While I really have wanted to run a game set on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, I don't want to run a Savage Worlds: Mars game, as I dislike the system, and I have found that the other potential game systems for such a game don't really appeal to me. If you're gonna do Barsoom, you've gotta do it right, and to be honest, I'm too old to start creating game stats and world details from scratch for whatever system I do run.
While I'm planning to run the Primeval RPG when it hits the market later this year, I don't consider it science fiction per sé, as I think of it as a modern day rpg with sfnal elements to it. So, that said, I've been looking into two other roleplaying games that fit the bill for me for the most part.
The first of these is Space: 1889. The classic GDW version of the game, not the current SW version of the game, though I may cave in and pick that book up as well. There are several reasons for looking at this game. First off, the fact that the game is the original steampunk rpg that came out, and that doesn't have the insanity of some of the stuff that goes on in the current steampunk stuff out there that I don't really like. Second, the fact that the game is an old-fashioned almost romance style, sf rpg of the Victorian colonisation period with some neat Dickensian-like elements to it, that is believable yet not totally out there in terms of the writings of that time and has some very neat sf concepts and the like that I've always adored. Third, the fact that I have pretty much all the gaming material that came out for the classic GDW version of the system, something that makes running it much easier. :) Okay, well that's not quite true; spross is currently storing all that gaming stuff for me. :) Finally, I have always liked the game mechanics of the system, as they are relatively simple compared to some of the games out there these days along these lines, and I really don't want the game mechanics getting in the way of the roleplaying experience of the game.
The second sf roleplaying game that I'm considering is Blue Planet. I have the first edition of the game, published by Biohazard Games back in the day, but would want to run the second edition published by Fantasy Flight Games using the Synergy game system. While I had the the second edition of the game, I got rid of that stuff some time in the past few years to make room in the storage cupboard, so would have to buy the products again if I can find them at a decent price. What is there to like about the game? Well, first off, Blue Planet has one of the most intriguing, well-developed game worlds and backgrounds in science fiction roleplaying that I have ever seen. It was great in the first edition, and definitely improved in the second edition. Secondly, the Synergy game mechanics are a very nice, very simple set of game mechanics that also provide for an interesting character generation process, and I like the fact that they are easy to work with. The real deficit of the game to me is the cyberpunk elements and feel to the game. I would want to remove most of the cyber implants and technology from the game, as well as downplay the corporation aspects of the game that are so prevalent in the cyberpunk genre, and this might potentially hurt the game somewhat. Add to this the fact that I need to buy the entire run of 2nd Edition Blue Planet game material again, and that could be somewhat expensive. So, I have to think about this a bit more.
But for now, I've decided that I am going to run Space: 1889 and have a blast with that. Even got a couple of scenario ideas for the game already to start off with as well.