View Full Version : Appendix N: Who's read what?

Dr. Simon
2012-02-20, 08:39 AM
The original (First Edition) Dungeon Master Guide had a slew of appendices full of useful things like random smells and reputed magical properties of gemstones. Appendix N, titled "Inspirational and Educational Reading) was a sort of bibliography citing works that had influenced D&D. I repeat it below (capitals are Gary Gygax's, used to highlight works of a particularly strong influence).

Brackett, Leigh.
Brown, Fredric.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. "World's End'' Series
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
Derleth, August.
Dunsany, Lord.
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; etal.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et of.
Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
Lanier, Sterling. HIEROS JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd &Gray Mouser" Series; et of.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" Series (esp. the first three books)
Norton, Andre.
Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS Ill.
Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; et al.
Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; et al.
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
Weinbaum, Stanley.
Wellman, Manly Wade.
Williamson, Jack.
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et of.

Who's read what off that list, and what did you think? We can probably ignore Tolkien, he gets enough discussion by himself.

Upon revisiting this I was suprised how much pulp there is in there. Vance and Leiber are both highly enjoyable, and it's interesting how much RE Howard influenced the game - the creature known as the remorhaz features in a Conan story although its abilities are more akin to the creature later added to the game as the frsot worm; not to mention the acid-spitting giant slug. Earlier adventures do play a lot more like these short stories compared to Dragonlance and later which err on the side of "epic quest". Others on that list I've read - Lovecraft; Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter in the form of Conan stories and Zelazny (Amber series). Somehow I've never gotten around to Moorcock. And then there are some on there I've never heard of; Stanley Weinbaum? Margaret St Clair?

2012-02-20, 08:55 AM
This is interesting; I haven't seen this list before.

I can see some of the influences. I'm not sure how Lord Dunsany fits in, though.

Moorcock's work is good. In fact, many of his stories read like D&D anventures, heh. I've also heard (on these forums, in fact) that he was a direct influence on D&D's alignment system.

I've heard of Weinbaum, but I haven't read any of it yet.

But yeah, it makes sense that pulp influenced D&D so much. It's hardly a high-brow hobby, heh.

Dr. Simon
2012-02-20, 10:14 AM
Didn't Dunsany do some stuff around the edges of the Cthulhu mythos?

Sprague deCamp and Lin Carter did; they both seem to have dabbled in the settings of both Lovecraft and RE Howard.

Edit: I did a quick Wikipedia search for Lord Dunsany and his entry contains this quote from The Book of Wonder:

"The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge. Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again."

The man practically invented the typical D&D adventure, right there!

2012-02-20, 10:46 AM
I've read a collection of Fafhrd and Mouser stories and I must admit that they are basically D&D short stories written before D&D was invented. Does this sound familiar:

A thief and wizard's apprentice from the southern cities and a warrior from the frozen North meet up in a tavern and immediately, upon seeing each other, know they are dstined to go on adventures together. So they proceed to raid evil temples, climb mountains, clear up mysterious magical attacks, do mercenary duties travel over and under the sea and to other dimensions and in the process free virgins, amass treasures (which they spend on booze, mostly), find magical artefacts (which they sell or use for further adventures), slay wizards and battle monsters, demons and evil magic.

*human rogue/wizard using a sling, short sword and scrolls
**human ranger/barbarian using a bastard sword and longbow

THough I must admit that I don't really see the connection between Amber and D&D, other than both being fantasy.

2012-02-20, 10:52 AM
I've read Andre Norton, and she has become one of my favorite authors. She does an amazing job of describing a scene and engaging your senses into it. I am a bit trepid, as logically there are likely some books of hers that I ultimately won't like, but I haven't been disappointed yet.

H. P. Lovecraft is pretty good, does a good job of setting a scene and working on the buildup to a dramatic conclusion. It is some very good writing to read in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep. That said, I've found a lot of his short stories remarkably similar to each other, so much so that it can ruin the suspense because you can easily predict where most stories is going. Lovecraft is definitely something you need to read only occasionally.

I have some Poul Anderson but haven't read it yet.

2012-02-20, 01:39 PM
Edgar Rice Burroughs: I'm in the middle of A Princess of Mars right now, I haven't read anything else by him, though.

August Derleth: I've read a fair bit of his "collaborations" with Lovecraft. Some of it's passable (I liked his stories involving Ithaqua), but a lot of it sounds like he's trying and failing to emulate Lovecraft's style. I understand that he's somewhat better regarded in other genres, but I haven't read any of them.

Lord Dunsany: I find it hilarious that you (or maybe the original list, dunno if you transcribed it directly) had this as "Dunsany, Lord" as it's not his name, but his title. He was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany. Anyway, I've read this collection (http://www.amazon.com/Land-Time-Fantasy-Penguin-Classics/dp/014243776X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329762447&sr=8-2) of his stories as well as The King of Elfland's Daughter. It's not so much that some of his stuff is Lovecraftian, but that some of Lovecraft's stuff was Dunsanian (specifically the Dreamlands stuff). There's some pretty good adventure and quest sorts of stories in there too (along with the invention of his own mythologies), so I can see where it'd be an influence for D&D.

Philip Jose Farmer: I've read the World of Tiers books. Kind of weird - interesting world-building ideas, though.

Robert E. Howard: I've read some of his stuff as it intersects with Lovecraft's writing, but still haven't gotten around to reading the Conan books. One of these days, I swear.

H. P. Lovecraft: Pretty much everything he wrote under his own name except the poetry - his "day job" was a ghostwriting/revision service (I have read a few of these, including the one he did for Houdini).

Michael Moorcock: I've read a few of the Elric books, I don't remember if Stormbringer was explicitly one of them, though. I like his ideas more than his execution, but being the big Tolkien geek that I am, that's not terribly surprising.

Fred Saberhagen: I've read most, if not all, of the Book of Swords series.

J. R. R. Tolkien: Uh... I suppose I haven't read the History of Middle-earth series or his translations of other stuff.

Roger Zelazny: I've read the 10 Amber novels and Lord of Light, which I prefer to the Amber books.

Dr. Simon
2012-02-20, 03:34 PM
Lord Dunsany: I find it hilarious that you (or maybe the original list, dunno if you transcribed it directly) had this as "Dunsany, Lord" as it's not his name, but his title.

That was Gary Gygax, not me, I just copied and pasted. Maybe he thought it was like Duke Ellington? :smallamused:

Eldan, I agree with you about the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories, so much so that I ran a long-running RuneQuest campaign basically on nicked ideas from the books.