Back in my RPG days at school Traveller was always the best sf game out there. The open-ended nature of it was a blessing and a curse as you could do anything, which add-ons such as Trillion Credit Squadron, High Guard and Striker enabled, but also it lacked detailed good quality adventures, which meant that you had to do a lot of the work yourself, and left it rather lacking on the atmosphere front.
Trillion Credit Squadron provided you the tools to create your own fleets of mega starships to fight out space battles on a grand scale. However, in the days of pen and paper it was a real chore to do the creating, and I have often toyed with the idea of doing something with the software available now to make the process easier and effectively automate the process.
So here’s a first step on that road – a spreadsheet that allows me and anyone else to pump in the right numbers and design some really big spaceships – what could be more fun! You’ll need copies of Trillion Credit Squadron and High Guard to do this, but the spreadsheet makes the admin a lot easier.
Future developments might include seeing if formulas can be worked out for actually managing the space battles themselves!
Here’s are the links to the spreadsheets. There’s a template to use for creating ships, plus two worked examples. My apologies for any errors – please let me know if you spot anything wrong!!
My long-term ambition is to learn enough programming to turn these spreadsheets into some sort of game or computer programme to simulate Trillion Credit Squadron fleet designs and battles.
New finds at Edfu in Egypt show how ancient Egyptian society used grain as a currency. They discovered a huge silo where grain was stored – in effect the bank for the city!
I think this is a useful insight into how ancient civilisation works and a reminder for fantasy world builders that currency doesn’t have to be traditional coinage, but a note of both realism and difference can be brought to world creation by thinking laterally – what would the society actually value and be able to use as a form of exchange.
Saw a review of this anthology at Realms of Speculative Fiction – looks like a very interesting read. I’m especially interested in this one as it comes close to the theme of my own writing in my Ladmas/Arruld fantasy/SF world.
No this isn’t a contradiction in terms! Some interesting research has come out recently covering two aspects of early civilisation in North America.
Firstly it’s claimed that large mammals, woolly mammoth and others, became extinct in North America due to an exploding asteroid, rather than the usual explanation of over hunting. The extinction of large mammals is usually given as a reason by the likes of Jared Diamond and others as one of the reasons North America peoples didn’t develop a settled civilisation as quickly as Eurasia. If you read the research story this theory about an asteroid does sound plausible!
Secondly another piece of research claims that the first people to settle North America – known as the Clovis civilisation came from Europe over the Kankakee Sand Islands. Arrowheads found match exactly those found in Europe. The previous theory was that Americans came from Siberia over the Bering Strait land bridge – there are a number of genetic and cultural similarities that back up the Bering Strait theory.
It’s interesting that these two items come at the same time – the first one actually puts the second discovery into context. As well as wiping out mammoths the asteroid is also blamed for destroying the Clovis civilisation – so maybe the Clovis people did come from Europe a bit before Siberians came over the Bering Strait, but by the time they came the Clovis people weren’t around anyway. So the previous theory may still stand that North American indigenous peoples are descended from emigrants from Siberia.
I’ve heard The Terror is excellent and sounds like it’s well worth a limited Subterranean Press edition. Also in the same news story its mentioned that Dan Simmons contributed a 26,000 word novella to the new Songs of Dying Earth anthology tribute to Jack Vance. I’m looking forward to getting my copy of this even more now!