Saturday, August 14, 2010


Okay, this truly will be my last post of the evening as it's close to 2am, and I have to get up early to feed the beagles and prep for tomorrows (hope-hope) B/X D&D game at convention Day 2. Or rather "Redbook" game. Apparently this is the euphemism people use for B/X in these here parts. Which is confusing to me as "redbook" could just as easily refer to Mentzer's mealy-mouthed version of Basic or the new "D&D Essentials" (um...I have all the "essentials" I need, thank you very much) for that matter.

ANYway...enough petty slights (sorry, BECMI-lovers). I mentioned in today's earlier post about the convention that I made a tasty little purchase. The purchase was a 1985 book of beautiful sci-fi illustrations by one Jim Burns, called Lightship.

I love books like this. Pure and simple. I appreciate good art. Whether it's the work of Renaissance masters in Firenze (which I've seen) or tentacled aliens wrapped around air-brushed naked bodies (this book), art is art is art. And good art is inspiring stuff. This book is the kind of thing to inspire whole role-playing works.

And check out this piece:

I may have even passed the book by if this wasn't for this image on the back. Damn. Nothing against Elmore's work (I've written before that I dig it). But if there was MORE stuff like this for the Star Frontiers game...what I guess I can only call "hard core artwork"...well, I think I would have been more inspired to keep up with this game, instead of writing it off.

(and yes, I do recall changing my mind to a more charitable degree, but even so...)

Anyway. It was a great buy. If I hadn't been interrupted to play a game of Traveller (much to my happy surprise), I would have happily spent the afternoon perusing its images and taking notes.

: )


  1. I think the Mentzer set is generally referred to as the "Red Box" (and is the one the Essentials set is ripping off). Then again, so is the Moldvay set.

  2. I think that picture's great fun. It was the front cover of issue 18 of Imagine magazine in the UK. According to the credits in the mag it was commissioned for the mag and ties in with the Star Frontiers adventure that appeared in the same issue.

  3. @ Kelvin: Hence the confusion!

    @ Editor: What I like is the total lack of "cartoony-ness." I mean it IS an illustration, but there's nothing particularly heroic about the characters nor the scene portrayed. Just a random group of folk from a very alien cosmology. There's nothing about it that makes me want to "play" one of the characters portrayed (like, "ooo, I want to be THAT guy"), but it totally makes me want to check out the game...or the novel (if there was one).
    : )