Thursday, November 12, 2020

APPENDIX N, The Anthology

 So, thanks to Doug A. for pointing out the announcement of the forthcoming book APPENDIX N: THE ELDRITCH ROOTS OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS by Peter Bebergal (Strange Attractor Press, 2021). This seems to be an anthology gathering together a selection of titles from the 1st edition AD&D Recommended Reading list --not a discussion of the stories, such as Jeffro Johnson's APPENDIX N: THE LITERARY HISTORY OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2017), which I believe began life as a series of blogposts. Instead Bebergal is reprinting works by sixteen of the authors so named by Gygax back in 1979.

This "selection of short fiction and resonant fragments" are taken from sixteen authors, of whom eight are named in the article linked to above: 

Lin Carter

Poul Anderson

Fritz Leiber

Jack Vance

Tanith Lee

H. P. Lovecraft

Michael Moorcock

Lord Dunsany.

The write-up also promises that the book will be accompanied by a chapbook novella of A. Merritt's PEOPLE OF THE PIT.

That seems to me a pretty good list, though the scholar in me cannot forbear to point out that Tanith Lee, while worthy of being included on her literary merits alone, did not in fact appear in Gygax's list. This suggests a certain slipperiness for criteria.* And I find myself curious as to the other eight authors might be.

One curious feature of the book is its presentation as a D&D adventure, GG1. Descent into the Temple of Appendix N, clearly a homage to Gygax's D1. Descent Into the Depths of the Earth (1978). 

I think I'll pass on the deluxe 30 Pound version and hold out for the paperback edition to follow.

More on this one when I find out more. I'll certainly be on the look out for a more complete list of authors, and of what works are chosen to represent the authors already announced.

--John R

current reading: THE RIFT by Nina Allan

*Similarly, they speak of Virgil Finlay's having illustrated the chapbook, without mentioning that Finlay has been dead for almost fifty years


1 comment:

Paul W said...

I'll wait for reviews before trying this one. I read the Jeffro Johnson book on Appendix N you mentioned, and it was truly bad. Essentially, it was an excuse to attack "political correctness" as the author perceives it in modern fantasy. I disliked the book so much I didn't finish it on audible, and did something I've only done once or twice: gave it a 1 star review with a long explanation why it was so bad.