TORN Guest Blogger Ethan Gilsdorf writes: The extent to which the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was inspired by Tolkien has been debated, but it’s clear that D&D’s co-founders Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson had read the trilogy. And it’s more than clear that the ongoing success and appeal of Lord of the Rings fueled interest in D&D, as well as vice versa.

This past week (July 27) would have been Gygax’s 73rd birthday. Folks have been working to immortalize his legacy and the impact of D&D by building a memorial statue in Gygax’s hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The next step is to raise money. This coming week at Gen Con in Indianapolis (the now massive gaming convention that Gygax founded), using the birthday as the impetus, the Gygax Memorial Fund will be at booth #1541 (the Old School Renaissance Group) to accept donations to get this statue built. Continue reading “Gygax Memorial Fund at GenCon”

Ethan Gilsdorf writes: I attended the recent 3rd Conference on Middle-earth (in Westford, Massachusetts) where I listened to talks on blond elf imagery and debates on how to adapt The Hobbit into one movie or two movies (and the wisdom of that latter endeavor).

I also wandered over to a vendor table manned by an older gentleman named Ed Meskys, who has been involved in science fiction and fantasy fandom since the early days. The former president of the Tolkien Society of America (1967-1972), Meskys had been cleaning out his garage, he told me, and wanted his old treasures might see the light of day again. Most of the stuff — magazines and old book jackets — was a buck or two each.

Among the ephemera were some yellowed, dusty, wonderful, terrible, Lord of the Rings stickers. It was the end of the day, and Meskys gave me his last sheets of stickers for free. Continue reading “Tolkien hippie stickers resurface”

In this month’s installment, J.W. Braun visits the home of Dungeons & Dragons and reviews the book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks by Ethan Gilsdorf. Order your copy here!

Come commune with your inner fantasy fan or gaming geek with “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.” The award-winning travel memoir-pop culture investigation is a funny, poignant, and enlightening road trip through fantasy and gaming subcultures, from Dungeons & Dragons gamers and live-action role-players, to Harry Potter wizard rockers and World of Warcraft players. It also explores Gilsdorf’s own lifelong (and at times twisted) relationship to fantasy and gaming. Continue reading ““Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks” Hits Paperback”

Ethan Gilsdorf writes: For those who missed his book giveaway on Radio Show, friend of TORn Ethan Gilsdorf, with Globe Pequot Press and, have teamed up to offer a special opportunity to win one of ten free autographed copies of Gilsdorf’s critically-acclaimed book “FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.” The book is an exploration and celebration of fantasy and gaming subcultures, and has been endorsed by TORn.

To enter to win your free copy, sign up here (now through 1/13/10) Continue reading “‘Fantasy Freaks’ Book Giveaway”

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks On the next TORN radio show on Sunday, December 6th at 2PM Eastern, our guest and author Ethan Gilsdorf will be giving away a copy of his new book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks. All you need to do to win is listen in, and be the first person who emails the correct answer to a fantasy or Tolkien trivia question.

We’ll also be taking questions from listeners via chat, email, text and the old fashioned phone! Visit our BlogTalk Radio page to listen in!