Appendix Lit: A Gamer’s Inspiration Book Club

I love reading. It’s one of my favourite things to do. It inspires and activates my imagination in ways TV and Movies can not, and my games benfit from it. Over the worst of the pandemic I was going to read the Appendix N books—this is the list that Gary Gygax listed as inspiration for the original Dungeons and Dragons books. While many of them are classics, and foundations of the fantasy genre, they are a cultural product of their time. I wanted to read more modern texts with a wider variety of authors and attitudes. Our game has grown and evolved, I decided I wanted my inspiration to do the same.

Appendix: Lit Book Club. A book club designed to provide players, game masters, and storytellers inspiration through fantasy and science fiction literature beyond the Eurocentric-white-male norms of the genres.

I wanted books that left me inspired or I could mine/homage to use in the role playing games I run. I came up with requirements for my list:

  • I wanted a list focused on fantasy/science/speculative fiction.
  • I wanted diversity in the authors and stories. (most had to be not white men)
  • I wanted queer character and authors.
  • I wanted some Canadian authors.
  • I wanted to avoid Amazon.

I take my time coming up with a large short-list of books that I whittle down to 12. Each book is read over the course of a few weeks then there is an open table discussion where we go over the questions we have. I created a rating system using the different polyhedral dice in almost every tabletop role playing game that exists. 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.

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. I linked all the books to Indigo books, a Canadian bookstore chain if you need to use delivery. Sometimes you don’t have the money or space for new books, luckily these books should 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.

Everyone deserveds to be inspired and is welcome to join. You can read, audio-book, get read to, whatever works for you.

Let’s get inspired!