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NON-Sci Fi, books and fiction for Traveller.

Hey, we're all Sci Fi fans but not everything we feed into a campaign is Sci... or even Fi...

What other writing colour your Traveller stuff.

Here's my list (or what I can conciously recall offhand):

For the navy types.

Douglas Reeman: Only title I can remember off hand is 'The Iron Pirate' but he's written a bunch set in WW2 from the point of view both british and german naval officers.

James Cobb: Choosers of the Slain/SeaStrike -- a tad PC with a female skipper and morally unambiguous fights with the US navy playing the world's policeman ... and the tech of the 'Stealth Destroyer' requires a bit of duct tape on your disbelief suspenders but... fun anyway.

Nevil Shute: Most Secret, The Black Stump. (more wartime homelife or covert ops stuff. but there is a share of naval action.)

There's another author, reminiscant of Reeman. I --think- his name is 'Evans' lots of cool brit naval stories. His are mostly WWI though.

For Army/Marines/mostly covert ops or Counter Insurgency.

Wilbur Smith: Wild Justice (Turned into a REALLY BAD movie called Covert Assassin with Roy Scheider. READ the BOOK don't watch the movie)

Jack Higgins: The Eagle has Landed.

Alastair Maclean: (Guns of Navarrone, Where Eagles Dare)

For simple adventures:

Whew the list is long:

Colin Forbes (Tramp in Armour, Avalanche Express, Year of the Golden Ape.)
--I actually made a Top Secret Adventure out of 'Avalanche Express'--

Alastair MaClean (anything up to Golden Gate, though its interesting that the terrorist villain in 'Goodbye California' is a Muslim)

Nevil Shute: The Trustee from the Toolroom

Desmond Bagley: The Tightrope Men.

Dick Francis: Flying Finish.

Anything by Shakespeare.

Anime, especially complex political stuff like: Gasaraki.

Non Fiction:

Any History Text. My first year 'world' (European) history course used the 'Norton History of Modern Europe':

The age of Religious wars 1559-1715 -- Dunn
Kings and Philosophers 1689-1789 -- Krieger
The Age of Revolution and Reaction 1789-1850 -- Breunig
The Age of Nationalism and Reform 1850-1890 -- Rich
The end of the European Era 1890 to the present -- Gilbert (actually about 1890 to the late 1980's)

'Small Arms of the World' or any similar firearms encyclopedia.

The Harper Encylopedia of Military Biography -- Dupuy.

War as I knew it -- G.S. Patton

Any of my Nursing or Anatomy texts, especially as relating to shock/trauma and gunshot wounds. (Combat HURTS in my campaigns.)

I'm sure there's lots more but that's it for right now.
If I keep down to top ten Non-SF books that I use for traveller atmosphere:-

i) Nevil Shute, I support your Trustee from the toolroom - a Classic "Travel"

ii) Douglas Pope, Decoy - a fun mystery ship "travel". I would like to inlcude his "Ramage" - It's simple Napoleonic Naval action, it's all action, no characterisation, it is all good.

iii) Tom Clancy - The hunt for Red October/Clear and present danger - Either covert ops or Naval

iv) Andy Mcnab, Bravo 2 Zero - He can;t write, but it's good boys own adventure from a SAS trooper - For Covert Ops

v) Georgette Heyer - These old Shades - For the Nobility of traveller. Origionally I was going to pull nobility form MTU, but these books changed my mind.

vi) Wilbur Smith - "Cry Wolf" for a Merc ticket or "Hungry as the Sea" for Naval Salvage

vii) Spike Milligan - "Rommel, Gunner who". For a lighter look at war. Lot's of Pratting arround as well as bombs going of and death.

viii) The journeys of Wallace - I can;t remember the author - A description of one of the better naturalists from darwins era - Great for "First in" when you don;t carry a BFG

ix) Hammond Innes "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" - For when you forget to do your annual maintainance

x) Kipling "Barrack room Ditties/Complete Verse" Either you know, or you haven;t found out yet.
This is going to sound cheesy but a good point of reference for the non-science majors that want to better understand some of the challenges of physics that the "hard" Sci-Fi genre has to overcome is the "the Physics of Star Trek".

Its a little elementary (no pun intended) but it does the job.
A couple of very good nonfiction books that eventually become quite good (fictional) movie/tv shows, though in both cases the books give way more crunchy detail:

Black Hawk Down - Mark Bowden
Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets - David Simon

VERY useful for those who want to run military or police/agent campaigns that are closer to Real Life than Hollywood.
A few new ones

Dashiell Hammett- Everyone knows about The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man. He also wrote Red Harvest which became "Jojimbo" then "A Fistful of Dollars" and "Last Man Standing". Of course, no one has had the nerve to do it as written: it is that violent.

Hans Helmuth Kirst- the Wehrmacht from the inside. Funny, frustrating an frightening at the same time.

George MacDonald Fraser- The Flashman stories for adventures on low-tech planets. The General Danced at Dawn for life inside a Highland regiment.

Eric Ambler- A wonderful world where the plots are complex and no-one is who they seem. They are certainly "bent" and will probably kill you. If your lucky. Who Alistair Maclean probably reads to feel paranoid.

Hmm, maybe that is why my games are so dark...
A few possibly-stealable fiction sources (depending on how well-read your players are):

  • Ian Fleming - James Bond series (much more down-to-earth than the movies; the least outrageous movies are about equal to the most outrageous books)</font>
  • Alexandre Dumas (pere) - just about anything (all his books have wonderfully complicated plots and lots of great action)</font>
  • C.S. Forester - Horatio Hornblower series (after reading Honor Harrington and Dominic Flandry, now read the real thing)</font>
  • George Macdonald Fraser - Flashman series (the best historical fiction series ever? Harry Flashman would fit right in as a PC in any of my games)</font>
  • Stendhal - The Charterhouse of Parma (one of the greatest novels ever written, including lots of adaptable action and courtly intrigue -- class up your campaign!)</font>
interesting responses all.
I have a friend trying to get me to read 'The Count of Monte Cristo'

Mr. Foster if you like 'Flashman' you should try looking up the 'Bartholomew Bandy' series. Starts in world war one with a canadian Flashman-esque (although not QUITE such a dastard) and ends in the mid thirties. I think about nine books but the best were the first three:

Two of which had the titles:
It's me again.
That's me in the middle.

All have the word 'Me' in the title.
Good topic Garf(okay--GREAT topic)!

Fiction resources used by yours truly:
Alistair Maclean's works (before the ones completed by his son)-all."Fear is the key/ Ice Station Zebra/Guns of navarone/Force from Navarone/The Way to Dusty Death/

Jack Higgins-all-Eagle Has Landed/Eagle has Flown/Night Judgement By Sinos among favorites( with my alias, it figures, right? RIGHT!)& under Harry patterson-Valhalla Exchange/ The Khufra Run

Fredrick Forsythe "Odessa file/ Day of the Jackal/ Dogs of War"

Leon Uris: Exodus/ Mila 18/ etc.

Ludlum: The Bourne Identity/ Horse under water/ others.

John Le carre's Smiley series (MI-5)!!!YUS (The Spy who came in from the Cold)...

Tom Clancy's Mr.Ryan series/ Mr.Clarke series. Realpolitik/ indepth character build up.

Dashiell Hammett (maltese Falcon, etal)

Eric AMbler's stuff (yeah, Uncle Bob and I have a library, you betchya).

Alexander Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo-the ultimate tale of paybacks are a MutherXXXXXX!)/ Man in Iron mask/ The three Musketeers

Helmut Kirst's Gunner Asch series...
James Clavell: Taipan/ Shogun/ King Rat, etc..

James Michener

Last of the Mohicans, by Nate hawthorne (early American author)

Several British authors on WW1 & WW2 Naval fiction

Historical stuff:
Herodotus, Thucydides,
Roman Empire,
Meiji Japan,;The Opium Wars,
Renaissance History of Western Europe; The Crusades; The 100 years war;
The Vikings; The Middle Ages
(bein a History major, i never sold back me undergrad or grad books!)

Celtic Mythos
Bullfinches' Complete Mythologies/Legends
Mallory's Le Morte d' Arthur, and other Arthurian tales/ legends

The Mongolian conquests (Genghis & Kublai Khan's campaigns)

but its late...that's the over view.
Originally posted by eclipse:

A collection of interesting reference books useful for the SF gamer.

Richard Marcinko's Rogue Warrior books are good fodder anybody wanting a campaign around a spec war group. Especially if you want it a bit cinematic.
I like how the site's first topic covers the importance of Coffee in History! Coupled by the intro to the subject... Good site.

Marcinko's stuff makes decent Raidin' readin I'll give you that.