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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Appendix N Pot of Gold

Everyone in the OSR knows about Gary Gygax's Appendix N, but for those who aren't in the old school crowd, Appendix N was an added section of the old DMG in which Gygax listed an essential bibliography of authors and works which inspired the game of D&D.  As much as it pains me to admit, I have not read as many of the works from Appendix N as I would have liked over the years (Amber series, for example.  I know, I'm horrible.)  As such, like many of my fellow OSR bloggers, I have taken it upon myself to start cracking into these masterworks of sword and sorcery.  Most of the books are short, I presume because many of them are merely story collections placed into book form in the 60's and 70's (Fritz Leiber's collections for example.)  

Getting most of the books in Appendix N is not a difficult endeavor really.  Many are available for sale at affordable prices on amazon.  I'm not the very patient sort, though, and besides I wasn't particularly fond of paying a bunch of different shipping fees either.  So, this past weekend it dawned on me to check out one of the used book stores in my town, and it was the equivalent of walking into a dungeon with a hoard of treasure just laying there for the taking.  I poured over the dusty paperbacks in their sci-fi/fantasy section, my jaw dropping in amazement at the fact that I got much more than I bargained for on the trip.  Sure, I was certain I'd find a few of the books, but nothing prepared me for the fact that I'd find as many as I did.  By the end of my trip I was having to put some down to save for another visit.  Among the great finds I picked up were:

The Fallible Fiend by L. Sprague DeCamp
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
The Jewel in the Skull by Michael Moorcock
Swords Against Death by Fritz Leiber

There were more I could have snatched up, but I want to get through a few of these before picking up the rest.  I'm really looking forward to diving into these.  The fact that most of them are pretty short will be a nice change considering my time for reading fiction is extremely limited anymore, and many books I read tend to be of great length anymore.  So, have any of you had any great Appendix N finds?  I'm sure many of the OSR bloggers out there have probably had many of these books on their shelves already for years.