You know, I honestly didn’t expect to get quite this intense of a reaction back when I was writing these, so really… just check it out:
Outstanding trip through the stories that were the impetus for Dungeons and Dragons, and likely other early role playing games from the 1970s. This book helps answer the questions behind the curious choices and rules of early D&D designers, namely why don’t the rules and milieu look more like Tolkien and his world? At the time, Gygax denied Tolkien was a primary influence to D&D, though many didn’t believe him. After reading Jeffro Johnson’s book, which describes what he found in researching Appendix N (in Advanced D&D’s Dungeon Master Guide), you’ll see that Gygax wasn’t kidding around! Appendix N, Jeffro says (and confirms through his research), shows the world of The Pulps drove D&D more than a single track within Fantasy (Tolkien) did. On top of that, Johnson opens the reader to explore some of these historical influences, both the good and the bad, as well as the stellar and the — well, not-so-stellar. Regardless, Jeffro’s book opens the Lost World of the Pulps for a new generation to view via his window of Appendix N! 5 stars! Highly recommended!
Man, do you have any idea how hard it is to disabuse of the idea that Tolkien has been the end all be all of fantasy for freaking forever…?! You can bring up fact after fact, evidence after evidence… and they still won’t see it.
It really is a relief to see someone getting it.
Meanwhile, I keep getting letters from people that drifted away from science fiction and that are back into it again. Reading the old stuff, it’s become clear: they didn’t leave science fiction. Science fiction left them! They have something just mind-numbingly awesome back in their life again and it’s crazy… but they really do blame me for it!
I don’t think I will ever stop being astonished by this kind of reaction. But man… it’s not just a meme:
Oh… and I should mention, I did another podcast last weekend. This one with the uber-cool JimFear138.
Warning: it’s long! It’s unedited. Unfiltered. Unplugged. If you want to hear all the stuff that I haven’t taken the time to convert into actual blog posts, it’s all there!