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Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer


The success of Retro Gamer magazine has demonstrated that oldie computing fans certainly have a thirst for relevant literature - and a planned book dedicated to Speccy gaming is already attracting a considerable amount of interest.

Writer Andrew Rollins is about half way through a colourful 250-page coffee-table type book about Spectrum games from 1982 through to 1990 and beyond.

A table of contents and some sample pages can be seen at, and to our eye it looks very professional affair that is sure to find many eager takers.

The slight snag is that the book may never actually see the light of day; Rollins needs to generate about 300 pre-orders to cover his printing costs.

On his website, Rollins explains: "The money from pre-orders will be put in an escrow account and left untouched. If there are enough pre-orders to pay at least 80% to 90% of the printing costs by the time I finish the book, which is expected to be the end of September, then I will go ahead and print the book.

"If there are not enough pre-orders to cover the bulk of the printing cost, then everyone will get their money refunded minus any transaction charge that PayPal makes. Additionally, anyone who pre-ordered will be sent a high quality PDF version of the book."

At present, the book is available for pre-order for just £19.99 including free postage and packing. Assuming Rollins racks up the requisite number of upfront sales, the book could be rolling off the printing presses in October or November. It is understood that Rollins currently has about 10% of the pre-orders he requires.

If it does see the light of day, the as yet untitled book will be Rollins's third but the first he has published himself.

"The other two were published by a conventional publishing house," he says. "I looked at the possibility of getting this one published by a conventional publisher, but it would barely be worth my time to do so given the standard royalty rates and the likely sales amounts for a niche book of this type."

The appetite of retro computing fans for homegrown books was demonstrated earlier this year when 'Dizzy : This is Your Life' from Pacific Publications sold out in just a few months.

Granted, the print run was fairly limited but the success of the 68-page publication could well prove to be the catalyst for many similar efforts

Written by journalist David Crookes, the book takes a look at the Dizzy phenomena. There are interviews with the Oliver Twins and reviews of all of the games in which the lovable egg starred. There are complete walkthroughs of each of the adventure games and a few cheats.

Crookes writes regularly for Retro Gamer, has contributed to gamesTM and is a former writer for Amstrad Action and Amiga Format.

When it was available, the Dizzy book sold for just £4.99 with 75p from every one flogged given to the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Sinclair Spectrum Software for
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Suggested stuff to buy

Early and back issues of Retro Gamer magazine
Sinclair Spectrum Adventure Solutions

Why not bid for Dizzy games for the Spectrum, Commodore and other computers on eBay?

Or bid for other Codemasters games on eBay?

Or buy Worms 4 : Mayhem by Codemasters for the PS2 from Amazon UK?

Sinclair Spectrum Games To Download

Sinclair Spectrum