D&D General Appendix EN - What one book/series inspires your D&D?

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The D&D General - A shorter Appendix N thread by @Doug McCrae has a core reading list to capture the heart of the literature that influenced early D&D. And a few posts into it @Ralif Redhammer gives an even more concise one, given here:

Anderson, Poul: THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS;
Howard, R. E.: "Conan" series
Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series; et al
Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS;
Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; "Ring trilogy"
Vance, Jack: THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al

There are, of course, a ton of others throughout the various editions of D&D, and the first post in the above thread has links to the various early lists (including the 1e Appendix N). And then there are the lists in Moldvay Basic, Pathfinder, and 5e. (Are there some in 2e, 3e, or 4e? ). Going back to Gygax, there are four other books/series he said in 2007 that he would recommend Gary Gygax’s 2007 additions to Appendix N – Yore .

But what would you pick? What inspires your D&D?

The rules
  1. The six books/sets of books listed above are already in, so no need to mention them. It's ok to add other series by those authors though.
  2. The thread is looking for books that inspire your Dungeons and Dragons play or DMing, not necessarily the game as a whole.
  3. You can add one story, book, part of a series, or series by an author or author team.
    (Unrelated series by the same author are different entries!)
  4. If you can't stand adding just one, you need to wait 24 hours before adding another - no more than 3 total.

For non-books see: D&D General - Appendix EN+ :. What movies, books, and comics inspire your for D&D?
 
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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Starting off:

Cook, Glen - The Garrett Files #1-6 (Sweet Silver Blues, Bitter Gold Hearts, Cold Copper Tears, Old Tin Sorrows, Dread Brass Shadows, Red Iron Nights; collected in The Garrett Files and Garrett P.I. omnibuses).

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I love everything about the first six volumes of this series that is primarily set in the cosmopolitan D&D-esque city of TunFaire. The solo crime-noire detective might not fit a party based D&D game, but there are lots of inspirational pieces. (There are a lot in the later volumes too, but some parts of the writing doesn't hold up as well for me in them).
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I would add the four-book "Heritage of Shannara" series, by Terry Brooks. It's arguably his best work, so if you've only ever read the Sword of Shannara you're really missing out.

This series has been my D&D inspiration since I was a teenager.
How does magic work? Shannara.
How do I do court intrigue? Shannara.
What do bards and druids look like? Shannara.
How do I create a villain? an artifact? a mythology? a dragon? Shannara, Shannara, always Shannara.

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Dioltach

Legend
The Broken Empire Trilogy, by Mark Lawrence.

Because let's face it, no matter how intricate the DM's plot is, the PCs will mostly muddle their way through by acting like a bunch of murder hobos.
 

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