Fancast Spotlight: Appendix N Book Club

It’s time for the next entry in my Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project. For more about the Fanzine/Fancast Spotlight project, go here. You can also check out the other great fanzines and fancasts featured by clicking here.

I have decided to expand the scope of the project to also cover fancasts, because the fancast category could also use a boost. And besides, the borders between fanzine and fancast are porous anyway.

So today, I’m pleased to feature the Appendix N Book Club, a fancast has the mission to read and discuss the books and authors listed in Appendix N of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide with varying guests.

Therefore, I’m happy to welcome Jeff Goad and Ngo Vinh-Hoi of the Appendix N Book Club to my blog today:

Appendix N Book Club logoTell us about your podcast or channel.

We are a podcast about the literature that inspires our tabletop RPGs. Initially, we only focused on the Appendix N: a list of “inspirational reading” located in the back of the 1979 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. Starting with episode 101, we are expanding the scope of the show to include ALL fiction that inspires our gaming. The first half of each episode focuses on the text from a literary perspective and the second half of each episode discussed the text from a gaming perspective.

Who are the people behind your podcast or channel?

Jeff Goad and Ngo Vinh-Hoi are the co-hosts. Both of us are fantasy tabletop roleplaying game enthusiasts who met in 2016 in Brooklyn, NY over our shared love of a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics. Each episode has a special guest and we have had guests ranging from Michael Moorcock to Jeannette Ng. Since Jeff is gay and Hoi is a POC, we also tend to chat about what it is like reading the fiction from a contemporary perspective. We also make an effort to have a diverse group of voices on the show as special guests.

Why did you decide to start your podcast or channel?

The Appendix N Book Club started out as an in-person book club at a small coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY in 2016. Jeff organized it and Hoi attended regularly. Hoi was like “We should turn this into a book or a podcast or something!” and by summer of 2017 we launched the first episode of the podcast.

What format do you use for your podcast or channel and why did you choose this format?

Our podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and just about anywhere else you can find podcasts. We chose the podcast format because we were both New Yorkers who listened to podcasts on the subway during our commutes and we thought that we should make a podcast that we would want to listen to.

The fan categories at the Hugos were there at the very beginning, but also the category which consistently gets the lowest number of votes and nominations. So why do you think fanzines, fancasts and other fan projects are important?

Zines and podcasts are amazing formats because anyone can make them. There is no corporate gatekeeper who decides whose voice is more deserving of recognition. They are made for the people and by the people (cliche, I know!) and they are rarely motivated by financial gain (and good luck to those that are because that is a steep hill to climb!)

In the past twenty years, fanzines have increasingly moved online and fancasts have sprung up. What do you think the future of fan media looks like?

The lower the barriers for entry become, the more people are going to share their materials. The future of fan media is that it is a medium that is going to grow and will include more diverse voices and perspectives previously overlooked (or actively oppressed).

The four fan categories of the Hugos (best fanzine, fan writer, fan artist and fancast) tend to get less attention than the fiction and dramatic presentation categories. Are there any awesome fanzines, fancasts, fan writers and fan artists you’d like to recommend?

We are huge fans of the Cromcast, a podcast about Robert E. Howard and pulp fiction from the early 20th Century. We are also not the only podcast looking at literature from a gaming perspective. We would also recommend Sanctum Secorum and the Tome Show for anyone looking for more shows like ours. We also love many gaming podcasts like Spellburn, Gaming & BS, the Grognard Files, and the MegaDumbCast.

Where can people find you?

Our website is appendixnbookclub.com, our Twitter account is @appendix_n, and our email address is appendixnbookclub@gmail.com.

Thank you, Jeff and Hoi, for stopping by and answering my questions.

Do check out the Appendix N Book Club, cause it’s a great fancast.

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Do you have a Hugo eligible fanzine/-site or fancast and want it featured? Contact me or leave a comment.

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