I made a nice score at a local thrift shop of 52 books for $13. I'd be happy to hear if there are any gems in here and/or which volumes my ODD74 people think are safe to ignore. Bonus points for any books that might be inspirational from a gaming standpoint (OD&D and CT).
The Dying Earth is one of the great works of picaresque science-fantasy and a main inspiration for D&D. The Eyes of the Overworld is the follow-up; Cugel is a serious antihero, and your reaction to it will depend on how you feel about antiheroes.
Voodoo Planet and Plague Ship are both from Andre Norton's Solar Queen series, which is prime material for a free trader Traveller campaign. I'd recommend the Witch World book but that one is fairly far into the series.
The Trouble Twisters and Trader to the Stars are from Poul Anderson's Polesotechnic League future timeline; it's a terrific adventure merchant series and Nicholas Van Rijn is an incredible character.
You have a few of the Eric John Stark series by Leigh Brackett, start with Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars before the later Hounds of Skaith. You may want to see about finding The Ginger Star that comes before Hounds.
The Sowers of the Thunder is a collection of historical stories by Robert E. Howard. It's always worth reading the two-fisted Texan.
Otis Adelbert Kline's Planet of Peril is a solid planetary romance set on his Venus, Kline was the "rival" of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Out of the list, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Stars My Destination are considered something of classics and should probably be near the top of the pack.
There's a ton of good material here, and I love seeing so many Ace paperbacks. You look at them and you can really feel how much that publisher shaped the modern science fiction world. You could probably pick any of a dozen of them and read something great that I haven't even gotten to here.
If there's anything I have mixed feelings about, it's the Gor series which turned toward its, ah, idiosyncratic views on sexuality and slavery. It started off as planetary romance but drifted away. (The early books were an influence on Dave Arneson, though.)
I would definitely start with The Dying Earth by Jack Vance. It is one of my favorite fantasy novels. (Well, it's actually a collection of short stories, some connected.) His use of language in it rivals that of Clark Ashton Smith. I particularly love "Mazirian the Magician".
Post by howandwhy99 on Apr 29, 2017 17:20:05 GMT -6
You actually have a fairly good selection of books. It's the ACE 2-sided ones I'm not so sure about. I like Philip K. Dick, but I haven't heard of any of those included.
To add to Cadriel, I'd say the Burroughs books are my favorites and classics. Pellucidar and At the Earth's Core are inspirations for later writers.
Other classic's include The Once and Future King by T.H. White. Howard's Conan too. And Glenn Cook's The Black Company is now very popular, I think with a coming movie or tv show. The Forever War is like military history and won some awards when it came out.
I'd like to hear more about Norton's Witch World series. Cherryh can write very well. Heinlein has a cult following, but has never been my thing.
Check Appendix N in the DMG and I think you'll find reference to some of what you have here. A few of those works listed had more influence over the basic precepts of D&D material than others, like The Broken Sword.
Triplanetary! Be warned: you'll likely be hunting down the rest of the Lensmen novels if you read it. Keep in mind the age of the story when you do read it - I think some are put off by the language and the "science" (it's pure pulp).
The first few books in the Gor series were quite influential in the development of early Blackmoor, and can be indirectly felt in D&D in a couple things like the Roc monster. Tarnsman of Gor is said to be fairly standard pulp, (I've read about a half dozen of these but I don't remember if I've read Tarnsman), but by the fourth book or so the series begins to be heavily loaded with BDSM material. Frankly it becomes repetitive and annoying, but the stories and the cultures he creates on Gor can be interesting. One thing he does that's unusual is spend pages describing technology. Oh, if you aren't interested in the Gor books you should be able to sell them for a decent profit as they can be hard to come by.
Last Edit: Apr 30, 2017 5:54:38 GMT -6 by aldarron
Thank you everyone for the continuing helpful comments. I've found the last thrift store box now, all Burroughs. Some of these I've actually read - first 3 John Carter (1 and 2 not pictured but they are somewhere in the house), first Tarzan, and the Caspak trilogy (The Land that Time Forgot, however, I had to read from the library). Any Burroughs fans feel free to comment on some of the lesser talked about books. I've always wanted to read the Pellucidar books. I know very little about Carson of Venus or the rest of the books.