Appendix N of the 21st century

Appendix N Augmentation

Most of us have probably read the true classics–Howard and Tolkien, Vance, Leiber, de Camp, Moorcock, Burroughs, Lovecraft and all.

But how about more recent entries? If D&D were being written for the first time now, what books since the 2000s began might be included? I’ve begun a list here. (There are a few prominent authors I haven’t included because personally I don’t love their writing.)

What books would you add?

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch Lovable rapscallions in fantasy Venice.

Everything by China Mieville, but especially the Bas Lag untrilogy. There are more ideas in one book than many writers have in a lifetime.

Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones There are others, but for me this is the best medieval Arabian fantasy around today

The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers Clerics and magic and intrigue and ancient civilizations oh my

The 5th Season by NK Jemisin There is world-building and cool volcano magic aplenty here.

The Last City by Nina D’Aleo How can any gamer resist a book billed as “Bladerunner meets Perdido Street Station”?

The Dervish House by Ian McDonald Nanotech in near-future Istanbul

The Croning by Laird Barron Possibly the best bit of cosmic horror since old HPL himself

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton Fantasy world with superheroes…'nuff said.

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi Biopunk, Shadowrun-esque with genetically engineered elephants providing energy to the cities

The Road by Cormac McCarthy Bleak, grey, depressing, grey, bleary, grey and so good

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko Cool urban fantasy in Moskva-written in the late 90s but I think not translated into English until the 2000s

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan Flintlock fantasy–perfect for those RPGs set in 17th century Europe

The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham High fantasy for adults

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie Western Fantasy, two great tastes together at last and in my opinion his finest work

Oryx and Crate by Margaret Atwood Dystopian biopunk starts slowly but is thought-provoking and gameable

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold All the drama, intrigue, and tension of a fantasy trilogy in one efficient novel

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer Pretty much a Trail of Cthulhu campaign in novel form.

Tales of Dunk & Egg by GRR Martin. Cheating because the first one came out in 1998, but these are far more focused and fun than ASoIaF, like Lieber writing in Westeros

Children of Hurin by Prof. Tolkien Ha! Cheating, I know. But seriously read this again. Or better yet, listen to Christopher Lee read it to you


I started a similar thread here:

Have you personally used all these as inspiration? I can add them to the list.

I saw that thread but it’s not really the same. This list is of novels that create an atmosphere. Like the original Appendix N, it’s literature that "certainly helped to shape the form of the game*

The linked thread you reference is a list of resources one has personally used. None so far are novels. Which is super useful but not actually anything resembling Appendix N.