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Old 11 November 2018, 03:00 AM
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Crius of CoH Crius of CoH is offline
Join Date: 13 February 2006
Location: Paragon City (Cranston), RI
Posts: 1,941

A little while back I re-noticed that the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks Dungeon Master's Guide and Player's Handbook both had a "recommended reading" section in the back. The old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st edition) Dungeon Master's Guide also had a recommended reading section of works of fiction (presumably works that Gary Gygax had found inspirational in his development of the game); the 5e PHB list is basically a redo of that list, but expanded with more authors (almost doubling the number) and more books. The 5e DMG, on the other hand, is a substantial list of non-fiction works.

After some fruitless searching online, I went to my .PDF copies of all three books in question, copied all three lists and pasted them into an Excel document, and spent about an hour correcting OCR errors until I had a useful listing of all the authors and books from the 1e AD&D DMG, the 5e DMG and the 5e PHB. I eventually eliminated the AD&D list after ensuring that it was present in it's entirety in the 5e PHB list.

After some sorting, I then checked Project Gutenberg online and found the double handful (about 8) of books and stories available for free there, and downloaded them on my Kindle; I also noted which books I already owned physical copies of in my own library (about 17 authors, with a varying number of their works, plus a game from the non-fiction list, Once Upon A Time: A Storytelling Card Game).

From there, I am now slowly trying to access what I can via my Kindle. What I've read so far are the following:

Ewalt, David M. Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons
Laws, Robin. Hamlet's Hit Points
Hindmarch, Will. Things We Think About Games
Bernhardt, William. Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction
Merritt, A. The Moon Pool and The Metal Monster
Wellman, Manley Wade. "The Golgotha Dancers"
Weinbaum, Stanley. "The Valley of Dreams" and "Worlds of If"

I'm trying to keep things cheap; a fair number of items from the list aren't available on the Kindle, and many of the nonfiction items that are are relatively expensive ($10 and up, as compared to most of the fiction, which is usually under $5) I did buy the other game on the reading list, Microscope, which I reviewed over here.

In between, I'm keeping up with new releases from authors I've been following for the last year, such as the continuation of Glynn Stewart's Starship's Mage and Duchy of Terra series, and Dakota Krout's Divine Dungeon series; the newest from mainstream authors I follow, such as John Scalzi's Consuming Fire and Charles Stross' The Labyrinth Index, and further explorations in the free/cheap section of Kindle Unlimited, quite often with Wildside Press' MEGAPACK anthologies (currently working on Robert Silverberg and Andre Norton anthologies, and just finished H. Beam Piper and Harry Harrison anthologies). You can't beat 400,000 words for 55 cents! The H. Beam Piper one was particularly good, as it contained his two surviving non-SF works, a bit of historical fiction and a locked-room murder mystery. Pretty much all of his writings in one place.
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