SPACE FLEET OPERATIONS MANUAL
Steve Winders reviews the new Haynes’ Manual by Rod Barzilay and Graham Bleathman
After the U.S.S. Enterprise, the Millenium Falcon and Thunderbirds, Dan Dare’s spaceships have become the latest iconic space vehicles to receive the Haynes treatment. There are more than thirty highly detailed cutaway illustrations by Graham Bleathman, with fourteen in colour. These are supported by a large amount of background information from Rod Barzilay, about Dan Dare’s adventures from the famous Eagle weekly of the 1950s and 60s, the aliens he encountered, the principal characters and the Spacefleet organization. Rod’s informative and well researched pages are supported by illustrations from the original Eagle and almost all the cutaways are accompanied by small pictures of them from the strip.
Graham’s accurate cutaways are well up to the standards he set in his popular Thunderbirds illustrations and in quality, echo those of real vehicles which adorned the centre pages of the 1950s Eagle, when Dan Dare appeared on the front cover. All the principal cutaways are printed across two pages however and consequently a little detail is lost in the guttering between the pages. Clearly considerable effort has been made to minimise this issue, because the problem is not nearly as noticeable as in Daniel Tatarsky’s 2008 Eagle Annual of the Cutaways.
In examining the technical aspects of Dan Dare in detail, this book explores an aspect of the saga that no previous book has covered and in quality and presentation it maintains the high standards that have established Haynes as a leading technical publisher. It is an essential work for fans of Dan Dare and will also interest more general science fiction enthusiasts. It contains 128 pages and is good value for £16.99.
Dan Dare: Space Fleet Operation Manual by Rod Barzilay & Graham Bleathman. J. H. Haynes & Co., 6 June 2013, 128pp, £16.99.