Tuesday, January 2, 2024

2024 The Enchanted World

 2024 is not just the 50th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, it is the 40th Anniversary of the Time-Life series The Enchanted World.  A series that really owes its own existence to D&D and the rise of Fantasy in the 1980s.

Time-Life The Enchanted World

I spent a few years acquiring a full set of these wonderful books, and I will spend the year covering them. I am not going to go in order because really, there is no order required to read them. I will likely choose relevant ones for the day or week I post them (Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas).

Here are all the books I am covering. This is the publication order. 

  • Wizards and Witches (1984, ISBN 0809452049, 0809452057)  
  • Dragons (1984, ISBN 0809452081, 080945209X)  
  • Fairies and Elves (1984, ISBN 080945212X, 0809452138) 
  • Ghosts (1984, ISBN 0809452162, 0809452170)  
  • Legends of Valor (1984, ISBN 0809452200, 0809452219)  
  • Night Creatures (1985, ISBN 0809452332, 0809452340)
  • Water Spirits (1985, ISBN 0809452456, 0809452464)
  • Magical Beasts (1985, ISBN 0809452294, 0809452308)
  • Dwarfs (1985, ISBN 0809452243, 0809452251) 
  • Spells and Bindings (1985, ISBN 0809452413, 0809452421)
  • Giants and Ogres (1985, ISBN 0809452375, 0809452383)
  • Seekers and Saviors (1986, ISBN 0809452499, 0809452502)
  • Fabled Lands (1986, ISBN 0809452537, 0809452545)
  • Book of Christmas (1986, ISBN 0809452618, 0809452626)
  • Fall of Camelot (1986, ISBN 080945257X, 0809452588)
  • Magical Justice (1986, ISBN 0809452693, 0809452707)
  • Lore of Love (1987, ISBN 0809452812, 0809452820)
  • The Book of Beginnings (1986, ISBN 0809452650, 0809452669)
  • Tales of Terror (1987, ISBN 0809452774, 0809452782)
  • The Secret Arts (1987, ISBN 0809452855, 0809452863)
  • Gods and Goddesses (1987, ISBN 0809452731, 080945274X)

I will talk about the books, some of their background, and the stories they have. I'll also talk about how to use these in your Fantasy RPG games, whether that game is D&D, Castles & Crusades, Chivalry & Sorcery, or Wasted Lands.

So, just like 1984, here are some ads to get you excited for these books!

A lot of us remember these best from the ads in Dragon Magazine.

Time-Life Books The Enchanted World ad

Time-Life Books The Enchanted World ad

Time-Life Books The Enchanted World ad

And the TV ads!

Litney Burns, the clairvoyant from ads is still around!

There were also some great TV spots with horror icon Vincent Price.

Really looking forward to this series. Hope you are too.


Dirk said...

Looking forward to exploring these. I've never seen them in person. Also love the commercials.

Dick McGee said...

I'm surprised you could find a full run that wasn't shedding pages. The bindings on those Time-Life series were awful, but my great-aunt just would not stop buying the fool things through my whole childhood. There were times when they'd arrive in the mail with pages already loose, and I don't think any of the hundred-plus ones she bought lasted more than five years before they were disintegrating ruins.

JB said...

Man, I loved these books as a kid. My friend had a subscription to Time Life Books and acquired (at least) the first five as they came out, allowing me to borrow (and voraciously read) them. Decades later, I found a copy of the first one ("Wizards & Witches") in a used book store and immediately purchased it...pretty sure I wrote a blog post about this.

[oh, never mind...I just mentioned it in passing, waaay back in 2013]

Anyway, these books are great. Look forward to reading your posts on them.

Dave Morris said...

I lent one of the series to a publisher and (as anyone who has worked with publishers could predict) they lost it. Finally I found a secondhand replacement copy, thus assuaging both my typical male OCD and the insatiable need for rich inspirational material.

grodog said...

I was a subscriber to the series BITD, and still have the books. In addition to the topical titles, there was an index volume for the series too, which is definitely handy.


Alec Semicognito said...

I had them too. The art in Ghosts and Night Creatures actually scared me at the age of 15! I felt better when I showed them to my friend, who said "Do not read that shit at night, man."

M. L. Martin said...

Friends of mine had this series in my youth (the same friends who started up our AD&D group), and I came across it in libraries and elsewhere over the years. About a decade ago, I was hit by a nostalgia bug and managed to hunt down every volume through used bookstores and eBay.

I've been looking for the best TTRPG to capture the flavor since then. :)

Unknown said...

I love these books... used to read them at the library, and I collected them for myself in the early '00s every time I spotted one at Half-Price Books. I didn't realize there were so many! I only have half!