Friday, August 29, 2014

Gygax's List, 1976 version

So, thanks to a comment on my previous post (thanks, Grodog), I've now learned what I never knew before: that an earlier version of Gygax's list had appeared in issue four of THE DRAGON in December 1976. Since not many of us have copies of that issue, and not all that many have a copy of the DRAGON CD-ROM collection of the first two hundred issues, thought I'd reprint the list here for the sake of those, like me, interested in its evolution over time.


Author: From Gary Gygax

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

As Allan/Grodog pointed out, only one author here whose name got left out from the DMG list three (two and a half?) years later: Algernon Blackwood, probably best remembered today for THE WILLOWS and THE WENDIGO -- and I don't know if his name was omitted deliberately or through inadvertence.  Curiously enough, this slightly shorter early list includes one book title that got left off the expanded list: Zelazny's LORD OF LIGHT (technically Merritt's FACE IN THE ABYSS got left out too, but I'm assuming it's included under the "et al"). The editing may be a little shaky (et al. is consistently printed as 'etal'), but I give them points for getting the title of Howard's only Conan novel right: THE HOUR OF THE DRAGON a.k.a. CONAN THE CONQUEROR, and they also got THE INCOMPLETE ENCHANTER bit right. At first I'd thought this little list might have been thrown together to fill a gap in the layout of that page, but that's not the case: Kask refers to it prominently in his what's-in-this-issue editorial/introduction.

The newcomers are the late great John Bellairs (whose THE FACE IN THE FROST shaped Vancean magic into something much closer to how it's used in the game), Fredric Brown, de Camp as a solo writer (LEST DARKNESS FALL, THE FALLIBLE FIEND 'et al'), Pratt as a solo writer (THE BLUE STAR), Derleth (presumably for his Lovecraft pastiche/forgeries), Lord Dunsany (perhaps the most influential of all fantasy writers after Tolkien himself), the great Andre Norton, Andrew Offutt (specifically credited for editing a single anthology--why this one, I wonder?), and Jack Williamson.

So, an interesting look back at the roots, not from a gaming perspective but from a fantasy/pulp fiction perspective, genre fiction always having played a huge role in inspiring games, characters, monsters, and scenarios.

--John R.

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