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TSR Appendix N Discussion


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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Poking around some more, Lewis was a big fan of Orwell, though he preferred Animao Farm to 1984 and felt it would be a more Timeless and enduring piece of literature. I reckon he was right, though of course Lewis would prefer the talking animal book.

Doris Meyer has a 1987 paper on Lewis's space trilogy and H.G. Wells. She relates "Out of the Silent Planet" to "The First Men in the Moon" and "Perelandra" to "The Time Machine". I read Silent Planet and Perelandra probably in middle school (and never finished "That Hideous Strength") and never read "The First Men in the Moon." (The paper apparently appears in her book "C.S. Lewis in Context" and one reviewer says the Perelandra/Time Machine link should be seriously considered. There are many other things out there on it apparently).

Might need a log in of some sort:

Excerpts from a Lewis Letter about The First Men in the Moon is at:
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Doris Meyer has a 1987 paper on Lewis's space trilogy and H.G. Wells. She relates "Out of the Silent Planet" to "The First Men in the Moon" and "Perelandra" to "The Time Machine". I read the first and third probably in middle school (and never finished "That Hideous Strength") and never read "The First Men in the Moon." (The paper apparently appears in her book "C.S. Lewis in Context" and one reviewer says the Perelandra/Time Machine link should be seriously considered. There are many other things out there on it apparently).

Might need a log in of some sort:

Excerpts from a Lewis Letter about The First Men in the Moon is at:
Interesting: Out of the Silent Planet is mostly a response to Olaf Stappledon, who is pretty obscure now, and Perelandra is a riff on Paradise Lost (a poem about which Lewis was an expert, the Norton Paradise Lost has a bunch of Lewis essays in the critical apparatus to this day), but those links also seem probable.

That Hideous Strength is completely insane and hard to pin down. Lewis identified it as a fairy tale, with the Fashy eugenics think tank being a sort of Unseelie court...it ends in rather horrifying fashion, worth it.
 


Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (he/him)
I went and checked ked Anderson's own account of his history with Tolkien, and he discovered the Hobvit in "the early 50's," so 3 Lions may or may not have been before he read the Hobbit (which he loved). Rolen Sword was before, for sure.
This may in part explain the difference in tone between the hardcore S&S vibe of The Broken Sword and the more high fantasy of 3H&3L. Perhaps he was won over by his reading of The Hobbit.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (he/him)
Another point of comparison between 3H&3L and The Hobbit that just came back into my mind is the episode in which the main character, Holger, plays a riddle game with a giant which ends
in a ploy to detain the giant until sunrise, so it is turned to stone.
I don’t know if it appeared in the novella or was part of the 1961 expansion, but it’s hard to imagine that episode wasn’t written with Riddles in the Dark and Roast Mutton in mind.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Another point of comparison between 3H&3L and The Hobbit that just came back into my mind is the episode in which the main character, Holger, plays a riddle game with a giant which ends
in a ploy to detain the giant until sunrise, so it is turned to stone.
I don’t know if it appeared in the novella or was part of the 1961 expansion, but it’s hard to imagine that episode wasn’t written with Riddles in the Dark and Roast Mutton in mind.
The riddle game I'm less sure about, but the concept of trolls (or Jotun, or Jotnar, giants, where Troll was at times a more general term for a magical being; traditional Norse folk magic is called Trolldom) turning to stone from sunlight derives from traditional folklore. I think Tolkien and Anderson drew from the same corpus of folk tales, in that detail.
 
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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm reading that piece by C. S. Lewis, "On Science Fiction," now and it's kind of interesting. Some good insights and advice for critics. If only more of them would have read this piece and listened to his advice.

One part that's stood out so far is this paragraph that I think it applicable to D&D (and RPGs in general).

How anyone can think this form illegitimate or contemptible passes my understanding. It may very well be convenient not to call such things novels. If you prefer, call them a very special form of novels. Either way, the conclusion will be much the same: they are to be tried by their own rules. It is absurd to condemn them because they do not often display any deep or sensitive characterization. They oughtn't to. It is a fault if they do. Wells's Cavor and Bedford have rather too much than too little character. Every good writer knows that the more unusual the scenes and events of his story are, the slighter, the more ordinary, the more typical his persons should be. Hence Gulliver is a commonplace little man and Alice a commonplace little girl. If they had been more remarkable they would have wrecked their books. The Ancient Mariner himself is a very ordinary man. To tell how odd things struck odd people is to have an oddity too much: he who is to see strange sights must not himself be strange. He ought to be as nearly as possible Everyman or Anyman. Of course, we must not confuse slight or typical characterization with impossible or unconvincing characterization. Falsification of character will always spoil a story. But character can apparently be reduced, simplified, to almost any extent with wholly satisfactory results. The greater ballads are an instance.
Pick one: fantastical PCs or a fantastical setting.

Play the characters as if they're real people in a real situation.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Pick one: fantastical PCs or a fantastical setting.

Play the characters as if they're real people in a real situation.

The game features humankind for a reason. It is the most logical basis in an illogical game. From a design aspect it provides the sound groundwork. From a standpoint of creating the campaign milieu it provides the most readily usable assumptions. From a participation approach it is the only method, for all players are, after all is said and done, human, and it allows them the role with which most are most desirous and capable of identifying with. From all views then it is enough fantasy to assume a swords & sorcery cosmos, with impossible professions and make-believe magic. To adventure amongst the weird is fantasy enough without becoming that too!

Gary Gygax, 1e DMG.
 

This may in part explain the difference in tone between the hardcore S&S vibe of The Broken Sword and the more high fantasy of 3H&3L. Perhaps he was won over by his reading of The Hobbit.
One thing that's struck me the more Poul Anderson that I've read, is how the tone and voice of Anderson can shift from story to story. Whether it's the grimness of The Broken Sword, the portal fantasy-faery quest of Three Hearts and Three Lions, the humor of The High Crusade, or the mock-Norse of Hrolf Kraki's Saga, they all feel strikingly different. And that's not even getting to his sci-fi works.

I'm reading that piece by C. S. Lewis, "On Science Fiction," now and it's kind of interesting. Some good insights and advice for critics. If only more of them would have read this piece and listened to his advice.

One part that's stood out so far is this paragraph that I think it applicable to D&D (and RPGs in general).
Every good writer knows that the more unusual the scenes and events of his story are, the slighter, the more ordinary, the more typical his persons should be.

That's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Arthur Dent, plain and simple.
 

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