Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons & Dragons

In December of this year, Strange Attractor Press will be releasing Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons & Dragons, an anthology of short fiction derived from and inspired by Gary Gygax's list of inspirational and educational reading. According to editor Peter Bebergal, the volume will contain the following stories, in addition to "a few extras:"

  1. How Sargoth Lay Siege to Zaremm by Lin Carter 
  2. Tale of Hauk by Poul Anderson 
  3. Jewels in the Forest by Fritz Leiber 
  4. Empire of the Necromancers by Clark Ashton Smith 
  5. Turjan of Miir by Jack Vance 
  6. A Hero at the Gates by Tanith Lee 
  7. Tower of the Elephant by Robert E. Howard 
  8. Song of Swords by Fred Saberhagen
  9. Dreaming City by Michael Moorcock
  10. The Doom that Came to Sarnath by H. P. Lovecraft
  11. Tower of Darkness by David Madison
  12. Straggler from Atlantis by Manly Wade Wellman
  13. The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles by Margaret St. Clair
  14. Pit of Wings by Ramsey Campbell
  15. Black God’s Kiss by C. L. Moore 
  16. The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth by Lord Dunsany
That's an impressive collection of stories and authors and I'm very happy to see its being released, since many of these tales have not been in print for a very long time. The book is being distributed by MIT Press, which I hope will enable it to reach a very wide audience. The foundational authors of D&D and, by extension, the entire hobby of roleplaying deserve to be better known and read. This is another step toward that goal; I wish it every success.


  1. Slightly related: are you familiar with Robert Silverberg'work? What do you think of it?

    1. Honestly, I haven't read much of his work, so I don't have a good basis for forming an opinion.

  2. Reading the publisher's description this caught my eye:
    "...dungeon map endpapers designed by Alex Crispin (Escape The Dark Castle)..."

    I really like the artwork in ETDC, though that is just a bonus. I would have bought the book regardless, thanks for posting about it.

  3. I love that Cyrion is getting some attention in A Hero at the Gates! Many of these stories are taken straight from the Swords Against Darkness books. An excellent decision.

  4. This looks amazing. Makes me want multiple copies to give to friends who've read fewer of these stories than I have; though I haven't read this whole list.

  5. Thanks for researching the titles - purchased last night :)