Star Trek and the British Age of Sail

The Maritime Influence Throughout the Series and Films


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About the Book

Clear all moorings, one-half impulse power and set course for a mare incognitum
A popular culture artifact of the New Frontier/Space Race era, Star Trek is often mistakenly viewed as a Space Western. However, the Western format is not what governs the worldbuilding of Star Trek, which was, after all, also pitched as “Hornblower in space.” Star Trek is modeled on the world of the “British Golden Age of Sail” as it is commonly found in the genre of sea fiction. This book re-historicizes and remaps the origins of the franchise and subsequently the entirety of its fictional world—the Star Trek continuum—on an as yet uncharted transatlantic bearing.

About the Author(s)

Stefan Rabitsch is an assistant professor of American Studies at the University of Graz and also teaches at the University of Klagenfurt. His research and teaching are predominantly in American cultural history, together with a focus on science fiction studies across media. He lives in Graz, Austria.

Bibliographic Details

Stefan Rabitsch
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6463-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3419-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Abbreviations Used viii
Preface 1
Introduction: These Are the Voyages… 5
Part I: Elementary, Dear Trekker (A Primer) 17
1. Logical, or at Least Plausible: Genre and Science Fiction 19
2. Space. The Final Frontier 35
3. Maritime Histories 51
Part II: Rule, Britannia! Britannia Rules Outer Space in Star Trek! (A Voyage) 67
4. “Off the starboard bow”: Star Trek’s Naval Corpus 69
5. “All I ask is a tall ship”: Sailing the Ocean of Space 87
6. “Captain’s prerogative”: Star Trek’s Hornblowers in Space 109
7. “Take her out”: Nautical Traditions and ­Re-imagined Nautical Life in Space 138
8. “The benevolent empire of good intentions”: Star Trek’s Neo-Enlightenment 177
Conclusion: What You Leave Behind 221
Chapter Notes 231
Works Cited 255
Index 265

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A quite interesting interpretation of the series and its mechanisms is revealed, loaded with tons of information, quotes, links to etiquettes of the US and British Navy and, for the first time, a multitude of primary production materials such as set memos, guidelines and altered dialogue and plot sheets straight from the studios.”—

• “Deserves praise for the quality of content, the depth of research, and the clarity of thought, and should be of value to any academic interested in the history of the Star Trekfranchise.”—SFRA Review