My standard for removing a book from the collection is simple. If I look at it and either remember completely from reading a single line or just have no desire to ever read it again, it goes away. I know many of my friends see getting rid of books as anathema, but we live in very cramped quarters and need the space.
Now to Traveller, purchased at my Friendly Local Game Store. Whenever possible, I prefer to buy locally and from small businesses. I practice what I preach. The new Traveller is a very nice book. The print is clear and large enough to be easily read. There are some odd breaks here and there that leave you searching for where the text resumes, but that's pretty rare. The illustrations are full color and well done, evoking the feel of Classic Traveller. I love that the equipment chapter is set up as a catalog, with illustrations and sales text. This moves Central Supply Catalog to the Must Buy Soon position.
First look at the rules shows a nice, clean system that uses a simple target number system. 2D6+Skill+Characterisitic modifier. Clear rules for time (and the benefits and penalties for taking your time or rushing things) and modifiers for things like having excellent tools or working under harsh conditions. Combat is equally streamlined but will have a bit of a learning curve to master. On the surface, it looks deadly, which I approve of heartily.
Lots of options in character generation. No, dying is no longer an option. These kids today will never know that joy. But you have 12 broad career paths, each with three subsets, allowing for lots of customization. As an example, the Noble career allows you to be in Administration, serve as a Diplomat, or, my favorite, the Dilittante, a useless scoundrel living off the family's fortune and name . . . or is he something more?
In each four-year term, the character gets a misnamed survival roll and an advancement roll. Failing the survival roll takes you to a disaster table and ejection from that career (usually.) There is also an Events table for each career category. These rolls really help define the character, creating not only narrative points, but giving the character contacts, allies, and rivals; all of which create potential storylines to explore.
A character is free to try to enlist in a new career after each term, although it gets harder as you get older. One career, Drifter, is an automatic option for anyone expelled from a previous career. (This really describes the career path of Beowulf Shaffer, come to think of it.) Mustering out and aging is similar to earlier editions.
There is a 13th career path: Prisoner. Several results on the various disaster tables can send you to prison; local, planetary, or Imperial, it's up to you, and you stay until you roll for parole. Again, a great character-building tool.
Just thinking about it, I'm realizing that John Rambo was a three-term character: Army, Drifter, Prisoner. No one would say he was an inefficient character!
Delving further, we get the skill listings with subskills as needed. I might make a pistol/longarm subskill requirement for my game. The skills for shooting are quite different. But the skills are comprehensive and well described. A good chapter on environmental dangers, animals, and encounters. All sorts of way to die!
Then we get the starships! Operations, combat, and a selection of some of the classic designs all with "exploded floorplan" deck plans. Very, very nice, but I have to reread the chapter to answer some questions I have about fuel use. A short chapter on psionic powers, trade, and then a woefully short chapter on world building.
Lastly, we get the sample setting: the Sindal subsector. This one hurts a bit, as Sindal is in the Trojan Reach. I had the contract to write the Trojan Reach for Steve Jackson Games and the project got killed due to my failures and declining sales of GURPS Traveller. Still, it's a good basic subsector.
This is a good game and playable as is. I'll have no trouble teaching new players. I plan on starting a game in January. Finders, Inc. is looking for YOU!