Poul Anderson shows up on Appendix N several times; I’ve already dealt with his Three Hearts and Three Lions, and late last year I pounced on The Broken Sword. Between the two, and despite being the earlier novel, I think The Broken Sword is the stronger work—though I see in it fewer direct influences on … More Appendix N: The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson
Original D&D had Appendix N, a list of recommended reading for the D&D gamer. 5th Edition has Appendix E. And it’s a pretty good improvement that takes the last forty years of fiction into account. … More Appendix E: Appendix N, Alive and Expanded
Digging through the Appendix N of the original D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide uncovers a lot of lost treasures, books now forgotten save for those in the blogosphere with fringe interests such as reading—reading old science fiction and fantasy novels in specific. Most fantasy fans have probably read The Lords of the Rings and have at … More Appendix N: Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
Back in the February, 1952 issue of Galaxy, Robert Heinlein set down some predictions for the ensuing 48 years. He revisited them in a 1966 collection, but died before he could see them come true. (Or, fail, in some cases.) Now, sixty years after he wrote them… let’s see how accurate they are. At predicting … More The Future of Today, According to Robert Heinlein
Metamorphosis Alpha has enough recurring tropes that there are several good sources for inspiration; science-fiction RPGs have less of a “seminal work” motif, so it’s hard to tie everything to a single novel/series (The Lord of the Rings) or character (Conan). Non-Stop by Aldiss is the best (at least, in my opinion) because of how … More Appendix N: Metamorphosis Alpha Redux
Way back in the day—1976!—a little company recently named TSR Hobbies published a little roleplaying game. It’s not the roleplaying game they’re most famous for—that would be Dungeons & Dragons, mom—but one important for its place as the first science-fiction roleplaying game (and predecessor to the more successful and more popular Gamma World): Metamorphosis Alpha. … More Appendix N: Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss
Having just watched the new Conan the Barbarian movie, the Wagnerian influence on Conan is… blatant. So, how many graphic novels get their own four-minute animated trailer? About the same number that are based on Wagnerian folklore. Expanded info is also on the video’s page, but some guy named Alex Alice came up with the … More Twilight of the Gods
I’m not going to lie, I don’t like most modern fantasy novels. Not that I find the old ones any better—it’s hard to deny Robert E. Howard was a misogynist racist, product of his time or no; and too much fantasy output is rehashing the same insipid tropes robbed from Tolkien. (David Eddings and Terry … More Oh, Fantasy Novels.
The latest in Paizo Publishing’s Planet Stories pulp reprint line is a trilogy of early Robert Silverberg tales, written for the digest Science Fiction Adventures, which was in turn looking back to the old Planet Stories pulp for inspiration. The first book, Hunt the Space Witch! (hereafter referred to as HtSW!), contains seven of his earliest stories; … More Planet Stories – Hunt the Space Witch!