Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Buying Appendix N on Amazon

Okay, tracking down a full survey’s worth of Appendix N is kind of a chore. I’ve had several people tell me I’m crazy for thinking that these books are lapsing into obscurity. But the fact is, even in used book stores in a major city, I rarely come across the books that I reviewed. I’ll see miscellaneous books from these authors fairly often, sure. But if you’re looking for the first book of a series, for example, you’re generally going to be out of luck.

Unless you’ve got a Half Price books down the road from you, Amazon is pretty much the place to go for this stuff. Some Appendix N books you can get for a penny– all you have to do is pay the four bucks for shipping! A few of these books are relatively rare and can run you somewhere in the ten to twenty dollar range. But I think it’s worth it given that by default I do not trust the ebook versions of a lot of these– I have no way to tell if they’re crooks or if they are peddling a lousy OCR job with no editing.

Just a general buying tip here: go for the Ballantine paperback for any of the “Best of” volumes and/or books from the Adult Fantasy Series. It’s a pleasure having the real thing! If you are reading Elric or Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser, then there is some debate among fans as to which books to read and what order to read them. For The Moon Pool, you may want to go with H. P. Lovecraft’s advice and stick to just the original novella if you can find it. If you like evil priestesses, though, then definitely go with the fix-up! Finally, the version of The Broken Sword that I read was changed by the author from its original release. It you’re the type to obsess over this sort of thing, you may want to look into whether or not it’s worth your while to track down the older version!

Note that purchasing through these links give me a small cut of the sale via the Amazon Associates program. Nevertheless, I tried to find the best buys for the most legitimate looking editions. This is the cheapskate‘s guide to getting good reading copies. If you think you’ve found a better source on Amazon for getting these, please share it in the comments so that others can save money and/or get the ideal edition of the books!

  1. The Dying Earth by Jack Vance
  2. Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson
  3. The High Crusade by Poul Anderson
  4. The Eyes of the Overworld by Jack Vance
  5. The Martian Tales Trilogy: A Princess of Mars / The Gods of Mars / The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  6. Jack of Shadows by Roger Zelazny
  7. At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  8. The Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  9. Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
  10. The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard
  11. Creep, Shadow! by A. Merritt
  12. The Moon Pool by A. Merritt
  13. Kothar– Barbarian Swordsman by Gardner Fox
  14. Changeling Earth by Fred Saberhagen
  15. The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
  16. Dwellers in the Mirage by A. Merritt
  17. Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp
  18. The Blue Star by Fletcher Pratt
  19. Kyrik: Warlock Warrior by Garner Fox
  20. The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany
  21. Hiero’s Journy by Sterling Lanier
  22. Star Man’s Son by Andre Norton (a. k. a. “Daybreak — 2250 A.D.”)
  23. Ill Met in Lankhmar by Fritz Leiber
  24. The Complete Cthulhu Mythos Tales by H. P. Lovecraft
  25. The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson
  26. The Maker of Universes by Philip José Farmer
  27. The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett
  28. The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum
  29. The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
  30. The Trail of Cthulhu by August Derleth
  31. Swords Against Darkness III edited by Andrew. J. Offutt
  32. The Carnelian Cube by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
  33. The Warrior of World’s End by Lin Carter
  34. The Shadow People by Margaret St. Clair
  35. The Fallible Fiend by L. Sprague de Camp
  36. The Stealer of Souls by Michael Moorcock
  37. The Legion of Space by Jack Williamson
  38. Sign of the Labrys by Margaret St. Clair
  39. The Best of Fredric Brown edited by Robert Bloch
  40. Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock
  41. Battle in the Dawn by Manly Wade Wellman
  42. The Complete Compleat Enchanter by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
  43. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

What should you read when you finish with all that…?

If you are looking for more information about the history and origins of role-playing games, then you’ll definitely want to check out Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World. (Note that the Kindle version is recommended due to all the hotlinked end notes.) If you would like to see a good description of pulp fantasy history and some things to look out for in adapting it to tabletop role-playing, I can recommend Ron Edwards‘s Sorcerer Supplement, “Sorcerer and Sword” which is available at the Adept Press web site. For a D&D style game that “that cross-breeds Appendix N with a streamlined version of 3E”, see Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game. Finally, for interviews with game designers from the seventies plus TONS of great old school gaming content, Fight On! magazine is an unmatched resource.

Enjoy!

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9 responses to “Buying Appendix N on Amazon

  1. Pingback: Donate Sci-fi to Children in Need | Cirsova

  2. H.P. June 13, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    This is a great resource.

    I’ve been slowly building a collection of vintage SF mostly by browsing used bookstores (Half Price Books doesn’t have a lot of really old stuff in my experience, though) and grabbing whatever I see from someone I recognize.

  3. jlv61560 June 13, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Okay. I’ve GOT to point this out. I know that you (Jeffro) get a certain amount of money from Amazon.com if we go there and buy via your links. And I’m totally cool with that. But, if you CANNOT find a book on Amazon or eBay that you want, do try the following link:

    http://www.abebooks.com/

    I have ALWAYS found anything and everything I wanted to collect there, and usually for rock bottom prices and free shipping. Put another way, I can get that 1 cent book (plus $3.99 for shipping) that’s over on Amazon.com for $3.00 a lot of times, shipping included. They ship via media mail (which is frequently the same thing that happens with an Amazon seller) so you may wait a couple of weeks for a book, but I’ve got no problem with that if I can’t find it anywhere else!

    They also have book sellers world-wide listed — I just recently ordered a complete set of Lord Dunsany for $12.99 plus $4.00 shipping from a book seller in London. It should be here by the end of the month barring customs delays. You can’t beat that.

    The service costs you nothing — it’s paid for by the bookstores themselves, and it connects you with thousands of bookstores.

    ABE (American Book Exchange) is the system used by your local used bookstore to find something for you that they don’t have in stock too. So if you don’t HAVE a local used bookstore that you want to support directly, you can go straight to ABE and order it direct from the seller for yourself. Bottom line, never tell me you “can’t find X” if you haven’t checked ABE, because if you haven’t checked ABE, you haven’t really tried yet.

    Okay, apologies for the semi-hijack. But you and your readers need to know that this alternative is out there. Having said all of that, allow me to encourage all of us loyal readers of Jeffro to go ahead and try through Amazon first so that Jeffro sees some $$ from it, but if you can’t find that book you want ANYWHERE, try ABE as your last resort. You won’t regret it.

    • jeffro June 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Man, in all the book buying discussions from the past years I have never once heard about this site! Thank you!

      • jlv61560 June 13, 2016 at 3:42 pm

        The one thing I need to also mention is to look at the “book condition” as listed in each ad — surprisingly, it often doesn’t make much difference in price, but since it doesn’t seem to, you probably want to get one in “good” condition as opposed to one in “fair” condition — the improvement in quality is striking, and if you’re going to shell out three or four bucks for a book regardless, you might as well get the nicer one! ;-)

  4. H. L. Caroll June 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    If you have a Dollar General nearby, you might want to look for the Moon Pool there. I’ve seen copies on shelves – for $1. It varies by store, of course, but you might get lucky.

  5. TWS June 13, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    I can’t read most paperbacks any more. It’s ebooks or nothing now. Which is bothering me since I have several thousand books some of them signed. I just don’t want my wife making the connection with me being unable to read the books and putting them in storage.

  6. Atlemar June 24, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    In order to read The Dying Earth, my local library (in Olympia, Wash.) had a copy sent from a university library in New Mexico.

    With a two-page cigarette ad bound into the middle.

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