Poll

The 1st Edition of the Dungeon Master's Guide has a section titled "Inspirational Reading." Which of the Following Novels / Series / Stories / Authors Have You Read?

Anderson, Poul. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
6 (5.2%)
Bellairs, John. THE FACE IN THE FROST
2 (1.7%)
Brackett, Leigh.
2 (1.7%)
Brown, Fredric.
0 (0%)
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
4 (3.4%)
Carter, Lin. "World's End'' Series
2 (1.7%)
de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
5 (4.3%)
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
3 (2.6%)
Derleth, August.
2 (1.7%)
Dunsany, Lord.
5 (4.3%)
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; et al.
1 (0.9%)
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et al.
1 (0.9%)
Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
10 (8.6%)
Lanier, Sterling. HIEROS JOURNEY
0 (0%)
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd &Gray Mouser" Series; et al.
10 (8.6%)
Lovecraft, H. P.
10 (8.6%)
Merritt, A. CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al.
1 (0.9%)
Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon" Series
6 (5.2%)
Norton, Andre.
5 (4.3%)
Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS Ill.
2 (1.7%)
Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; et al.
1 (0.9%)
Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; et al.
5 (4.3%)
St. Clair, Margaret. THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
0 (0%)
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
18 (15.5%)
Vance, Jack. THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
4 (3.4%)
Weinbaum, Stanley.
2 (1.7%)
Wellman, Manly Wade.
1 (0.9%)
Williamson, Jack.
2 (1.7%)
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et al.
5 (4.3%)
None of the Above
1 (0.9%)

Total Members Voted: 17

Author Topic: AD&D Inspirational Reading  (Read 4542 times)

Offline Nol Drek

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AD&D Inspirational Reading
« on: July 18, 2009, 05:58:49 PM »
The 1st Edition of the Dungeon Master's Guide has a section titled "Inspirational Reading."

These books were very influential in the creation of the Dungeons & Dragons system.

Some of the books listed by E. Gary Gygax are obvious: Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy.

Others entries are mysteries to me. Who exactly is Stanley Weinbaum?

Still others are hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. I read the 4 novels in the "Tales of the Dying Earth" series by Jack Vance for the first time this year, saying to myself, "So that's where the AD&D magic system came from... and the Thief class..." I know that EGG told us all 30 years ago that the AD&D magic system was based on the work of Jack Vance, but the books seemed to be out of print. Cugel the Clever, I'm glad I finally met you!

So, which of the books or stories or authors listed as "Inspirational" by the EGG man himself have you read? Goo goo g'joob.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 09:07:28 PM by Nol Drek »
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Offline DesertScrb

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 07:28:12 PM »
I've read some or all of the works by Anderson, de Camp, Dunsany, Howard, Leiber, Lovecraft, Moorcock, Norton, Saberhagen, Tolkien, and Vance.

I need to read the rest of the authors on the list.

Tolkien's and Vance's influence are obvious.  Anderson inspired the troll and the paladin, and Law v. Chaos (which Moorcock latter riffed on).  Leiber gave us the Thieves Guild.  Lovecraft's influence runs through the temples to the Elder Elemental God in early AD&D adventures. The remaining authors inspired the swords & sorcery feel of D&D, but I'm curious as to whether their works had any more direct influence on the game.

Offline hans

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 07:58:11 PM »
Ah, some of the old masters...  And middle-aged masters... 

I've read some Lin Carter, not "World's End," but his "Callisto" stuff and a few others. 

I was a big fan of Burroughsian fiction in my youth.  My favorite such author was Otis Adelbert Kline.  I found his work generally snappier and a bit faster-paced than Burroughs.  I also liked Ralph Milne Farley, the fantasy novels of Ray Cummings, Henry Kuttner, and later, the "Gor" novels of John Norman (in spite of the bondage & misogyny, not because of it). 

I've read some Lovecraft, but prefer the horror fantasies of his contemporary, William Hope Hodgson. 

I haven't read any fantasy novels in years, outside of esteemed old-master H. Rider Haggard, unless you count some Oriental tales.  I guess I got burned out on the cliches.  Most of them started feeling very similar...   :P

My favorite Howard character is Solomon Kane.  I really hope they get the upcoming movie right.   :-\

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2009, 09:28:09 PM »
There isn't an option for "None of the Above."  That's the one I'd have to pick.
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Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 07:28:52 AM »
There isn't an option for "None of the Above."  That's the one I'd have to pick.

 :o And I was just about to make some silly joke about everyone having read Tolkien... Anyway, beside that I haven't read much of the above listed authors myself, just a little Leiber and a little Lovecraft, both of them with mixed feelings.

Although I'm obviously interested in fantasy, I'm not much of a reader of fantasy books because I often see my prejudices towards lacking writing quality and originality in the genre confirmed, and I can't take much of it serious. I'm sure there's some good stuff to be found, I'm just having trouble to find it. However, since I haven't even read a third of this list, I guess I can't afford to give judgement. A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read George R. R. Martin for years because he thinks Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series is likely to meet my high expectations, and I finally gave in and got me a copy of A Game of Thrones from ebay.

To cut a long story short, recently I stumbled across some curious bit of trivia about the Githyanki:


Quoted from Wikipedia (which doesn't necessarily mean it's all true, of course)


The githyanki were created by Charles Stross for his Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Stross borrowed from a fictional race created by George R. R. Martin in his 1977 science fiction novel Dying of the Light. George R. R. Martin himself was not aware of the name being borrowed until the 2000s. The githyanki/ illithid relationship was inspired by Larry Niven's World of Ptavvs.

The Githyanki have appeared in all four editions of the Dungeons & Dragons game. They were also featured in the official campaign for the licensed Neverwinter Nights 2 computer game and in Baldur's Gate II.

Martin's githyanki

In Martin's novel, the githyanki were called "soulsucks" because of their dangerous psychic powers. They were slaves of another alien race called the hrangans, and were used by them in their long space wars with humanity. Unlike the D&D race, they were barely sentient. No githyanki actually appear in Dying of the Light, as the book takes place after the war between the humans and the hrangans is long over, and the soulsucks are nearly extinct. There is also passing reference to them in Martin's short-story collection Tuf Voyaging.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)

The githyanki was first published in White Dwarf #12 (April/May 1979), in the "Fiend Factory" column, which was later reprinted in Best of White Dwarf Articles (1980). The githyanki then appears in 1981 in the first edition Fiend Folio, and even appears on the book's cover (see above).

Stross later wrote a follow-up article on the githyanki which appeared in White Dwarf #76 (April 1986).

Offline Vix

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 09:04:35 AM »
What you really have to watch out for are the GithYankees!



To keep this on-topic, how many of you read any of those books/authors because of that inspirational reading list?

I tried to find the Jack Vance stuff for years to no avail. I suppose when eBay and Amazon came out i could have tried there, but by then I had stopped looking.

I've read some Poul anderson, but not the books listed.
Same for Edgar Rice Burroughs and L. Sprague de Camp.
I've read tons of Conans, I've still got some Fritz Leiber Gray Mouser books on my shelf, read most of Micheal Moorcocks stuff.
I've read some Andre Norton, and Fred Saberhagen (love his swords series), and, of course, Tolkien.

I think that Jack Vance was the only one from the list i actively sought out because of the list.



« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 09:11:39 AM by Vix »

Offline nologgie

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 09:32:50 AM »

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read George R. R. Martin for years because he thinks Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series is likely to meet my high expectations, and I finally gave in and got me a copy of A Game of Thrones from ebay.

A word of caution: George R. R. Martin’s series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ is incomplete, and the fifth book, ‘A Dance With Dragons’, is already long overdue.

I promised myself years ago I wouldn’t start reading a series until after it was completed, but I’ve broken it with both ‘Ice and Fire’, and Erikson’s ‘Malazan’ books. I hate getting into a series, then belatedly realizing I have to wait a year or more for publication of the next installment.
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Offline Nol Drek

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 09:40:17 AM »
There isn't an option for "None of the Above."  That's the one I'd have to pick.

I've added an option for "None of the Above".
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Offline Nol Drek

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2009, 10:01:53 AM »
Also added the last 2 authors:

Jack Williamson
Roger Zelazny
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Offline nologgie

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2009, 10:02:17 AM »
Others entries are mysteries to me. Who exactly is Stanley Weinbaum?

Stanley G. Weinbaum wrote SF in the 1930s, and is largely credited with being the first whose aliens thought as well as humans, but not like humans. The application to non-human races is probably why he was included on the list. For those interested, some of his works are available from Project Gutenberg.

I read many of the books as an indirect result of their inclusion on the list. My roommate bought them because of the list, and I read them because they were laying around.

But what of the classics that didn’t make the list, such as Geoffrey here?

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Offline nologgie

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 10:34:44 AM »
Also added the last 2 authors:

Jack Williamson
Roger Zelazny
Thanks!  Can we get a "Re-Vote" button?
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Offline ProphetSword

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2009, 04:16:31 PM »
I've added an option for "None of the Above".

Thanks for that. 

I didn't start reading fantasy until I started playing AD&D.  I had no interest in it.  AD&D led me to a lot of modern fantasy (like the Dragonlance novels), but I never truly explored the old works (including Tolkien). 

What I find really interesting is that people will usually compare works of fantasy to older things, but I tend to look at something to see how it relates to D&D, since it was my first real experience with that type of sword & sorcery fantasy (outside of movies like "Clash of the Titans" and "Dragonslayer," anyway).  So, I'll see a movie with dragons in it and think about how they differ to the dragons in D&D, instead of looking at older tales of dragons.

Before playing AD&D, my interest was in Science Fiction.  That's what I was mostly reading.  In fact, my first roleplaying game wasn't even AD&D...it was "Star Frontiers," which was more up my alley.  Outside of that, it was adventure and spy novels.  Didn't even think about magic and dragons and goblins and such until after I got a taste of it at the gaming table.

So, I've voted "none of the above."  Even though I've heard of many of these authors and know some of the stories based on reviews or movies, I have never actually read any of the books listed up there.

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Offline DesertScrb

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2009, 05:10:37 PM »
Since I don't see a way to change my vote, let me add that I have read some Williamson, but I can't remember if I read any of his fantasy novels.  I have read Zelazny's Amber series, as well as Lords of Light.

Offline Rosestar

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2009, 06:26:58 PM »
I've added an option for "None of the Above".

Thanks for that. 

I didn't start reading fantasy until I started playing AD&D.  I had no interest in it.  AD&D led me to a lot of modern fantasy (like the Dragonlance novels), but I never truly explored the old works (including Tolkien). 

What I find really interesting is that people will usually compare works of fantasy to older things, but I tend to look at something to see how it relates to D&D, since it was my first real experience with that type of sword & sorcery fantasy (outside of movies like "Clash of the Titans" and "Dragonslayer," anyway).  So, I'll see a movie with dragons in it and think about how they differ to the dragons in D&D, instead of looking at older tales of dragons.

Before playing AD&D, my interest was in Science Fiction.  That's what I was mostly reading.  In fact, my first roleplaying game wasn't even AD&D...it was "Star Frontiers," which was more up my alley.  Outside of that, it was adventure and spy novels.  Didn't even think about magic and dragons and goblins and such until after I got a taste of it at the gaming table.

So, I've voted "none of the above."  Even though I've heard of many of these authors and know some of the stories based on reviews or movies, I have never actually read any of the books listed up there.
|sf>Technically, I own a book containing all the songs from the book "The Hobbit" and I've read that cover to cover, so that's the only author that I marked.  I've obviously seen the Rankin & Bass animated versions for The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Return of the King on multiple occasions, as well as Flight of Dragons.  I saw "Clash of the Titans" in the theater when it was new.  I also used to watch the D&D cartoon on Saturday mornings, but it was the D&D Pick-a-Path books and the first Gold Box games which got me interested in any of the details. 

Granted, I recall in junior high bringing some of the pick-a-path books to read and I used to need to defend myself verbally toward friends and fellow students to explain that the books were just fantasy versions of "Choose Your Own Adventures" and they weren't demonic.  I still don't understand why some people consider fantasy monsters to be so taboo.  It's all imagination anyway.  You never hear threats of banning Alice in Wonderland, even though it has talking animals (and The Jabberwalkie is obviously the origin of the Vorpal Sword). 

Getting back to the list, I know that my father was greatly influenced by Burroughs as a kid, so it's a 'second generation' thing in my case.  I didn't mark that since it didn't personally relate to me.
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Offline Nol Drek

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Re: AD&D Inspirational Reading
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2009, 06:31:03 PM »
But what of the classics that didn’t make the list, such as Geoffrey here?

Classic works of literature, such as those by Geoffrey or the Bard (see below) aren't usually counted as "Fantasy."

Unfortunately, I don't know how to edit the poll to allow people to change their votes.
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