Thursday, December 9, 2010

Terran Trade Authority

Released from 1978 the Terran Trade Authority (TTA) books were a major source of inspiration for me.  The illustrations were gorgeous and accompanying text described events as if they were part of history.

Some of the ships pictured were given little explanation as they were unknowns, strange ships that were found out in the void, often there for a very long time and nothing was known about them.

The books had a sense of wonder.

My school library had all four of these books, I now know the original print run of these books are fairly rare to find so they are probably more valuable than they realise, if the library still has them.  I used to loan them out and marvel at the images and the descriptions of the "events".  At the same time I was playing a game on the Commodore 64 called Elite by David Braben and Ian Bell.  Given the limited technology of the time the game had wire frame graphics so an amount of imagination was required to make the leap from Elite imagery to the TTA's.

Quite a few space based computer games have borrowed from the TTA universe, either consciously or not.  I believe Eve Online has, Homeworld certainly did.  This is not a bad thing as this work deserves to live on.

My favourite illustrator was Peter Elson whose attention to detail always amazed me.

Unfortunately Peter passed away in 1998.

Many other images exist from Peter Elson and others, if you are interested you can find more information here and here.

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