Cyberspace...the newest frontier. According to the authors who make it their business to provide Internet guides to everything from finances to games, Star Trek is the first smash hit of the new digital medium. ''We look to see where the interesting growth is,'' says Michael Wolff, publisher and creator of Net Books. ''The Trek stuff was off the charts. Trek has its own culture. It's completely fan driven. ''
Fifth in the series of Net guides, Net Trek: Your Guide to Trek Life in Cyberspace lists more than 3,000 sites to all things Trek from the original series through Star Trek: Voyager. It shows you where to get sound clips of Data with emotion, where to download Marina Sirtis in black lace, where to study Klingon, and where to find samples of Leonard Nimoy's and William Shatner's failed attempts at singing careers. The guide also includes routes to such sci-fi siblings as Dr. Who, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and The X-Files.
A team of about 30 people worked round the clock (stopping briefly for the premiere of Star Trek: Voyager on Jan. 16), turning up so much material that they could use only about half of it in the nearly 400-page book. ''The amount was staggering,'' says art director and writer Jeff Hearn. Adds Ben Greenman, also a writer and one of the guide's senior editors, ''It was like a big library that wasn't cataloged. We knew there'd be a lot of material, but it still overwhelmed us.'' They picked the most trafficked, most popular, and most interesting sites and have been rewarded with about 100 E-mails a day mostly favorable responses. ''Trekkers are avid nitpickers,'' laughs Hearn. ''It's a wonderful obsession.'' Surf long and prosper.