Saturday, August 22, 2020

a RAVENLOFT 'LIVING DEATH' recommended reading list (1995)

Here's a piece I created long ago that I was glad to come across again: a listing of stories, mostly from the period 1890 though 1914, for DMs wishing to create their own adventures set in Gothic Earth. I wanted to be respectful of WotC's copyright, so I have cut the commentary and here give just the listing. Those wishing to see the whole piece can find it in POLYHEDRON #112, the October 1995 issue, pages 11-13.

. . . On Life, On Death . . .
Recommended Reading for the LIVING DEATH Campaign

William Hope Hodgson
Carnacki the Ghost Finder (1914), 
   Esp. "The Gateway of the Monster" and "The Whistling Room"
   See also the novel The Ghost Pirates (1909) & the short stories "The Voice in the Fog" and "The Derelict".

M. R. James
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904)
More Ghost Stories (1911)
A Thin Ghost and Others (1919)
A Warning to the Curious (1925)
   Esp. "Oh Whistle & I'll Come to You, My Lad", "The Tractate Middoth", "Casting the Runes". 
   Also worthy of attention: "The Mezzotint", Mr. Humphreys and his Inheritance", "A Neighbor's Landmark", "A View From a Hill", and "A Warning to the Curious".

The Master: Edgar Poe
"The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar", "The Fall of the House of Usher", "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains", "Ms. Found in a Bottle", "The Lighthouse" (unfinished), "William Wilson", "The Pit & the Pendulum", "The Premature Burial", "The Masque of the Red Death", "Silence", "The Tell-Tales Heart", "The System of Doctor Tarr & Professor Fether", The Cask of Amontillado", and The Adventures of A. Gordon Pym (1838).

Bram Stoker
Dracula (1897) 
   Also "The Burial of the Rats" and "Dracula's Guest".

R. W. Chambers
The King in Yellow, esp. "The Yellow Sign" (1895).

W. B. Yeats
"Rosa Alchemica", "The Tables of the Law", & "The Adoration of the Magi" (1897).

Algernon Blackwood
John Silence (1908).
   Also "The Listener", "The Empty House", "The Willows", "The Wendigo", and many others.  

Arthur Machan
"The Novel of the White Powder" (from The Three Imposters,1895).

Ambrose Bierce
"The Damned Thing", "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", "An Inhabitant of Carcosa", "The Suitable Surroundings", "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot", "Mysterious Disappearances", "The Moonlit Road", "The Stranger".

Sheridan LeFanu
"Green Tea", "The Murdered Cousin", "Carmilla".

Henry James
"The Turn of the Screw" (1898) & "The Jolly Corner" (1908).

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
"The Yellow Wallpaper" (1892).

Clark Ashton Smith
"Genius Loci" (1933).

H. P. Lovecraft
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927).

Lord Dunsany
"The Bureau de Exchange du Maux", "The Field", "The Highwayman", "Where the Tides Ebb and Flow", "The Ghosts", "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art upon the Gnoles", "The Hashish Man", "A Narrow Escape", "The Kith of the Elf-Folk", "Poor Old Bill", "The Wonderful Window", "Taking Up Piccadilly", "The Sphinx in Thebes (Massachusetts)", "The Trouble in Leafy Green Street", "Lobster Salad", "The Three Infernal Jokes", "The Return", "The Old Brown Coat", and "By Night in the Forest".
     See also the play A Night at An Inn (1916).

Robert Lewis Stevenson
The Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).

R. A. Gilbert 
The Golden Dawn: Twilight of Magicians (1983).

Recent, but Still Worthy
Robert Arthur
Ghosts and More Ghosts (1963)
  Esp. "Footsteps Invisible", "Do You Believe in Ghosts?", "Obstinate Uncle Otis", & "Mr. Dexter's Dragon".

John Bellairs
The Face in the Frost (1969).

Barbara Hambly
Those Who Hunt the Night (1988).

Jonathan Carroll
The Land of Laughs (1980).

Roger Zelazny
A Night in Lonesome October (1993).

--I ended with a brief note about why Mary Shelly, Gaston Leroux, and Stephen King were not included.

While I'm thinking about the MASK OF THE RED DEATH setting, I also wrote a scenario ('The Lost Valley') for one of the LIVING DEATH tournaments (GenCon 1996 I think). I'm hoping this turns up as well, since I was quite fond of it at the time, though it's been many years since I've seen it.

--John R.
--who ran a CALL OF CTHULHU session recently based on Robert Arthur's "Do You Believe in Ghosts?" which went v. well.

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