Thursday, March 2, 2017

Appendix N Madness Day 2: Bellairs vs Pratt

Day 1 of Appendix N Madness started with some competition but ended as a rout with H.P. Lovecraft defeating Margaret St. Clair 78% to 22%.

Today's voting is for the Fantasy region, with #4 John Bellairs versus #5 Fletcher Pratt.

John Bellairs
Lived: 1938-1991
Notable Works: The Face in the Frost, The House with a Clock in its Walls

John Bellairs was an author who wrote one fantasy novel, The Face in the Frost, and a series of young-adult gothic horror novels. The former is his sole entry in Appendix N, and is often credited with the "wizards study magic" aspect of Dungeons & Dragons. Most of Bellairs's YA novels had covers and illustrations by the macabre artist Edward Gorey, who has his own following quite independent of Bellairs.

Fletcher Pratt
Lived: 1897-1956
Notable Works: The Blue Star, The Land of Unreason, The Carnelian Cube (with L. Sprague de Camp), The Compleat Enchanter (with de Camp)

Fletcher Pratt was a working author, writing for Time and the New York Times Book Review, who also devised rules for a naval wargame. He appears for us in Appendix N because of his own novel The Blue Star, which inaugurated Lin Carter's famous Adult Fantasy series for Ballantine. His collaborations with L. Sprague de Camp also made Gygax's list.

Vote in the poll here. Voting will close at noon EST on 3/3.


  1. So, do Pratt's collaborations count with him?

    Out of curiousity, how did you pair up the authors for matches---did you rank them, or randomly determine their positions? Ditto for who "plays" next? :D


    1. Pratt's collaborations count as much as individual voters want them to - if you want to vote for him or de Camp or both for Harold Shea, that's all up to you.

      I'm doing the pairings to create a proper bracket tournament, so H.P. Lovecraft will face the winner of Merritt vs Wellman. Then Burroughs or Farmer will face Dunsany or Campbell. The winners of that match will face either Lovecraft, Merritt or Wellman. The semifinals will be Weird vs Fantasy and Sci-Fi vs SAGA/Amra, and determine the authors "playing" for the championship.

      The rankings were determined ... not randomly, but somewhat arbitrarily, by me. I put authors in order by my impression of their popularity and prestige. Of course, the system's not perfect; there are Grand Masters in relatively low ranks on several regions.

  2. Still haven't read Pratt's work, though I love that artwork for The Blue Star. The Face in the Frost was decent, but not quite what I'd expected. The Dolphin Cross was a lot better. Shame it was never finished


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