Thursday, November 25, 2010
Appendix N: Poul Anderson to Roger Zelazny
I've tackled the task of reading the works listed in Appendix N of the AD&D 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide. In the cases that Gygax has listed specific works, I am reading those. For those authors he has listed as all their works, I am selecting those works I feel would have most likely influenced Gary Gygax.
In some cases, this intersects with three other reading lists that I am working my way through: The Ballentine Adult Fantasy Series, The Planet Stories Library and Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Literature.
I am reading each work and assessing each work in two regards. The first is how well the novel stands as a Fantasy Classic (or Science Fiction/Horror/whatever the case may be). Does it feel dated? Is it well written? Entertaining. Of course I am measuring it against my personal prejudice.
Secondly, what was its influence upon the development of Dungeons & Dragons as a game? What elements of the work in question would I like to see adopted into my own games? The later of the two is more important to me.
I will also give an indication of the availability of each work. I'm finding that many of the works listed in Appendix N are out of print. I will state how I came across my copy, how much I paid, and where others might come across their own copies.
I would like to make two statements related to my last paragraph: First, don't ignore the public library system. Too often, the library is ignored in favor of the big box stores. Support your library, be a patron if you can.
Second, I implore you to buy from your locally owned and operated book stores, not to include Barnes & Noble or Borders. I have nothing against either stores and I occasionally buy from them myself; however, as much as possible my dollars go to my favorite locally owned non-chain stores. I heavily believe in investing in my community.