The Obliterated Canon
May 16, 2016
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I get two kinds of negative feedback for my Appendix N stuff.
One is the “everybody knows that” line of attack, best exemplified by Andrew Hickey’s sneer about me thinking that I’m somehow rescuing Lovecraft, Dunsany, C. L. Moore, Moorcock, L. Sprague de Camp, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E Howard from obscurity. (See here for the full details of his, uh… argument.)
The other group has not read very many of these authors and cannot imagine fantasy being anything other than a mashup of D&D and Tolkien pastiche. When I assert that these authors were part of a wide ranging fantasy and science fiction canon during the seventies, they have a very difficult time believing me.
These two types of responses are of course explained by why I call the Appendix N generation gap. People on both sides of it are generally unaware of existence. Discussion has been brisk ever since I nailed my 95 theses to the fandom equivalent of the Wittenburg Door. And though I had a relatively limited amount of evidence when I initially made those claims, I have continued to gather more in the months since then.
So, with that said… here is a new Appendix N post: Gary Gygax, Ken St. Andre, and the Rest of Fandom
This is in response to an honest question regarding my sixth point: It used to be normal for science fiction and fantasy fans to read books that were published between 1910 and 1977. There was a sense of canon in the seventies that has since been obliterated.
This is by no means an obvious matter. Explaining it to people that don’t believe it isn’t easy. Hopefully this latest installment in the Appendix N series can make this plain– to people on both sides of the gap.