Swycaffer wrote several books based in the common universe of the popular science fiction role playing game known as "Traveller".
He's faithful enough to it in this book that you could read a chapter, or outline of the book, pull out the "Traveller" rulebooks and dice, and "game out" the chapter with your friends to see if they would make the same choices as the book characters. If you're looking for background material for a long game campaign, or are between actual games but looking to extend the fun experience, these would be a good choice.
Marc Miller, the creator of "Traveller" also has published his own Science Fiction novel based on his game, worth looking up as well. Amazon also has copies of various incarnations of the game itself, this book and the game would make a fun gift pack for an ex-80's role-playing gamer, or imaginative youngsters of today. I stopped playing in the 90's afer college, but brought the games out of storage for my own pre-teen sons, who adore it more than their Playstation twitch sessions, now it's a weekly father-and-sons quality time affair that I use to sneak in lessons about morality and making choices. They just like the adventures and making "command decisions";-)
The paper-and-dice game, similar to Dungeons and Dragons but with Science Fiction themes, characters, and backgrounds, was eclipsed for a time by the rise of computer games, but a rabid online fan community keeps it alive "old-school", playing by e-mail or chat, exchaning starship designs and adventure scenarios and a wealth of background materials. Google searches on "Traveller RPG" will locate them for you. Game ON!