The TTA books deliver big, glossy and quiet escapism for no other reason than they can, no franchise attached.
That is something almost impossible to find these days. In an ever increasing world of vanilla, books like the TTA series have become super niche. It also seems I am not alone in my admiration of the books Mr.
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Cowley put together, the TTA series has inspired a whole spin off universe of illustrators and games that all draw direct inspiration from the original books. After graduating Art Center College of Design as an Industrial Designer with an analogue skillset, Gerard went on to work for Ducati Motorcycles in Italy, experiential marketing agencies, head of design for Californian based Mountaincycles and ran his own architectural 3D visualisation studio.
The one thing all his roles have had in common was the need to visually communicate ideas, concepts and designs; sketching, drawing and illustrating has always been part of 'the job'. Today Gerard concentrates on illustration and concept design, using his diverse background and over active imagination to conceive and visualise a broad range of subject matter.
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The books formed a connected space-opera milieu, describing the future history of mankind's expansion into the galaxy, presented in the guise of official handbooks by the trade organization from which the setting takes its name. However, the books sometimes contained contradictory information e. Compared to other science fiction settings, the TTA setting appears optimistic about man's place in the universe, though elements of violence and authoritarianism do appear in the books.
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It features a strong undercurrent of wonder and adventure, due in part to the inclusion of various mysterious alien relics and incidents that are left unexplained by the author. According to the series original timeline, humans - aka 'Terrans' - became starfarers in the early 21st century, with the development of the DeVass Warp Generator.
This is described as a spacefold-style faster-than-light drive, which brought space at the origin and destination into proximity, allowing a vessel at the former to transfer to the latter without crossing the intervening distance.
The future history states that after remote exploration of nearby star systems, contact was established with the inhabitants of the Alpha Centauri star system the 'Alphans' , with whom Terrans quickly became friends and allies. The second alien encounter at Proxima Centauri with the 'Proximans' - long antagonistic towards the Alphans resulted in the two-decade long 'Proximan War. All the books are currently out of print, but can often be found through auction sites or used booksellers.
Large color illustrations cover at least half the pages in each book. Most of these illustrations are reprints from book covers, which explains why they sometimes do not exactly fit with each other. This book covers the events immediately prior to and after the Proximan War Era and descriptions are presented in that context.get link
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The book is presented in the same manner as an aircraft recognition guide, made up entirely of spacecraft descriptions which relate their role and performance in the war if applicable, and occasionally their history afterwards. Some of the ships in the book are nonmilitary in nature. There is also a section on unknown aliens. Unlike Spacecraft AD, the book contains stories instead of individual spaceship descriptions.
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Terran Trade Authority - Wikipedia
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Great Space Battles by Cowley Stewart Herridge Charles
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