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Old January 7 2013, 08:07 PM   #1
kirk55555's Avatar
Location: Washington State, USA
Ships of the Star Fleet

I originally asked this in the literature section, but it was suggested that it made more sense to ask it here (I had originally thought of putting it here, but since its about a book, I put it in the other section. Since it is a tech book, I guess this section does make more sense).

I found a book (well, two books actually) on Amazon, and they look interesting, but they have very few reviews on Amazon, and I can't find anything about them on other sites. They're

Ships of the Star Fleet


Ships of the Star Fleet: Akyazi-Class Perimeter Action Ships

Does anyone know about these? Are they good? I'm a huge fan of the ship/tech part of Star Trek (I loved FJ's Manual, TNG Manual, and Mr. Scott's Guide to the enterprise). From what little info there is, they seem to be somewhat different books, but they still seem like something I'd really like. I just wonder what the general opinion on them is, and using google, and searching the forums on this site, haven't given me anything.
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Old January 7 2013, 08:44 PM   #2
Location: Houston, we have a problem...
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

I have both (and have for years). They are both well illustrated and written, but they are not "canon".

I believe Aridas Sofia was involved with them - way back in the day.

Check out Aridas' site:

"I've always said you can get more with a kind word and a two-by-four than you can with just a kind word." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5
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Old January 7 2013, 08:49 PM   #3
Albertese's Avatar
Location: Portland, OR
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

Yeah, I have both of these and they're great. They have a big ship technical illustration on basically most every page. The Ships of the Star Fleet book details various cruisers, like the Enterprise and frigates, like the Reliant, and some other stuff, but not much. I like how it includes basically every different version of the Enterprise models as different sub-classes. The fiction text is in a very technical context, and set in a slightly alternate Star Trek universe, where things are bit more militant. the Federation has fought a number of battles with Klingons and there's a lot more about Kzinti and Tholians. But it's a fascinating read. If you're a fan of the FJ tech fiction, it seems like the Star Fleet books are intended to be an extension of that universe.

The Perimeter Action book deals specifically with just one class (and it's sub-classes) of ship, called the Akiyazi-class PA ship. It too is a pretty fun read and even has deck plans of all three sub-classes.

I'd strongly recommend them if you're a fan of Trek tech fiction.

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Old January 7 2013, 10:05 PM   #4
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

As said, the Ships of the Star Fleet assigns identities to all sorts of actual Enterprise designs used on screen or proposed for various failed projects. It does the same to two Reliant designs, one actually used, the other not. That's about two thirds of the content: the remaining ships are either the creation of the author, or then adaptations of designs by friends of the author.

The nice thing about this is that the assigning of class identities to the various designs is done so that consistency with the old, original Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Schnaubelt is maintained: the class names and registries from that manual are associated with visual designs for the first time. Just about everything remains consistent with onscreen material, too - remarkably so when so much of that material has been added since.

Whether the fiction there points to a more militant Starfleet than we saw on screen, I wouldn't know... So many of the movies did go for a rather martial look and feel, especially with Nicholas Meyer at helm.

The artwork in the book is very nice, clean and systematic, consisting of line drawings only (a few in three-quarters bow view, most in side or top views only). It is also quite accurate: if you want to model the onscreen ships from scrap, using these drawings is as good a way to go as going for some of the more fanatically researched measurements available online, as the shooting models were approximations only anyway (that is, the old TOS ship model was asymmetric and bent out of shape while the "real" ship supposedly wasn't). While the Akiyazi booklet has full deck plans, the Ships of the Star Fleet offers a "conceptual" foldout on the approximate innards and workings of one of the author's own cruiser designs (Belknap strike cruiser), which is in a way even more interesting.

Also, the softcover books are a delight to handle, and keep their shine well even after a decade of hard use.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old January 7 2013, 10:52 PM   #5
King Daniel Beyond
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Location: Beyond the Darkness
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

There are some unofficial (as in, not related to the originals which were unlicensed themselves) 24th century PDF follow up books here:

Not having the originals myself I can't tell you how they compare quality, though.
Star Trek Imponderables, fun mashups of Trek's biggest continuity errors! Ep1, Ep2 and Ep3
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Old January 8 2013, 07:48 AM   #6
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

I guess the main difference is that the graphic and writing styles are more scattershot: the pictures are lifted from a variety of sources, and the text is by several authors, not necessarily coordinated or edited much. Some of the charm of the original SotSF is lost with this, as the older work felt more "authoritative" somehow for its integrated looks.

Of course, these newer versions also concentrate on onscreen starships, as there are so many of those nowadays; the reader may be more inclined to disagree on some of the interpretations, having formed his or her impressions on particular ships already. And it's statistics from that point on, as everybody will find something to disagree with in the plethora of articles, while Guenther's work had just three or four "canon" ships and mostly non-controversial original art for the rest.

Personally, I lament for example the lack of detail in describing the onscreen variants of the Ambassador class model. The text mentions the differences, but the artwork does not follow...

Timo Saloniemi
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Old January 10 2013, 12:33 AM   #7
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Location: Delta Quadrant Borg Queen appartement 8472
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

This is very interesting thx for all the links
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