(written from a Production point of view)
Ships of the Line is a hardcover reference book which collects the images of the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 2001 Calendar, accompanied by captions written by Michael Okuda from an in-universe perspective. While many of the illustrations and their accompanying captions refer to events established in canon, many others do not, and the work as such, like its source publications, is considered non-canon.
- From the interior book jacket (first edition)
- They dared to risk it all in a skiff of reeds or leather, on a ship of wood or steel, knowing the only thing between them and certain death was their ship. To explore, to seek out what lay beyond the close and comfortable, every explorer had to embrace danger. And as they did so, what arose was a mystical bond, a passion for the ships that carried them. From the very first time Humans dared to warp the fabric of space, escaping from the ashes of the third World War, they also created ships. These vessels have become the icons of mankind's desire to rise above the everyday, to seek out and make the unknown known. And these ships that travel the stellar seas have stirred the same passions as the ones that floated in the oceans.
- While every captain has wished that their starship could be outfitted in the same manner as the sailing ship H.M.S. Beagle – without weapons – that proved untenable. From the start, Starfleet realized that each vessel, due to the limited range of the early warp engines, must be able to stand alone against any attack. Thus arose the idea, taken from the days of wooden sailing ships, that every Starfleet vessel must stand as a ship of the line. Through the actions of their captains and crews, countless starships have taken on that role. Here we remember some of those ships and their heroic crews.
- In celebration of the fortieth anniversary of Star Trek, here for the very first time collected together are the spectacular images from the highly successful and acclaimed Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars. Gloriously rendered, each of these illustrations was created exclusively for Pocket Books. With text by Michael Okuda (The Star Trek Encyclopedia), the story of each of these valiant starships comes to life.
Background information Edit
- The first edition of the book was released to mark the 40th anniversary of Star Trek. It features a large proportion of the images from the 2001-2006 calendars (the 2002 calendar images were not included), though cropped to fit the book format.
- The book is an off-shoot from the undeveloped Star Trek: The Unseen Frontier - Declassified Images from the History of the Federation project, itself the progenitor of the Ships of the line-calendar series.
- Editor and contributor Doug Drexler noted that, according to Publisher Editor Margaret Clark, the first printing of the book sold out in four days. (X) This somewhat belied her earlier assessment for Unseen Frontier, which she had decided to cancel five years earlier, believing the project economically unviable.
- A second edition of the book was released in October 2014, and updated to include the images produced for the 2007-2014 calendars, adding 75 new images. It was also be made available in eBook formats for the first time.
- Both editions, measuring 11×7 inches in a lying format, were executed as hardcover books with dustjackets, featuring a wrap-around illustration for the first edition. The jacket illustrations were composited by Doug Drexler, who, aside from being their main editor, also contributed considerably to the calendar series, and thus both books. (X).