Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

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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finarvyn
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Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:05 am

We know that in 1979 Gary Gygax published the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide with its famous”Appendix N’ composed of Gary’s recommended reading for inspiration of the game.

Did you know that Gary published a similar (shorter) list in 1976? If you go back to December, 1976, in Dragon Magazine #4 you can find an earlier version of the list. Gary called it “FANTASY/SWORDS & SORCERY: RECOMMENDED READING” and it’s interesting.

AUTHORS (SPECIFIC WORK)
Anderson, Poul (Three Hearts and Three Lions)
Blackwood, Algernon
Brackett, Leigh
Burroughs, E.R. (John Carter of Mars; et al)
Carter, Lin (Warrior of the Worlds End)
deCamp & Pratt (Incomplete Enchanter; Castle of Iron; et al)
Farmer, P.J. (Gates of Creation; et al)
Fox, G.F. (Kother the Barbarian; et al)
Howard, R.E. (Conan the Conqueror; et al)
Lanier, Sterling (Hiero’s Journey)
Leiber, Fritz (Swords of Lankhmar; et al)
Lovecraft, H.P.
Merritt, A. (Creep Shadow, Creep; Moon Pool; Face in the Abyss; Dwellers in the Mirage et al)
Moorcock, Michael (Stealer of Souls; Stormbringer)
Saberhagen, Fred (Changling Earth)
St. Clair, Margaret
Tolkien, J.R.R. (The Hobbit; Lord of the Rings Trilogy)
Vance, Jack (Eyes of Overworld; The Dying Earth)
Weinbaum, Stanley
Wellman, M. W.
Zelazny, Roger (Jack of Shadows; Lord of Light; Nine Princes of Amber series)

Interesting Notes:

1. NOT ON THE LIST YET

Several authors of Appendix N haven’t been included on this list: John Bellars, Frederick Brown, August Derleth, Lord Dunsany, Andre Norton, Andrew J Offutt, Fletcher Pratt, and Jack Williamson.

2. PURGED FROM THE LIST

For some reason, Algernon Blackwood appears on the 1976 list but not on the 1979 one. I wonder if it was an oversight, or if Gary decided he didn’t like Blackwood’s works as well as he did a few years before.
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by bitflipr » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:46 am

How well did Algernon's work mesh with the rest of Appendix N?

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by goodmangames » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:08 am

What is also interesting is that Clark Ashton Smith doesn't appear on eiither list. There are some people who believe his omission from the DMG list was an oversight. But in light of his omission from both lists, it's hard to believe it is accidental.
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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:05 pm

goodmangames wrote:What is also interesting is that Clark Ashton Smith doesn't appear on eiither list. There are some people who believe his omission from the DMG list was an oversight. But in light of his omission from both lists, it's hard to believe it is accidental.
A very interesting point, and one I hadn't considered. Strange to have him left off of both.

Personally, I dislike reading Lovecraft. I love his ideas, but something about the way he writes just doesn't do it for me. When I read Mythos fiction I'd much rather read Robert E. Howard's stories rather than Lovecraft's.

I wonder if Gary had a similar reaction to Smith, or if somehow he just never read any of Smith's work.
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-- Gary Gygax
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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Vanguard » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:22 pm

Lovecraft is not a good writer. I mean this purely on an aesthetic level. His ideas are good, he knows how to set a mood, but his characters are flat and he can't write dialogue.
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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Flexi » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:01 am

bitflipr wrote:How well did Algernon's work mesh with the rest of Appendix N?
Algernon Blackwood is an interesting inclusion. I have a couple of volumes of his stories. His short stories are about the supernatural rather than outright sword and sorcery fantasy. His tales range from gentle fantasies to chilling ghost stories.

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by beermotor » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:06 am

Vanguard wrote:Lovecraft is not a good writer. I mean this purely on an aesthetic level. His ideas are good, he knows how to set a mood, but his characters are flat and he can't write dialogue.
Lovecraft writes in a mode that's half Gothic and half Icelandic Saga... sort of 18c. newspaper style. Some of the longer works are best because they're light on dialogue.

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:21 am

beermotor wrote:
Vanguard wrote:Lovecraft is not a good writer. I mean this purely on an aesthetic level. His ideas are good, he knows how to set a mood, but his characters are flat and he can't write dialogue.
Lovecraft writes in a mode that's half Gothic and half Icelandic Saga... sort of 18c. newspaper style. Some of the longer works are best because they're light on dialogue.
I hate to say that he's not a good writer, only that I'm not a fan of his writing style. Maybe it's the Islandic Saga part that gets me ... I never could work my way through Beowulf. :P

What I like best about HPL is his ideas. That's why I like Robert E Howard's "mythos" stories, which sort of build on many of Lovecraft's ideas and then go off their own way. And I love everything REH ever wrote, I think. I can't say that about too many authors...
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Karaptis » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:21 pm

CAS gets no respect! That is sad.

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:21 am

Karaptis wrote:CAS gets no respect! That is sad.
And so strange. I haven't read much CAS, but clearly his style is one that should have placed him on one or both lists. It does seem strange that his name was an oversight twice, once in 1976 and again in 1979. :?
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Karaptis » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:38 am

The rumor was that Universal was gonna use his work for movies. Imagine CAS along side the names Shelley and Stoker.

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Vanguard » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:29 am

finarvyn wrote:
beermotor wrote:
Vanguard wrote:Lovecraft is not a good writer. I mean this purely on an aesthetic level. His ideas are good, he knows how to set a mood, but his characters are flat and he can't write dialogue.
Lovecraft writes in a mode that's half Gothic and half Icelandic Saga... sort of 18c. newspaper style. Some of the longer works are best because they're light on dialogue.
I hate to say that he's not a good writer, only that I'm not a fan of his writing style. Maybe it's the Islandic Saga part that gets me ... I never could work my way through Beowulf. :P

What I like best about HPL is his ideas. That's why I like Robert E Howard's "mythos" stories, which sort of build on many of Lovecraft's ideas and then go off their own way. And I love everything REH ever wrote, I think. I can't say that about too many authors...
Yes, I suppose you step on fewer toes with that approach. I will also admit, I'm not a reader of fantasy. It just isn't usually what I want out of a reading experience. I am, however, trying to change this. I've been going through GRRM ASoIaF series (not appendix N in the slightest), which is okay. I finished Swords and Deviltry this weekend and enjoyed it well enough. Currently I am going through Swords Against Death.
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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:55 am

Aries86 wrote:I am really impressed by this very informative post.Thanx for sharing it.
I'm not sure it was that much of a big deal. I found it and thought others would like it, and it's always neat to see what sorts of things inspired the original RPG authors.
Marv / Finarvyn
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by finarvyn » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:08 pm

It was just close enough that I thought I'd gvie him the benefit of the doubt. One approved post isn't enough to avoid future moderation. If his next post doesn't have more content, I can give still him the heave ho.
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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Skars » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:52 pm

I'm guessing it was an oversight as there are a few other authors of the "Lovecraft Circle" omitted from the list.

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Re: Gygax pre-"Appendix N"

Post by Griffith » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:54 pm

Karaptis wrote:The rumor was that Universal was gonna use his work for movies. Imagine CAS along side the names Shelley and Stoker.
That’s intriguing. I’d never heard this before. I wonder if CAS went to Hollywood? If he met with studio heads? If he tried writing a movie script? Did his Hollywood aspirations crash and burn a la Barton Fink? :shock:

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