(written from a Production point of view)
Ships of the Line is a book created in honor of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek. It features a large proportion of the 2001-2005 "Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar" material, most of them being created by computer-generated images. The book is an off-shoot from the earlier conceived, more ambitious Star Trek: The Unseen Frontier Declassified Images from the History of the Federation-project, which was not followed through. Michael Okuda provided the images with captions from a, sometimes, conjectural historical in-universe prospective. Like its source material, the book is considered non-canon. Noteworthy is that none of the 2002 calendar material is included and that all imagery that were lifted from the calendars are cropped.
- From the book jacket
- 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.