What I’m Reading

Is it really possible that I’m still not done with “The Bloody Crown of Conan”? It’s been on my “What I’m Reading” list for months, now. I’ve had other books come and go on the list, and that one just stays and stays. Well, yes, it is. It’s the one I have on my nightstand, and for whatever reason I only have the staying power to read a couple of pages before I drift off to the Dreamlands (I take some medication just before bed that knocks me right out). It’s like a warm hot toddy that I take only a sip or two from, allowing me to savor it each night. But slooooowly.

But I’ve also been reading Brian Aldiss’ “Starship” and it is not only a terrific book full of all sorts of awesome ideas, but it is so obviously the source of Metamorphosis: Alpha and the TV series “The Starlost”, both of which I love to an inordinate degree. There’s an entire campaign, right in that small paperback, and the seed of two or three more. I’m burning through this book, and mainly because I have not relegated it to the nightstand.

“The Red Church” is an absolutely fascinating account of magical practices amongst the Amish. Betcha didn’t know there was such a thing, did you? Well, the movie “Warlock” aside, there is (and I must, in “Warlock”‘s defense, say they got a lot of things really right), and it’s a very interesting and curious amalgam of pre-Christian Germanic magical practices, such as assigning dates to the vanquishing of what are obviously frost giants in different guise, and more mainstream Renaissance magical tomes. Absolutely fascinating, and I daresay with a lot there to be mined in terms of FRPG.

And, of course, we have Tolkein’s retelling, newly edited and published by his grandson, of the Icelandic saga of Sigurd and Gudrun, which was of course the basis for Wagner’s Ring Cycle, amongst countless other adaptations. I’ve not delved too deeply into it, but man what I’ve read makes me wish he had taken his hand to a lot more of the primary sources of Germanic literature. The man knew his way around Norse mythology like it was the back of his hand, and it is only dimly reflected in his Middle Earth works. He positively glows when he is retelling the originals in their own milieu.

Anyway, I knew you’d love to know what I was reading in bed, or in the bathroom, or wherever. Damn, I used to get so much more reading done when I lived in Boston, and had to travel everywhere on the T, where I could read as I moved (I still remember reading Phaid the Gambler and Citizen Phaid on such trips!). Now, I have to snatch moments here and there.

Damnit, I want more time to read.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

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