Book Review: Star Trek: Vulcan Hidden Universe Travel Guide
By Empress Eve
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 at 11:00 am
Star Trek: Vulcan Hidden Universe Travel Guide Book 1 Paperback
By Dayton Ward
Art by Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release date: July 19, 2016
Of all the planets in the Star Trek universe, Vulcan is perhaps the most intriguing to fans of the franchise, thanks to its distinction as being the home world of Mr. Spock. Therefore, it makes sense that for the launch of their Hidden Universe travel guide book series, Insight Editions selected Vulcan as its first destination with Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan!
Modeled after color travel guides books by the likes of Fodor’s and National Geographic, in A Travel Guide to Vulcan!, Dayton Ward provides readers with all the pertinent information needed to properly traverse the planet and interact with locals, as well as where to eat, sleep, shop, sightsee, and much more.
But this book serves as more than just a simple travel guide that merely lists hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. It also provides insight into the customs, etiquettes, and protocols of the people on Vulcan. This is a culture ruled by logic, but through all of their years of interaction with humans from Earth, they’ve become better accustomed to the more emotional aspects of other people and more welcoming and tolerant to outworlders. There’s plenty for visitors to do and see on Vulcan, but before you do, you can familiarize with the sections in the book regarding giving the Vulcan salute, how to dress appropriately (it’s the desert), and language tips, most notably what’s likely the most crucial thing to know — how to ask where the restroom is.
If you’ll be taking an extended stay on Vulcan, there’s details on where to go to start on the path to achieving Kolinahr (you’ll purge those pesky emotions — recommended for those with anger management issues), and how to participate in a wedding ceremony if you find yourself faced with a marriage challenge Koon-ut-kal-if-fee.
All good guide books should include information about how to keep safe during your travels and what to do if you find yourself in a vulnerable situation. Thankfully, this Vulcan travel book contains safety instructions, such as how to handle a Mind Meld that lands you with an unexpected Katra, a Vulcan’s living spirit, and warnings such as there being “the distinct possibility that the planet might not exist in all realities, universes, and timelines.”
The book has some nice extra touches, such as an Introduction by the man himself, Spock (who at the time of his writing was the Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation), as well as a sidebar from Spock’s human mother Amanda, who writes that she knew since she was a teenager that she wanted to live on Vulcan (no surprise that she’d fall in love with Spock’s father, the Vulcan ambassador to Earth).
Writer Dayton Ward has been crafting Star Trek stories since the late 1990s, with novels Star Trek: That Which Divides and Star Trek: From History’s Shadow, so he’s a perfect choice to pen this travel guide. Ward keeps his narrative simple and his details informative, while infusing humor throughout as well as while injecting several references to the rock band Rush, which automatically earns him major bonus points with me. Rush is my favorite band of all time, so seeing entries on visiting The Fountains of Lamneth and the Temples of Syrinx were a real thrill for me. Along with Ward’s exhaustive guide to all things Vulcan travel, A Travel Guide to Vulcan! contains beautiful, enticing artwork, regional maps, and instructional illustrations by Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski, which serve to really enhance this outstanding guide book.
Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan is an essential addition to any Star Trek fan’s library, especially those who have always longed to see Spock’s home world and learn everything there is to know about it.
Plan your next trip to the planet Vulcan with Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan! Find restaurants that serve the best fried sandworms and Vulcan port. Take a trip to the Fire Plains or experience spring break at the Voroth Sea. Learn all about the native Vulcan people and their unusual customs. Discover how to correctly perform the traditional Vulcan salutation (you really don’t want to get this wrong). Learn key Vulcan phrases such as Nam-tor puyan-tvi-shal wilat: “Where is your restroom?” Find out what to do if you suddenly find yourself host to a katra””a Vulcan’s living spirit””at an inconvenient moment. All this and more can be found within the pages of this essential travel guide to one of the most popular””and logical””destinations in the known universe.
Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan draws on 50 years of Star Trek TV shows, films, and novels to present a comprehensive guide to Spock’s iconic home world. Modeled after real-world travel guides, the book will explore every significant region on Vulcan with fascinating historical, geographical, and cultural insights that bring the planet to life like never before. Also featuring a dynamic mixture of classic Star Trek imagery and original illustrations created exclusively for the book, Hidden Universe: Star Trek: A Travel Guide to Vulcan is the perfect way to celebrate 50 years of Star Trek and will thrill pop culture fans and hardcore Star Trek fans alike.