One key difference between Appendix N in the DMG and the Suggested Reading in Moldvay Basic is the inclusion of a number of contemporary books. Among them are The Iron Lords by Andrew Offutt. It is the first of a trilogy of novels although only the first two are listed by Moldvay, I believe because the text was prepared before the last book was released.
The Iron Lords begins the story of Jarrik the Blacksword. It begins when Jarrik is eight and his village is destroyed by Viking like raiders leaving only him and his sister alive. Setting out in a rowboat to gain he revenge (he heard the name of the attacker’s commander) he and his sister are picked up by another longship of the same people. Jarrik lives among them as an outcast but grows to manhood. One thing that is continually noted is Jarrik’s fair hair is more like that of his adopted people and the people who killed his family.
Jarrik, however, is not able to fit in and over time moves to another village before being taken by three of the Gods on Earth, the Iron Lords, and enlisted in their war against The Lady of the Snowmist, patron deity of those who slay his family.
Along the way Jarrik has visions and displays a non-warrior side. Both his visions and much of the Gods on Earth display scientific elements giving a small science fantasy air to the novels. While from the late 70s it is clear the books are in the same vein, if not quite the same quality, of much of the material in the original Appendix N.