Appendix N

Originally this was a vast laundry list of novels that have had some influence on what inspires me when I run, read, write and play rpgs but it was rewritten to both A) reflect material that has had an enduring influence on my writing and gaming over a prolongued period of time B) parse it down somewhat since time is limited and there is only so much you can read on this earth.

What follows is a list of classical works of history and mythology, which serves as the primary inspiration for my gaming. This is supplemented by a fairly standard list of supplementary works, the majority being derived from Appendix N. Non-appendix N fantastic works are arbirarily divided into pre- and post 70s year of publication.

Of the Classics I will recommend Homer’s The Odyssey as the most all encompassing in terms of giving an impression of living in an ancient world of kings, honor, mythological creatures & the whims of fickle gods.

Of Appendix N I can heartily point to R.E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance & Abraham Merrit as the quartet of writers that strike most at the essence of what DnD is about. To this I would add the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock and J.R.R. Tolkien as essential supplementary material.

If there was one pre-70s author of fantastic fiction that I could recommend, it would probably be E.R.R. Eddison, whose mastery of language and stirring heroic tales are second to none.

In terms of post-70s authors, I would point to the writings of R.Scott Bakker as being most influential on my gaming and writing.

Homer – The Illiad, The Odyssey
Tale of the Heike (Royall Teller trans.)
Luo Ghuanzhong – The Romance of the Three Kingdoms

The Epic of Gilgamesh
Werner Goëthe – Faust
Dante – The Inferno

John Milton – Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained
The Mabignogion
The Ramayana (abridged version, R.K. Narayan)
The Mahabharata
Alexandre Dumas – The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Christo
Thuycidides – History of the Peloponesian War
Tacitus – Germanica
Snorri Stürleson – Egil’s Saga (E.R.R. Eddison translation), Njal’s Saga, The Saga of Grettir the Strong, The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, The Saga of the Orkneys, The Vinland Saga
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight
Magnus Magnusson & William Morris – The Saga of the Volsungs
Wagner – The Ring of the Niebelungs
Virgil – The Aenead
The Kalevala
Xenophon – The Persian Expedition
The Tain (Ciaran Carson)
Sophocles – The Theban Plays
Herodotus – The Histories

Appendix N(or affiliated by author)
H.P Lovecraft – (The Mound, At the Mountains of Madness, Call of Cthulhu, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Shadow Out of Time, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Within the Walls of Eryx, The Shadow over Innsmouth, Pickman’s Model et. al.).
Fritz Leiber – Faffhrd & the Grey Mouser series (ignore Knight and Knave of Swords collection)

R.E Howard – Conan the Barbarian (“The Scarlet Citadel”, “Tower of the Elephant”, “Red Nails”, “Beyond the Black River”, “A Witch is Born” etc.) Solomon Kane, Bran Mak Morn (“Worms of the Earth”), Kull, “Children of the Night”, “The Black Rock”, “Wolfshead”, “The People of the Dark”, “Skull-face”, “The Fires of Asshurbarnipal” et. al.
J.R.R Tolkien – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin
J.Vance – The Dying Earth series, Lyonesse trilogy, The Demon Princes series, Big Planet
F.Pratt & L.S. de Camp – Harold Shea series (The Compleat Enchanter et. al.)

A. Merrit – Dwellers in the Mirage, The Moon Pool, The Ship of Ishtar, The Metal Monster, The Fox Women

R. Zelazny – Amber series, Lord of Light
Ursula Le Guin – A wizard of Earthsea

M. Moorcock – Hawkmoon (first quadrilogy), Corum, Elric (Elric of Melniboné, The Dreaming City, Fortress of the Pearl, While the Gods Laugh, Sailor on the Seas of Fate, the Sleeping Sorceress, Stormbringer), Erëkose, “The Greater Conqueror”
P.Anderson – The Broken Sword, The High Crusade, Three Hearts & Three Lions
Lord Dunsany – The Gods of Pegana, Time & The Gods, The King of Elfland’s Daughter
S. Lanier – Hiero’s Journey

Misc. Fantasy/SF (pre 70s)
E.R.R Eddison – The Worm Ouroboros, Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison
M. Peake – Ghormenghast series
D. Lindsey – A Voyage to Arcturus
William Barton – Vathek

B. Strugatsky – Roadside Picnic, Prisoners of Power
W.H. Hodginson – The House on the Borderland, The Night Land
B. Stoker – Dracula
W.Morris – the Well at the World’s End
Robert W. Chambers – The King in Yellow
J.Verne – Journey to the Centre of the Earth

C. Smith – The Instrumentality of Man
C.A. Smith – Zothique, Poseidonis, Xiccarph, Averoigne, Hyperborea, “Maze of the Enchanter”, “City of the Singing Flame”
B.J.Bayley – The Garments of the Caean, The Grand Wheel, the Seed of Evil, Knights of the Limits, The Fall of Chronopolis, The Soul of the Robot
J.G. Ballard – Vermillion Sands, The Crystal World, Chronopolis (collection)
A.E. Vogt – World of Null-A, Players of Null-A
Aldris Bugys – Rogue Moon

Misc. Fantasy/SF (post 70s)

R.Scott Baker – The Prince of Nothing Series, the Aspect-Emperor Series
M. J. Harrison – Viriconium, The Centauri Device
G. Wolfe – Book of the New Sun, Soldier of the Mist
F. Herbert – Dune series
C. Mevielle – Perdido Street Station
P.K.Dick – Valis, Ubik, Eye in the Sky, the Penultimate Truth, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch et. al.
R. Aspirin – Thieves World (first 2 books)
D.Schweitzer – We are all Legends

M. Chrichton – Eaters of the Dead
K.E. Wagner – Dark Crusade, Bloodstone, Darkness Weaves, Death’s Angels Shadow
L.Niven – Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers, The Legacy of Heorot

T. Lee – Storm Lord, Anackire, Birthgrave
O. Gluhkovsky – Metro 2033, Metro 2034
Ryu Mitsuse – One Million Days and One Hundred Billion Nights

R.Pinto – Stone Dance of the Chameleon series
G.R.R. Martin – Game of Thrones series 

D. Simmons – Illium, Olympus, Hyperion series, The Terror
A.H.Smith – Grey Maiden
P.Watts – Blindsight, Echopraxia
A.Reynolds – Diamond Dogs, House of Suns, Revelation Space
S. King – Dark Tower series, The Shining
J.C. Wright – Null-A Continuum, Orphans of Chaos Sequence, Superluminary, The Golden Age trilogy
J.C. Carey – Kushiel’s Legacy series
T.Goodkind – Sword of Truth series
A. Sapkowski – Witcher series
Alistair Rennie – Bleakwarrior
L. Sharp – God Killers
Glen Cook – The Black Company, Shadows Linger

C. Mcarthy – Blood Meridian
J.G.Ballard – The High Rise, Chronopolis (collection), Concrete Island, the Unlimited Dream Company
Jorge Luis Borges – The Book of Imaginary Beings, The Aleph & Other Stories, Fictions

Frank Frazetta
Hieronymous Bosch
Wayne Barlowe
H.R. Giger
Gustave Dore
Philipe Druillet
Kentaro Miura

Comics & Manga 
Kentaro Miura – Berserk
Tsumoto Nihei – Blame!
Hiroya Oku – Gantz

D. Lawrence – Storm (original run)
Philipe Druillet – Loane Sloane
S.Abernathy – Atomika: God is Red
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (animu)
Neon Genesis Envangelion + End of Evangelion (animu)

For more lowbrow or derivative works that nevertheless manage to convey and sustain a great deal of atmosphere and flavor in their make-up, I would be remiss if I did not point people to Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy, the Dark Souls series, the Castlevania series, Rogue, Nethack and the Darkest Dungeon video game.