Thursday, August 30, 2012

Seven Old School Science Fiction Resources For Your Old School Campaigns

Back when I was younger I used rummage through the stacks at my local library looking for reference works that could be used for my gaming. Dragon magazine provided a window into a much larger world then what was available.
Sure there were decent book stores around but in the pages of  Dragon, Starlog, & Fango there were hints that there scads of places through out Europe & beyond. It would be years before I visited some of those places. The authors of some of these reference works were able to transport me light years beyond anything that was available in my little town.
Lets start with Jeff  Rovin's works. The man is a machine of pop culture. He churns out book after fantastic book about the themes & ideas near & dear to role players, science fiction fans, & comic book fanatics hearts. I can't tell you the number of monsters I've converted from his works 

  1. The Encyclopedia of Super Heroes - They're all there from A to Z this book has some really old school supers & not simply the traditional ones. This book takes from literature to comics plus everything in between including advertising! This is a must have for any role player interested in Superhero gaming. The nice part of many of these books is the price. I've beat the holy hell out of my copy & was able to snag a great copy at Goodwill for 2.00.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Super Villains ~ Another companion for the Super Hero Encyclopedia & now a bit dated but still very useful when it comes to referencing some of the really obscure caped criminals. As some one who loves thirties pulps & comics this is another great book. It goes into a bit of science fiction as well. Also on the cheap. Another Jeff Rovin 
  3. The Dinosaur Scrap Book By Donald F. Glut - This work is a great overview of dinosaurs from movies through literature. It includes dinosaurs from the works of Willis O'Brian to Edgar Rice Burroughs. This book has a metric ton of old school pictures & will satisfy any old school movie freak or gamer 
  4. The Star Trek Concordance  BJO Trimble- Old School Trek at its finest this is one of the best reference works around & a real gem in any collection of the Star Trek Role player. Every plot, working, cartoon, etc. its all here in black & white as well as easy reference
     Simply a must for old school trekers 
  5. The Encyclopedia of Aliens, Robots, & Space Ships Jeff Rovin - Looking for a clue to that weird late night alien you saw & need to know what it is? This is the book to go. There are lots of stuff seldom seen in other science fiction works. This book goes into even more detail about the golden age B.E.Ms & everything inbetween. Seriously solid.
  6. The Encyclopedia of Monsters By Jeff Rovin - This is the late, late, show bible every creepy crawly from Cthulhu to the Parkland Mutate is here. This is a great horror fan bible of the greats & no so. The problem with many of Rovin's works is that its out of date & out of luck with newer works. That aside this is one for the shelves when you need something interesting, fast, & different. 
  7. The Dictionary of Science Fiction Places Brian Stableford - This is one of the best works on the locations of science fiction ever. This book came out in the 90s & there are metric ton of places for use. The book is written like a travelogue & allows the fan to almost visit these places in their mind's eye. Solid quick & easy this is a great book in the tradition of the Dictionary of Imaginary Places (another entry itself). This book has a ton of maps that can be used for locations & whatnot. Very handy & nice for the gaming table.

    None of these reference works are going to break your bank account. Amazon has a metric ton of these. They're great references for your old school game. Many of these are available at the local library & you should check them out before buying them to make sure they're right for you. More coming up 

Coming up next a few from the stacks ! 


  1. I can attest that the Encyclopedia on Super Heroes is pretty amazing.

  2. Thanks for the comment John! I love all of Rovin's stuff! Very cool books. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I'm afraid that these are totally unavailable in Europe :-(

  4. I'm so sorry Omlet. If its any small comfort there are books that aren't available to me either.. Even though my spouse is living in the UK there are certain Perry Rodon books that I can't get either. Also certain animes aren't available either so I'm sorry. I know your pain believe me. On the upside thanks for the comment


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