Author: David Pulver
Company/Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
Page count: 144
Capsule Review by James Maliszewski on 02/04/98. Genre tags: none
David Pulver has again produced an excellent sourcebook for GURPS. This time he tackles biotechnology, a topic very much in the news lately.
Pulver begins the book with a good introduction to the science behind genetic engineering. This section of the book offers a good overview and is well-researched. He even addresses ethical and legal issues surrounding biotechnology. This is essential, since many real-world discussions of biotech are made within this context.
The bulk of the book deals with human genetic engineering, described in GURPS terms. These discussions run the gamut from cosmetic alterations to creating new subspecies of humanity with nanoviruses. Even if you are not a GURPS player (as I am not), these chapters contain lots of food for thought. Anyone running a science fiction campaign of any sort will find Pulver's musings on the genetic "improvement" of man to be worth reading.
Later chapters detail engineering animals (including "uplift"), genetic weapons, medical applications, and even biological vehicles, equipment, and structures. There's also a good glossary for those who aren't familiar with the technical jargon associated with genetic engneering.
All in all, Pulver has produced another worthwhile GURPS supplement, one that is of genuine use even to those of us who don't run GURPS. If I have any major criticisms of the book, it is that it is that it is only 144 pages. This book could have included lots more, especially additional ideas about using biotechnology in a variety of different campaign types. In addition, the organization of the book could have been slightly improved by separating the game mechanics from the discussions of the technologies in question. Of course, these are but small "shortcomings" in what is an excellent supplement.
Keep up the good work, David.
Style: 3 (Average)