I was recently given Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson. Unsurprisingly, the book dissects and critiques the various books listed by Gary Gygax in the 1st edition Dungeon Master’s Guide’s famous Appendix N. It’s not a book you read from cover to cover—at least for me. It is a fascinating read, though, if you are interested in the literary inspiration for Dungeons & Dragons.
In one of the chapters, and sadly I cannot remember which one, the author mentions an essay by Poul Anderson called “Thud and Blunder”.
Essentially, the essay is about realism (my beloved verisimilitude) in heroic fantasy stories. Although the essay was written decades ago, it remains exceptionally relevant to fantasy roleplaying game design, and in particular, the design of settings, adventures and the like.
You can read the hard-to-find essay here. For aspiring (or established) game designers and writers, it is an excellent resource, and I highly recommend taking the time to read it (preferably in front of an open fire while clutching a glass of decent whisky or bourbon).