Star Trek: Voyager is experiencing a comeback like few other television shows have. 2020, the show’s twenty-fifth anniversary year, kicked off with a perfect 10-out-of-10 return performance from Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine in season one of Star Trek: Picard. A cast reunion, a new podcast featuring the cast, a celebration book, a comic book miniseries followed. The announcement of Janeway’s return to television in Star trek: Prodigy capped off an eventful year for the show but January 2021 accelerated the Voyager love to a new level when the show’s behind-the-scenes documentary returned to production along with a crowdfunding campaign that broke records with a $1.2 million haul!
Eaglemoss’ Hero Collectors imprint’s latest book Star Trek Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Volume 1 keeps the Voyager celebration going strong. The book offers a thoroughly descriptive deconstruction along with HD remastered images of fifty-four ships including the Borg Cube, the Borg Sphere, the cytoplasmic vessel, the Dinaali hospital shop, and many other memorable ships encountered by the U.S.S. Voyager during its adventures in the Delta Quadrant. Marcus Riley and Ben Robinson (also a co-writer/editor on Voyager: A Celebration and Deep Space Nine Handbook) manage to transform what could easily have been a bland read into an engaging, informative encyclopedia.
At roughly 9×12 inches and 232 pages, Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 makes a strong first impression. The cover is a collage of the top views of nine ships covered in the book. Not only is that a striking image that sucks in the Trekkie within you right away, but it’s also a replication of encyclopedias that cover real-world subjects. Previews of the next two volumes have been recently revealed and I’m happy that Hero Collector has opted for the same cover pattern across the volumes. The format adaptation from classic encyclopedias doesn’t stop at the cover, however, because everything including the writing style, the layout of the pictures, the pages’ color patterns all gel together to make you feel like the book is for all intents and purposes an encyclopedia in the true sense of the word. Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 would fit right in place in between a shelf of nonfictional encyclopedias. It’s almost as if Ben Robinson, Marcus Riley, and their crew started out with a study of the structure of our world’s encyclopedia books and made it their mission to create books that are indistinguishable from encyclopedias we’d find in the Star Trek universe.
Well, needless to say, mission: successful. After a table of contents, and a one-page acknowledgment of the ship’s artists and modelers, and a one-page foreword setting up what the book is about, Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 is off to the Delta Quadrant. It puts its undeniably best foot forward by profiling the Borg Cube and from the first sentence here to the last word in the index Robinson, Riley and the pictures stay in the universe of Star Trek. The book keeps the spirit of its world so real it could very well be the encyclopedia made post-Voyager’s return to earth in 2394.
Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 has two main chapters – one covering the Borg and the other the Delta Quadrant. Each ship in the volume has a dedicated profile section that features a splash page showing off the ship in action and a write-up that covers the ship’s important technical specifications and its connection to the Voyager. Profiles include a peek into the species that built each ship, their important experiences aboard the ship, and, in some cases, what the ship itself says about them as a civilization. Related images showing scenes in the show also accompany the profiles with a one/two-sentence description. The details provided for these ships can stump even the most informed of Voyager’s fans and the book also serves are a reference source when you’re re-watching the show. The index at the end is particularly helpful with repeat watches as it lists each ship’s appearance by episode.
Another pleasant surprise is that many ships’ profile sections are followed by plan views, a set of blueprint-style views of the top, side, front, and back of the ship. Missing these details is an occupational hazard during our viewing experiences but Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 makes up for that. My only minor nitpick is that these plan views are provided for many ships and not all of them. It’s a greedy ask, self-admittedly, but in my defense, I quote Rule Of Acquisition 284 (Deep down, everyone’s a Ferengi.)
Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 is the kind of universe expanding book that is a worthy complement to a vast show like Voyager. With its poster-worthy portraits and easy to understand breakdowns of massive, complex machines, every read of Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1 compels you to revisit both the highly memorable and forgotten ships of the show and if you’re fresh off of a television journey into the Delta Quadrant, it serves as a delicious dessert.
Star Trek Shipyards: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant Vol. 1
Authors: Ben Robinson and Marcus Riley
Final rating: Warp 9 out of 10
Stay tuned to TrekNews.net for all the latest news on Star Trek merchandise releases, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Prodigy, and more.