Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs
Jan17

Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs

Adventures in Fiction: John Bellairs By Ngo Vinh-Hoi John Anthony Bellairs was born on January 17th, 1938 in Marshall, Michigan, which he described as “full of strange and enormous old houses, and the place must have worked on [his] imagination.” A shy and overweight child, he “would walk back and forth between [his] home and Catholic school and have medieval fantasies featuring [himself] as the hero.” He found refuge in books,...

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Adventures in Film Fiction: Hammer Films and the Cleric Class
Jan10

Adventures in Film Fiction: Hammer Films and the Cleric Class

Hammer Horror’s Dracula – And the Creation of the Cleric Class By Bob Brinkman The year 2019 marks the 61st anniversary of the Hammer Horror film Dracula. Why is this so important? You can thank Dracula for the creation of the cleric class, and the Hammer Horror series in general for influencing several aspects of Dungeons and Dragons (and later the Dungeon Crawl Classics role-playing game). The history of Hammer films is as...

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Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien
Jan03

Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien

Adventures in Fiction: J.R.R. Tolkien By Chris Doyle John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in what is now South Africa. His parents, both English, had re-located so his father could accept a promotion with his current employer, a bank. He returned to England at the age of three, but his father succumbed to fever and never made the journey. Tolkien was a soldier (in the First World War, eventually reaching the rank of...

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Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber
Dec24

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber

Adventures in Fiction: Fritz Leiber By Michael Curtis We’ve talked a lot about Fritz Leiber, whose birthday we’re celebrating today, over the last few years. Leiber, born December 24th, 1910, is most widely known among gamers as the man responsible for the fantastic Fafhrd and Gray Mouser stories. In the years running up to the looming-ever-larger-on-the-horizon release of DCC Lankhmar, a lot of ink has been spilled discussing...

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Adventures in Fiction: Michael Moorcock
Dec20

Adventures in Fiction: Michael Moorcock

Happy Birthday to Michael Moorcock, a Big Writer with Big Ideas By Terry Olson “I think of myself as a bad writer with big ideas, but I’d rather be that than a big writer with bad ideas—or ideas that have gone bad.” – Michael Moorcock, 1963 This 18th of December, 2018, we celebrate the 79th birthday of Michael Moorcock—a big writer with big ideas (regardless of what he thought 55 years ago). It’s difficult to rank Moorcock’s...

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Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier
Dec18

Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier

Adventures in Fiction: Sterling E. Lanier By Jim Wampler Today is the 91st anniversary of the birth of Sterling E. Lanier. He wasn’t just a favorite author of E. Gary Gygax, nor was he merely a cited influence on both the Dungeons & Dragons and Gamma World role playing games. For those things alone he would still be notable and of interest to role playing gamers everywhere. Sterling E. Lanier was the quintessential polymath. His...

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Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett
Dec07

Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett

Adventures in Fiction: Leigh Brackett By Michael Curtis The sad truth is that Appendix N is overwhelmingly a boys’ club. Much of the blame can be assigned to the fact that science-fiction and fantasy writers prior to 1960s were by and large white men. It was a tough club for a woman to break into, resulting in many female authors with an interest in writing science-fiction and fantasy to work under either pen names (such as Andre...

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Adventures in Fiction: L. Sprague DeCamp
Nov27

Adventures in Fiction: L. Sprague DeCamp

Adventures in Fiction: L. Sprague de Camp By Jeff Goad Did you know that L. Sprague de Camp coined the terms “extraterrestrial” and “E.T.”? It’s true! While the noun existed before de Camp, he was the first to use it to describe alien life in a 1939 article for Astounding Science Fiction. This is one of many examples of how De Camp’s impact on the genres of science fiction and fantasy far exceed his level of...

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Adventures in Fiction: Poul Anderson
Nov25

Adventures in Fiction: Poul Anderson

In celebration of the birthday of Poul Anderson, we re-present this article. Enjoy! Adventures in Fiction: Poul Anderson By Michael Curtis Poul Anderson was a prolific author who penned almost two hundred short stories and novels that ran the gamut from science fiction to fantasy to historical fiction to non-fiction during his lifetime. The seven-time Hugo Award winner was renowned for his exploration of politics and social issues in...

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Appendix N Archeology: Clark Ashton Smith
Nov10

Appendix N Archeology: Clark Ashton Smith

Appendix N Archeology: Clark Ashton Smith      by Michael Curtis Gamers often point to Appendix N and decry the absence of a particular author (or three, or seven, or…), declaring Gygax’s omission of them to be a literary crime of some sort. Putting aside the unbelievable idea that gamers may complain about things for the moment, we must realize that Appendix N is not a list one can argue with. It is a catalogue of all...

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Adventures in Fiction: Zenith the Albino
Oct30

Adventures in Fiction: Zenith the Albino

Appendix N Archaeology: Zenith the Albino by Terry Olson “To this day I advise people who want to write fantastic fiction for a living to stop reading generic fantasy and to go back to the roots of the genre as deeply as possible, the way anyone might who takes his craft seriously. One avoids becoming a Tolkien clone precisely by returning to the same roots that inspired The Lord of the Rings.”           –...

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Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works
Oct01

Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works

  Learning from Dave Arneson’s Published Works A Dave Arneson Homage, Part 2 of 2 by James Maliszewski David Arneson, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, was born on October 1, 1947 and passed away in 2009. This year would mark his 71st birthday. In honor of his contributions to the hobby, we present this two-part essay. The first part can be found here, and here is the second and concluding part. Aside from Dungeons &...

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