Sign of the Labrys, by Margaret St. Clair, paperback fantasy novel
“Women Are Writing Science-Fiction!
Original! Brilliant!! Dazzling!!!
Women are closer to the primitive than men. They are conscious of the moon-pulls, the earth-tides. they possess a buried memory of humankind’s obscure and ancient past which can emerge to uniquely colour and flavour a novel.
Such a woman is Margaret St. Clair, author of this novel. Such a novel is this, SIGN OF THE LABRYS, the story of a doomed world of the future, saved by recourse to ageless, immemorial rites…
Fresh! Imaginative!! Inventive!!!”
1963 Corgi edition
Terrible back cover blurb aside, this obscure paperback is a really important novel in the context of D&D and fantasy role-playing. Of all the works mentioned as “inspirational” by Gary Gygax in Appendix N of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide, this is the one most obviously about dungeon-crawling. Jeffro Johnson, author of ‘Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons’: “The archetypal Gygaxian dungeon really does have a literary antecedent, and it’s here in this book.”