The shutdowns from COVID gave many of us more down time than we had before. At first, I spent a lot of it watching TV, movies, and just melting into the couch, it wasn’t helping. When I finally turned off the screen I grabbed a book and realised how much I missed reading.
I love reading. It’s the best thing I can do before bed. It forces a tech-break. It inspires and activates your imagination in ways TV and Movies can not. I was going to read the APPENDIX N books—Appendix N is the list of books that Gary Gygax listed as inspiration for the original Dungeons and Dragons. While many are classics and foundations of the fantasy genre, they are a cultural product of their time, not to mention all the authors save a couple were men, and all white. I wanted to read more modern and aware texts with a wider variety of authors.
Appendix: Lit Book Club. A book club designed to provide players, game masters, and storytellers inspiration through fantasy and science fiction literature that breaks the Eurocentric-white-male norms of the genres.
I decided I wanted to start reading more; especially books that I could mine for the games I run or that just left me inspired. I started building a list of requirements for my list. I wanted the primary efforts to be an inclusive diversity in the authors and stories. I wanted something that was focused on fantasy/sci-fi/action. I wanted Canadian authors. I wanted queer character and authors. I wanted to avoid Amazon. Thus I decided to create my own list and start a book club to inspire me and my games and get some variety in my reading and authors!
I spent months coming up with a large list of books that I whittled down to 12. It worked really well. I came up with some questions I would ask or think about as I was reading. Then set sates when I would start the next book and contemplate the questions. I created a book club for myself. I figured, since I already did it I would invite others to join. So Appendix: Lit was born. You can read, audio-book, get read to, whatever works for you. The questions we discuss are found here. You can join the discord chat here (This is also where we will be having the monthly chats). Tell us you are there for Appendix Lit. The discord has a Zero tolerance for posting spoilers or hate.
Season 2 October 2021 – September 2022
I linked all the books to Indigo books, a Canadian bookstore chain if you need to use delivery. If you are in Vancouver I recommend Pulp Fiction Books or Iron Dog Books. They are local gems and great at bringing in what you need. Sometimes you don’t have the money or space for new books, luckily these books will likely be at your public library. If you want to grow your collection I urge you to use a local, independent bookstore—if you don’t have a lot of space, pass them on to an aspiring game master/dungeon master/storyteller to help inspire them.
I’m very excited, let’s get inspired!