Since while we attend GenCon this year, exactly 100 years ago a young man named JRR Tolkien was in the trenches of the Somme battlefield beginning the creation of the world that would give rise to the game that gave us GenCon, could this be the 100th birthday of GenCon?
There was an excellent article in the NY Times about Tolkien and the Battle of the Somme:
Something to think about this year.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing!
Sorry, but ERB had John Carter and Tarzan out way before and don't forget Wells and Verne. :)
And Robert E. Howard.
The only author that both Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson talked about having an influence on the creation of Dungeons and Dragons was Robert E. Howard. Gygax said that any Tolkien influence on D&D was brought about by others, not he. While Tolkien is a major influence, Robert E. Howard is a more significant one.
Also, Howard started writing tales of Conan in 1932. Tolkien told L. Sprague de Camp that he "rather enjoyed" the Conan stories in Weird Tales magazine. So Tolkien read Howard before he published The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Don't forget Jack Vance! His books inspired a lot of the magic and monsters in the first edition of D&D.
Their biggest tribute to Jack Vance was naming one of the greatest villains in the game after him: "Vecna" is an anagram of "Vance".
Gygax might have started it all with military history rather than fantasy, but D&D as a final product had many other creators. And one look at halflings is all you need.
We can track Sci fi and fantasy back to Shelly and Stevenson. But that's not where D&D came from.