Gorgonmilk’s Holmes Selected Bibliography

John Eric Holmes (1930-2010) contributed to the development of the D&D zeitgeist in two significant ways. First, he authored the Blue Book edition of the game which brought a level of organization and polish to the rules that was sorely needed. Holmes' interpretations and variations on OD&D are still a vital and much-discussed part of the old school scene today. Secondly, Dr Holmes brought a distinct flavor of his own to the game. This is exhibited in the Blue Book, of course, but to an even greater degree in his fiction. All total, he penned one novel and eight short stories set in his idiosyncratic D&D milieu. These tales allow us a tantalizing glimpse at what JEH's home campaigns might have been like.

John Eric Holmes Selected Bibliography

  • Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (“Blue Book”). TSR, 1977.
  • Fantasy Role Playing Games. Hippocrene Books, 1981.
  • The Maze of Peril. Space and Time, 1986.
Short Stories:
  • “Warrior For Hire” in Alarums & Excursions #11, May 1976.
  • “Were-Shark” in Alarums & Excursions #13, July 1976.
  • “The Adventure of the Giant Chameleon” in Alarums & Excursions #14, August 1976.
  • “The Adventure of the Lost City Part One” in Alarums & Excursions #17, November 1976.
  • “The Adventure of the Lost City Part Two” in Alarums & Excursions #19, January 1977.
  • “Trollshead” in The Dragon #33, November 1979.
  • “The Sorcerer’s Jewel” in The Dragon #46, February 1981.
  • “In the Bag” in The Dragon #58, February 1982.
  • “The Lovecraftian Mythos in D&D” in The Dragon #12, February 1978.
  • “Confessions of a Dungeon Master” in Psychology Today, November 1980.
  • “Basic D&D Points of View” in The Dragon #52,  August 1981.


  1. You are forgetting my two favorites: "Mahars of Pellucidar" (1976 Ace Books,) and "Red Axe of Pellucidar" (unpublished, although it's floating around.)

    Long before I heard of D&D Holmes' Mahars scared the bejesus out of me. As an adult reading it it feels more like a D&D play report. You can almost here the dice roll on the random encounter tables. It's also a much better story then his mazes of Peril IMO (doubly so for Red Axe, which is a fun little tale.)

    He also did a Buck Rogers tale "Mordred," though honestly I can't recommend it.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Blu. Apparently I need to check the Pellucidar stuff out. I enjoyed Maze of Peril considerably.

  2. Do you have a copy of the Psychology Today article? I've seen quotes from it which have made me curious to read the whole thing...

    1. Here ya go, Bob:


      Not easy on the eyes. Due for a transcription, methinks.

    2. Excellent, thanks! I love the exotic PC races in his campaign - centaur, naga, gnome, etc.

  3. You really need to check this out:


    1. Wow, that's great! Thanks for the link, Matt.