So I was blog-hopping yesterday, and I stumbled across the name of Philip Jose Farmer. I had heard the name previously, and I knew he was an author, but the name dug at my mind for some particular reason. Then it came to me: The Dungeon.
This was book series that I tried to check out from the library when I was 10. I had just gotten into D&D by way of the Dragonlance novels, which I read endlessly. I'd started looking into the books that were shelved around them on the metal rotating cart that held fantasy/sci-fi paperbacks. I remember the covers absolutely grabbing me: a guy with wild hair and a mustache, always posing with a sword on some otherworldly landscape. On each cover he wore a brilliantly colored billowing cloak, always a different color- blood red on the first book, bright orange on the third one, and so on.
I remember the books contained sketches that were supposed to be from his journal as he explored the titular Dungeon (actually a series of different worlds/environments linked by warp gates.) I never did make it through a single one of the books, but I know I checked them out several times. I don't recall what the problem was, but I was more interested in staring at those covers, looking at the sketches, and imagining what the Dungeon might be like. It was a pretty formative experience in my D&D history, but I'd forgotten about them entirely until just yesterday.
Doing some research, I discovered that PJF didn't actually write the books, he seems to have come up with the idea and then persuaded four other authors to actually write the series. Interesting.
I've got a yarn to run a Dungeon-esque campaign, an extra-dimensional prison of many layers/levels, the PCs being a party of beings from different worlds/times/dimensions who are lost and trying to find a way out. As much as I'd love to use White Box or something similar, I know I won't find players for it. I'll probably make it my first outing with the new edition of Savage Worlds.
I've also got a yarn to order the first novel. I've found an old used copy for just a few dollars plus free shipping on ABE. At the same time, I'm worried that whatever is in the book, it won't live up to the imaginary wonder tied to ten year old me marveling at the cover at a time when I was just discovering what would come to be the defining pastime/passion of my life. Maybe I'll get it just to have that cover on my shelf.