It arrived! Happy birthday to me :-) It's finally in my hands. This is the first book published in my favorite series in over twelve years. I was excited to get it, obviously. But what did I get? This is something quite different than my little black books. It has the color scheme right, but the size is all wrong! No matter, once the glossy cover is opened and the several pages of new material are passed, the LBBs immerge in all of their original splendor, with the possible exception of Book 3, which seems a bit washed out.
And what about those new pages? The first recounts, in bulleted form, some of the "Things you can do..." with the material in this volume. Create a character? Book 1. Design a starship? That's in Book 2. Or perhaps a naval warship is more to your liking? See Book 5. Several more ideas are listed, but the last is best, "...Play Traveller".
In reality, though it would be possible to play the game using this volume, I doubt I ever will. I have several other copies of the rules, all well worn. As may be the case with most of the 1000 copies Marc plans to print of each volume, this copy will be on my shelf, close at hand for reference and remembrance (I spoke briefly with him about doing a special slipcase for the set and it seemed he had been toying with the idea, too). Because of the "collector" audience, Marc has added several more pages of information about the background of the game and about the size of production runs for the books and sets in the series of rules. There is a map of known space, an explanation of the origin of the blazing sun symbol of the empire and some background information about each book. A list of awards won by Traveller as a whole and several of the books specifically is there, along with a complete listing of Traveller "Canon". Perhaps I am alone in this, but I'm a bit sad that the "First Edition" of books 1-3 and 5 were not included for completeness/nostalgia, but since I have my well worn originals, I'm not crushed. At the back there is a reproduction of the sticker distributed at shows. It reads, "Traveller. Come visit my universe." My sentiments exactly.
One other feature you will notice at the front of the book is a new dedication. Marc has named his grandsons there and called them the next generation. Isn't that the truth? Twenty-two years ago I held the original books in my teen-aged hands for the first time. Today my eldest is a young fan of science fiction with questions about what all those little black books are for. I find it so odd that a simple game could represent the fondest memories of my youth. But there it is. So how can I help but desire to share that with the next generation? Good book, great price, enough said. Thanks Marc!