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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old December 5 2013, 03:36 AM   #76
mythme
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

AHOY MATEY, SPOILERS AHEAD....





I got mine today and if you go to the previous thread when this "book" was announced you will see how excited I was for it....

Well, now, I must admit I'm left cold. I really was expecting "Star Charts" expanded to the Nth degree. This isn't it. What made "Charts" cool was all the scientific and pseudo/Trek science it contained. Explanations of sectors, planetary and solar classifications etc. This has none of that. In fact, the only illustrations in the "Stellar Cartography" book are the maps themselves. Sure, folded maps are purdy and, yeah, I'm sure to fame a few but I was expecting a little more "meat" to the text.

As for the text, I guess you could say each map has an accompanying essay written as a synopsis of the historicity of the map. In other words, each essay is presented as a fiction, hence containing many references that aren't "canon". Thus, the whole package isn't what I was yearning for - Trek non-fiction. Its a slick redo of "Star Charts" without the "science". With so much info in the actual shows, why include fan-fic or, worse, made up stuff?

There are a few corrections and additions here. But honestly, not that much. And since the "alien" maps are presented as such, they lose a lot of value. What I mean is that there is no "Federation" conventions - no distance scales; not even sector grids. Its just blobs of space with stars with names. This makes the 4th Century Vulcan map especially useless. There's no way to get a perspective of distance. In fact, there aren't even any real stars like there was in "Star Charts". Hence, Vulcan is simply "Vulcan" not Epsilon Eridani A. (Its only labeled as such in the aforementioned Vulcan map, which makes no sense since Vulcan's wouldn't name their stars with Human designations, especially if its from the 4th century). To me real stars and distances is what made "Star Charts" so exciting. It made Star Trek seem almost plausible. "Steller Cartography" just seems like a big step backwards; a random mishmash trying to cover everything and ultimately giving nothing.

There are also no ship routes or destinations. Listening to the TrekRadio interview with Nemecek, I expected to see fleet maneuvers and the shifting battlelines during the Dominion War. Nadda in the book and precious little on the pullout map. Furthermore, there is NO Gamma or Delta quadrant maps. NONE. That really made me go sour. So big letdowns for DS9 and Voyager fans. And one map does have something labeled with the thermobaric cloud barrier, apparently indicating the Delphic Expanse. But there is no further word on it. And stars like Azati Prime don't even appear within it. So what could have been a neat map tracing Enterprise's course through the Expanse is a completely disregarded piece of Trek lore.

Yes my friends, I had big expectations for "Stellar Cartography". But even trying to keep my wishes reasonable, this was a big disappointment. Maybe one day they'll do another version; perhaps a 3D galactic representation. Hopefully that will be an improvement. As I mentioned in the previous thread, I had spent years making my own maps. Not to sound smug or callous, but they are more accurate and complete. I guess I'll go back to finishing them.
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Old December 5 2013, 04:00 AM   #77
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

^Vulcan is 40 Eridani in Star Charts (and ENT: "Home" comes close to verifying this by stating that Vulcan is 16 light-years from Earth). Epsilon Eridani is identified with Axanar.

Where does it put the Delphic Expanse?
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Old December 5 2013, 04:41 AM   #78
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

yes that's what I meant. 40 Eridani A - my mistake

The Expanse is kind of a nebulous region. I still don't understand the oblong circle labeled as the cloud barrier - it seems to stand alone on the far side near Klingon space. If you use "Star Charts" as a reference Azati Prime is approx. between Andoria and Deneva. Its roughly egg-shaped, with that being the smaller end. Its positioned diagonally towards the Klingon Empire with the bottom fatter part near the Hromi Cluster. It occupies an area within these points - Argelius, Japori, Xarantine, Suliban and Rigel.

Yes, I know space is three-dimensional, but it seems odd to place it there since Enterprise travelled through this region to reach places like Qo'Nos and Rura Penthe. Not where I would have put it, but oh well.
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Old December 5 2013, 05:09 AM   #79
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

Well, space is 3-dimensional, and the galactic disk is around 1000 light-years thick, so what seems to be "between" Andoria and Deneva could actually be hundreds of light-years "above" or "below" them relative to the plane of the page. (For comparison, Star Charts gives the impression that Vega and Denobula/Iota Bootis are nearly adjacent, only about 5 light-years away from each other as projected onto the plane of the map, but in fact they're 80 light-years apart, because there's a far greater "vertical" separation between them.)

Really, this makes a lot of sense to me. STSC used up most of the territories around the UFP in the plane of the page, but there's plenty of room left over along the Z axis. The problem is that the maps are constrained by the 2D projection and the lack of side-view renderings. It gives the false impression that the galaxy is much flatter than it is.

The placement also makes sense because we know that Enterprise passed near Vulcan en route to the Expanse (since they were going to drop off T'Pol on the way). Yet we also know from "Twilight" that it must be very far from Ceti Alpha. Yet in the map projection, Ceti Alpha and 40 Eridani are in very nearly the same direction. So the only way to reconcile the two is if the Expanse is far removed from Ceti Alpha along the Z axis. And if you look at page 18, it shows that Vulcan actually is well "below" Earth. So I guess that means we can assume that the Expanse is pretty far "below" the plane of the map.
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Old December 5 2013, 05:29 AM   #80
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

all valid points but the Expanse was said to be 10,000 ly across. no matter how you place that, vertical or horizontal, it doesn't fit there. For me I would place it more "south", spaning from the Klingon border (they did try to enter it and failed. Thus making that their boundary at the time and forcing their expansions and excursions "north-westward") spanning "south-westward" into areas below Cardassian space. Adding up the amount of time and distance Enterprise took to reach the Xindi weapon (and I have) they traveled a very small amount into the Expanse. If traveling due "West", they wouldn't have even traversed Cardassian space, at least as it is represented in Star Charts.

But then this discussion doesn't really belong in TrekLit
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Old December 5 2013, 05:42 AM   #81
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

It is to the south, because the galactic north-south axis is perpendicular to the plane of the page. I guess you mean more to rimward and spinward. But that wouldn't work because it would put the Expanse too close to Ceti Alpha.

And the Expanse was said to be 2000 ly across, not 10,000. Although "The Xindi" complicates things by having a member of the Council say Earth is only 50 ly away, which is inconsistent with the lengthy travel time specified in the previous episode. I think we have to discount that reference (maybe a Xindi year was much longer than an Earth year).

True, fitting a 2000-ly-wide region into a galactic disk only c. 1000 ly thick is tricky, but maybe it's a relatively flat region, hugging the southern face of the disk. (There was no indication that the Expanse extended into the relatively starless region beyond, and then there's the Barrier to consider.) Although then it would have to be far wider than shown in the new map, pretty much extending "beneath" the whole depicted territory. Still, other than that, the position selected is very logical and seems like the best fit to the canon evidence.
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Old December 5 2013, 05:46 AM   #82
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

We could move the discussion to the Trek Tech forum, if that's an issue...?

Sidebar: Is Masao lurking in this discussion? Been stumbling across and refreshing my memory re: some of his map-work...
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Old December 5 2013, 06:25 AM   #83
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

I don't think Gamma and Delta Quadrant Maps were announced for this in the first place.
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Old December 5 2013, 09:32 AM   #84
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

mythme's post is a bit dishearting I mist admit, esp as I loved Star Charts so much. I think I'll still get it, but its the price that's making me waver.
The cheapest I can find it on Amazon.co.uk is £35! I don't care how big and fancy these fold out maps are, that's a lot of money for one book, especially one that's not even that thick is it? Smaller than Federation 150? And that's hardly the biggest book ever.
I can afford it, but, wow...


(Amazon US has it at $47.99, that works out at £30, so not far off.)
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Old December 5 2013, 02:59 PM   #85
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

Could they have meant 2000 cubic lightyears? Suspecting that may be too small a volume for ENT's plot purposes...
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Old December 5 2013, 03:22 PM   #86
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

^I've found over the years that as a general rule, it's best not to take numbers in Star Trek too literally. There are too many different people making them up without comparing notes or using the same assumptions, so they're wildly inconsistent, whether it's distances, stardates, ship registries, or whatever.
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Old December 5 2013, 04:09 PM   #87
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

Point taken.

Looking forward to seeing this for myself, whatever flaws there may be. And if we get "Novel'verse" and "Abramsverse" variations on this concept into print someday, I'll consider that cause for additional joy. The order's been placed with my bookstore, and I'm told that it shouldn't be too long.
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Old December 5 2013, 08:33 PM   #88
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

My view is that it is nice work but not particularly useful compared to the Star Charts.
I expected two pages of current(circa 2386) star maps of the Alpha and Beta quadrant with a density the same or greater than the SC with grid references.
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Old December 7 2013, 11:17 PM   #89
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

Aaaand my own copy is finally in hand.

As noted before, it's designed to be consistent with the TV shows and movies, and with Federation 150 (and I hope Mr. Goodman and 47North will forgive me my title-shorthand here) as well. I'd have liked something more in line with the novelverse, but perhaps that's something for us to persuade Pocket Books about in the months to come.

That second assumption strongly affects the content of at least one component of the collection, the Earth-Romulan War map.

An acknowledgement of reality: I'd also love to see sector-by-sector stuff, but that will take more work than the involved artists likely can spare the time for even if they got the $$$ they'd like to get. Star Charts got as close as we're likely to get without switching to CD/DVD media.

(And if the professional astronomy software publishers want to take a run at this, they'll probably find enough interested parties to design - and pay for - plug-ins to fit the need.)
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Old December 7 2013, 11:25 PM   #90
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Re: First look inside the new Stellar Cartography

Have set up a thread on Trek Tech in case that's a more appropriate venue now that the volume is in the shops.
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