I've heard that folks might like to know a bit about how Hârn got started, and it's certainly true that people do ask me now and then, "How did you think all this stuff up?". When I say "now and then", I mean about every other day for twenty-five years, so I expect this qualifies as a Frequently Asked Question. The easy answer is "I have no clue", but I have noticed over the years that many people seem to exhibit a reaction to this response that might tend to indicate a defecit of satisfaction. Some actually hit me. Despite the fact that the answer is true, the various reactions have (after 20 years) conditioned my answer to the question depending on my proximity to the questioner (within arm's reach, for example). So permit me if you will, to offer a few ecclectic, unorganised and unrelated meanderings in lieu of any *actual* answers.

In the beginning everything was dark, then I got born and started designing worlds. This is not as much of an exaggeration as you might suppose. Other kids made pictures. I made maps. I also made pictures. I made maps and pictures... Well, maps and pictures and more maps. By the time I was ten I had surely mapped half a dozen worlds.

I started developing HârnMaster around 1975 and the first version of Hârn by 1980. At this point, of course, I had no thought of publishing anything. This thought took another year to impose itself.

All in all, the idea for Hârn took about ten years to spring full-grown into what has to serve as my mind, but once it got there it seemed to stick, like gum on your shoe, tar in your hair or a defecit in your bank account. It strikes me that there must be at least a few folk who might like to see some my early Hârn maps.

N. Robin Crossby

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