Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Pop Art: Best of Trek/Signet Edition

As a teenager and avid Trekkie, I came of age in the 1980s absolutely loving these Signet book compilations from Trek magazine, edited by Walter Irwin and G.B. Love. 

I still enjoy the cover artwork tremendously, but you can see that my personal collection of these books is pretty dilapidated in old age. 

The telltale sign of many (enjoyable) readings, I suppose...

If you recall these books, they featured interviews with cast and crew, analyses of the various Star Trek episodes, and articles such as "The Klingons: Their History and Empire" (Best of Trek 1). 

I remember very fondly reading Best of Trek 3 in particular, which was the first compilation after the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.  I remember reading "Parallels in Star Trek: The Motion Picture vs. The Series" and fan reviews of the (controversial)  film. 

By the time of Best of Trek #15 in 1990, The Next Generation was being debated in essays such as "Same Sexism, Different Generation."

I remember many fun hours reading these books, and soaking up fan knowledge and speculation about Star Trek.  I suppose these Best of Trek books provided me an early example, in my youth, of the fact that one could love science-fiction television with a passion and also write intelligently, deeply, and analytically about it.

Anyone else ever read these? 


  1. Anonymous12:24 PM

    I LOVE these books. I re-read them all, several times. I always looked forward to the parodies (particularly "The Black and White Cookie Episode"), and it was this series that gave me my first taste of the animated show. Ah, this brings back memories!

    --Rich Handley

  2. Hi Rich,

    Oh my goodness, I also remember those parody articles/stories.

    And before DVD, the analysis of the Animated Series was really the only way to glean some meaningful taste of it. I also remember a nice retrospective of all the Gold Key Comics in one edition...

    I must have read these books all a dozen times each. As you can see, my copies are wrinkled and much-used. They went everywhere with me: on car and train trips, shopping, to school, etc...

    Glad to see this pop art remembrance also struck a chord with you, my friend.


  3. Very, very cool cover art. However, I never did read these. Thanks, John.

  4. Hi Le0pard13:

    I love the cover art too. I haven't read the books in some years, but I read them religiously for years and years as a teenager and young man.


  5. Anonymous1:07 AM

    I will always remember when I find these books at a book story. The art didn't make me think of star trek, but I was curious...When I started with the first book, I was hooked. I have 1-18 I believe..I think there were more made after. I was more a TOS fan, and didn't buy them after, because they centered more about The Next Generation...

    Wonderful analysis of the episodes, there was art, fans talked about the episodes, and what Star Trek meant to them...One touching article was about two friends that saw the third star trek movie but in different countries..the title of the article was Someone to scream with..something like that....That article really pulled at my heart strings...we were so sad to see Spock die in the second movie...and were so happy, moved to tears when he was brought back in the third movie.

    Great memories these books.I treasure them..and they are as dog eared as yours my friend...

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Anonymous12:30 AM


    I just found your site a few days ago and enjoy it very much. Thank you.

    I too love these books and discovered them in the early eighties at a used book store. I remember glancing at back covers and seeing such articles as the Rise and Fall of the Federation, and couldn't wait to read them. They also had a great section in each book that answered reader questions. It's a shame that so many fans do not know of these awesome books, and I think they deserve a detailed discussion on your site. I subscribed to Trek magazine right before they closed shop, and the issues I received are a prized part of my book collection.

    Anyway, thanks for the great site and the trips down memory lane!

    Mike Moore

    1. Hi Mike,

      Glad you are enjoying the blog. I love these Signet Best of Trek books. I still have mine, although they aren't aging well, as you can see from the photos. You're right, I should do a "close-up" look at some of the editions. I think I may head that way soon...