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The Cleon Memorial Library For discussion of Traveller fiction, both official and fan-written. Fan-written drafts are explicitly welcome.

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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:22 PM
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Default Traveller influence on other SF

Aside from fiction that acknowledges being Traveller influenced, I wonder how much other current SF - written or movies/TV - is influenced by Traveller? Does anyone know of writers not writing in an ATU, but nonetheless acknowledging influences from the game?

I have heard speculation about Firefly/Serenity being influenced by either Joss Whedon or some of his writers playing Traveller - anybody know of confirmation of that?

I'm currently reading Melissa Scott's "Mighty Good Road" (only 1/3 into it, so no spoilers please!) and at many points it just sounds like a Traveller adventure - freelance "salvage" troubleshooters retained by a megacorp to go find out what happened to one of their operations on a backwater planet after the original investigation failed - and I keep running into terms and phrases that I think of as Traveller-ish: steward, J-o-T, a few others I don't recall. I know these are also standard English words and phrases, but in the context they just set off my "Traveller radar".
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
I have heard speculation about Firefly/Serenity being influenced by either Joss Whedon or some of his writers playing Traveller - anybody know of confirmation of that?
Joss Whedon said that Firefly was based on a sci-fi role-playing game he played in college and Civil War book he read. It's similar enough that I've suspected him of owning both The Traveller Book and The Traveller Adventure. The NPC/Casual Encounter 'Shawna' in The Traveller Book is very close to the character 'Saffron' and I believe that NPC/Casual Encounter only shows up in The Traveller Book.

Joss Whedon was born in '64 (according to IMDB) and probably graduated High School in '82. The only Sci-Fi rpgs that I know of that were out then were Traveller, Star Frontiers, and FASA Star Trek. WEGs Star Wars came out in '86 or '87.

But no, there's no confirmation it was Traveller.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Spinward Scout View Post
Joss Whedon said that Firefly was based on a sci-fi role-playing game he played in college and Civil War book he read. It's similar enough that I've suspected him of owning both The Traveller Book and The Traveller Adventure. The NPC/Casual Encounter 'Shawna' in The Traveller Book is very close to the character 'Saffron' and I believe that NPC/Casual Encounter only shows up in The Traveller Book.

Joss Whedon was born in '64 (according to IMDB) and probably graduated High School in '82. The only Sci-Fi rpgs that I know of that were out then were Traveller, Star Frontiers, and FASA Star Trek. WEGs Star Wars came out in '86 or '87.

But no, there's no confirmation it was Traveller.
He was in college in the UK in 1984-1986. WEG didn't release SW d6 until EARLY 1987. (Spring, my senior year of HS.)

This means that there are several: Space Opera, Starships & Spacemen, Traveller:2300, SPI's Universe, FASA Trek, Traveller, Star Frontiers, Met. Alpha, Gamma World, Spacemaster. Of these, only one has the Six-Guns and Starships mode: Traveller. The then current edition of Spacemaster had a blaster-heavy mode, but could be it. 2300 was out just as he graduated, and can be safely ignored. Universe was almost unknown. FASA Trek, Star Frontiers, S&S are all zapguns for personal weapons settings. Space Opera is sapguns for ships, and emphasizes ultratech personal weapons, so it's unlikely.

Traveller is the best fit for the time and place. And as you mention, yeah, Shawna really does look like Saffron's writeup, to a large degree. Visually, no, not at all.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:28 PM
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Red Rahm admitted to Traveller being an influence on Better Born (an RPG by Red Rahm and Conrad Hillmer). Red is now writing stories in that setting.

Bill Kieth wrote for Traveller, and writes SF professionally now.

Nyrath is Winchell Chung, who is an illustrator and futurist. And a member here.

One of the guys who wrote short stories for SJG's Audoduel Quarterly, John M. Ford, has a couple credits in Traveller products as a playtester, and released a couple of pretty travelleresque Star Trek novels. (Including "How much for just the planet?")

Of course, we must mention Chuck Ganon, who openly admits to traveller inspirations.

While there's no evidence of Traveller itself, Bujold's Vorkosiverse has many similar tropes. Lots of habitable worlds, multiple jumps to get places, automation can't replace people, and the general tech level are all close matches.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinward Scout View Post
Joss Whedon was born in '64 (according to IMDB) and probably graduated High School in '82. The only Sci-Fi rpgs that I know of that were out then were Traveller, Star Frontiers, and FASA Star Trek. WEGs Star Wars came out in '86 or '87.

But no, there's no confirmation it was Traveller.
Gamma World, Morrow Project, and another I can't remember were all out and being played at that time also.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 09:33 PM
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I always thought Gamma World was part of Star Frontiers, or did it all get piled under D20 Future?

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Originally Posted by aramis View Post
This means that there are several: Space Opera, Starships & Spacemen, Traveller:2300, SPI's Universe, FASA Trek, Traveller, Star Frontiers, Met. Alpha, Gamma World, Spacemaster.
I had completely forgotten about many of those.
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Last edited by Spinward Scout; September 23rd, 2013 at 09:47 PM..
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spinward Scout View Post
I always thought Gamma World was part of Star Frontiers, or did it all get piled under D20 Future?
Nope. Metamorphosis Alpha was Gamma World Edition 0; Gamma World is the follow on from Metamorphosis Alpha. Gamma World got rolled into Alternity, as a setting book, in the late 90's.
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MCG - Battle of Boughene
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Old September 26th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
I have heard speculation about Firefly/Serenity being influenced by either Joss Whedon or some of his writers playing Traveller - anybody know of confirmation of that?
Confirmation? No. But in the opening episode, when all the characters are gathered around the galley in a "get to know you" session, Shepherd Book addresses all seated as "Travelers" (capitalization mine). Coincidence? I think not.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JFGarber View Post
Confirmation? No. But in the opening episode, when all the characters are gathered around the galley in a "get to know you" session, Shepherd Book addresses all seated as "Travelers" (capitalization mine). Coincidence? I think not.
Wash also uses the line "Hang on Travellers!"
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Smith & Wesson: The Original Point and Click interface!
Archduke of Sylea (CORE 2118)
Duke of the Third Imperium (SPIN 0534)
Count Terra (SOLO 1827)
Count Gorod (REFT 1302)
Count of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2232)
Viscount of Adabicci (SPIN 1824)
Marquis of the Solomani Rim (SOLO 0606)
Marquis of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2410)
Baron of the Third Imperium (SPIN 2231)
Knight of the Iridium Throne (CORE 1434)
Sir William Hostman (OLDE 0512)
Sir William Hostman (DAGU 0622)
Knight of Deneb (REFT 2239)
SEH w/Diamonds for Extreme Heroism - Battle of Boughene
MCG - Battle of Boughene
TAS: William Hostman (CORR 2506)
TAS: Bearer (DAIB 1326)
IMTU ct+ tm++ tne tg-- tt+ tmo+ t4- t20+ to ru+ ge+ 3i+ c+ jt au ls pi+ ta he+ st+
Wil Hostman 0602 C539857-9 S A724
OTU: 95% 3i an+ au+ br- cpu± dt± f+ fs++ ge± ih- inf± j± jf+ jm+ jt+ ls- n= nc+ pi+ pp-- tp+ tr+ tv- vi-- xb+-
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Old September 26th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JFGarber View Post
Confirmation? No. But in the opening episode, when all the characters are gathered around the galley in a "get to know you" session, Shepherd Book addresses all seated as "Travelers" (capitalization mine). Coincidence? I think not.
Quote:
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Wash also uses the line "Hang on Travellers!"
Given Whedon's statement about a roleplaying game remembered from his college days, it's quite possible, even likely, that Traveller was that RPG. But if he's telling the truth about not remembering the name of the game, he'd hardly be able to include shout-outs in the manuscripts. And really, there's nothing unlikely about someone independently coming up with the term 'traveler' for the peripathetic characters assembled on the Firefly.


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