|Cover artist||Mark Gerber|
|November 14, 2006|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|LC Class||PS374.S35 A94 2006|
Voyages of Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion (2006) is a reference work by Jeff Ayers published by Pocket Books. The book contains entries on the production and publication of Star Trek tie-in novels published from 1967 to 2006. Included are brief synopses of the plots for each book.
Previous attempts to publish a reference or encyclopedia about Star Trek fiction had been refused by Pocket Books. According to Ayers, the reason was is the contents of such a book would've focused on the characters and plots of each piece of fiction, and not the authors. Pocket Books editor Marco Palmieri noted that Voyages was "conceived as a guide to the history of professionally-published [Star Trek] fiction," and when completed the book would include information of fiction "from Mission to Horatius (1967) … through [to] Pocket's stewardship …"
Research for the book began sometime in 2004, including conducting interviews with authors who had written books many years prior such as Alan Dean Foster, J. A. Lawrence, and writing partners Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. Making contact with many of the past authors required assistance from others in the industry, whom Ayers cited in the book's acknowledgements.
A new revision of the Pocket Books Star Trek Timeline was to be included in Voyages. The timeline, which had previously appeared in the appendices of Adventures in Time and Space (1999) and What Lay Beyond (2001), required consultations with creators and other contributors to complete. Ayers referred to those who completed the revision as the "Timeliners".
Ayers also relied on a Star Trek book club who met regularly at the Barnes & Noble in Lynnwood, Washington, saying when he landed the assignment they "reinforced the idea that more people might buy the book than just my mother.”
Voyages was completed by Ayers in early 2006. The book was published in trade paperback format (ISBN 1-4165-0349-8) on November 14, 2006. An eBook edition (ISBN 1-4165-2548-3) was published on December 29, 2006.
Marco Palmieri said "as an experienced researcher and devoted reader," Ayers had "the right qualifications for such a colossal undertaking." Jacqueline Bundy of TrekToday also complimented Ayer's bibliographic experience, as well as his understanding of what information to include to make Voyages "an excellent reference title." Ayers has taken an additional step, she explained, to provide "glimpses into the thought processes behind the creation of the fiction."
Jeff Shannon of The Seattle Times offered the following: "The result is a tome the size of a big-city phone book, providing not just an exhaustive guide to Star Trek fiction but also a revealing glimpse into the publishing industry that surrounds it …" He concluded that Voyages takes care to show the "gifted prose stylists, and editors responsible for ensuring that Star Trek fiction isn’t sucked into a worm-hole of historical contradictions."
Some fans questioned why author's notes were not included for books, such as those by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. Greg Cox replied via a post on TrekBBS that "there are as many different answers as there are authors" who were not included.
A character in Hide Your Fear (2017), by Kevin O'Brien, returned a copy of Voyages of Imagination to a public library seven days overdue, earning a fine of $3.50. The narrator commented on the character's conscientiousness as a library patron.