Category Archives: Reviews

Twilight Sector – A new TU

Cool, a new traveller product to review. 😎

First we need to understand that Twilight Sector is not located a few sectors rimward of the Solomani Rim. It is not even located in the Official Traveller Universe. It is located in an entirely new Alternative Traveller Universe.

How dare they? Heretics! πŸ˜‰

Well, this is actually a good thing. I have hoped for a long time now that someone would dare to make a commercial product for a new TU. The reason for this is all the problems there are with the OTU and that there are always some whining canon-heads that complains when you try to do something creative.

There have been other attempts to create other alternative traveller universe to get around the problems with the OTU. Two examples are Proto-Traveller and Dark Hunter. I have even tried to make my own traveller universes. One based on the Elite game, and one based on history.

In the Twilight Sector Campaign Setting Sourcebook we get a very good description of the history of this universe and of the Major powers. There are also many pages of library data in the end of the book. This is very useful since it is a new setting, and no old library data can be used if you want to play in this TU.

There are a few interesting differences from the OTU. First, there are no aliens (but there have been one or more ancient races). There are mutants instead. Maximum jump range is 8 (not 6). There are also interstellar radio with messages travelling up to 8 parsecs in a week.

Since the book is called Twilight Sector, I would have guessed that it would be a bit like other sector books (Rim of Fire, Behind the Claw or Gateway to Destiny.) But it wasn’t. There is no full description of a traveller sector with maps and UPPs for every world. Instead we get a very good description of half a subsector (6 worlds and two space stations). That was a bit of a disappointment when I had hoped for something else.

One of the worlds described is a copy of Earth called Terra/Sol. Even though a copy of Earth seems a bit silly, I am looking forward to read about why and how it was made. The ancients in this TU must have been much more powerful than Grandfather in the OTU. Maybe even as powerful as Slartibartfast.

In the book there are many nice images. Some are in colour. Some (like the cover) are a bit sexist. The worlds described have nice isodecahedron worldmaps and nice system maps. But the subsector map is quite ugly and not at all of the same quality as the other illustrations.

I really hope that Terra/Sol games will publish more books about this interesting TU. I also hope that this will inspire other publishers to make their own Traveller Universes.

Twilight Sector

Image used with permission. Part of Twilight Sector Carnival at Atomic Array.

Want to learn more about Twilight Sector? Read on…

Drop by Terra/Sol Games today!

Review written as part of the Twilight Sector Carnival at Atomic Array.

Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein

Another book that I recently read was Space Cadet, by Robert Heinlein. I bought this at the Fantasy Centre last time I was in London.

ThisΒ  is one of Heinlein’s so called juveniles stories. It’s about young boys training to become officers in the Interplanetary Patrol. No girls are allowed there. It’s a kind of adventure that boys in the end of the 40’s might have liked. The science is silly as well. Even when this was written, it wouldn’t have seemed likely to find intelligent beings on Mars and Venus and in the asteroid belt. I had hoped that this book was a Starship Troopers light version, but it wasn’t. πŸ™

Eventhough I didn’t enjoy reading this, there was some good parts in the book. The meeting with the primitives on Venus was interesting. When it turned out that the primitives actually were the advanced venusians I thought about when I read something similar… Oh yes, is was the 2300AD adventure called “Ranger”. πŸ˜•

Heinlein

Image from wikimedia. License: GNU Free Documentation

1632 and 1633 by Eric Flint

I have just read 1632 and 1633 by Eric Flint. 1632 was an interesting story set in an alternative universe where a small American modern town ended up in Germany in 1632. I think the idea for this book was great, and that the story was very good. I especially like Gustavus Adolphus, and that he wasn’t killed in LΓΌtzen. (No more spoilers here…)

1633 was the next book in the series. David Weber helped Eric Flint with this book. Personally I guess that was the wrong person to pick for such a project. The main character became something of a super hero. Just like in his Harrington books. πŸ™ My friend Jonas, who read these books just before me had warned me about this. The book was still quite good, but not as good as 1632.

I’ll probably read some other book in the series since the setting was nice. There is also a RPG about this setting. From what I read about it, I guess that it would be better to use GURPS (or other generic rules) for this setting instead. GURPS Alternate Earths or Infinite Worlds would be helpful. Then You can use maps and ideas from the 1632 Fan Site.

Gustav II Adolf

Image from Wikimedia. Public Domain

Dune – House Atreides

I first read Dune in 1984. I liked it a lot and later read and enjoyed the five sequels.

When I read Dune and the following novels by Frank Herbert I could see where the ideas for the nobles in Traveller has got (some of) its inspiration from. I also liked the style in which these books was written, with chapters about the different adversaries that met in a confrontation in the final chapters.

Other than that there wasn’t many ideas from the books that could be used in Traveller. There are no personal shields in Traveller, nor are there any Guild monopoly for transportation, and not much cloning (with restored memories) either. But this doesn’t matter. These books are still a great source for inspiration for Traveller just because of how the nobles are describes. It is also some of the best science fiction that I have read.

Now I have read one of the new prequels called House Atreides by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. This was an interesting book written in the same style as Frank Herbert’s Dune novels. It described the intrigues of the nobility in the Dune Universe very nicely, and the book also had a good plot. Now I just must read the rest of the prequels. πŸ™‚

Arrakis - Dune

Original image from wikimedia. License Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Free Gimp Plugins

With the help of some free Gimp plugins (Planet Render and Star Scape) I have made the image below. While it might not be as good as the plugins from Flaming Pear, it is still cool that You can make some nice images using free software. 😎

If I would have tried a bit harder, I might have been able to do something that would have looked a bit better. The image below is just to show You what is possible. (The image has also been compressed to a jpeg image so that it will load faster. This compression have added some distortion as well…)

Purple Planet