Star Trek 1059: The Starfleet Academy Entrance Exam

Disclaimer: For the second week in a row, I have to postpone the scheduled review of Proud Helios, this time because we had a Halloween party last night, and we're still picking up the pieces (some of those pieces being ourselves). Instead, here is another non-fiction Trek book. Proud Helios will be featured next week for sure.

1059. The Starfleet Academy Entrance Exam

PUBLICATION: Citadel Press, 1996

CREATORS: Peggy Robin, with supplemental material by Gabriel Caffrey

STARDATE: Covers TOS through Voyager... apparently

SUBJECT MATTER: 175 pages or so of trivia questions about Star Trek in its various forms up to Voyager, though Deep Space Nine is very much under-represented. Questions (with answers on the back of each page) are split into various categories such as Aliens, Captains, Gadgets and Romance. Difficulty varies from multiple choice to extremely specific details, and only sometimes require non-Trek or production knowledge. There's also a list of humorous Top Tens by Gabriel Caffrey in the middle of the book.

CONTINUITY: Questions culled from all of Trek through 1996, but mostly TOS and TNG.

DIVERGENCES: Stardate often used to denote an actual year (Stardate 2250 = 2250 A.D.). A small number of erroneous answers.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK - If any Klingon's gay here, it's Worf.
REVIEW: I remember when I got this as a gift back in '96 that I was pretty disappointed with it. It's not that the questions are well put, and I do like the cheekiness that allows you to laugh at yourself even as you make a complete nerd out of yourself. No, the problem was once I hit a question that clearly had a wrong answer. Suddenly, it put the whole damn thing in question. It might have been fun at some nerdly get-together to field some questions (impresses the rubes, at any rate), but how can I when I'd have to potentially prove I've got a better answer than the book? I've tried to find that mistake without re-reading the whole book, but I can't. And still, just reading selected questions, I found others. Picard doesn't just say "merde" in The Last Outpost, he also says it in Elementary, Dear Data, Mr. Book. And that thing with Stardate years (see Divergences) bugs me to no end. Pretty basic, really. Flipping through it now, the dearth of DS9 material annoys me as well. It's my favorite show, and it seems to have fewer questions dedicated to it than Voyager. In '96, that's unacceptable. I'd say TOS makes up at least 50% of the trivia, and TNG most of the rest. One last beef: The format of the questions uses a lot of follow-up questions without being clear that they are. Fine when you're reading the book cover to cover, but prevents you from picking a question at random. A lot of them are devoid of context unless you know where the chain begins. I'm afraid Peggy Robin gets a fail from me on her exam.

Next for the SBG Book Club: Proud Helios (DS9), Ambush (SCE), Trek to Madworld (TOS), A Call to Darkness (TNG).

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