Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting - Ed Greenwood, Skip Williams, Sean K. Reynolds, Rob Heinsoo Perhaps it's a measure of my geekhood but I take great pleasure in just reading volumes like this. For me, the attraction of RPGs has always been the "back story."

Like MAR Barker (see my Tekumel entry), however, Ed Greenwood is better at imagining fantasy settings than writing about them -- I've tried reading some of his novels and just couldn't finish them (as a rule I avoid serial novels like the Forgotten Realms, Star Wars or Star Trek -- even I have better things to do than waste time on them).