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Thread: Suggested Reading.

  1. #1
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    Suggested Reading.

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    Novels are great inspirations for us gamers and i figured we could discuss the ones that inspire us the most.

    The ones i really loved reading and still go back to every so often are:

    L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s The magic of Recluse series.

    Mercedes Lackey's Bedlam bard series and The Heralds of Valdemar series.

    Raymond E Feist: i have not read the whole series yet, but i started with his most recent series- ''The shadow Concave'' and now i am back tracking. now reading Prince of the blood.

    David Eddings the Belgariad, The Maloreon, And The Elenium Series. I have read the Belgarath the sorcerer, but i didn't like it as much because a lot of it goes against what is said and done during the Belgariad and Maloreon Series.

    and i just got reading a book by Alana Abbott Called Into the Reach, Book one for the Redemption Series. This is a novel inspired by the rpg The Chronicles of Ramlar. I am really impressed by by her writing since this is her first novel and can't wait to get the game.

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    I have read the biggest part of the Dragonlance series books, to include the Chronicles trilogy. I really enjoyed them. According to a post on this site, the dvd of the first part (Dragons of Fall Twilight, I believe) is not really good.

    I am not sure of the name of the books, but there is a series based on a character that is called the Miestersinger, or something like that. I liked them too, but the series was only about 5 books long if I remember right.

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    wait! I have a list!!!!

    1.The World in Amber by A. Orr

    2.Archangel Series by Sharon Shinn

    3.Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

    4.The Princess Bride "Good Parts" Version (Abridged) by William Goldman

    5.Hobgoblin by John Coyne

    6.Heroes in Hell Series by Janet Morris, CJ Cherryh, et al (For some reason, this series makes me kinda want to do a game revovled around hell..)

    7.Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

    8.Ring by Koji Suzuki

    9.Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

    10.The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

    11.Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis

    12.Peter Pan (unabridged) by J.M. Barrie

    13.Wizard of Oz Series by L. Frank Baum

    I have read a lot of Dragonlance/FR/DnD related books, also. I loved Darkwalker on Moonshae and Dragons of Krynn. I have a box of them to read thru, also. Dark Debts from the Mage Knight the RPG was ok too.

    I was actually thinking of putting the fantasy/sci-fi books that I'm currently reading in my signature. (Which is Vampirates 2:Tide of Terror and Hags, Sirens and Other Bad Girls of Fantasy, btw)
    There's nothing to fear except fear itself and, of course, the boogeyman.

    Co-Organizer of NEPA D&D and Stroudsburg Geeks. Member of Stroudsburg Area Gaming Association.

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    The DOOM series was quite inspirational for horror, space, and hellish settings. I've read all four books multiple times.

    The Wheel Of Time series is excellent.

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    Rhapsody, Prophecy, Destiny, Elizabeth Haydon

    Le Morte D'Arthur, Malory

    Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

    The Thirty-Six Strategies of Ancient China

    Deed of Paksenarrion, Elizabeth Moon

    Sharpe's ________, Bernard Cornwell

    First, Second, Third Book of Swords, Fred Saberhagen

    Hans Christian Anderson & The Brothers Grimm

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    Maybe I just don't have time to read like I used to, but I find more inspiration in nonfiction than fiction. E.g.

    • Captured By Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe by Joel Achenbach. This book swings from the scientific evidence, to UFO believers, and back to the limits of human knowledge, with a recurring theme of "wanting to believe" vs. "where are they?".
    • Vampires, Burials, and Death by Paul Barber. You'll never look at vampires the same way again.
    • The Medieval Machine, by Jean Gimpel. The "dark ages" weren't quite as dark as all that.
    • The Art of Deception by Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon. Forget "netrunning"; real computer crackers use "social engineering", and nearly everyone in the party can help.
    • The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels. Not only is the Gnostic interpretation of scriptures intriguing, the history of Gnosticism demonstrates how an organized dogmatic religion backed by state power eradicates less organized and less militant "heretics". (See also the history of the Cathars/Albigensians.)
    • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach. I'm reading this now; not only does it touch on medical research, but evolving definitions of "death", the history of cadavers in medical research (donated, scavenged, and occasionally manufactured), and in an upcoming chapter the question of how aware severed heads are.

    Consider these story hooks:
    • Assuming the speed of light is truly a limit, what would motivate an alien species to come here?
    • What if "greys", "reptoids", etc. are really a smokescreen for the REAL aliens? What if "aliens" aren't from the stars at all?
    • Imagine the vampires in your game aren't elegant (sexy?) nobility, but ill-tempered peasant semi-corporeal ghosts bent on causing chaos?
    • Imagine if the peasants in your next fantasy game had waterwheels, crop rotation, and other technologies with far more lasting effects than magic.
    • What if the cyberpunks in your next game abandoned their cyberdecks and conned megacorp employees the old-fashioned way?
    • What if a brand new religion appeared in your fantasy world from overseas? Or what if a self-proclaimed "prophet" from an existing religion swayed believers to his harsh, dogmatic version and branded the Old Believers as heretics?
    • Imagine what lengths anatomists in your fantasy world might go to for corpses to dissect, especially if religious or secular authorities disapproved? What if their findings contradicted religious dogma or scholarly consensus? (I actually touched on this one as a player in one game, before my character went wholly to the dark side.)

    Of course, these are the sorts of things that intrigue me; comb through your nonfiction bookshelves and see what story hooks you can come up with.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    Just to pick one book that comes immediately to mind, U have to choose. The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust. It's a fantastical re-imagining of The Three Musketeers set in the historical context of his Vlad Taltos books.

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    The entire BattleTech novel series was amazing. The books are more about the politics of the universe than actual mech combat. If your into Political Thrillers (Star Trek for example) then you'll love these.

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    I admit to being more of an SF guy than fantasy. My book collections reflect that.

    The Dragonriders of Pern, the whole series. -- Anne McCaffery
    Anything by Robert Heinlein. My all time favorite being "Time Enough for Love".
    Arthur Clarke for the harder science. H. Beam Piper in the same light. For a weirder touch Orson Scott Card or Ted Sturgeon. Robert Aspirin for a lighter touch. Bob is a marvelous writer that will lay you on the floor. Gordon Dickson, for SF or Fantasy. Gordy's last book "The Final Encyclopedia" has to be one of the finest examples of written English I had ever read. I read it twice just to feel the words. EE "Doc" Smith is a guilty pleasure. Cheezy space opera at it's best. That is a few examples.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Anything by Robert Heinlein. My all time favorite being "Time Enough for Love".
    Another vote for anything Heinlein. Starship Troopers is my favorite of his works but even his non-fiction is awesome. He had an "ahead of his time" persona which comes through in his writings and ideals. The man was a visionary and his work is inspiring. I highly recommend his works.

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    The Architect of Sleep by Steven R. Boyett.
    An average Joe spelunker finds himself in an alternate earth where raccoons evolved into sentient creatures and humans remained apes. The raccoons communicate with a complex form of sign language.

    Twilight Kingdoms, Tears of Time, and To Fall Like Stars by Nancy Asire.
    Fantasy world where psionics replace magic. Two races in total war of genocide. One race has ethical vows against using powers for evil, but the other has no such qualms.

    Hiero's Journey and The Unforsaken Hiero by Sterling E. Lanier.
    Apocolypitc alternate earth future centered around Great Lakes area. A mutant priest's adventures. His companion and mount is a giant mutated moose. It has a grim-and-gritty Gamma World feel to it.

    Elfquest graphic novels and books by the Pini's.

    The Videssos series by Harry Turtledove.

    Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion by you know who.

    The Chronicles of Morgaine by C. J. Cherryh.

    The Majipoor series by Robert Silverberg.

    That's all I can think of right now. I'll have to wade into the boxes for more!

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    Dark elf series ~ must read!

    Pierce Anthony books are great too.

    wait this post can get very long too many to list...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach.
    I have this on my book wishlist.
    There's nothing to fear except fear itself and, of course, the boogeyman.

    Co-Organizer of NEPA D&D and Stroudsburg Geeks. Member of Stroudsburg Area Gaming Association.

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    ok, so i forgot some books:

    I have read a ton of Dragonlance books- less inspiring after the first 6 books, but every book makes me want to play in the world of dragonlance.

    The Song of fire and ice Series by George RR martin. Love this series can't wait to get the next book.

    Huge! Dresden Files fan- love the TV show, but nothing can beat the books. and no matter what they say they could of kept everything the same from the books for the TV show and i bet that there would be a second season right now. can't wait to see what the rpg will be like.
    Chronicles of Narina got me in to reading

    Lord of the rings carried me through long boring hours of math class.

    The shadow war series by G. Lucus, which is a novel squeal to the movie Willow. Chris Claymont also writes in these books and i think he should stop writing in general since he sux.

    Harry Potter: though books 5 and 6 were really badly written (but book 7 made up for that) this series has given much inspiration that is not influenced by typical American thinking/view points.

    The sword of Shannara was awesome too and some day i'll get around to reading some of the other books, though from what i hear he is putting out books at this point because he has to.

    Simon R Green's Nightside Novels are really interesting. Kind of a mix between Neverwhere and Dresden files; worth reading. I have read most of the series; all of the first and third books but never got to finish the second one.


    There have been books that have been mentioned that i could not get into. One of which is the Dragons of Pern series: I started to read the first book and lost interest since she goes on and on about something that has nothing to do with whats happening in the story, some kind of techno/ science thing about the equipment on the ship.

    Never read the Neverwhere series but i did watch the BBC miniseries, and it was awesome. If anything should get its own rpg it should be that setting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jade von delioch View Post
    Never read the Neverwhere series but i did watch the BBC miniseries, and it was awesome. If anything should get its own rpg it should be that setting.
    It is such a great book-I have read the Graphic Novels "version" of it, though. But I had a thought a one time to do a Neverwhere RPG using the d20 Modern system..Totally agree that it should have its own RPG
    There's nothing to fear except fear itself and, of course, the boogeyman.

    Co-Organizer of NEPA D&D and Stroudsburg Geeks. Member of Stroudsburg Area Gaming Association.

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