Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Current Appendix N

Every once in a while I catch a post from the blogosphere referring to their own personal Appendix N, which in turn influences their game world.  Well, time for me to join the ranks.  What follows is a list of selections that have informed my game world(s) in the past two years - as I uncover more, I'll give a shout.  This is just a few that really stand out.

Tales of Mars (SFBC novel anthology) - Edgar Rice Burroughs
Owls Hoot in the Daytime (Anthology) - Manly Wade Wellman
The Sword of Rhiannon - Leigh Brackett
Brak: When the Idols Walked - John Jakes
Tarnsman of Gor - John Norman
Ringworld - Larry Niven
Ringworld's Children - Larry Niven
Gather Darkness - Fritz Leiber
Fragment - Warren Fahy
Mister B. Gone - Clive Barker
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke
Redbeard - Michael Resnick
The Book of Ptath - A. E. Van Vogt
Conan the Savage - Leonard Carpenter
Dwellers in the Mirage - A. Merritt
Ursus of Ultima Thule - Avram Davidson
Wizard by Trade (Novel Anthology) - Jim Butcher
World War Z - Max Brooks
Johannes Cabal The Necromancer - Jonathan L. Howard
Shadow Kingdoms (Anthology) - Robert E. Howard
Elak of Atlantis - Henry Kuttner
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Best of Weird Tales 1923 - Ed. Kate and Betancourt
Best of Weird Tales - Ed. Betancourt
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Lovecraft Unbound (Anthology) - Ed. Ellen Datlow
Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos - H.P. Lovecraft and Others
Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories - Algernon Blackwood
The Return of the Sorcerer (Anthology) - Clark Ashton Smith
Out of the Silent Plant - C.S. Lewis
Hell's Angels - Hunter S. Thompson

As you can see, I dabble in many genres, but it's heavy on old sword & sorcery/planet.  And yes, I happen to like Gor.  Even though it's a misogynistic ripoff of the John Carter stuff.  It has that Mars feel about it, and I love it, even when it's really bad.

Of all the weirdness above, I will recommend Redbeard by Michael Resnick.  I found it at a flea market - it's printed on paper so pulpy it breaks when you dog-ear a corner to mark your spot (I hate bookmarks and I don't collect books for the value - they are to be read!).  It's a post-apocalyptic tale about a normal man who is generally a brutish oaf, including being a rapist and murderer, who ends up holding the fate of humanity in his hands - and promptly kills it.  It's remarkably well done, and even though I thought the protagonist was annoying at times, he's supposed to be.  Find it and read it.  There's like a bajillion of them on Amazon for 22 cents and up.  It really has that awesome old S&S feel to it.

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