Strange Stars is like a smoke ring from the 70's or 80's from the fevered mind of its author, and its a graphic as well as artistic slight of hand trick of a laser sword of retro science fantasy gaming goodness. The author presents a great overview of his space opera setting with great artwork and a wary eye towards the material being used in your games. This book is wall to wall system neutral artwork as good as your going to find. The races are really nicely designed and can fit into a wide variety of science fiction or fantasy settings.
Strange Stars is a wily and so what lean beast, its part setting book, part alien races, and a whole lot of details designed around the fact that this beast wants to be your go to space opera campaign.
Everything from the beginning possible PC's races to full adventure hooks are right there at your fingers. You can think of this book as a candy sampler of retro science fiction goodness that never existed until now. This starts with the cover which pays a nice nod to the original Star Frontiers game to the layout and graphics which references everything from Marvel style sci fi comic series to things like Star Wars. This is a style choice and a very well done idea in what it does.
Nine ninety nine might seem a bit steep for a simple but its not because this is wall to wall well done artwork. If you grew up thumbing through Barlowe's Guide To Extraterrestrials, reading Micronauts under the covers with a flash light your going to want this book.
Because this setting book taps into the nostalgia buttons but there's more. This is a very workable space opera setting with all of the trimmings to get you started in the universe of Strange Stars. Trust me, this is a world where one week your adventurers will be battling PHARESMID SYNDICATE and then taking down the machinations of the THE VOKUN EMPIRE. Its all right there at your finger tips and best of all its system neutral.
Use it with your favorite OSR sci fi retroclone or Traveller or Fate or whatever system you want. I see how and why the author has done what he's done. This is a solid impact of a book into the sci fi market. Very cool and I highly recommend this book.
[4 of 5 Stars!]