A reading list of the Appendix N literature

by panglott

At the back of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide (first edition), Gary Gygax famously included Appendix N: a short list of suggested fantasy and science fiction books.

This list is not actually so short.

Gygax listed 21 specific novels, another 12 novel series (comprising about 55 books by 9 authors), and 9 individual authors listed without specific works cited. These works have had a rather varied publication history—the “Harold Shea” stories were issued in a single volume in 1989 (which is how I treat them here), while Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft published short fiction that has been widely anthologized in a variety of editions. Jack Vance’s Dyring Earth novels are probably best read today in the Tales of the Dying Earth omnibus. Other of these are desperately out of print, although some have come back into print in eBook editions (at writing time, Gardener Fox’s Kothar series has a Kindle anthology, but the Kyrick series does not). Others are currently available in different formats—the Harold Shea anthology has long been out of print, but is available as an audiobook from Audible.com, while public domain works are available on Project Gutenberg and Librivox. I have also generally excluded books in series that were published after about 1977 or 1978.

Novels specifically cited:

  • Three Hearts and Three Lions, by Poul Anderson
  • The High Crusade, by Poul Anderson
  • The Broken Sword, by Poul Anderson
  • The Face in the Frost, by John Bellairs
  • Lest Darkness Fall, by L. Sprague de Camp
  • The Fallible Fiend, by L. Sprague de Camp
  • Carnelian Cube, by L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt
  • Hiero’s Journey, by Sterling Lanier
  • Creep, Shadow, Creep, by A. Merritt
  • The Moon Pool, by A. Merritt
  • Dwellers in the Mirage, by A. Merritt
  • Stormbringer, by Michael Moorcock
  • Stealer of Souls, by Michael Moorcock
  • Swords Against Darkness III, ed. by Andrew J. Offutt
  • Blue Star, et al., by Fletcher Pratt
  • Changeling Earth, et al., by Fred Saberhagen
  • The Shadow People, by Margaret St. Clair
  • Sign of the Labrys, by Margaret St. Clair
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Eyes of the Overworld, by Jack Vance
  • The Dying Earth, by Jack Vance
  • Jack of Shadows, by Roger Zelazny

Novel series:

  • At the Earth’s Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1914) (“Pellucidar” series #1)
  • Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1915) (“Pellucidar” series #2)
  • Tanar of Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1929) (“Pellucidar” series #3)
  • Tarzan at the Earth’s Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1929) (“Pellucidar” series #4)
  • Back to the Stone Age, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1937) (“Pellucidar” series #5)
  • Land of Terror, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1944) (“Pellucidar” series #6)
  • Savage Pellucidar, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1963) (“Pellucidar” series #7)
  • A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #1)
  • The Gods of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #2)
  • The Warlord of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #3)
  • Thuvia, Maid of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #4)
  • The Chessmen of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #5)
  • The Master Mind of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #6)
  • A Fighting Man of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #7)
  • Swords of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #8)
  • Synthetic Men of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #9)
  • Llana of Gathol, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #10)
  • John Carter of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (“Barsoom” series #11)
  • Pirates of Venus, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1934) (“Venus” series #1)
  • Lost on Venus, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1935) (“Venus” series #2)
  • Carson of Venus, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1939) (“Venus” series #3)
  • Escape on Venus, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1946) (“Venus” series #4)
  • The Wizard of Venus, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1964) (“Venus” series #5)
  • The Warrior of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1974) (“World’s End” series #1)
  • The Enchantress of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1975) (“World’s End” series #2)
  • The Immortal of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1976) (“World’s End” series #3)
  • The Barbarian of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1977) (“World’s End” series #4)
  • The Pirate of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1978) (“World’s End” series #5)
  • Giant of World’s End, by Lin Carter (1969) (“World’s End” series #6)
  • The Complete Compleat Enchanter, by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (1989) (“Harold Shea” series)
    The Maker of Universes_, Philip José Farmer (1965) (“World of Tiers” series #1)
  • The Gates of Creation, Philip José Farmer (1966) (“World of Tiers” series #2)
  • A Private Cosmos, Philip José Farmer (1968) (“World of Tiers” series #3)
  • Behind the Walls of Terra, Philip José Farmer (1970) (“World of Tiers” series #4)
  • The Lavalite World, Philip José Farmer (1977) (“World of Tiers” series #5)
  • Kothar—Barbarian Swordsman, by Gardner Fox (1969) (“Kothar” series #1)
  • Kothar of the Magic Sword!, by Gardner Fox (1969) (“Kothar” series #2)
  • Kothar and the Demon Queen, by Gardner Fox (1969) (“Kothar” series #3)
  • Kothar and the Conjurer’s Curse, by Gardner Fox (1970) (“Kothar” series #4)
  • Kothar and the Wizard Slayer, by Gardner Fox (1970) (“Kothar” series #5)
  • Kyrik: Warlock Warrior, by Gardner Fox (1975) (“Kyrik” series #1)
  • Kyrik Fights the Demon World, by Gardner Fox (1975) (“Kyrik” series #2)
  • Kyrik and the Wizard’s Sword, by Gardner Fox (1976) (“Kyrik” series #3)
  • Kyrik and the Lost Queen, by Gardner Fox (1976) (“Kyrik” series #4)
  • “Conan” series, by Robert E. Howard (17 original stories)
  • Swords and Deviltry, by Fritz Leiber (1970) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #1)
  • Swords Against Death, by Fritz Leiber (1970) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #2)
  • Swords in the Mist, by Fritz Leiber (1968) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #3)
  • Swords Against Wizardry, by Fritz Leiber (1968) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #4)
  • The Swords of Lankhmar, by Fritz Leiber (1968) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #5)
  • Swords and Ice Magic, by Fritz Leiber (1977) (“Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser” series #6)
  • The Jewel in the Skull, by Michael Moorcock (Hawkmoon/”History of the Runestaff” series #1)
  • The Mad God’s Amulet, by Michael Moorcock (Hawkmoon/”History of the Runestaff” series #2)
  • The Sword of the Dawn, by Michael Moorcock (Hawkmoon/”History of the Runestaff” series #3)
  • The Runestaff, by Michael Moorcock (Hawkmoon/”History of the Runestaff” series #4)
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy #1)
  • The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy #2)
  • The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien (“Lord of the Rings” trilogy #3)
  • Nine Princes in Amber, by Roger Zelazny (1970) (“Amber” series #1)
  • The Guns of Avalon, by Roger Zelazny (1972) (“Amber” series #2)
  • Sign of the Unicorn, by Roger Zelazny (1975) (“Amber” series #3)
  • The Hand of Oberon, by Roger Zelazny (1976) (“Amber” series #4)
  • The Courts of Chaos, by Roger Zelazny (1978) (“Amber” series #5)

Individual authors:

  • Leigh Brackett
  • Frederic Brown
  • August Derleth
  • Lord Dunsany
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Andre Norton
  • Stanley Weinbaum
  • Manly Wade Wellman
  • Jack Williamson

It’s hard to narrow down the last category: Stanley Weinbaum wrote for only about 18 months before his death, and his work fits in an anthology or two. Jack Williamson, on the other hand, wrote dozens of books, mostly science fiction, and Leigh Brackett is better known for planetary romance than fantasy per se.

Some of the fantasy I’ve read, and would recommend, of these individual authors includes:

  • Who Fears the Devil?, by Manly Wade Wellman
  • Darker Than You Think, by Jack Williamson
  • The Gods of Pegana, by Lord Dunsany
  • Time and the Gods, by Lord Dunsany
  • “The Doom that Cane to Sarnath”, “The Terrible Old Man”, “Celephaïs”, “The Cats of Ulthar”, “The Rats in the Walls”, “The Call of Cthulhu”, “The Colour Out of Space”, “The Dunwich Horror”, “The Nameless City”, “The Thing on the Doorstep”, “The Haunter of the Dark”, “History of the Necronomicon”, by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, by H.P. Lovecraft
  • At the Mountains of Madness, by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Shadow Over Innsmouth, by H.P. Lovecraft

In any case, that’s approaching 100 books—quite a reading list!

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