Review: The ‘USS Cerritos Crew Handbook’ Is An Instant Classic And Fun Companion To ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’

Star Trek: Lower Decks – U.S.S. Cerritos Crew Handbook
Written by Chris Farnell
Published by Titan Books

“The Lower Decks have always been here. We were there in the TOS* era, in the TNG** era, and way back in the ENT*** era. In any history book where you see some brave captain leading their ship into the unknown, you better know that we are right there behind them, serving them their coffee, handing them their PADDs, cleaning out their replicator nozzles, lubing their turbo lifts, and getting jobs that take ten hours done in two because the chief engineer wants to be “a miracle worker.”

 “Notes:* Those Old Scientists. ** Those Newer Guys. *** Earth’s Newbie Travelers.”

In 1975, Franz Joseph’s Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual took the sorts of publications that Trek fans had long printed on their own to the glossy, professional, licensed fold. Taking the form of a future document mistakenly transmitted to Earth computers during the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, “Tomorrow is Yesterday,” the Technical Manual explored many areas of the Star Trek world that fans had long discussed, including charts, illustrations, and documents that fascinated and unpacked the Star Trek universe. The Star Trek Lower Decks U.S.S. Cerritos Crew Handbook stands in the tradition of the Star Fleet Technical Manual and other books of this style like Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, but with a distinctly “Lower Decks” twist.

The new Handbook is finely produced, with a beautiful, stiff paper cover, attractive end pages, and a full-color interior. Lavishly illustrated in the Lower Decks style, the book contains the sorts of entries one would expect to find in a Star Trek reference book, but “accidentally” includes threaded comments by the Lower Decks characters that hilariously riff on and add sarcastic life to the normally staid prose. Sections introduce a new crewmember to the Captain, First Officer, Chief Medical Officer, and all the Senior Staff, but along the way, the text is hijacked by the Lt. JG’s we have come to know and love on the Lower Decks show, along with many others from the LDS cast.

Sample spread from USS Cerritos Crew Handbook (Titan)

Other members of the crew also get involved. There’s a Tamarian Glossary provided by Lt. JG Kayshon, a timeline of ships named Cerritos narrated by an embarrassed Captain Freeman, and a number of helpful lessons provided by Badgey. Ever wondered what the difference is between a tricorder with a purple stripe and one with a cyan stripe? Let Rutherford explain it to you! A heartbroken Ensign Jennifer Sh’Reyan suggests that maybe Andorians aren’t “cold, harsh, and unforgiving” as the official text indicates, but maybe “they’ve just been hurt before and so need a little bit of reassurance before they can let themselves be vulnerable.” And an entry on humans that Mariner comments, “pretty much nails us to be honest,” states that “most of their behavior can be adequately explained by a combination of egotism and confirmation bias.”

Sample spread from USS Cerritos Crew Handbook (Titan)

Its 176 pages are a breezy read – it took me about 90 minutes to work through the whole thing – and most of the jokes land well, poking in-universe fun at every Star Trek series, from the original to the most recent. Indeed, the Manual is so up-to-date that certain elements from it would have been mild spoilers for LDS’s fourth season if it had been released a few months earlier. From Ransom’s workout techniques to a hilarious guide to Cerritos Bingo, the Cerritos Crew Handbook has what you’re looking for, and a whole lot more. It’s a fun and informative look at life aboard the Cerritos, both on shift and off.

Star Trek: Lower Decks – U.S.S. Cerritos Crew Handbook was just released in large-sized paperback on Tuesday, December 19. You can order it now on Amazon for $26.96.


Find more news and reviews of Star Trek books at

DISCLAIMER: We may link to products to buy on Amazon in our articles; these are customized affiliate links that support TrekMovie by earning a small commission when you purchase through them.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This is going to be very very popular! 😄

This sounds like it has the sane amazing attention to detail as the show and a technical manual done in LDS style. Yeah I’m definitely getting this!

P.S. Lower Decks is AWESOME!!! 😎👍

Need to get this from Barnes and Nobles.

Is that like Barnes and Noble, but this time they bring space marines to the planet and take on dozens of Barnes and Nobles…and then nuke the planet at the ending?

“Those Newer Guys” and “Earth’s Newbie Travelers.” Those would make good episode titles for future episodes.

is it available in iTunes / Apple books? i’d rather read this on my iPADD

To fit with the theme of the show, I think packaging that looked deliberately shabby and second rate (like with blemishes and dents) would actually have been more original and cooler for this product.

Ordered it on instead. Trekmovie could get an affiliate account there and curate a Trek online bookstore. Some of the money goes to local bookstores. I like that a lot while I loathe Amazon with a passion.

I know a couple people that work and have great careers at Amazon, and also 25% of my retirement is in Amazon stock. Also I buy nearly everything on Amazon, and was an early adopter of using it way back when when it started out as mainly books. Amazon has 90% freed me from having to go out shopping, which I always detested. Amazon also saved The Expanse, which is one of my fav series of all time. I am proud of using Amazon and will continue to to use Amazon.

Trekmovie — please continue to use the Amazon links.

Amazon may have saved “The Expanse,” but in a sense it was a Pyrrhic victory. Cut down to six episodes, the sixth season felt rushed, with all of the careful worldbuiding and character development that had so distinguished the show going out the airlock. It was a better finale than none at all, I suppose, but still pretty disappointing given the real high points of what had come before.

And in any event, Amazon sux, and I do very little business with them for that very reason. Let them start treating the bulk of their workforce like human beings rather than expendable hardware and I’ll
maybe feel differently.

Several warehouses had problems which got fixed, but the media and some disgruntled employees made a huge deal about it. I mean, come on, the total fines they received were just $48K, which is ridiculously small for a company on their size and shows that these are outlier issues at several warehouses. The have hundreds of warehouses, so of course there will be a handful with problems — and they had the tremendous burden of trying to provide so many consumers with goods during COVID — they deserve a big thank you for that! Additionally, they paid the most overtime of any U.S. company by a long shot in 2022 BTW.

Believe what you want though. Don’t let me get in the way of the evil company media narrative on this…lol

What, you think they paid that overtime out of the goodness of their hearts? Seriously?

Somehow, I don’t think that “ridiculously small” in this context means what you think it means.


There are some great Reddit threads where Amazon employees post on. For example:

Amazon is an easy job, provided you have a good work ethic. I have never seen anyone denied a bathroom break. To be candid, I think those stories are fabricated by people who want to spend 30 minutes in a stall watching YouTube. My biggest complaint about Amazon is that they allow too many people to not work, while those who do work pick up the slack. On a typical day you will see 25% of the workers trying as hard as they can to avoid working. It must be exhausting expending that much effort trying to avoid work. Give Amazon 10-12 hours a shift and they will give you decent pay and amazing benefits. Simple as that.

Amazon 2 years, been doing warehouse 10 years. Amazon is the easiest warehouse on the market, with the highest pay, perks and benefits for the least amount of work. If you’re new to Warehouse/Production, It’ll be a shock because you thrown into the pool, sink or swim, Its up to you to you. If you don’t know how to pace yourself, and manage yourself you’ll struggle. But those are basic skills teenagers learn, The people who are crying, are the slackers. The people who use up all their sick days because they’re lazy.

It definitely varies from different facilities. Most of what you read are simply a lot of people complaining and even here. If anything, people complain about the “long hours” they signed up for and use that as an excuse to fuel up other complaints they may have. At this point, the bathroom break complaints are quite exaggerated and the working conditions have gotten better. People complain everywhere though, but when it’s on the media people become some type of dramatic journalist.

No it really isn’t that bad. Media and former/current workers like to depict Amazon as this evil cartoon company that wants to kill its own employees for world domination. I would rather work at Amazon than go back to working in a restaurant kitchen or retail sales. I’ve been employed at three Amazon facilities in two different states. The job is super annoying sometimes, boring most of the time, and they have a really bad habit of keeping bad employees and losing good ones. Also the “they don’t let you go to the bathroom” thing is the hugest lie about Amazon. You can go to the bathroom for as long as you need. But it’s nothing unique to Amazon and there are much worse jobs out there.

The benchmarks aren’t high it’s just people don’t want to work. Jan 1 every year we lost employees who used up the pto just got so they wouldn’t have to stay at work. Now they have almost no time off left and I’m sure this will be Amazons fault. I go to the bathroom when I get ready with no issues but I maintain my rate. Some days I am tired or out of it and purposely slow myself down. Those days I make slightly above expected rate without even trying. People views on actually doing work has changed. So don’t believe the hype.

At my FC we can use the bathroom when we need. They do track your rates and how long you are idle for but that being said it seems to be generally based off of your performance. If you are picking 90 units an hour for a month then all of a sudden you drop down to 60, even if its average for the FC they may come “coach” you up. Our average rate here is easy to me for reach. As someone else pointed out they give out swag and food here pretty regularly. We were given 25 dollar food vouchers for Thanksgiving both years I have been here. We have raffles it seems every other month to win things like tvs, karaoke machines and gift cards. They have “power hours” where the highest rates get free gifts. The job isn’t hard at all if you can walk 5-10 miles a day. Some positions and days are harder then others but for the most part its the walking. Amazon offers pretty legit benefits that seems to be overlooked by a lot of people as well.

That this posting, legitimate or not, strikes you as a credible *defense* of Amazon tells me everything I need to know about them as an employer. Regretfully, it also tells me a great deal about you.

The warehouse jobs at Amazon, like any warehouse jobs are not fun jobs for highly skilled people, but Amazon pays higher wages and has significantly better benefits than most other warehouse operations. But nothing you or I can ever do is going to make those jobs fun or all that rewarding. It is what it is — and what it is is a living wage job with overtime and great benefits that is better than most other warehouse jobs.

I’ll tell you one thing about me. I dig down and get source information versus just taking at face value what I read in the media.

Please note that I could finish this post by making a negative personal remark besmirching your character like you just did about me, but I won’t lower myself to that level.

I daresay that most of those other companies that employ people to slave in warehouses don’t generate profits to the extent that they can afford to shoot aging actors into space gratis. I would also note your blithe assumption that unskilled people aren’t entitled to a living wage is a big part of what’s gone drastically wrong in this country (under administrations of both parties) for the last four decades, leading us to the very brink of fascism if our luck finally runs out next year. But, hey! so long as your Amazon stock continues to fund your IRA, all’s good, amirite?

What you said:
I would also note your blithe assumption that unskilled people aren’t entitled to a living wage is a big part of what’s gone drastically wrong in this country 

What I had said:
what it is is a living wage job with overtime and great benefits that is better than most other warehouse jobs.

Wow, this is way beyond twisting my words a bit — YOU CLAIM I BELIEVE THE OPPOSITE OF I WHAT ACTUALLY SAID!

Shame on you! It’s fine if you want to have a differing opinion on this, but to reach like this and REVERSE what I actually said to make your point is intellectually bankrupt.

…and I will add that your post also illustrates part the reason why that orange-haired fascist might take power again — because he continuously distorts what other people say, even frequently reversing what they actually said, and his supporters and part of the media not only believe the lies, but they reinforce them.

Think about that the next time you 180 degrees distort what someone says please.

I agree. I’m not much for Amazon either. Dr. Evil as their owner doesn’t help either.

You mean the guy who took William Shatner into space and saved The Expanse? LOL, yeah, right, Nurse Dense. ;-)

What, as Trek fans we’re supposed to feel gratitude towards Jeff Bezos for sending the actor who played Captain Kirk on a joyride into space? Well, I don’t happen to give a rat’s patootie about that, and aside from the extremely fortunate Mr. Shatner I don’t see why anyone else would either.

Sure, or course we should be grateful for that, and the documentary both received great reviews and was the number one show for a week on Prime. And, sheesh, Captain Freaking Kirk got to really go into space!!!

Thanks, Bezos, thanks Amazon.

Good God, that’s just sad. I won’t even bother to explain why; I suppose you’ll just have to be grateful for the both of us.

Sure! I’ve got you covered.

Why would I care about a publicity stunt?

Too bad you feel that way. Your loss then.

I can lead a horse to water, but I can’t make him drink