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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 07:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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Status: Public
Entries: 601
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In Moot Member Blogs Non Fiction revised Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #582 New July 15th, 2019 06:37 PM
For those of you who read my blog, you might get the impression that all I do is read science fiction books and games, and watch reruns of Star Trek and the first Star Wars' films.

Eh, the truth is I've spent most of my life reading non-fiction, and scifi is a kind of treat or something special that was a break from reading about geo-politics, hard science, and the daily news. All of which I've in essence forsworn for a bit now that I have a lot of free time.

The truth of the matter is that I spent most of my time reading history, reading text books, and news. But, I post science fiction stuff on this web log to keep it on topic. I really should get back to writing about Traveller and all that it entails. For even though I can't write for the OTU, I still like putting out ideas for the game. All the major alien races, the scout ship and its variants, and all that stuff, really helps keep my imagination alive.

Traveller is not the only RPG on the market, but up until I tried to get a license, it was the only game whose creators gave me a reply. So not to get too off topic, but I've considered writing for Paizo and inquiring a few other game companies, but I'm not much into fantasy.

Back on topic, most of what I've read has been American history, medieval history, classic era mythology and some history (mostly the Greeks and Romans), engineering texts and other hard science books, with some geopolitics. I rarely read current events because today's hot or trending topic is yesterday's news. And, what seemed like pertinent news of yesterday, updates on the Vietnam War, bomb threats, shutting down criminal syndicates, or nations militarily squaring off with one another, really has taken a back seat to garbage news, or unimportant or frivolous topics. Again, my biggest example was the day Jodi Foster came out of the closet and made a big announcement was the same day that Japanese F-16ss (I think they were Falcons) intercepted a flight of Chinese Fantans. Or the day that North Korea started shelling South Korean islands, even killing a couple of people (or so I recall) got some attention, but then glossed over the next day.

Most of the garbage news I see on my feed deals with the British Royal family, makeup tips, African American sports' gossip[ and just a lot of stuff that doesn't deal with real world events. So, it seems like there's been a paradigm shift in what is important to people.

And, dare I say it, it feels like, to me, that female "news" items regarding home economics, kids, cosmetics, and other domestic junk, is deemed more important than, quite frankly, the struggle for values on the world stage. Stuff I've spent a life time reading about has taken a back seat to junk like "new lipstick hacks you need to try". I don't get that.

Traveller, or any of the old games from the 70s and 80s, were a break from everyday life where the stresses of school, work, friendships being frayed, worrying about the little Vargr unit, getting stuff fixed around the house and fixing the car, were the primary concerns. They still are (minus the Vargr unit), but I write this blog hoping to get more there, and to get back to cranking out more material.

I think of all the books I read on the Civil War, the American Revolution, Medieval Europe, Greek and Norse myths, and all the magazine articles on aviation and space technology, and combine that with all the other data I've taken in and processed throughout my entire life, and it's like . thanks goodness for Traveller, FASA's Star Trek RPG, Champions, Car Wars, Star Fleet Battles, and all that addon material that was posted on the fledgling net back in the 90s. Because other people's creativity helps inspire my own, and makes life worth living.

I love good non-fiction books on topics of interest. Again, however, in the current events' section of any book store you get stuff about unfair wages, race relations, class divisions, how media does X, Y and Z (without any of the observations I've made in this web log), and just a whole host of topics that have been hammered to death, or revolve around today's people who are important for some very passing topic that shakes people emotionally, but who are otherwise will be proven to be historically unimportant. To me the Current Events' section is "The Gong Show" of news items. For those of you old enough you'll recall that there was a panel of three TV or movie personalities who watched people from all over the nation, come up on stage, and before a studio audience and the TV viewing public, got to make fools of themselves. Some of them were really good. Others weren't, and if they were bad enough, one of the panel members would get up, grab the thing, and smack the huge gong telling the host to stop the act. To me, current events are kind of like that. And no, I'm not going to mention any specific ones.

I'll toss out a title here, one of my favorite non-fic books was a book entitled "The Edge of Space". It was Milt O. Thompson's memoir of his personal life combined with the history of the X-15 program, which was the forerunner and corunner for the Gemini and Apollo space programs, all based on the Mercury program. He talks a lot about his personal experiences regarding the triumphs and failures of both the X-15 program and NASA in general. I recall the one guy who perished in the program told the author about how he felt disoriented, or, more correctly, he didn't know which way was up and down while in the cockpit at an altitude that could be argued as low orbit. It would be a things that would kill him later on in a subsequent mission. Milt Thompson also recalls a fire that engulfed the X-15 during a test while he was in the cockpit. One of his friends, an engineer, ran into the flames, and burnt his hands trying to open the cockpit. Milt waved him off, and somehow got out, but he reflected that that particular act of heroism and friendship always moved him.

From Nolan Ryan to Benjamin Franklin and others, I've read tons of stuff. None of it has any relation to Traveller specifically, but like all science fiction, could be incorporated analogously. I've read books about the F14 Tomcast, the F15 Eagle, other aircraft, civilian and military. Loads on the space program throughout the years, and just in general on a variety of topics that I find interesting.

So, as I vent my spleen on my favorite RPG, and other games, and reflect on how forces from abroad tried to torpedo my gaming, just keep it in mind that I write about scifi and gaming on this weblog because this is a science fiction Role Playing Game website, and specifically one dedicated to Traveller. When I include other topics it means I've run out of things to discuss. Or, more pragmatically, I'm trying to get back into a Traveller mode, and sometimes writing about non-Traveller or unrelated scifi stuff helps fire those neurons to write about stuff I like.

That, and I had garbage to get off my chest.

So, more web log entries. Hopefully related to Traveller, and not people preventing me from enjoying it as I've wanted to for years.
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