Qt3 scifi grognards, I turn to you!
I am preparing to run a pulpy science fiction/space opera/sci-fantasy campaign using the wonderful FATE Core ruleset. The plan is to go high-octane, tongue-in-cheek humor, swords-n-planets galore, low-science high-fiction fun. The biggest background influence so far is Star Control II (insofar as the game opens with the players exploring a space sector whose peaceful alliance was conquered by an evil alien empire hundreds of years ago, but the grip is starting to slip), but I can see elements of Star Wars, probably Firefly, and Outlaw Star creeping in, alongside some of the goofy spirit of The Rocketeer and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (maybe a hint of Indiana Jones) for the planetside stuff.
The problem I run into is that I am woefully under-read in the classic-era 30s-50s pulp scifi market. Whether right in the Golden Age with Doc Smith’s Lensmen or later on with Anderson’s Star Fox, or going early with Burroughs’ Barsoom books, or even the “influenced by” sector of Harry Harrison, I’m sort of generally aware of all this work by virtue of being a nerd and reading a lot in general as a kid and teen, but I have rarely had an opportunity to crack these classic works whose worlds, writing, heroes, and stories set the stage for the big, influential latter-day stuff I am familiar with.
I’d like to dig into some of this stuff now, but trying to narrow it down to, say, 1000 pages worth of books I can reasonably hope to consume in the next month or so feels impossible given the breadth of what I’m missing.
So, scifi aficionados: fight it out and tell me what I absolutely have to read before I can even attempt to convey the proper atmosphere for a rip-roaring intergalactic adventure taken straight from the pages of a pulp with a good, solid name like [I]Amazing Adventure Tales!!
[/I](P.S. - If it’s available via Kindle or–even better–available royalty free nowadays–all the better, but I have a few bucks to invest in this enterprise before getting it off the ground)