One of the most influential books on a young and impressionable Tamsin back in the halcyon days of the early 1980s was the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide, a book of rules, advice, suggestions, and inspiration for the role-playing game’s referee/storyteller. At the back of the book are a series of appendices, largely comprised of optional rules and suggestions for your game, and a bunch of tables to help you randomly generate encounters and treasure. Appendix N: Inspirational and Educational Reading was Gygax’s list of the works of fantasy and science fiction which shaped what he brought to the creation of the game, and what the game would become over time.
I was listening to the Appendix N Book Club podcast a while ago and ruminating on the similarities between the various subcultural communities of which I’m a part, and the thought occurred to me: what’s in my Appendix N? Who are the artists and creators and what are the works which, as Gygax writes, “were of particular inspiration to me?”
And then, as is my wont, I started making a list, which you may peruse below.
This is, of course, a living document, to be changed and expanded as mood and inspiration dictate. Cheers!
- Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
- Bujold, Lois McMaster. Cordelia’s Honor
- Coehlo, Paulo. The Alchemist. The Pilgrimage
- de Lint, Charles. Moonheart. Dreams Underfoot.
- Gaiman, Neil. Neverwhere
- Heinlein, Robert A. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
- Herbert, Frank. Dune
- Jones, Diana Wynne. Fire and Hemlock
- Le Guin, Ursula K. A Wizard of Earthsea. Very Far Away from Anywhere Else.
- Moorcock, Michael. Elric of Melniboné
- Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings
- Zelazny, Roger. The Chronicles of Amber
- Fisher, M. F. K. How to Cook a Wolf. Serve It Forth.
- Acher, Frater. Holy Daimon
- Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon
- Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy
- Coyle, T. Thorn. Evolutionary Witchcraft
- Lewis, C. S. Mere Christianity
- Sayers, Dorothy. Creed or Chaos?
- Starhawk, The Spiral Dance
- Stratton-Kent, Jake. Geosophia: The Argo of Magic
- Amon Tobin, Out from Out Where
- Arvo Pärt, Da Pacem
- The Beatles, The Beatles (the “White Album”)
- Blue Öyster Cult, Blue Öyster Cult
- Brother Sun Sister Moon, The Great Game
- Camper Van Beethoven. Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. Key Lime Pie.
- The Cure, Disintegration
- Curve. Doppelganger. Pubic Fruit. Gift.
- David Bowie. Aladdin Sane. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Earthling. ★.
- The Future Sound of London, Lifeforms
- Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking
- Jethro Tull. Aqualung. Thick as a Brick. Songs from the Wood. The Broadsword and the Beast.
- Kate Bush. The Dreaming. Hounds of Love. Aerial
- King Crimson. In the Court of the Crimson King. Lark’s Tongues in Aspic. Red. Discipline.
- Marillion. Misplaced Childhood. Brave. Marbles.
- Massive Attack, Mezzanine
- nine inch nails. Pretty Hate Machine. The Downard Spiral.
- Portishead, Dummy
- Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
- Prince, Sign ‘O’ the Times
- Queen, A Kind of Magic
- Rush. 2112. A Farewell to Kings. Permanent Waves. Moving Pictures. Signals. Presto. Counterparts. Clockwork Angels.
- Steely Dan. Countdown to Ecstasy. The Royal Scam.
- Tori Amos. Little Earthquakes. Under the Pink. Boys for Pele.
- VNV Nation, Empires/Building Empires. Matter + Form.
- The Who, Who’s Next
- Wolves in the Throne Room. Diadem of 12 Stars. Thrice Woven.
- Yes. Fragile. Close to the Edge.
Black Panther • Captain America: The First Avenger • Captain Marvel • Casablanca • Children of a Lesser God • Doctor Strange • The Hidden Fortress • the Matrix movies • the Samurai trilogy • Seven Samurai • Shinobi: Heart Under Blade • the original Star Wars trilogy • The Witch
- Amber Diceless Role-Playing
- Ars Magica
- Blue Rose
- Call of Cthulhu
- Dungeons & Dragons, various editions
- Empire of the Petal Throne
- Shadowrun (1st edition)
- Tunnels & Trolls
- World of Darkness
Comics (Print and Web)
Dykes to Watch Out For • Elfquest • Hothead Paisan, Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist • The Invisibles • Promethea • Questionable Content (potentially NSFW) • Real Life • The Sandman • Something Positive (potentially NSFW) • Sluggy Freelance • The Uncanny X-Men • Watchmen