Phil Masters is a well known author in the field of gaming, and in particular his GURPS Arabian Nights is in my opinion not only one of the best GURPS supplements, but also a fundamental addition to any Arabian Nights/Oriental Fantasy shelf.
I check it out occasionally, and it’s been very helpful in and out of my gaming life, and was one of the books that started me on my ill-advised idea of collecting different versions of the Arabian Nights.
And this morning the postman delivered a copy of Master’s other Arabian nights book – Sinbad the Sailor, part of the wonderful Osprey Adventures line.
The deceptively thin book (80 pages, in the standard Osprey format) packs in a concise and clear way all you ever wanted to know about Sinbad, and it makes for a great read (yes, I went through half of it during lunch).
After a quick introduction about the Arabian Nights and Sinbad’s role in the collection – and outside of it – we get a chapter covering the seven voyages of Sinbad as related in the Arabian Nights. A series of boxouts provide background on the historical elements of the tales.
Then we get a chapter on the world of the Arabian Nights, detailing history, culture and technology. World traveler Ibn Battuta gets covered, details and curiosities are provided.
And finally we take a quick look at the legacy of Sinbad in later incarnations – including movies and TV.
An excellent resource1 and a fun read, the volume is also fully illustrated, both with original art by RU-MOR and with reprints of classic illustrations from various editions of the Arabian Nights.
- the last Asteria story will feature Sinbad (spelled Sindbad for variety’s sake), and this book is going to be heavily plundered. I left it behind to wait for this books’ delivery, that was only delayed three weeks. Thank you, Poste Italiane. ↩
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