Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Appendix N is the literary wellspring of the DCC RPG. Discuss it here, along with related subjects: D&D history, pulp sci-fi/fantasy magazines, pre-genre literature, etc.

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Wayfaring_Sword
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Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Sat May 31, 2014 6:40 am

Thought it would be fun to start reading some Appendix N books with other fans. Thought I would start with Michael Moorcock's Hawkmoon series. The goal is to knock out a book every week. Feel free to discuss what you liked, what you didn't, what ideas inspired you for your game, where you see this book's influence on the DCC RPG, etc.

Hopefully some of you will join me on this Sword & Sorcery literary quest!
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by GlassEye » Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:10 am

I decided my Appendix N education was woefully incomplete and started reading those I could get my hands on a couple of months ago. I'm currently reading 'The Roaring Trumpet' by L. Sprague De Camp and Fletcher Pratt. I don't have 'The Jewel in the Skull' but I've requested it from the library. It probably won't come until the end of the week so I might be a little behind but I think this is a great idea.

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:09 am

No problems. Once we open a thread, the discussion will remain open. The main thing is that we have an open thread to discuss the books. :)
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by donpimpom » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:31 pm

I enjoyed Hawkmoon was based in the Camargue, its a place with a peculiar kind of landscape, look for some images or videos, and it's only at two hour by train from my town :-D
The style of post-nuke-fantasy really hit us hard, after reading the first book I got the chaosium game and we played a couple of campaigns.
I remember I disliked the average quality of the books, some where really cool, while others where really boring.

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Brock Samson » Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:29 pm

I'm reading it right now... It kind of reminds me of Flash Gordon with the ornithopters that fly like birds and flame lances. That creature in chapter one could totally be a DCC monster, btw!

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:05 pm

donpimpom wrote:I enjoyed Hawkmoon was based in the Camargue, its a place with a peculiar kind of landscape, look for some images or videos, and it's only at two hour by train from my town :-D
Just checked out those images. Way cool!
Brock Samson wrote:I'm reading it right now... It kind of reminds me of Flash Gordon with the ornithopters that fly like birds and flame lances. That creature in chapter one could totally be a DCC monster, btw!
Heck yes! It does feel like science fantasy! I also thought the same thing about the monster.
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Brock Samson » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:59 pm

Finished the book a couple days ago. I liked the story, but the writing was a bit amateurish. Characters are very simplistic, and there are a few occasions where time just suddenly advances a week or a month, which I found a little awkward. The plot moves along in fits and starts, but advances relentlessly - no unnecessary words in this book! Basically the polar opposite of the Game of Thrones / Song of Ice and Fire series in that respect, which I appreciated really. The world is interesting, I enjoyed trying to figure out the country references (eg, Granbreton = Great Britain). I imagine that a screen adaptation of this book would bear a strong resemblance to the animated movie Heavy Metal. I wasn't particularly inspired to pick up the next one in the series, but I did enjoy the book as a whole. Great idea Wayfaring_Sword!

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:14 am

Finished it this morning. I found some ideas in the book very gaming inspirational..the Black Jewel, the Caravan of Agonosvos, etc. Really quick read. I did a little research and it seems that Moorcock wrote this series very quickly which explains the rushed feel the book has for me. I did enjoy the it, it was fast & fun. More science fantasy than sword & sorcery, but still a good book.
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:26 am

Brock Samson wrote:I'm reading it right now... It kind of reminds me of Flash Gordon with the ornithopters that fly like birds and flame lances. That creature in chapter one could totally be a DCC monster, btw!
Funny thing is that I've read the Hawkmoon book several times and never made the Flash Gordon comparrison, but now that you mention it I'd say it seems so obvious. The stories have a very sci-fi serial feel, just like Flash Gordon. 8)
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by MrHemlocks » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:56 am

Try the Iron Tower series! Great read! The series is very similar to Tolkien's works and the author even admits its :)

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by cjoepar » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:57 am

Brock Samson wrote:... I liked the story, but the writing was a bit amateurish. Characters are very simplistic, and there are a few occasions where time just suddenly advances a week or a month, which I found a little awkward. The plot moves along in fits and starts, but advances relentlessly - no unnecessary words in this book! ...
Yeah, that's Moorcock. Really, really great ideas, coupled with writing that probably wouldn't even get him a callback from a literary agent if he were trying to publish his first book today.

I have never read the Hawkmoon books, maybe they are worth a try. I read the Elric books 30 years ago, and then just about a year ago reread the first two, but couldn't keep going. I also picked up the Swords Trilogy, and it's in the queue, but I have some better stuff ahead of it.

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:46 am

So...what do you all want to read next?
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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Brock Samson » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:19 am

I recently picked up the complete collection of Conan stories by Robert E. Howard. "Queen of the Black Coast" and "Red Nails" are pretty classic. My personal favorite is "The Tower of the Elephant."

I watched the 2011 movie after reading a few stories. The critics were pretty harsh, but really, the early 80's Conan movies were a less faithful representation of the character than the remake. They should have skipped the whole origin segment in the beginning, though. It made it seem like he was mostly motivated by a personal vendetta - the literary Conan was always willing to lend his sword to a just cause, but was also not against joining whatever cause benefited him at the moment or suited his appetite for adventure.

Anyway, getting off topic now... :D

At some point I am going to try some Jack Vance, and thanks to Michel Curtis, I might chase down some Manly Wade Wellman. The latter books did not seem easy to find, however.

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Re: Appendix N Book Club: Hawkmoon: The Jewel in the Skull

Post by Wayfaring_Sword » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:00 am

Planet Stories: Manly Wade Wellman "Who Fears the Devil?" is available through Paizo. There is a nice collection of Jack Vance "Tales of the Dying Earth" for about $20.00 that you can order through any major chain book store.
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Notable DCC Character: Throdd the Slayer

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