Review by C.J. Bunce

Of all the attributes of Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine series, my personal favorite is the art direction.  Because it is a visual account of the production of the show, the new Deep Space Nine Illustrated Handbook is a celebration of the work of key creative visionaries and futurist art designers Rick Sternbach, Michael Okuda, and Doug Drexler, and more.  Reprinting key components from more than 8,500 mail order Fact Files cards published between 1997 and 2002, this attractive, hardcover, coffee table book will provide insight into Star Trek’s outlying, groundbreaking series for a new generation of fans now watching for the first time via Netflix and other streaming platforms.  In this chronicle expect to find everything but a self-sealing stem bolt.

For long-time Star Trek fans, the Deep Space Nine Illustrated Handbook is just an excuse to take another look at what made the series great.  Take for instance the signage created by the aforementioned designers.  Try to find any images in this selection of hundreds of full-color photographs that don’t capture a label or sticker that defined, often in subtle ways, the culture of the station.  Look in the background, behind the cast members, to see a Cardassian emblem here on a console showing the critical history of the space station, or a Bajoran emblem emphasizing their foothold.  Federation and Klingon iconography, and Ferengi lounge items further tell viewers–and readers–this was a deeply thought out setting.  In the context of the series and this in-universe book, it conveys a well-traveled spaceport.

For anyone who hasn’t read Rick Sternbach’s classic technical manual book, expect to find those minute scientific and engineering details created by the designers to help support the writers room’s story concepts.  The layouts will also be familiar to anyone reading decades of Star Trek’s official fan magazines.  Readers will see the inside and outside of the former Cardassian space station led by Captain Benjamin Sisko, as well as the USS Defiant and the runabouts.  The book looks at Deep Space Nine’s history and operation with technical information, annotated exterior views, and isometric illustrations of key locations.  It’s a great fan reference guide to 24th century Federation life on the diplomatic outpost.

This is the fourth volume in Hero Collector’s library of Star Trek Illustrated Handbooks, adding an in-depth look at the space station Deep Space 9 and the starship U.S.S. Defiant to the previously published Star Trek Enterprise NCC-1701 Illustrated Handbook, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise-D Illustrated Handbook, and Star Trek: The USS Voyager Illustrated Handbook

A must for Deep Space Nine aficionados, order the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Illustrated Handbook here at Amazon, available now from Hero Collector.