I’m not alone in my fascination for all things Appendix N. Author Colin Anders Brodd is as taken with the subject as anybody and is undertaking his own survey of the fantasy and science fiction canon:
So what is the point of all this? Well, in part, it is “getting in touch with my roots” – returning ad fontes to the sources of inspiration for my fantasy RPG Hobby and my own writing. In part, it is an attempt to give some structure to my rather haphazard re-reading of the Appendix N corpus, and to organize my thoughts on what I’m reading. And in part, it’s just for fun. So I’m going to start reading now, and you can look for blog posts on the subject starting around the Ides of January. My intent is to work through as much of the actual Gygaxian Appendix N as possible before moving on to alternate “inspirational reading” lists, such as that of Moldvay or the creators of the Pathfinder RPG.
The guy followed through on this, too: his blog is loaded with commentary on greats like Leigh Brackett, Poul Anderson, and Edgar Rice Burroughs!
Ironically, Colin was just getting started on this right when my book hit the market. Fortunately, this doesn’t seemed to have slowed him down. And it shouldn’t, really. There’s a bazillion ways to delve into the subject matter, after all. And now that the reviews are coming in, it’s clear that not everyone’s going to want to kick back with a mix of game design history, book reviews, and culture criticism like mine.
Of course, the opinion of someone that is as interested in this topic as I am is something I’d be especially keen on reading. And it turns out… I can! Colin has left a review of my book over on Goodreads!
Some have argued that to “Old-School” gamers (sometimes called “grognards”), the authors and works of Appendix N constitutes a genre unto itself, and I am tempted to agree. Now, I realize that there is nothing inherently sacred about Appendix N to most people – the Judaeo-Christian deity did not descend to hand the original list to Gary Gygax on a mountaintop or anything – but to me, and OSR grognards like me, it’s pretty important. So I was pleased to find Jeffro Johnson’s book, actually titled “Appendix N,” which collects a number of articles in which he shares his thoughts about Appendix N literature and its impact. In some ways, it anticipates my own “Appendix N Revisited” project (which I independently conceived and began long before I discovered Johnson’s book). All I can say is – it is worth reading. Check it out! If you’re interested in Appendix N literature, then the book “Appendix N” will surely be a great read for you!
Coming from a guy is familiar with the subject matter, that means a lot. Thanks, Colin!!