Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Torgo Tuesday - Torgo Loves Andre Norton!
Torgo was absolutely enthralled this morning as I read aloud to him from J's excellent review of Quag Keep. I enjoy reading to Torgo, as it keeps him from tormenting the cats for a few minutes, giving them a much needed rest.
Adding to the review from my own well of largely useless trivia, I mentioned to Torgo the interesting factoid that Quag Keep, while an uninspiring work in many folks' opinion, is a rare glimpse at the pre-publication version of Gary's Greyhawk campaign setting. Ms. Norton was invited to attend a lengthy session at Mr. Gygax's table, and took extensive notes as she adventured through Greyhawk in its original form, what we call today a "sandbox", centered around Castle Greyhawk and its nearby city of Greyhawk. Of course, as Gygax fleshed things out more and more for what would eventually become the "canon" setting published as "World of Greyhawk" in 1980, this magical place would move further away from Gygax's freewheeling initial, pulpier, inspirations, and further towards a more "realistic" setting, an alternate Earth of sorts, with well defined nations and races. Wouldn't it be something if Ms. Norton's notes on that prototypical Greyhawk could be released? However, when one reads notes on the initial dungeon expeditions beneath Castle Greyhawk and Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" in quick succession, as I have done recently, one gets a pretty good idea of what it must have been like. Try it yourself, you'll see what I mean! :)
Incidentally, Andre Norton was a member of a pretty awesome club herself, one that would've made any DM poop bricks for the opportunity to game with: The Swordsmen & Sorcerers Guild of America, also known as SAGA. In addition to Andre Norton, the association included the likes of Jack Vance(!), Fritz Leiber(!!), and Michael Moorcock(!!!), along with Lin Carter(the founder), L. Sprague DeCamp, Roger Zelazny, and Katherine Kurtz, among others. While ostensibly a literary group, it was also a damned good excuse to get together a drink a lot while talking shop. What would you give to have been a fly on the wall at one of their meetings?