The Star Frontiers Exercise Book

We moved into our present home in 1998 and stashed a load of boxes in one corner of the top room to unpack later. Recently my wife and I visited that corner, uncovering those old boxes.

The first stuff we found was a mix of really old treasures and accumulated bits that date back to the early 2000s, indicating that there have been some extra additions to the piled up boxes over the years that we had forgotten about.

While, at the time of writing, I am no more than 1/3 of the way through, I have already found treasure. One delightful find was an “exercise book” (possibly half-inched from school) entitled, “Star Frontiers Book”.

Peeling back the cover, I discovered it contains 33 characters created by me for the Star Frontiers game. I remember most of them were generated while solo, a practice that continues to today.

Rather embarrassingly, there are also character sheets for myself and immediate friends in which we had statted ourselves – another practice which I still, on occasion, indulge in. But there are also some interesting annotations on characters who got played with.

Tucked in the back are two school photos from the end of the penultimate year of Middle School (June/July ‘82), helping to date the book to 1982 because it was found among gaming books and nowhere near other family photos.

This photo evidence in the book marries well with the release of Star Frontiers in 1982, indicating that we were playing the game soon after release. I certainly remember an excited Daniel (my best friend at the time) introducing us to the boxed set.

I loved finding the photos but I also enjoyed the hints of what I think are Toon play notes on the inside back cover, indicating perhaps that the book was still in use in 1984. I also laughed at the sketches of armoured vehicles imagined from my own version of World War II – it seems I have been dreaming of alternate history for a very long time indeed.

I’m not sure quite why I wanted to share this trip into my past – perhaps it’s narcissism, plain and simple. I felt an awakening of old memories and emotions that have clearly lain dormant for a lifetime.

What intrigues me most is why I chose to save this exercise book – of all my gaming notes and paraphenalia – through the years at University, into my early married years, and finally to bring it all the way to Nottingham. Surely those old characters meant the world to me.

Game on!

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