Sunday, December 23, 2012

Don't forget 'TNG 365'—another new stunner of a book

And now—a long-overdue review in praise of another  Trek offering that I hope has gotten its proper share of attention in this crazy holiday season: Paula Block and Terry Erdmann's luscious five-star TNG 365 book, a 744-page follow-up to their earlier tome, both from Abrams (and no—no relation).

The above means, if you still need a gift or two for your Trek giftee list, GET THIS. Especially, of course, if your own name is on that list.

Look, as you regular readers and viewers will know, and as I promised back in Post #1... TREKLAND is all about a personal take on the daily diet of Trek news you can get everywhere—either my own POV, or someone's else's.

And this gets pretty personal.

The shallow things would be to say—"Oh look! The authors extraordinaire used one of my own uniques for Entry 339 (left), and tossed in a nice shout-out for me and the TNG Companion" (Which folks still want to buy at conventions, despite it going out-of-print and into eBooks last year). Previously, only fans in a convention audience from time to time for my "Between The Cracks" Trek show got a glimpse of this slice of TNG history: the late-season self-poke at otherwise outstanding writers who had come and gone from TNG's very demanding niche. (And yes, per his intro for the book: that poster hung in Ron Moore's corner office bathroom, where I had the good sense to snap it during one of our annual archival interview sessions.)

But truth is, I'm jealous because TNG 365 gets to be everything I had hoped the TNG Companion could have been, and I had initially planned for, as the first reference book of the "modern" Trek era: lots of behind-the-scenes pics to go with the tale-telling—and in COLOR. Some images here are from studio vaults we barely got to use over the years in magazines... And some are even better: from the files of all the series' Treklanders who were smart enough to snap their own work in progress (or those around them). Like that one of mine. Until the digital revolution revamped the landscape, your only shot was to catch it and its brethren at a cool con show. (Or break into my house).

The gorgeous and rare photos, sketches and even memos also give a chance to tack on some (gasp) text to tell anew some of the best moments of TNG—because so much is on the "cutting room floor," as with the space and reprint limitations of my TNG Companion, for one. A lot had been used and consumed by magazines that most fans today will never have a chance to ever see. (Hey! You finally get Pulaski's full Writer's Guide bio! And Dan Curry's "Visible Klingon" anatomy poster (aside from that Enterprise glimpse) (at right)! And a zillion other things). There's even some bits here I had never seen nor heard before —heavens! There's even room for lots of cool off-lot context and cultural tie-in sidebars to boot, like products and fan moments— but all based around imagery. And even with seven season to cram in this time.

It also means that, even with the great documentary being assembled for the TNG remastering on Blu-ray, a book still holds far more Trek treasure than video, in many ways. But thanks for the cpntinued 25th anniversary hoo-haw, nonetheless.

I guess what I'm saying is that, obviously, TNG 365 is the perfect companion to your TNG Companion (ahem).  

If you didn't think to gift it by now, from your local well-stocked bookseller or even a tad late via online, don't forget it during the inevitable gift-swapalooza coming up post-holiday Dec. 26. Or anytime. (It's on Kindle, too.) All this and about 18 bucks. In hardback!

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