Well, it was quite a surprise to see my name turn up on the infamous Sad Puppies slate and on Brad Torgersen’s, Larry Correia’s, Vox Day’s, and John C. Wright’s blogs.
Of course, I only just found out what a “best fan writer” is. I was writing mostly about games and game design early last year. I covered Lewis Pulsipher’s game design materials in depth and broke a relatively big story on Volko Rhunke’s and Mark Herman’s new Vietnam themed COIN series game. It wasn’t until I started reviewing Hugo nominated authors one after another that I got the idea to start writing for Castalia House.
You see… I noticed that there is not really a serious, in depth survey of Appendix N literature, so I decided to do one. Given that it inspired the now-ubiquitous Dungeons & Dragons game, I figured it would give me plenty of time to delve into gaming and game design topics. The more I got into it, the more surprised I got not only by what is in some of these old books, but also just how obscure they are now in spite of their influence. (One thing that worked out rather nicely in my opinion was how the books raised several issues regarding classic games and gaming in general, and I could then review some games that not only applied the material in the old novels in innovative ways, but that also provided unexpected solutions to longstanding game design issues.)
This has been really fun. Hopefully it’s been a good read for those that have been following along. The really wild thing is ending up being the guy that is getting a modest number of people hooked on quintessential books like ones by Jack Vance, Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, and more. Their works really shouldn’t be as esoteric as they are, but I really get a charge out of hearing how much people enjoy reading them. And even after all of these retrospectives, I’ve only scratched the surface….
Here’s a list of all of my Castalia House posts:
1. [Traveller Book Review] Fate of the Kinunir by Robert E. Vardeman
2. [Traveller Book Review] Shadow of the Storm by Martin J. Dougherty
3. [Appendix N] The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
4. [Appendix N] Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
5. [Traveller’s “Appendix N”] The Winds of Gath by E. C. Tubb
6. [Traveller’s “Appendix N”] Derai by E. C. Tubb
7. [Appendix N] The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
8. [Appendix N] The Eyes of the Overworld by Jack Vance
9. [Appendix N] A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
10. [Appendix N] Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny
11. [Games] Warriors of Mars by Gary Gygax and Brian Blume
12. [Games] Domains at War by Alexander Macris
13. [Appendix N] At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs
14. [Appendix N] The Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
15. [Appendix N] Nine Princes in Amver by Roger Zelazny
16. [Appendix N] Conan of Cimmeria by Robert E. Howard
17. [Appendix N] Creep, Shadow! by A. Merritt
18. [Appendix N] The Moon Pool by A. Merritt
19. [Appendix N] Kothar– Barbarian Swordsman by Gardner Fox
20. [Appendix N] Changeling Earth by Fred Saberhagen
21. [Appendix N] The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
22. [Games] Space Empires: 4X by Jim Krohn
23. [Games] Adventurer Conqueror King System by Alexander Macris
24. [Games] Space Empires: Close Encounters
25. [Rants] “So are you the author of this article?”
26. [Games] Dwimmermount by James Maliszewki, Alexander Macris, and Tavis Allison
These next few posts are from this year, and I presume are out of consideration… but don’t let that stop you from reading them!
27. [Games] Sorcerer by Ron Edwards
28. [Games] Car Wars, fourth edition, second printing
29. [Interviews] A Conversation with Ron Edwards
30. [Appendix N] Dwellers in the Mirage by A. Merritt
31. [Games] On the Table: Car Wars Fourth Edition, 2nd Printing
32. [Appendix N] Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp
33. [Appendix N] The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt
34. [Appendix N] Kyrik: Warlock Warrior by Gardener F. Fox
You can also catch me talking games on Google+. Over on Recommend you can find me reviewing classic Star Trek episodes and whatever else I get into.