Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years (Box Opening + Review + Squee)
Assembled as a Special Exhibit on Memory Alpha, Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the United Federation of Planets.
This unprecedented illustrated volume chronicles the pivotal era leading up to Humankind’s First Contact with Vulcan in 2063, the Romulan War in 2156, the creation of the Federation in 2161, and the first 150 years of the intergalactic democracy up until the year 2311. Meticulously researched, this account covers a multitude of alien species, decisive battles, and the technology that made the Age of Exploration possible. It includes field sketches, illustrations, and reproductions of historic pieces of art from across the Galaxy, along with over fifty excerpts from key Federation documents and correspondence, Starfleet records, and intergalactic intelligence.
My first contact with the Trek franchise was with Star Trek: Voyager when I was twelve years old. My formative adolescent years saw the likes of Kathryn Janeway, B’elanna Torres, and Seven of Nine as my girl power role models — Kathryn Janeway, most especially. I grew up in awe of her, that BAMF HBIC. I wanted to be her, or be like her, at the very least. I could devote a series of essays to how much she has shaped my life, but needless to say, she was my life peg before the phrase was even coined.
I found myself absolutely fascinated by the universe as imagined by Star Trek, the ideas it gave me and the questions it moved me to ask. I read books, played video games, participated in online forums,
wrote a ridiculous amount of fan fiction and immersed myself in everything Trek I could get my hands on.
I recently got to watch the Voyager series again, almost a decade after the first time I did, and I’m twelve all over again. Star Trek was, and continues to be, a great influence in my life.
Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years was a book I knew I could not not have. It’s exactly the kind of book I love and have been looking for: it’s not about the Star Trek series, it’s written in the Star Trek universe.
This book reads like a historical textbook written in the 24th century, chronicling the events that led to the establishment of the United Federation of Planets. Essentially the United Nations on a universal scale, The United Federation of Planets is an interstellar republic with more than 150 member planets, all sharing the same principles of universal liberty, universal rights and equality, and the sharing of knowledge and resources in the name of peaceful cooperation and space exploration.This book looks at the events the preceded the founding of the Federation and the first 150 years of its establishment.
To its 24th century readership, however, this won’t be the first time they’ll be reading this book; this book is also a 75th anniversary edition featuring all-new and never-before seen content. In short, it’s a lot of future history.
With the all the buzz
Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness is generating, Federation is a timely release since it would be a great way to bring back the canon and reintroduce it to a new generation of fans. Both the history of Star Trek and Star Trek history are rich and diverse, and I’m hoping that the newer fans will use Star Trek Into Darkness as a gateway into the rest of the Trek universe.
Below the cut is a book walkthrough slash review, with almost forty photos of the box opening to the special inserts.
Christmas Break Reading List
I bought these from the Barnes & Noble website last Cyber Monday, and the thought of cracking them open and reading them at leisure got me through the academically demanding weeks leading up to this holiday break. Finally, an RRL that stands for Reading for Relaxation and Leisure, not Review of Related Literature.
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I fondly remember reading this and The Secret Garden when I was much younger. This particular book is the Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics edition. Fully Booked carries most titles in this series, but not this particular title.
I bought this book not for myself, but for the little princess
dying of anguish inside me. The weeks prior to the day I purchased this book were characterized by inscrutable sadness and existential angst, and Cyber Monday gave me an excuse to indulge myself in a little bit of retail therapy to easy my heartache since everyone knows the best way to fill a void is with LOTS AND LOTS OF STUFF.
Leisure: The Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper. Dr. Leo Garcia, my professor in Ph101 and Ph102 (Philosophy of the Human Person I & II), recommended this title to the class last year, and I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of my own ever since. This book defends the concept of leisure in relation to work. To quote the blurb:
Leisure is not idleness, but an attitude of the mind and a condition of the soul that fosters receptivity to both physical and spiritual realities. The author points out that sound philosophy and authentic religion can be born only in leisure — a leisure that allows time for the contemplation of things, including the nature of God. Leisure has been, and always will be, the foundation of any culture.
… Unless we recover true leisure — the ability for silence, contemplation, and insight; for receptivity and intuitive openness to the truth — and replace our frenetic amusements and relentless striving, we will destroy our culture and ourselves.
Truer words have never been spoken. I find this discourse relevant in today’s modern capitalist society which places great emphasis on work, work, work.
Also, hello intellectually sound excuse to be lazy. Dr. Garcia bought his copy at Fully Booked, but they haven’t restocked this title in a while. Glad to finally have a copy of the full text.
Is Data Human?: The Metaphysics of Star Trek by Richard Hanley. I am a huge Star Trek nerd, and I love seeing the subject pursued in a scholarly, interdisciplinary way. I picked up this book because I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Ethics of Star Trek by Judith Barad, Ph. D., and Ed Robertson — speaking of which, that book deserves a rereading now that I’m taking up Ph104 (Foundations of Moral Value).
I’ve also been able to watch Star Trek: Voyager again, after so long, and I’ve grown to appreciate the character development of The Doctor. He was an excellently written character, and I find myself wondering about the issue of holographic rights. Sentience or subroutines? It’s an interesting topic. It’s a discourse I’m interested in pursuing when I have the time, but I think I’ll start with this book for now.
And yet, despite the above, I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen on my Kindle. #nonsequitur
Book Review: Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden (2012)
(This review has been rotting in the drafts section of my Tumblr since March. It’s a shame I didn’t get around to finishing this sooner! I read and finished this book on the day it was released, so I would’ve been in a very good position to make a timely review and recommendation. But those bad habits will die soon! I recently dug this up and spruced it for my application to The GUIDON’s online magazine, Katipunan. I’m pleased as punch to say that I got in! No more unfinished drafts for me — or significantly less unfinished drafts, at least! I think I’ll be posting some of my other application pieces as well, to keep this humble Tumblr of mine from going belly up.)
“ELECTRIFIED barbed-wire fences - punctuated by guard towers and patrolled by armed men - encircle most of the camps. Two of them, numbers 15 and 18, have reeducation zones where some fortunate detainees receive remedial instruction in the teachings of Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung. If prisoners memorize enough of these teachings and convince guards they are loyal, they can be released, but they are monitored for the rest of their lives by state security. The remaining camps are “complete control districts” where prisoners, who are called “irredeemables”, are worked to death.”
It reads like an excerpt from The Hunger Games or any other dystopian novel, but it’s actually reality for someone, somewhere. That someone is Shin Dong-hyuk, and that somewhere is Camp 14, a political prison slash labor camp in somewhere in North Korea. That’s where he was born and raised, and that was the only life that he knew until he escaped in 2005. Journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of the only confirmed person born in a North Korean prison camp to escape from it and live in Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West (2012).
I was looking for something to read when I came across an unopened National Bookstore plastic bag. There were books inside. I haven’t purchased any books since then —
dead tree paper books, at least. My Kindle/iPad with Kindle app has been an extension of my arm. Most of the books I’ve read this year are books from the Amazon Kindle Store, usually purchased at $1.99 during the Kindle Daily Deal promotion or at $2.99 during the end-of-the-month sales. I’ve been housebound for most of the summer, so instant access to new titles has been such a boon. I’ve also been able to access books otherwise unavailable locally, so that’s been great as well. It would also explain the sudden rise in non-fiction and in books published in the 2000s on my reading list.
According to the receipt still taped on the bag, I bought these books around three months ago. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve stepped into a National since then, either.
The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata by Gina Apostol.
Soledad’s Sister by Jose Dalisay.
I made my purchase shortly after the lit seniors’ thesis conference, which would explain the presence of these titles in my bag. These were some of the novels tackled by the seniors, the titles that piqued my interest the most. Finding these books now serves as a timely reminder for my own thesis.
Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. I love a good anthology, and it’s been a while since I’ve read one. This one seems right up my overemotional, prose-like-molasses alley.
#angst #betrayal #melodrama #bloodyroses #tidalwaves #feelings
I’ll try to finish one of these titles before the school year starts next week. I have a feeling it’ll be one of the last books I won’t be required to read. This week is going to speed by so quickly!
I think I am special, and that in spite of the odds and what I’ve been carefully taught, special things are therefore due me. I am talented. I work hard. And, in spite of the drugs I occasionally take, I am not particulary self-destructive… I look good and act good. I try real hard. A good girl. But of course, I am wrong.
They offer consolation, wisdom, company of a kind, but they’re really not interested in you.
For there to be a conversation – a dialogue – there have to be at least two active participants. That’s company. A book is not company. We engage with it, argue with it, carry it around in our pockets and minds, are haunted by memories of it for years. But it doesn’t argue back, doesn’t engage, never inquires how our day has been, gives only what it wishes. Books are selfish. Everything, every word, is on their terms.
That’s what I like about them.