Star Trek 1003: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual

1003. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual

PUBLICATION: Pocket Books, October 1998

CREATORS: Herman Zimmerman, Rick Sternbach and Doug Drexler

STARDATE: The end of DS9

TOPIC: Following in the footsteps of the TNG Tech Manual, DS9's has a wider range of things to cover, but is able to go into less detail on those Starfleet particularities covered by its sister manual. Major topics include the station, runabouts and Defiant's systems and tech, but there are also sections on station operations, the Bajoran sector, Cardassian protocols, and other ships that might have served in the Dominion War. It doesn't mind filling in details either and includes things we've never seen, like a Cardassian probe and some cartoony development team patches. Like the TNG Manual, it is written from the 24th century's point of view, but unlike the TNG Manual, it features tons of full color computer drawings, plus four gatefold images featuring cross sections of the station and Defiant.

CONTINUITY: Some of the new information in the book was used in later novels. For example, the name of Bajor's sun, B'hava'el, was used in the Millennium, DS9 II and Terok Nor series. The Cardassian rank of Gil also appeared in that last series. President Jaresh-Inyo (Homefront) writes one of the introductions. The Defiant development team's patch has the words "Assimilate THIS!" (First Contact). Maybe that's where Worf got the phrase. Sample cargo labels pictured include a package from Simon Van Gelder to Dr. Tristan Adams (Dagger of the Mind).

DIVERGENCES: Like the TNG Manual, some inside jokes are of course, divergent, but there seem to be fewer. For example, are Van Gelder and Adams really still alive?

ILLUSTRATION OF THE WEEK - I've seen Firefly now, and that is a very bad place to stand.
REVIEW: While the TNG Tech Manual was my nerdier first love, what the DS9 Tech Manual has lost in jargon brilliance, it gains in eye candy. Its glossy pages are chock full of color graphics and excels at presenting both the scale not always evident on television and 3D cross sections that sell a piece of tech's inner workings. We readily accept its graphical representation of objects and rooms (it's quite good at showing how sets connected to one another), but is weaker when showing starships with cross sections (flat and too colorful). As for the writing, it still has a lot of technical jargon, but holds plenty of cultural and historical detail about the Bajorans and Cardassians, and how the former, along with Starfleet, adapted to the latter's technology. Like DS9 on tv, it covers a much wider Trek territory, with Klingon, Ferengi, Romulan and Dominion tech being thrown in, and like tv's DS9, is richer for it. One word review: Pretty.

Next for the SBG Book Club: Vulcan! (TOS), Masks (TNG), Antimatter (DS9), Here There Be Monsters (SCE).

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