As most of you likely know, the roots of Dungeon Crawl Classics are seated in the depths of Appendix N. This section of the AD&D Player’s Handbook lists some of the influences that Gary Gygax credits towards the creation of Dungeons and Dragons.
And it’s also something we like to talk about.
One of our most popular seminars at DCC Days Online was Sword & Sorcery of Appendix N. At this seminar, our own Dark Master—Joseph Goodman—was joined by James Enge, Chris Hocking, Howard Andrew Jones, and Michael Curtis where they discussed the sword and sorcery books and stories that are in Appendix N, and the sword and sorcery titles that we think SHOULD have been included.
During the course of the panel, we promised a bibliography of all the amazing sword and sorcery stories that we discussed, and we hate to go back on a promise.
Here is that bibliography! Compiled by Howard Andrew Jones, Chris Hocking, James Enge, Michael Curtis, and Joseph Goodman, it lists the many titles discussed at the seminar.
Bibliography, The Sword and Sorcery of Appendix N
Where feasible, titles are linked to other sites for purchase.
The Face in the Frost, Ace Books. (Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy, 2014).
Magic Mirrors, NESFA, 2009.
The first book listed—The Face in the Frost—offers no swords, but a lot of inventive sorcery. Bellairs is great on humor and horror—both essential elements of sword-and-sorcery.
The second volume—Magic Mirrors—collects The Face in the Frost with an incomplete sequel, a memoir of Bellairs by living legend Ellen Kushner, and a couple of minor humorous works.
The Planetary Adventures of Eric John Stark, Wonder Publishing Group.
The Sword of Rhiannon, Ace Books.
Right now most of the “one stop shopping” collections of Leigh Brackett are, lamentably, out of print. But here are the wonderful short stories of Eric John Stark. And there were so many copies of The Sword of Rhiannon printed that used copies aren’t too expensive.
New Worlds For Old, Ballentine Books.
Lin Carter’s Simrana Cycle, Celaenopress.com.
Lost World of Time, Signet Books (Wildside Press, 2014).
Young Thongor, Wildside Books.
Callisto Volume 1, iBooks.
The story we labeled a minor sword-and-sorcery masterpiece is “Zingazar,” and can be found in either the old Ballantine short story collection, which can be hard to come by, or along with the rest of Carter’s Dunsany-esque work, the Simrana Cycle, of which it is a part. Many of the Simrana stories are among his best short tales.
We also mentioned what some think is his best original novel, the Thongor short stories, and a favorite of his fanfic style series, his homage to Burroughs’ Mars books. The Callisto book below collects the first 3 (of 8) short novels.
Born to Exile, Arkham, 1978.
The adventures of Alaric, a minstrel roaming through a medieval landscape. He can teleport—just enough magic to get him burned as a witch… if the witchburners can catch him. The book has been reprinted in paperback a number of times. The Arkham edition illustrated by Stephen Fabian is strongly recommended.
One of the finest sf/f illustrators of the last fifty years. Please visit his website to see a gallery of his work.
In The Land of Time, Penguin, 2004.
The Gods of Pegāna, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
Time and the Gods, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
The Sword of Welleran, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
The Book of Wonder, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
A Dreamer’s Tales, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
Fifty-One Tales, Positronic Publishing, 2015.
Tales of Three Hemispheres (also known as The Last Book of Wonder), Positronic Publishing, 2015.
“Two Bottles of Relish”, “The Coronation of Mr. Thomas Shap”, and a lot of other great stuff can be found in print in the collection, In The Land of Time.
We mentioned the first six short story collections— The Gods of Pegāna, Time and the Gods, The Sword of Welleran, The Book of Wonder, A Dreamer’s Tales, and Fifty-One Tales. They are available in multiple editions, some collecting several books in a single volume, some collecting selections, and so on. Most are available through Wildside Press and as free Gutenberg e-books.
Wolf of the Steppes, Bison Books, 2006.
The story we discussed that features a besieged tower in the center of a frozen lake is called “Changa Nor.” Two other stories that were discussed are Genghis Khan: Emperor of All Men and The March of the Barbarians. These are history on the epic level—and served as an obvious influence on Norvell Page, at least.
Le Guin, Ursula K.
A Wizard of Earthsea, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2012.
The Tombs of Atuan, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012.
Essential classics of fantasy, mixing elements of horror and wonder in simple direct prose that rises to the level of poetry. They’ve never been out of print and probably won’t be as long as people are reading fantasy.
Sword of the Gael, Zebra Books.
The Undying Wizard, Zebra Books.
The Sign of the Moonbow, Zebra Books (Lume Books, 2016).
The Mists of Doom, Zebra Books.
Offutt, Andrew with Taylor, Keith
The Tower of Death, Ace Books.
When Death Birds Fly, Ace Books.
The Sons of the Bear-God
Robot Titans of Gotham, Baen Books, 2008.
City of Doom, Baen Books, 2009.
The first two books are semi-classic adventure fantasy from the pages of Unknown magazine. They’re not terrible, but Page was really at his best when writing the hero-pulp The Spider. The two Baen volumes listed are a good place to start with his pulp work.
Imaro, Night Shade Books.
Nifft the Lean, DAW Books
The Mines of Behemoth, Baen Books, 1997.
The A’Rak, Baen Books, 2000.
Sime, Sidney H.
The unspeakably great English artist who illustrated a lot of Dunsany’s early work. His work is in the public domain and can be found in several online locations. Here’s one repository: https://www.artrenewal.org/artists/sidney-h-sime/2773
Smith, Clark Ashton
The Return of the Sorcerer: The Best of Clark Ashton Smith, Prime Books, 2010.
Hyperborea, Ballantine Books.
The End of the Story, Night Shade, 2015.
The Last Hieroglyph, Night Shade, 2017.
The Monster of the Prophecy, Pocket Timescape.
Tales of Zothique, Necronomicon Press.
Clark Ashton Smith: Live from Auburn, The Elder Tapes, Necronomicon Press Audio.
“The Tale of Satampra Zeiros” can be found in the old Ballantine collection Hyperborea, and is in print in the Night Shade collection, The End of the Story. (Its sequel, “The Theft of the Thirty-Nine Girdles”, is also in Hyperborea, and is in print in the Night Shade collection The Last Hieroglyph.)
“The Charnel God”, The sword and sorcery short story R.E. Howard praised in a letter to Smith can be read for free at the wonderful CAS website, The Eldritch Dark.
It can also be found in Zothique, The Monster of the Prophecy, and Tales of Zothique.
Scan down the page to isolate the pieces read by Smith. We recommend “Malediction”. The sound quality is poor, but this is an opportunity to listen to Smith read his work aloud.
Wagner, Karl Edward
Night Winds, Warner Books (Gateway, 2014).
Bloodstone, Warner Books (Gateway, 2014).
Dark Crusade, Warner Books (Gateway, 2014).
Death Angel’s Shadow, Warner Books (Gateway, 2014).
Darkness Weaves, Warner Books (Gateway, 2014).
Wellman, Manly Wade
Battle in the Dawn: The Complete Hok the Mighty, Paizo Inc.
Worse Things Waiting, Shadowridge Press, 2018.
Heroes of Atlantis and Lemuria, DMR Books, 2019.