Review by C.J. Bunce
Arriving in book stores today is the next fandom book from Star Trek. Star Trek: The Book of Lists is the first book to include information from the first six Star Trek television series (including the Animated Series, but not yet Star Trek Discovery) and all 13 films including Star Trek Beyond. Noted trivia compiler and writer Chip Carter has amassed 100 lists that will tap the into recesses of any Star Trek fan’s memory.
Carter nicely pulls together lists of topics both inside the various Star Trek timelines and real world trivia about the making of the shows. Altogether you’ll find 100 lists ranging from in-depth comparisons of episodes to quirky oddities. List #90 includes actors who appeared in both the classic Adam West Batman television series and the original Star Trek series. How many can you name? Carter came up with nine. List #40 includes twelve popular holodeck programs. List #66 includes ten episodes that directly tie back to prior episodes from other Star Trek series (an example is the NextGen episode “The Naked Now” and the original series episode “The Naked Time”). Can you think of fourteen different drinks (List #25) mentioned in Star Trek series (and that doesn’t include Raktajino)?
Star Trek: The Book of Lists makes for some great content that could be used as an extension of the popular “Top 10 list” party game Outburst. In Outburst one player reads a subject to one or more other players or teams who must try to come up with all the entries on the list. Here you could randomly flip to a page and read the subject, allowing others to try to list all the items Carter included in his list. Tally the wins and hand the book over to the other side, taking turns, making for a fun game for any ad hoc assemblage of Star Trek fans. It would work particularly well because most of Carter’s lists are not exhaustive. For example, List #82 includes nine costumes created for the shows that were worn by one character and later re-used by a different character in a later episode. In fact this occurred literally hundreds of time throughout the Star Trek series, so you could give bonus points to someone who can think of entries not included on Carter’s lists.
But make sure you save the most trivial of the trivia lists for last. That’s List #47. That includes 47 times the number 47 was referenced in the Star Trek franchise. That’s not as off-the-wall as it seems. It turns out Star Trek staff writer Joe Menosky was responsible for including the number everywhere and the idea stuck for future show writers. Carter finds his 47 instances everywhere from the Original Series into the Kelvin timeline movies.
A fun read and even a potential game source for your next round-up of diehard Star Trek fans, and a quick fix of both obscure and not-so-obscure sci-fi tidbits for those new to the franchise, order Star Trek: The Book of Lists beginning today here from Amazon, published by Harper Design. And if you want to try out our Outburst tie-in suggestion, Hasbro has a new edition of the game available here at Amazon (and it’s also quite fun!).