Star Trek Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library is the latest and greatest book out from trekspert Larry Nemecek. Inside Stellar Cartography is so much more than a book. It comes with 10 large, high-quality posters suitable for framing or simply admiration, plus the 48-page book with additional prints of the larger maps and the history and context behind those maps, including tales about the various cultures and interactions within each of the maps. TrekMovie was delighted to get a copy of the new book. See our full review and an unboxing video after the jump.
The details of Star Trek Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library.
Author: Larry Nemecek
Map Illustrations: Ian Fullwood, Ali Ries, and Geoffrey Mandel
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: 47North; Har/Chrt edition (December 3, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 14 x 11.4 x 2.3 inches
List price: $79.99 USD
Current sale price on Amazon.com: $47.99
Stellar Cartography is more than a book. Really, it’s a map collection in its own right. It comes in a high-quality box (that’s what you see in the images above), which opens up via a magnetic flap to reveal the book itself front and center surrounded on either side by two pockets full of large, high-quality maps. The box itself is a very nice product — it’s made of sturdy cardboard material with a glossy finish and embossed lettering. It very nicely displays the contents inside and would make a very beautiful addition to any collection or coffee table.
The clamshell case opens up into a tri-fold display. The book itself is 8″ x 10″, sits inside of a frame and can be removed using the yellow ribbon placed underneath it. Inside the book is glossy maps of the Star Trek universe, all utilizing the local languages (and some with English as well). There is text corresponding to each of the maps, which gives information on the cultures depicted in the maps themselves. With only 48 pages in total, many of those pages being maps, this makes for a light read. Really, this book is all about the maps. The text gives nice insights into the maps and helps the reader to appreciate the stories that the maps themselves have to tell.
The book itself
The real prize inside Stellar Cartography is the maps themselves. They are ten in number and are tucked away neatly in the side pockets of the display box. Each 24″ x 36″ map is printed on high-quality, thick paper suitable for framing. These maps are really what make this collection stellar (pun intended). The text in the book gives the maps context, but the artwork itself is a thing of beauty and something made to be admired. Each race gets a distinct style, the most unique being the Surak-era Vulcan solar system, which is a highly stylized vision of a solar system that really captures the Vulcan aesthetic. Note that each of the maps is sourced from the Federation archives, but each map is a historical piece, most often made by the culture it represents. For example, the stylized Vulcan map is a historical piece of artwork make by Vulcan artist T’sari in the 4th century.
Interestingly, the text regarding the Romulan Empire map alludes to an explosion that caused the destruction of the entire Romulan home star system (which happened in the Prime Universe in Star Trek 2009). It also states that the shock wave triggered by the explosion was thwarted thanks to “red matter” and claimed the life of Ambassador Spock. That tells us that the text of this book is written in the Prime Universe, after the incursion that sent Spock back in time and to the JJ verse.
The Unboxing Video
So that you can really get a feel for what Stellar Cartography has to offer, I’ve made an unboxing video for you. Truly, this is one of the only books I know that deserves such treatment, as it’s really more than a book – it is just as it says on the book “Selections from the Federation Astronomy Library”.