Books by Leonard Herman

In 1994 I wrote and published the first serious book chronicling the history of the videogame industry, Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames. However, Phoenix wasn’t the only book that I had penned. Below is a list of all the books that I have been involved in. Note that the covers to most of these books were designed by Michael Thomasson. All of these books were published under the Rolenta Press imprint.

BOOKS IN PRINT

Now called Phoenix IV: The History of the Videogame Industry, this was the first book ever solely devoted to the history of the videogame industry. Dubbed by many as “the Bible of videogames history”, the book was first published in 1994. The current fourth edition is available in three versions: hard cover color, soft cover B&W, and Kindle. In 2008, Game Informer magazine ranked Phoenix the #2 videogame book of all time.

Order Phoenix IV: The History of the Videogame Industry from Amazon.com.

In 2005 I published this for Ralph Baer, the father of the home videogame console. I wrote the Foreword and Rusel DeMaria designed the interior. Paperback.

Order Videogames: In the Beginning from Amazon.com.

In 2005 I published this book for Bill Kunkel, the world’s first videogame journalist. The book has been long out of print but a new memorial edition has been released in 2020. I formatted the book and wrote the Publisher’s Note. Available in paperback and Kindle coming soon. In 2008, Game Informer magazine ranked Confessions the #5 videogame book of all time.

Order Confessions of the Game Doctor from Amazon.com.

In addition to writing about videogames, I also write fiction. This is a collection of twenty short stories that I have written over the past two decades and never forgotten. Several people who are familiar with my non-fiction work picked this book up out of curiosity, never expecting much out of it. They later told me that they were surprised how good it was. Their words, not mine. Available in paperback and Kindle.

Order Unforgotten Fiction from Amazon.com.

After I released Unforgotten Fiction in late 2017, I was pretty sure I was never going to write fiction again, especially a novel. However, a high school mass shooting in February 2018 left me completely depressed for reasons I still can’t comprehend. To combat this depression I did the only thing I knew how to do: I wrote. The result was this novel. Available in paperback and Kindle.

Order Unhappy in Heaven from Amazon.com.

OUT OF PRINT BOOKS

I began writing ABC To The VCS in 1981 but the videogame crash of 1983 killed it and steered me in the direction to write Phoenix. After mentioning it in a letter in the 2600 Connection fanzine, I received requests for it so I sold printed staple-bound copies with fonts so small I should have included a magnifying glass. The revised second edition seen here was published in 2005.

This is the story of the software company, Infocom. It was original written as a thesis at MIT and Michael Thomasson acquired the rights to publish it. I did the layout of the book. We only printed 100 copies which were sold at Classic Gaming Expo 2010.

When he was a senior in high school my son Ronnie was a starter on the Jonathan Dayton varsity basketball team. That year they made it to the NJ finals for the first time in over 50 years (where they lost to Asbury Park). This book was a compilation of news articles written by Tony Williams and photos by Williams and Peter Cook that were published throughout the year. Only a handful of these books were printed and handed out to all of the members of the team and the school library.

NEVER IN PRINT

In 1979 I read a book about how to write a novel in 100 days by writing three pages a day. I began this novel by writing anything that came to mind and after a few days I realized what it would be about and spent the next 95 days or so getting there. By the end of the 100 days I had a 300-page novel. I then did two drafts cleaning it up but in the end it was real dreck. Few people have read it and even less will have the opportunity to do so. Maybe. I did produce a bound copy in 2019 so there is a slight chance that I might read it again after 40 years and salvage it.