Tuesday, December 3, 2013

You found your way here: It's Stellar Cartography day!

I'm already hearing... from reviewers, from fans lucky enough to get an early delivery...

For today, finally, is the birth of my latest baby, Star Trek: Stellar Cartography, from 47North/Amazon and Becker&Mayer, a trio of talented artists, and concept folks who approached me about it last winter.
And I expect, for this newest generation of JJ/Bluray-borne Trek fans of the past decade, this title will really put Star Trek star-charting on the map.

So far, the early word has been great: "Lords of Kobol, these maps...I think I am going to need more walls...!" my twitterbud @StarbaseUGC declared Monday when his set arrived early ... his franchise-mixing forgiven.

"I have my set all over the floor—it has taken over my house!" an interviewer from WIRED magazine/website confided to me.

Did you reserve your copy on pre-order? (We'd love it if you used our link—and it's gift season, you know.) I'm just bracing for the reaction from all levels of fandom: canonistas, tech heads, art fans, armchair fans, Klingon fans, DS9 fans (see photo left), TOS fans... even general pop culture fans and map fans (yes, map fans).

(NOTE: These grabs are made from low-res pdf files;  actual printing is MUCH sharper.)

Now, nothing is perfect; I know in thousands of data points (and "gap-filling" in lieu of others) there are things we missed, or with a third or fourth voice might have tweaked a little differently. And yes, these are couched as being the Top 10 Most Viewed maps at Memory-Alpha—and having 2-D maps in a 3-D century is a bit of stretch.. but hey.  But this project is built on the sturdy and well-tested shoulders of those who have gone before; we didn't so much re-invent the wheel as come up with some new upholstery fabric, some antique accessories, and all-new foreign materials to make the body out of.

Need some details? Well...
I first talked about "Maps 2013", my own nickname—as opposed to Maps 1977, Maps 1980, and Maps 2002!—in this Trekland post. We did a preview at Vegas Trek, and startrek.com has carried both my thoughts and an interview with artist Ian Fullwood, who tackled six of the maps; the magazine and website 3DArt Direct carried an interview with Ali Ries, the other talented artist who completed three of the alien maps (at right). Sometime I hope to get some thoughts from my old star-map buddy Geof Mandel, who I've worked with on ALL of those projects to one degree or another—and who contributed the "kitchen sink history map" in this set.

Everyone who agonized over the limited book format of "tiny" pages in Geof's 2002 classic Star Trek Star Charts should love our ten varied 2x3-foot posters here—and you even get a LOCATOR INDEX for the main maps, this time around! My guidebook is not as sexy as the maps, but there's a ton of new observations, conclusions, imaginings—and, finally, real sense made of the Dominion War's "astrography,' which turned out to be my biggest single all-new contribution here (aside from figuring out how the heck the Delphic Expanse once fit into local space.)

In coming weeks online and live at cons I'll be talking about some of the hundreds of snap-decisions on "gap-filling" I made here, at times consulting the think tank when needed—our good friend John van Citters at CBS, and of course under the wrangling of Becker & Mayer editor Dana Youlin, who survived another sprawlingly dense Trek backgrounder after David Goodman's Federation: 150 last Christmas, and art editor Rosanna Brockley.

But for right now, I'd appreciate hearing what YOU think, no matter what slice of fandom you hail from. Please sound off here, if you will!  I already suspect we overlooked a beloved TOS "guest planet" that got clipped from the 2002 book (we did re-include many more of them); there's likely others, so we'll start a to-do list for the Next Iteration. At the same time, the text and maps (and a few name in-jokes) in this set will keep you scouring for hours... and, I'll bet, adding some 2x3 poster frames to your shopping list. Ali and Ian's maps are all somewhere between cool and gorgeous and deserve to be the works of art they were dually intended. And better get Geof's map framed as well: it'll save inevitable wear and tear from the fingerstains of constant use.

Yes, original and cool-concept Trek backgrounding is back, baby! Merry Christmas!


Dwight Williams said...

Question re: "T'Khasi at Surak's Passing" - who worked up the Golic Vulcan translations of the place names?

Larry Nemecek said...

Dwight—I just left it up to the Art Director, who has done other Trek & Wars similar. Not my expertise area!

You do mean the fonts, right? Do you have an issue or comment? I can always take it in--or at least not be a deer in the headlights about it with others ...

Dwight Williams said...

Sorry for the confusion, Larry.