Friday, January 7, 2011

Weird (Non-)Fiction

Want to crank up the weird or strange in your game? Here are works from my library that I’ve found inspirational in doing just that--and with some thought they're applicable to many different genres:

Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival by Joscelyn Godwin: What’s weirder than Antarctic Nazis? Well, that’s just the--uh--tip of the iceberg. The Hollow Earth gets covered here, too, of course. Kenneth Hite called it “The Best Interdisciplinary Book on the Poles” [for the purposes of High Weirdness] in Suppressed Transmission, which pretty much says it all, really.

Grimoires: A History of Magic Books by Owen Davies: Every practitioner of the magical arts, from the dungeon-crawling magic-user to Dr. Strange, has need of magic tomes. This book details the real world history of such books from the ancient world to Anton LaVey, with stops in Lovecraftiana and the Third Reich along the way.

The President’s Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States of America by Robert Damon Schneck: Did Andrew Johnson pardon a man guilty of drinking the blood of two sailors? What’s the deal with the diminutive mummies found in Wyoming? And what happened in Massachusetts in 1853 when a cult gathered to assemble a machine messiah? All the answers may not be found in this Fortean tome, but the discussion of these bits of esoterica will at least allow you to understand the questions.

Find these books and others like them at your local library...And if you can’t find them there, go to a better library. I hear Miskatonic University has a great one...

9 comments:

Johnathan Bingham said...

Trey, thank you for sharing. I feel a compulsion to go hunt these down right now. I love this stuff. If you've got anymore, please share. This stuff rocks and really fires the imagination.

Risus Monkey said...

Yes indeed, thanks for the tip!

Sean Robson said...

Very cool. Thanks, Trey!

Harald said...

I do enjoy these peeks at your library. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Trey said...

Glad there appreciated. I hope they're useful.

@Johnathan - I'm sure I'll have some more suggestions in the future. Looking back at the "nonfiction" tag will show you some other selections.

NetherWerks said...

Arktos?!? Wow, I haven't seen anyone mention that in a loooong time. Fun book, a bit daft and off-the-wall, but fun...if you like adding space-nazis into your pulpish games...

Brutorz Bill said...

Oh man, looks like some great books I need for my collection.
Thanks for sharing!

Greg said...

Need to nab a copy of _Arktos_ I guess. Sounds crazy-great.

Trey said...

It is really good.