Commentary: Appendix N: Inspirational And Educational Reading by Gary Gygax (from AD&D’s original Dungeon Masters Guide)

December 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Commentary

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide by Gary GygaxGary Gygax, co-creator of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons added, on page 224 of the 1979 Dungeon Masters Guide, a list of “Inspirational And Educational Reading.”

Long out of print, but still incredibly relevant, this list of inspirations for the phenomenon that is Dungeons & Dragons, and role-playing games in general, deserves to be better known. There is a Wikipedia entry for the “sources and influences on the development of Dungeons & Dragons”, but there’s nothing like looking at the real thing.

So, here it is in it’s entirety, following it you will find hypertext links to the Wikipedia entries for the specifically mentioned novels and collections (when available).

Appendix N: Inspirational And Educational Reading by Gary Gygax

Appendix N lists the following authors and works:

Poul AndersonTHREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
John BellairsTHE FACE IN THE FROST
Leigh Brackett
Fredric Brown
Edgar Rice Burroughs – “Pellucidar” Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Lin Carter – “World’s End” Series
L. Sprague de CampLEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; et al.
[L. Sprague] de Camp & [Fletcher] Pratt. “Harold Shea” Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
August Derleth
Lord Dunsany
P. J. [Philip Jose] Farmer – “The World of the Tiers” Series; et al.
Gardner [F.] Fox – “Kothar” Series; “Kyrik” Series; et al.
R.E. [Robert E.] Howard – “Conan” Series
Sterling LanierHIERO’S JOURNEY
Fritz Leiber – “Fafhrd & Gray Mouser” Series; et al.
H.P. Lovecraft
A. MerrittCREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; [The] MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al.
Michael MoorcockSTORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; “Hawkmoon” Series (esp. the first three books)
Andre Norton
Andrew J. Offutt – editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III
Fletcher PrattBLUE STAR; et al.
Fred SaberhagenCHANGELING EARTH; et al.
Margaret St. ClairTHE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
J.R.R. TolkienTHE HOBBIT; “Ring Trilogy” [aka The Lord Of The Rings]
Jack VanceTHE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al.
Stanley [G.] Weinbaum
Manly Wade Wellman
Jack Williamson
Roger ZelaznyJACK OF SHADOWS; “Amber” Series; et al.

Now with regards to the audio availability of the works and authors on this list I have composed the following set of notes:

Too few of the novels and collections specifically mentioned above are or ever have been audiobooks. But, there are several that have: the two Jack Vance books, the Tolkien books, of course, and Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword is available from Downpour.com (narrated by Bronson Pinchot). Unfortunately very few of the remaining bolded titles are in the public domain. One of the interesting exceptions is The Moon Pool by A. Merritt, which is available from LibriVox and narrated by veteran narrator Mark Douglas Nelson.

Of the series, those are the ones mentioned in quotes, I recommend Edgar Rice Burroughs’s first Pellucidar novel, At the Earth’s Core which is available from narrator David Stifel’s site – we also have a podcast discussion of that book HERE. And we did a show on A Princess Of Mars, which is the first audiobook in what Gygax calls the “Mars series.” The audiobook is HERE and the podcast is HERE.

Andre Norton’s work is actually well represented on LibriVox.org, have a look HERE.

Several of Fritz Leiber’s “Fafhrd & Gray Mouser” collections were produced by Audible, HERE. But several of the stories are also public domain and are available on our PDF Page, for turning into audiobooks or podcasts!

Roger Zelazny’s first Amber series book was once available with Roger Zelazny’s narration, today Audible.com has the original ten book series as narrated by Allesandro Juliani.

As for H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, and Lord Dunsany, we have done several audiobooks of their stories for The SFFaudio Podcast, available on Podcast Page, so that’s a good place to start.

Further recommendations would have me point you towards the excellent small press audiobook publisher Audio Realms, which has the majority of the great Wayne June’s readings of H.P. Lovecraft. They also have two volumes of Robert E. Howard’s “Weird Works.” Even more Robert E. Howard is available from Tantor Media.

I should also point out that most of the authors listed in Appendix N are now represented somewhere on our PDF Page, a page made up of U.S. public domain stories, poems, plays, novels, essays and comics. Please make some audiobooks, audio dramas, or podcasts from them! We will all be all the richer for it.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft

December 13, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Online Audio, SFFaudio essential 

SFFaudio Online Audio

There seems to me no point in any other narrator even attempting to narrate H.P. Lovecraft’s Dagon. Wayne June mastered it. He conquered it. He embodied it. And he has made all other attempts, at least those not done for one’s own pleasure, a deaf and pointless exercise.

Like an inescapable crushing force June’s narration works upon your mind, flooding a cool swaddling of algal bloom round the the abyssal depths of your fear center, pulling you down into his narration like a black ocean of horror from which nothing and no one can ever truly be freed.

The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 2SFFaudio EssentialDagon
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Wayne June
1 |MP3| – Approx. 16 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Audio Realms Podcast
Podcast: August 12th 2008
The testament of a tortured, morphine-addicted man who plans to commit suicide over an incident that occurred early on in World War I when he was a merchant marine officer. First published in the November 1919 edition of The Vagrant (issue #11).

And here’s a |PDF| made from a publication in Weird Tales.

Dagon by H.P. Lovecraft - Weird Tales

Haunt Of Horror - Dagon - adapted by Richard Corben

Posted by Jesse Willis

Five Free Favourites #16: The 5 first H.P. Lovecraft episodes of The SFFaudio Podcast

August 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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SFFaudio Online Audio

Five of my favourite SFFaudio podcasts are five of our H.P. Lovecraft episodes. I think they’re some of the best podcasts we’ve ever recorded.

Five Free Favourites

1. The SFFaudio PodcastSFFaudio Podcast #126 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Statement Of Randolph Carter by H.P. Lovecraft – featuring a reading by the incomparable Wayne June (from the essential Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 3) – participants in the discussion include: Participants Scott, Tamahome, Jenny, Mr. Jim Moon and myself.

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2. The SFFaudio PodcastSFFaudio Podcast #138 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Crawling Chaos by Winifred V. Jackson and H.P. Lovecraft – featuring a reading specially recorded for us by the voice of Lovecraft the incredible Wayne June! – participants in the discussion included myself, Tamahome, Mr. Jim Moon and Wayne June himself!

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3. The SFFaudio PodcastSFFaudio Podcast #147 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Pickman’s Model by H.P. Lovecraft – specially recorded by Mr. Jim Moon, of the incredibly awesome Hypnobobs Podcast – participants in the discussion included me, Tamahome, Wayne June, Mr. Jim Moon, and Mirko Stauch.

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4. The SFFaudio PodcastSFFaudio Podcast #168 – AUDIOBOOK: Cool Air by H.P. Lovecraft – specially commissioned for SFFaudio and read by one of the best audiobook narrators in the artform, Jonathan Davis!

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5. The SFFaudio PodcastSFFaudio Podcast #174 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft – recorded, ably, by a first time narrator Mirko Stauch! The discussion which follows included myself, Julie Hoverson, and Mirko too!

|MP3|

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Audio Realms: Ghoul by Brian Keene (read by Wayne June)

August 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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New Releases

This is the best audiobook trailer I’ve ever seen – graphics are nothing – just close your eyes and see it through your ears.

AUDIO REALMS - Ghoul by Brian KeeneGhoul
By Brian Keene; Read by Wayne June
Audible Download – Approx. 8 Hours 33 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: 2012
June 1984. Timmy Graco is looking forward to summer vacation, taking it easy and hanging out with his buddies. Instead his summer will be filled with terror and a life-and-death battle against a nightmarish creature that few will believe even exists. Timmy learns that the person who’s been unearthing fresh graves in the cemetery isn’t a person at all. It’s a thing. And it’s after Timmy and his friends. If Timmy hopes to live to see September, he’ll have to escape the … GHOUL.

Here’s a sample |MP3|.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Commentary: The art of book (and audiobook) arrangement

April 30, 2012 by · 2 Comments
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SFFaudio Commentary

I’ve never understood the appeal of the art of flower arrangement – flowers are pretty, and I guess they’re full of symbolism – but other than that I don’t really get the appeal.

On the other hand, I find that whenever I visit someone’s home I’m immediately off and looking at their bookshelves. To me that’s where the real art of arrangement happens.

I happened to do a little of that myself today.

It started yesterday – when I spotted this perfectly good bookshelf being given away! FREE!

Free Bookshelf!

I snapped it right up, dusted it right off, and found a place for it in my apartment.

My New Bookshelf!

Then I policed up various books, and audiobooks, from various other overflowing shelves and arranged them in a handy and functional order.

Arrangement

They’re all basically grouped by author. Some of the books I’ve had for decades, others are quite new.

Here are a few details:

Blackstone Audio - Robert A. Heinlein Audiobooks

Blackstone Audio - Philip K. Dick Audiobooks

Robert E. Howard books and audiobooks

Top shelf - Robert Silverberg, Guy de Maupassant, Robert A. Heinlein, Mark Twain, Full Cast Audio, Edgar Allan Poe

Posted by Jesse Willis

New Releases: Ghoul by Brian Keene

November 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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New Releases

I don’t think there’s a perfect narrator for any particular genre as a whole. But there are some pretty close cases. For a first person POV story, with a crazy sounding narrator, there’s nobody better at narration (to my ears) than Mr. Pat Bottino (he narrated Home Is The Hunter). For unbridled passion, anger, and pathos there’s Harlan Ellison (his narration of Run For The Stars |READ OUR REVIEW| was stellar). And for horror set in the USA there’s only one voice I need: Wayne June’s.

In fact, I’d be satisfied with every single American horror audiobook being narrated by his wonderful voice. While he sounds nothing like Vincent Price, he works me like a puppet in exactly the same way. He’s scary, and scared, he’s creepy and creeped. I know he can do other genres – but for me I’ve got him completely typecast – he’s just Mr. American Horror to me. He’s absolutely wonderful at it. Take this recently released novel…

AUDIO REALMS - Ghoul by Brian KeeneGhoul
By Brian Keene; Read by Wayne June
Audible Download – 8 Hours 33 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: October 20, 2011 (on Audible.com)
Sample |MP3|
June 1984. Timmy Graco is looking forward to summer vacation, taking it easy and hanging out with his buddies. Instead, his summer will be filled with terror and a life-and-death battle against a nightmarish creature that few will believe even exists. Timmy learns that the person who’s been unearthing fresh graves in the cemetery isn’t a person at all. It’s a thing. And it’s after Timmy and his friends. If Timmy hopes to live to see September, he’ll have to escape the Ghoul.

Posted by Jesse Willis

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