(written from a Production point of view)
New Worlds, New Civilizations is a reference work chronicling the travels of a Starfleet News Division journalist through space controlled by the Federation, visiting various outposts and making many discoveries.
Apart from anecdotes related to the journalist and an extract from Kathryn Janeway's personal log, New Worlds, New Civilizations is written entirely from the journalist's perspective (in the present-tense first-person singular). The book is divided into four different sections, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth – the four elements.
- From the book jacket
- "…to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations…"
- That is the mission statement of Starfleet, the declaration taken to heart by every starship captain, a mandate that has carried us across countless frontiers. It has uncovered our eyes, expanded our understanding, enlightened our lives. It has opened the door of discovery to all of the citizens of the Federation. And in turn we, ourselves, have been discovered.
- Join us now as we set off on our own journey. Hear your footsteps ring out on the decks of a Borg ship, stand beside Klingon warriors as they welcome home their hero and new chancellor, feel the heat of the deadly firestorms of Bersalis III. You can travel the walkways of Starbase 11, experience the "reality" of the Q Continuum, and breathe the desert air of Vulcan. In New Worlds, New Civilizations, you can be the one to boldly go.
- For more than three decades, viewers have enjoyed only fleeting glimpses of the myriad worlds imagined by the creators of Star Trek, alien vistas and astonishing societies captured only for a few tantalizing seconds on-screen. With Michael Jan Friedman as your guide, and aided by a remarkable collection of talented artists, now you can embark on a visual odyssey through Star Trek's unique galaxy of new worlds and new civilizations.
Covers the journalist's visits to the Forge on Vulcan, a burial tomb on Cardassia Prime, the firestorms of Bersallis III, General Martok's confirmation as chancellor on Qo'noS, as well as an examination of the Hirogen.
An "exclusive feature" on the Guardian of Forever, a look at Romulan tradition, and a walk in Benjamin Sisko's footsteps on Bajor. Also includes an excerpt from Kathryn Janeway's own personal logs, depicting a visit to the Q Continuum.
- The book's dedication reads, "For DeForest Kelley".
- The book features contributions from Thom Ang, Dru Blair, André Bormanis, Doug Drexler, Tim Earls, Phil Hale, Sonia Hillios, Brian Horton, Alan Kobayashi, Paul Lee, Dave McKean, John Mueller, Jon J Muth, George Pratt, Greg Spalenka, Jamie Tolagson, John VanFleet, James Wang, and Kent Williams.
- Aside from the author's acknowledgments and the artists' biographies, New Worlds, New Civilizations is written from a completely in-universe point-of-view – the letter from the "editors" cites Federation News, Starfleet News Division and ship logs as the sources for the book.
- The book's fictitious editors mention "five long years" of war – this is most likely a reference to the Dominion War as seen in the series Deep Space Nine, which concluded in 1999, the same year New Worlds, New Civilizations was published.
- Illustrations of the planet Vulcan (including the cover image seen above) are closer to its depiction in the original 1979 version of Star Trek: The Motion Picture rather than its revised appearance in the digitally-enhanced 2001 Director's Edition, which removed the orbiting moons that contradicted an episode of the Original Series stating that Vulcan had no moons. (However, New Worlds, New Civilizations identifies one of the offending moons as Vulcan's sister world T'Khut, suggesting that the other moon belongs to T'Khut, thus correcting the original film's error. This theory can be found in other non-canonical works too, including Star Trek Maps, Star Trek: Star Charts and The Worlds of the Federation.
In order of appearance:
- Kathryn Janeway
- Trill Guardian Timor
- Dulmur (spelled Dulmer, an anagram of The X-Files FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder's last name, as originally intended by the writers of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
- Tony Vanderberg, Janus VI colony administrator
- Leonard McCoy
- There are many characters featured throughout the book in the form of illustrations and anecdotes, including James T. Kirk, Spock, Edith Keeler, Benjamin Sisko, Chakotay, Tuvok, Seven of Nine, and the Borg Queen, but are not encountered by the journalist "author".
- Tavis, Vulcan guide
- Chato Yuqar, a Cardassian
- Julianna Bass, administrator of the Berallis III research colony
- Anton Bass, son of the Berallis III administrator
- Niles Gutterman, exobiologist
- Lorraine and Marvin Laxer, astrophysicists
- Trohka, female Klingon meteorologist
- Chek, a Ferengi
- Manute, Bolian engineer
- Fergus McLeod, winner of Earth's Boston Marathon in the sixteen-and-under-category
- Reggic Sipanos, a Tessma
- Jusko, female Starfleet Commander
- Montgomery, Starfleet Lieutenant
- J'Kor, a Romulan
- Geneb, Bajoran herdsman
- Coburn, female Starfleet guide
- Michael Carlin, Starfleet Admiral
- Caruso, colleague of the journalist
- Varitek, colleague of the journalist
- Motter, colleague of the journalist
- Charlie Katcavage, San Francisco coffee vendor