, behind-the-scenes stories including extra details about character creation, and episode synopses and guides. There is also exploration of the many themes found within The Original Series.
2) Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 by Paula M. Block with Terry J. Erdmann; Introduction by Ronald D. Moore
Star Trek: The Next Generation 365 was published as part of The Next Generation 25th anniversary celebrations. It shares the same characteristics as its predecessor, but with a little bit more heart to it as it was created to celebrate an important anniversary. There are some important differences to note. The Original Series 365 has more room to dedicate to the episodes guides because only 79 were created. While The Next Generation 365 doesn’t get to dive into each episode at the same length as its predecessor, it does have larger pre- and post-production sections.
3) U.S.S. Enterprise Haynes Manual by Ben Robinson and Marcus Riley; Technical Consultant Michael Okuda
You must know that whenever Michael Okuda has a finger in anything, it will be good. The U.S.S. Enterprise Haynes Manual is another one of those things. This Haynes manual covers all seven starships that have been christened with the name Enterprise. The NX-01, NCC-1701, NCC-1701-2, and NCC-1701-E have the most in-depth information as those ships were fleshed out more in the various series and movies. Aside from the ships’ technical details, this book also contains sections about: the history of all seven ships, faster than light travel, how transporters work, time travel, deflector shields, parallel universe, and contains a size comparison chart.
4) Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda; With a Special Introduction by Gene Roddenberry
The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual is the oldest reference book in my library. I’ve had it since it was first published in 1991 and even used it to explain the warp drive to my grade 11 Physics teacher. If there is any reference book that I’d like to see a special anniversary redo, it’s this one. This is also the book that started the debate about whether reference books created by the people who worked on the shows are considered canon. Gene’s answer was yes. The studio has said otherwise.
If they ever do a special anniversary of this book, I will miss the section that reads:
This book was written on Apple Macintosh computers using Microsoft Word software. Page layouts were designed using the Aldus Pagemaker program. Illustrations were mostly done with conventional pen-and-ink drawing techniques with a little help from Adobe Illustrator and Swivel 3D.
5) Star Trek: Ships of the Line by Doug Drexler, Margaret Clark, and Michael Okuda
I think the best way to describe Star Trek: Ships of the Line is a series of mini love letters and homages to the various ships that have served the Federation well. It also delves into the psychological state of the various individual crew members who were protected by these ships. If you have the version of this book that was released to celebrate 40 years of Star Trek¸ you’ll want to get this newest version. The chapters are different and it contains twice as many pages.
6) Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years by David A. Goodman*
Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years doesn’t only explore Federation history. David A. Goodman does a wonderful job creating a “true story,” and manages to incorporate events from all the Star Trek live-action series, and a good number of the Star Trek: The Original Series movies into a very coherent timeline while correcting canon. It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of only one piece of the Star Trek universe, or the entire franchise, you will come across a piece of information that will make you want to revisit the series, or movies, of which you are so fond.
7) Star Trek Vault: 40 Years from the Archives by Scott Tipton
Star Trek Vault: 40 Years from the Archives is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it explore behind-the-scenes archival material, but it also includes information about conventions and various Star Trek merchandise. However, beyond that, there are a lot of interactive elements in the book, with pockets that include coloring books, still images, replications of marked-up scripts, stickers, and more. The book not only explores that Star Trek archives but it also gives you a mini-archive to treasure.
8) The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the Future by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda
The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the Future is a must-have volume. Released as part of Star Trek 50 celebrations, Michael and Denise Okuda went through great pains to give Star Trek fans the definitive reference book. This two-volume series includes material not found in the original encyclopedia, including information about Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Star Trek Nemesis, Star Trek (2009), and Star Trek Into Darkness.
Last year, The Great Big Beautiful Podcast sat down with Michael and Denise Okuda to discuss the making of this volume and more.
Star Trek Books for Kids
9) Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary by Paul Ruditis; Forward by John de Lancie
Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary is an excellent guide filled with basic information about numerous elements that make up the Star Trek universe. While not perfect, it does serve as a good primer for your young Trekkie to familiarize them self with the universe. The book is visually stunning, if a little bit busy. Once your child has finished boldly going through Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary, they will be armed with enough information to answer many trivia questions, talk knowledgeably about each character and create Star Trek costumes. The forward by John de Lancie is more for parents than for children. But once your child becomes an adult, they will look back and appreciate the heart found within those first opening pages.
Star Trek Books for the Kids at Heart
10) Stuck on Star Trek Illustrated by Joe Corroney
You may want to argue that Stuck on Star Trek is more for kids than adults who are kids at hearts, but we may have to have words if you do. That said, this book could be a great way to spend time with your child. The book contains a couple handfuls of scenes from The Original Series and magic “Kling-on” pieces. That isn’t my pun but it’s good enough for me to borrow. I like to use this book to make up new scenes for The Original Series and keep them on my office desk, creating new ones each week. If you purchase this book, then I recommend purchasing the spiral-bound version for easy display.
11) Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks
In Star Trek Cats your favorite The Original Series characters are reimagined as cats. I’m not sure what more there needs to be said other than Jenny Parks is a great illustrator. The way she has captured the characters and a variety of our favorite aliens while making them inhabit very feline traits is superb and delivers a many good laughs. If you like things on the quirky and fun side, you’ll want this book.
Star Trek Art Books
12) Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz by Juan Ortiz*
Every single Star Trek: The Original Series episode needs an amazing movie poster. That is exactly what is delivered in Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz. If you are a fan of Ortiz’s work, you’ll want this book, even if you are not a fan of Star Trek. Each poster captures some of the best of stylized art that come out of the late 1960s.
13) Star Trek The Next Generation: The Art of Juan Ortiz by Juan Ortiz
Just like the previous book, Star Trek The Next Generation: The Art of Juan Ortiz are amazing stylized movie posters for each episode in this series. This book was published just in time to celebrate 30 years of The Next Generation.
Star Trek Craft Books
14) The Star Trek Craft Book: Make It So! by Angie Pedersen
The Star Trek Craft Book is filled with a lot of great craft projects and party ideas. I’ve made a number of the crafts in the book, including incorporating some of the into my United Federation of Planets-themed wedding. Since I purchased this book, physical copies are no longer in print; only e-versions are available. For most of the crafts, you can work directly from the instructions. However, there are a handful of crafts in this book that require scanning and printing patterns found at the end of the book. If you are crafty enough, that shouldn’t stop you.
15) Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting by John Lohman
Star Trek Cross-Stitch is another book I’ve used heavily over the years, including using some of the patterns to create party favors at my wedding. I’ve done most of the projects in the book. The only downside to this book is that the center of the patterns is not marked, so you’ll want to mark them before you begin.
Star Trek Coloring Books
16) Star Trek: The Original Series Adult Coloring Book with Illustrations by Ivan Fernandez Silva, Juan Frigeri, Alejandro Giraldo, Gabriel Guzman, and Federica Mandfredi
You are never too old to color. There are therapeutic properties to coloring as it causes you to focus on the moment and not intrusive thoughts. Normally, I find comfort in my geometric and fractal coloring books. But, immersing myself in the art of a series that has brought me comfort and safety my entire life adds an extra level of contentment. The Star Trek: The Original Series Adult Coloring Book contains 45 stunning adventures to fuel your creativity. Each piece of art is accompanied by a stardate and quote from the episode being depicted.
17) Star Trek: The Next Generation Adult Coloring Book with Illustrations by Juann Cabal, Gabriel Guzman, Daniel Maine, Stefano Martino, and Bill Mudron
Star Trek: The Next Generation Adult Coloring Book is just like The Original Series version, but contains art from seasons one through three of The Next Generation. I should probably note that the pages are heavy weight paper, with no images on the reverse, so you don’t have to worry about bleed-through if you are using felt markers.
18) Star Trek: The Original Series Adult Coloring Book – Where No Man Has Gone Before with Illustrations by Juann Cabal, Will Conrad, Gabriel Guzman, and Derlis Santacruz*
Unlike the first adult coloring book for The Original Series that covers seasons one and two, Where No Man Has Gone Before contains art from the second and third seasons of The Original Series.
19) Star Trek: The Next Generation Adult Coloring Book – Continuing Missions with Illustrations by Juann Cabal, Gabriel Guzman, Bill Mudron, and Shea Standefer*
Star Trek: The Next Generation Adult Coloring Book – Continuing Missions picks up where the first one left off, covering seasons four through seven. Another thing to note: While both The Original Series books jump all over the place in terms of timeline, both The Next Generation adult coloring books have placed the episodes in chronological order. Continuing Missions is currently available for pre-order and will be released on October 17, 2017.
Books that Opine Star Trek
20) Treknology: Star Trek’s Tech 300 Years Ahead of the Future by Justin McLachlan*
The science and technology of Star Trek is one of the most discussed topics. In Treknology, award-winning journalist Justin McLachlan exhaustively researches all the ways in which we are ahead of Star Trek from a technological standpoint, as well as areas in which we have nearly arrived. From smartphones to discussions about artificial intelligence and the moral questions we will face, there is a lot of meat found within the pages of this book. In the last four years, since publication of this book, we’ve achieved even greater strides. For me, this book serves as a great snapshot in technological time from which we can measure ongoing advancements.
21) Star Wars vs. Star Trek: Could the Empire Kick the Federation’s Ass? And other galaxy-shaking enigmas by Matt Forbeck
Star Wars vs. Star Trek also captures one of the biggest debates in fandom. Forbeck takes this debate to an amazing level. Just glancing at the scenarios found within the book put a huge smile on my face, never mind reading them and Forbeck’s logical conclusions. It’s super nerd at its finest. The scenarios which keep a running tally of the outcome aren’t the only fun thing about this book. There are also plenty of quizzes to test both your Star Trek and Star Wars knowledge.
22) Boarding the Enterprise: Transporters, Tribbles, and the Vulcan Death Grip in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek Edited by David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer*
Boarding the Enterprise contains a series of unauthorized essays (meaning the studio did not prepare, approve or license them) written by people directly involved in the creation of Star Trek and those who were influenced by it. These essays attempt to dissect a franchise that was supposed to fail and examines not only the role of the unsung heroes–known as the writers–but also the social commentary that makes up a huge part of Star Trek. These essays also attempt to explain why it didn’t fail and why it has influenced and continues to influence people to this day, despite a studio that continues to not understand their own property.
A full review of Boarding the Enterprise can be found on GeekDad.
Miscellaneous Star Trek Books
23) The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor Translated from the original Klingon by Keith R. A. DeCandido
It’s too bad The Klingon Art of War is no longer available in hardcover print and only available as an eBook because there are some artistic elements to this book, such as paper color and heavy quality, that add to the experience of learning how to be a formidable Klingon warrior. That said, Qapla’! May Kahless guide you on your journey as you learn the 10 precepts and may we meet in Sto’Vo’Kor.
24) Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Phillips and William J. Birnes
Food was often featured in Star Trek. And who better to teach you learn how to cook many of the dishes featured in Star Trek than the chief cook and morale officer of Voyager, Neelix. The recipes found in the Star Trek Cookbook are real things you’ll want to eat, with entertaining preparation instructions in the voice of Neelix.
25) Hidden Universe Travel Guides: Star Trek: The Klingon Empire by Dayton Ward
Klingons have a rich history that doesn’t get enough attention. The Hidden Universe Travel Guides: Star Trek: The Klingon Empire changes that. If you find yourself planning a trip to Qo’noS or other destinations within the great Klingon empire, this is the book you’ll want to consult. From restaurants to museums and must-do activities, there is plenty to see and enjoy.
26) Hidden Universe Travel Guides: Star Trek: Vulcan by Dayton Ward
Known for its deserts and red skies, the planet Vulcan is filled with a rich history. We most often associate Vulcan with Spock but there is a lot more know about Vulcan culture. Vulcans are an emotionally guarded people who don’t talk much about home and life there, or some of the more beautiful locations. Hidden Universe Travel Guide: Star Trek: Vulcan will give you some much needed insight, including how to prepare yourself if you ever find yourself stumbling into a Kal-if-fee.
Homages to Star Trek
27) Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi*
Laugh-out-loud funny, Redshirts is a love letter to Star Trek. From Borgovian Land Worms and ice sharks, to killer robots and unexpected shuttle malfunctions when everything should otherwise be hunky dory; from magic boxes to perfect subtle references to The Original Series and The Next Generation episodes; characters about whom you’ll expectantly find yourself caring, Redshirts is my perfect book.
28) Memories of the Future, Vol 1 by Wil Wheaton
In Memories of the Future, Vol 1, Wil Wheaton takes us behind the scenes of the first half of season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s filled with snarky, explicit, and laugh-out-loud funny recollections of an adult looking back at a time in history not appreciated until he was older. Wheaton had planned to create Memories of the Future for all seasons in which he appeared, but that never became a reality. I hope one day it does because Memories of the Future is unlike any other behind-the-scenes commentary you’ll read.
Star Trek Books to Which to Look Forward
29) The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard by David A. Goodman
I’ve already pre-ordered The Autobiography of Jean Luc Picard. What a better way to celebrate 30 years of Star Trek: The Next Generation than by reading Picard’s autobiography. David A. Goodman did an amazing job creating a rich history in Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years and I have no reason to think this autobiography will be any different. This title will be released on October 17, 2017.
30) Star Trek: The Book of Lists by Chip Carter
Listicles. Just like this one, you can’t escape them. Star Trek: The Book of Lists is for the trivia buffs who also like things organized by topics; 100 of them to be exact. I’ve also pre-ordered this book. This title will be released on November 7, 2017.
What are some of your favorite Star Trek books? What upcoming titles are you most excited for?
Books titles with * were provided over the years for the purposes of review. The rest were all purchased.