In a world that has been shrunk by modern communications and transport, Star Trek has maintained the values of western maritime exploration, and the discovery of "Strange New Worlds" in space.
This 'Starry Sea' has become a familiar metaphor in the thirty-year history of Star Trek, providing a backdrop to the relentless questioning of human nature. The progressive politics that underpinned the original programme is still very much a part of Star Trek's overall philosophy.
The earlier series of Star Trek shows a faith in science and rationalism, and in a benign, liberal leadership.
This 'modern' order is now in decline, as we can see in the introduction of religion, mental illness and fragmented identities in Deep Space Nine and Voyager. This book addresses these issues in philosophical, literary, historical and cultural contexts, bringing together an unusual combination of authorial expertise.
Written to appeal to those who don't know Star Trek from Star Wars, as well as those with the ferociously detailed knowledge of the true Trekker, it explains the ideas and ideals behind this significant cultural phenomenon.