I have to disagree with Fred who is being far to modest.
I love Spirit of the Century and I love Starblazer Adventures, but if someone put a gun to my head tomorrow and told me I either had to burn all my copies of SotC or my copies of Starblazer Adventures, then Starblazers Adventures would burn.
SotC wins over SA in three key areas.
1) Quality - Spirit of the Century isn't all 99/100 material, but in my opinion from cover to cover I don't think it ever dips below the 95% perfect mark, whilst Starblazer swings quite far from this lofty goal. There isn't anything 'bad' in SA - but its not the same standard.
2) Conciseness - When playing Spirit of the Century there's not a lot of fat to cut. You could possibly drop stunts, you might use the faster conflict system from the wiki, but that's about it. Everything else needs to be there, and all the subsystems actually feed off each other to improve the gaming experience. SA actually has subsystems which don't work together easily, rules which appear at least slightly contradictory, and rules which add absolutely nothing you couldn't get just using the existing SotC rules. In fact work your way through SA and ask yourself in each chapter - could I have just replaced this rule with an aspect and you'll be surprised how often the answer is yes.
3) Incredible GM advice - In the designers notes for SA Chris says: "I foolishly imagined I could edit the original Fate rules down to fit inside a reasonable sized book alongside all the new material...Even so I managed to pull together the best bits". He's dead wrong. He cut the best bit completely. Not a word of the great GM advice got into SA.
4) It fits in my backpack and it doesn't weigh a ton - This is really important. My copy of SotC (one of my copies anyway) has been around Europe, across the USA, into South America and to South East Asia. Its been to every roleplaying convention I've been to since I bought it, and it often travels to work and back with me.
Now I could make a list of reasons why SA is better. There's a lot of them, but I still prefer SotC. I view SotC as a consise well written set of core rules and SA as a monster toolkit of optional rules I can dip into as and when I need.
--- In FateRPG@yahoogroups.com, Fred Hicks <evilhat@...> wrote:
> > I asked the same question on a thread on RPG.net and it seems SotC has some good GM advice, but does it provide anything extra for the pulp genre - setting info? NPCs? Equipement?
> If those are the metrics by which you're measuring "useful", then I'd
> say no.