It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible


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Galactic encounters of the 1970s

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, several publishers brought out colourful coffee-table sf books. Usually, they were filled with cover-art from sf novels, around which someone had written some text to tie the pictures together. Stewart Cowley’s Terran Trade Authority is probably the best-remembered example. I used to buy them whenever I saw them – often from book discount shops.

There were four Terran Trade Authority books all together, though I only have two of them: Spacecraft 2000 to 2100AD and Starliners. The other two were Great Space Battles and Spacewreck. I’m not sure where The Space Warriors fits into the TTA universe.

Cowley also wrote another series, Galactic Encounters, under the name Steven Caldwell, aimed at younger readers: Aliens in Space, Settlers in Space, Worlds at War, Space Patrol, The Fantastic Planet, Dangerous Frontiers and Star Quest. (Wikipedia doesn’t appear to know of Settlers in Space.)

Even Robert Holdstock and Bob Shaw had a go at it: Tour of the Universe and Galactic Tours. Diary of a Spaceperson is full of lots of lovely Foss cover art, plus lots of pen and ink sketches of, er, bare-breasted women.

Not sure where I got The Alien World from. The Science in Science Fiction does exactly what it says on the cover.

Finally, a few years ago Morrigan Press produced a RPG based on the Terran Trade Authority. Morrigan Press seem to be now defunct, and the books are out of print.

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