Larry Nemecek’s Stellar Cartography Full Review & Unboxing

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 Skinny
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)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477805974
ISBN-13: 978-1477805978
Product Dimensions: 14 x 11.4 x 2.3 inches

List price: $79.99 USD
Current sale price on Amazon.com: $47.99

What’s inside
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 box, which contains the book and maps


The opened box, displaying its contents

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


Detail of the inside of one of the box flaps

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 folded maps, each sourced from the Federation archives


Unfolded Vulcan map from the 4th century (the time of Surak) drawn by Vulcan artist T’sari

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”.


Sort by:   newest | oldest
December 5, 2013 3:06 pm

Thanks for the review Kayla, been wondering about this book since I saw it announced a while back.

NCC-73515
December 5, 2013 3:23 pm

Strangely, the “tlh” is used as a “k” here… :P

crazydaystrom
December 5, 2013 3:26 pm

I LOVE these types of Trek books!
This WILL be mine. Oh yes, this will be mine. Can’t wait.

Vultan
December 5, 2013 4:30 pm

Thanks for the review. Looks nice. I recently got the Federation history book. Wish it had been more like this.

Gotta love maps!

Red Dead Ryan
December 5, 2013 5:52 pm

They should have put the TOS Enterprise on the cover instead of the TNG version.

CmdrR
December 5, 2013 6:51 pm

Begs for pewter starships and a decahedron die.

I likee.

Federali Aundy
December 5, 2013 7:05 pm

The maps look a lot like the book “Star Trek Star Charts” by Geoffrey Mandel. Is this just a suped up version of that book?

Ahmed
December 5, 2013 7:14 pm

@ 5. Red Dead Ryan – December 5, 2013

“They should have put the TOS Enterprise on the cover instead of the TNG version.”

What is wrong with you? They are all called the USS Enterprise.

Shame on you with your TNG hate!

Red Dead Ryan
December 5, 2013 7:26 pm

#8.

Ahmed,

Dude I don’t hate TNG. But its not as iconic as TOS, which is hot right now due to the reboot.

I just think the TOS ship would be more appropriate. No big deal. Just an opinion.

Sheesh, I thought you were going to stop getting angry here?

Ahmed
December 5, 2013 7:33 pm

@ 9. Red Dead Ryan – December 5, 2013

” Ahmed,

Dude I don’t hate TNG. But its not as iconic as TOS, which is hot right now due to the reboot.
I just think the TOS ship would be more appropriate. No big deal. Just an opinion.
Sheesh, I thought you were going to stop getting angry here?”

No problem dude, and I’m not angry. I was just pissed off all day when I read the news that Fox is already planning ANOTHER X-Men movie for 2016 while Paramount & Bad Robot are still sitting on their a$$es & doing nothing.

December 5, 2013 7:51 pm

I can’t wait to read it on my iPad Air! :D

@MarkusMcLaughln

Red Dead Ryan
December 5, 2013 7:54 pm

Ahmed,

Okay. Yeah, it’s frustrating that Paramount seems to be dragging it’s feet, though it looks like Bob is going to start on the script relatively soon.

Rastaman
December 5, 2013 8:33 pm

I will say the cover does look a little disjointed with Classic TOS text for “Star Trek” and then having TNG Enterprise. I agree. Wish they had used TOS Enterprise (no bloody -A -B -C or -D). More iconic.

Rastaman
December 5, 2013 8:36 pm

Then again, I guess the book kind of spans the Prime Universe generations, so maybe it is appropriate. Meh

Hat Rick
December 5, 2013 8:57 pm

Thanks, Kayla, for the wonderful article! I know what I want for Christmas, thanks to your review!

To all contributors to the TrekMovie site — please don’t think that readers fail to appreciate you articles, despite the fact that relatively few of us will outright say that we do. Well, we do, I think! (We’re too busy arguing with one another to find the time!)

I, for one, find all of them to be quite interesting and wish to thank you for your efforts. You’re part of what makes TrekMovie such a great place to visit.

Vultan
December 5, 2013 8:59 pm

Didn’t TNG introduce “Stellar Cartography”? So it kind of makes sense to use the D on the cover.

But yeah, the logo should either match the ship or… go with a standard font.

Vultan
December 5, 2013 9:01 pm

Hat Rick, you’re a good guy.
Happy Holidays!

Ahmed
December 5, 2013 9:04 pm

@ 15. Hat Rick – December 5, 2013

“To all contributors to the TrekMovie site — please don’t think that readers fail to appreciate you articles, despite the fact that relatively few of us will outright say that we do.”

I second that. Matt Wright, Kayla Iacovino & all the other TM contributors are doing great job keeping TM up & running.

Thanks guys for your hard work.

December 5, 2013 10:35 pm

Hey Kayla–thanks for the warm review!

I would only caution you that the book, while “jus” 48 pages, is 48 dense pages—and includes a lot of subtle canon fixing and canon massaging… and some all new dots connected. MOST of all, I was proudest to finally make sense of the “astrography” of the Dominion War, the “threat to the hoe worlds” puzzle, and the whole “Alpha Quadrant powers” phrase. I’m anxious to hear what Niners and everyone think about that.

Oh, and Licensing has gone with the TOS font overall for years now on packaging, regardless of series/era. :-)

December 5, 2013 10:36 pm

Haha. HOME worlds. Never type in a rush during a workshop break.

December 5, 2013 10:46 pm

Kayla–If you didn’t get a Dominion War map in the batch, “demand your money back.” :-)

MJ
December 5, 2013 11:03 pm

Cool book, but it’s a shame it isn’t focused on TOS and nuTrek TOS universe, since that is the current and future focus of Star Trek now.

And, BTW, great job to Kayla and others for their cool contributions to this site, as this very well done article indicates..thanks!!!

Nemesis4909
December 6, 2013 1:13 am

This looks superb, I really want to own this. Nice to see the Prime universe getting more attention…though since it mentions Red Matter and all that JJVerse nonsense it acknowledges it (not a sleight on the book itself of course, just don’t really want to canonise the JJverse personally).

Nice job on the review, I love these features and I am saddened that they are few and far between compared to the abundance of articles we once had here.

Ahmed, I find it encouraging that Fox seem to care about the X Franchise to keep it in peoples minds and keep it in the cinema. There doesn’t seem to be that same love for Star Trek at paramount or by the production team.

If it were up to me I’d get an entirely new production team, write off those last two movies as unofficial and start again.

Computer, end program!

K-7
December 6, 2013 1:41 am

“If it were up to me I’d get an entirely new production team, write off those last two movies as unofficial and start again.”

Just review the book and drop your obvious JJ-hate. OK, trooll?

Marja
December 6, 2013 1:42 am

I look forward to this one too! Looks lovely.

Yeah Larry, I was a little worried when I saw “hoe” worlds ;-)

a whole world of gardeners or …
y’know.

crazydaystrom
December 6, 2013 2:20 am

19. Larry Nemecek
“threat to the hoe worlds”

Oh noooo!!! RED(light) ALERT!!! These planets must be protected!!!!

20. Larry Nemecek
Haha. HOME worlds.

Oh. That’s different.

Never mind.

LOL

;-)

NCC-73515
December 6, 2013 2:56 am

The Klingon map is so cool, top left is Vulcan :D

The description says:

DaHjaj tabe ‘nalwI’ tlHInghan wo
He rue tlhtent anD laImS echreeD by tHe IghH ounchIl nD tHe oSt earSome anD ormIDable orD Hanchellor oval n tHe ear ong aHleSS

DaHjaj – today
tabe ‘nalwI’ – this part I don’t understand
tlHInghan wo – this is supposed to mean tlhIngan wo’, Klingon Empire

Hat Rick
December 6, 2013 4:23 am
Thanks, Vultan (17) and Ahmed (18)! And to the author of the book — great to see you posting here. I’ve enjoyed your books and commentaries for years. There’s something about Trek that inspires years and decades of faithful following from writers like you and other Treksperts. During times when Trek isn’t that much in production (we still don’t have an official announcement for the third JJ Trek movie!), it’s nice to know that there’s enough depth in the Trek phenomenon that one can easily while away hours reading about its universe and its myriads of details. Not only is this fictional universe rich in its intricate quasi-factualism, but one can take comfort in the many parallels Trek has had in its foretelling of the progress of humankind into the stars. Although seemingly slower than we’ve hoped, people of all races and kinds have surely endeavored to take up the enterprise of space exploration; one only need read the news to find that not only the United States, but also the rest of the world is taking up the cudgel to move us into the stars. Knowledge of our universe, through NASA’s fantastic (but real!) space probes and landers, the Hubble Space Telescope and successors, land-based observatories such as the forthcoming European Extremely Large Telescope, and new efforts by up-and-coming spacefaring nations — all of this combines with the positive messages of Star Trek and its fans and admirers. This is a good time to be human and interested in… Read more »
ST:EXP
December 6, 2013 4:54 am

I still have questions about the scale of distances in the Trek universe.

Looking at the maps, some of the distances seem incredible even for Trek lore.

So I don’t understand in the episodes of any of the series how they warped there so quick.

It would take Voyager 70 years or something at max. warp to get home…. but some of the areas “locally” traveled to appeared take hours, but they look on the map that they should take way longer.

How did Enterprise get to ShaKaRee in like one afternoon in STV?

Based on it’s location in this map book…. I mean… wow.

Or the Amargosa star in Generations…. they ate lunch and all of a sudden the Enterprise was there…. on the map it looks like a pretty good journey compared to everything else on the map that they travelled to in the series.

Thomas E.
December 6, 2013 4:56 am

The writers of a future Film or TV Series should have these posters hanging on their wall for reference. I certainly would if I was writing for Star Trek.

Hat Rick
December 6, 2013 5:53 am

29, it’s a special kind of magical warp drive. Some dare call it, “Artistic License.”

;)

For the same reason we never see major characters having to use the restroom on CSI (or any other) shows (or even in movies) at inconvenient moments, the Enterprise never has to go through hours, days or weeks of boring warp travel or the command crew has breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the meanwhile, even though we’re supposed to know they do. Time imposes its own incontrovertible constraints on storytelling, I suppose.

Picard, Riker, and the rest are the focus of our attention, so maybe we don’t care very much when they’re not on active duty throughout a 24-hour day and the relief crews take over while the Enterprise is en route. (On the other hand, “Lower Decks” (TNG) does hint that members of non-prime shifts aboard ship have a life, so at least there’s that.)

Jerry Modene
December 6, 2013 7:17 am

I once wrote a parody story in my old fanzine in the 70’s dealing with how they handle a day in which nothing is happening. By the time something happened, they had run out of time.

The story was “Star Trekiotomy”, contained in Logically Star Trek #4, which occasionally shows up on Ebay.

Red Dead Ryan
December 6, 2013 7:56 am

#23.

Not surprised to see someone with “Nemesis” as part of their name take pot shots at Bad Robot and the new movies. :-(

Next time, keep it to yourself, buddy.

LogicalLeopard
December 6, 2013 8:13 am

33. Red Dead Ryan – December 6, 2013
#23.

Not surprised to see someone with “Nemesis” as part of their name take pot shots at Bad Robot and the new movies. :-(

Next time, keep it to yourself, buddy.

****************

Well, he can’t exactly “keep it to himself” if he’s typing on a forum can he? *LOL* I mean, I don’t agree with him, but he’s got a right to say it. And that’s probably the mildest criticism I’ve seen of the movies *L*

NCC-73515
December 6, 2013 8:44 am

The Klingon Empire is surrounded by:
vulqan, betarIghel, reghuluS, tellun, yrIDa, tlhlachH D’tlhel bratlht, betchtlha nebula, qarantIne, chHaqqabDaDaj, ajIlon, Sermanyu’q HermanS lanet, ‘orghHn, DavloS, aleanIr nebula, ghIbbet, Dorala, DayoS, renavI, ghalDonterre, tlheSSItlh, cheStuS, belletrIq, voDreynebla, chambra, chanopuS, amarghoSa.

Nemesis4909
December 6, 2013 9:33 am

Sorry guys if my different opinion of the JJ movies offends but it’s not about to change. Wasn’t a fan of Into Darkness and not going to be shy about it. For the record I thought the 2009 movie had potential that has now been wasted. Also, I respect everyone who is of the opinion that the new movies are good, I just don’t happen to agree with them. Thank you @LogicalLeopard for the comment.

Interesting fact, my username isn’t a reference to Star Trek Nemesis, I’ve had this username for years, I adopted it when the third Resident Evil game came out and I’ve kind of stuck with it ever since. It’s actually a coincidence that it has anything to do with Star Trek. Interesting fact about me.

December 6, 2013 9:50 am

Thanks for dropping by Larry!

I am to Smurfy
December 6, 2013 11:07 am

12) Red Dead-” though it looks like Bob is going to start on the script relatively soon.”

Well we all know what that means, He will post on here that he is locking himself away in a local Los Angeles Hotel(The Roosevelt in Hollywood last time lol)
to crank the script out, post on here that if site reader can figure out which hotel him and Alex are at writing at and stop by in the Hotel resturaunt (I think it was) they would name a character after that person.

post a few more days on here and twitter and various other trek sites, that they are now locked away working even harder then next thing you know the script is only a outline and they have to wait and see if JJ wants to direct or give it to another director. Then they get 4 or 5 other projects that they focus on instead, then the date will get pushed back because you know 2 years to develop and write a movie is way to short. (never mind the fact that they crank out Harry Potter films in 12 to 18 mths Hunger Games and Twilight films every 12 months apiece, they used to crank out a new bond film every year etc etc.)

Lol I kid I kid lol

Ahmed
December 6, 2013 11:15 am

@ 24. K-7 – December 6, 2013

“Just review the book and drop your obvious JJ-hate. OK, trooll?”

@ 33. Red Dead Ryan – December 6, 2013

“Not surprised to see someone with “Nemesis” as part of their name take pot shots at Bad Robot and the new movies. :-(
Next time, keep it to yourself, buddy.”

K-7 & RDR,

Just as you have all the right to express your love for NuTrek movies & STID, other people have the same right to express their dislike or hate for the same movies. It is called free speech :)

Nemesis4909
December 6, 2013 12:24 pm

#38 spot on. Absolutely spot on.

#39 thanks for the support.

Where does all this vitriol come from anyway? Are people so insecure about their opinions on these films that they need to silence those who don’t share them? Does my disliking of that movie affect your liking of it?

Remember the messages that Star Trek used to teach us before becoming an overblown action franchise that rips off the better movies in the franchise. IDIC people, IDIC

crazydaystrom
December 6, 2013 12:39 pm

40. Nemesis4909
Where does all this vitriol come from anyway? Are people so insecure about their opinions on these films that they need to silence those who don’t share them? Does my disliking of that movie affect your liking of it?

It’s, too my mind, a very odd reflex. I dunno. The answer to your questions just might lie within the questions themselves. I really don’t get it.

I am to Smurfy
December 6, 2013 12:44 pm

40)
I agree, people just can’t seem to take it on here if you don’t blindly agree with them.

I have said over and over again while Into Darkness disapointed me greatly, and is one of my least favorite movie going experiences this year for me personally. I can understand why others really like it.

There are plenty of films I love others hate, the great thing about film is its subjectiveness. Everyone has the ability to take away whatever they want from it.

Jon
December 6, 2013 12:56 pm

#40

I’ll throw in my support for Nemesis4909, too. I have also encountered much of this hatred every time I dare say that STID was not very good and/or just not “Star Trek” to me, and then respectfully back up my statements with reasons why I believe as I do (no need to repeat myself yet again here on said reasons).

I just don’t get it…if you liked/loved STID, fine…no problem at all…and feel free to tell us all why the movie was so great in your opinion without all of the name calling (which is akin to what a child would do). It’s called a debate…I just had one with my office mate involving politics that was respectful even though we don’t agree on much on that front :) .

Nemesis: Well said to the rather rude and intolerant folks who don’t seem to be able to accept (at least not with any class) the fact that a lot of folks did not like STID (a lot more than I think is generally realized, IMHO), and that their opinion on the matter should be respected.

I continue to post on the matter here and there in the hopes that the powers-that-be somehow, someway take note and, at least on some conscious/subconscious level take it to heart and write/produce a better and actual “Star Trek” movie for the next go around…

Cheers!

Red Shirt Diaries
December 6, 2013 2:24 pm

Here we go again — all the people who hate STID are using this Stellar Cartography article to bitch about JJ Trek.

Nemesis4909
December 6, 2013 2:36 pm

To be honest, all I did was come on here and comment on how much I want to own this obviously cool book.

I did make what was intended to be an off hand comment about the inclusion of the 2009 movie plotlines in there which I did not intend to turn into an Into Darkness discussion thread.

I pointed out that I don’t like those films and that’s really the end of it, it was more people complaining about the fact that I don’t like those films that escalated all this.

If everyone accepts that those films are not for everyone then we’ll all be able to move forward.

Ahmed
December 6, 2013 2:43 pm

@ 44. Red Shirt Diaries – December 6, 2013

“Here we go again — all the people who hate STID are using this Stellar Cartography article to bitch about JJ Trek.”

And what is the problem here if people want to express their dislike for JJ Trek ?? No one is stopping you from gushing over JJ Trek

All opinions are valid, not just yours or mine.

Smike
December 6, 2013 4:06 pm

@10: So true…and it’s not just the X-Men franchise that gets a huge push forward. There are going to be FOUR Marvel-based Netflix series, there is an upcoming Terminator TV series and it won’t take long for Star Wars to get a live-action TV spin-off… How much longer are we expected to wait?

Star Trek needs at least a big-screen adventure every other year and a 13 episode TV project à la Doctor Who… anything else is below the radar and won’t suffice to keep up any mainstream interest in the franchise! Peeps, we are facing serious SciFi / comic hero overload…
Marvel vs DC releasing up to 6 movies a year plus 5+ something TV / web shows, annual cinematic Star Wars and Avatar projects, Terminator and Jurassic Park reboots, an ongoing Planet of the Apes project and many more…It is now or never for CBS and Paramount… Get this flagship off the ground or be stranded for good…

Ahmed
December 6, 2013 5:01 pm

Re-post from the other thread

>>Thanks to MJB for the heads up :)

===========================

‘Star Trek 3′ Beams Up Trio of Writers: J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are set to tackle the third installment of the franchise alongside Roberto Orci.

J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have been tapped to write Star Trek 3 for Paramount and Skydance Productions.

The duo will join Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the first two installments of the reboot with partner Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof. Orci is working without Kurtzman on this one.

The next Star Trek film is untitled and unscheduled, but Paramount and Skydance are hoping to have a film in time for the franchise to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016. Stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana are expected to return.

J.J. Abrams will not be helming the movie due to him directing Star Wars: Episode VII, but he will still be involved as a producer.

Star Trek 3 has no director at this stage, although Joe Cornish, who helmed the geek-favorite movie Attack the Block, is high on the wish list.

Payne and McKay already have a relationship with Abrams. The duo wrote the script adapting Boilerplate, the graphic novel by husband-and-wife comics team Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/star-trek-3-beams-up-663729
===========================

DiscoSpock
December 6, 2013 5:47 pm

Ahmed,

Please drop the policeman routine here. You, of all people, should not be policing anyone on their behavior here.

I think it is completely legitimate for people to ask why in an article on a Stellar Cartography Trek book do the nuTrek haters need to bring up STID?

Borrowing a page from your book, looks like you have “your gang” out in force on this one — Ahmed, I am too Smurphy, Jon, LogicalLeopard, etc. Call off your clone warriors, please.

Red Dead Ryan
December 6, 2013 6:23 pm

This thread had nothing to do with STID….yet Nemesis4909 started all of this with some “classic” anti-nuTrek bashing. This is what “Ahmed’s Gang” members seem to overlook, all the while claiming to be “victims” here.

This is a classic example of bullying. Take some pot shots at nuTrek fans, and then conveniently play the victim card when “Ahmed’s Gang” starts losing the very fight they happened to start in the first place.

DISGRACEFUL!!!!

wpDiscuz