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    MOVIES! TRAILERS!

    >My new video "A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT," in which I don chain mail to find glory, donuts and spare change for my quest. BIGGER SCREEN ON YOU TUBE

    CLASSIC BOOK trailer! [bigger screen on YouTube]

    more videos here

    Tuesday
    Jul142009

    Mommy, I want this for my birthday

    My buddy JP (one of the key characters in my book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks) turned me onto this at Geekologie. And I've decided for my next birthday party, I want a huge cake in the shape of a Robotron coin-operated video game kiosk and, sitting on it, big red dragon guarding a d20, a light saber, my old DM's guide, and a bottle of Henricks gin, with a big One Ring wreathed in fire suspended above, through which Gollum, Ian McKellen and Barack Obama are playing leapfrog. Mommy, can you make that for me? Pleeeezzzee???

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Monday
    Jul132009

    Comic-Con turns 40 years young....

    One of the heavyweights of the con scene rolls into San Diego again: Comic-Con. And it's an older granddaddy than I originally thought. The con celebrates 40 years this year. Funny-- D&D celebrates its 35th this year (not to mention 30 years since I first learned D&D, and 25 since I graduated from high school. Yikes! But that is another story...

    Comic-Con is a fanboy and fangirl paradise, with guests ranging from Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Robert Zemeckis, Ray Bradbury, Seth Green, Stan Freberg, June Foray (voice of Rocky in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show), a screening of  "Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog" (which I experienced at Dragon*Con last year -- very silly and fun) ... more highlights here.

    Sigh... wish I was going. But I can't. I will be headed to Gen Con in August. More on that later...

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Monday
    Jul132009

    some fries with that...

    the image gallery that goes with my excursion to New Zealand, Welligton, "Wellywood," etc....

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Monday
    Jul132009

    The Author in New Zealand

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Under smoky-blue cloud cover, they raise their ladders, and thrust their siege towers toward Helm’s Deep. From all sides, like a stream of mercury, hordes of orcs pour through the crumbled curtain wall.

    In my elaborate reverie of battlefield glory, I vault up the stairs, light-footed, graceful, deadly, ready to face my foes. Of course, I can’t stop them alone. I have an army of heroes on my side. I can’t stop the theme music trumpeting and drumming in my head, either. What fantasy freak can, especially in New Zealand, land of so many memorable film locations? ... read more in my article for the Boston Globe

     

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Sunday
    Jul122009

    10 Business Lessons I Learned from Playing Dungeons & Dragons

    10 Business Lessons I Learned from Playing Dungeons & Dragons

    Some good advice here, especially this one:

    The best quests require a mixture of skills in the party. Find new friends and cultivate ancillary skills. That pesky little hobbit thief may eat you out of house and home, yet sometimes he comes in pretty handy. This is the point of all those tedious "diversity training" exercises from your HR department; perhaps the message would get across better if they talked about the apparently-weak wizard and the bard with those amazing negotiation skills.

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Sunday
    Jul122009

    Harry and the Potters in a cave

    If you happen to be in the Boston area, come help celebrate the July 15 release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with "A FREE SHOW in a CAVE!" Well, Harry and the Potters say, "Actually, not a cave, but a chasm. CLOSE ENOUGH! How cool is that? You gotta come!" This is an unplugged concert/hike/sing-a-long in a place called Purgatory Chasm (which, coincidentally, I wrote about ages ago for the Boston Globe). Anyway, their event info is here: 

    07.14.09 | Sutton, MA | Purgatory Chasm | ALL AGES | 8:15pm | FREE!!! | Facebook

    Here’s the plan:
Meet at 8:15pm in the parking lot of Purgatory Chasm. Bring a flashlight! At 8:30, we will hike up into the chasm (it is a very short hike - <10min). Once we're in the chasm, Harry and the Potters will play a bunch of unamplified songs. Sing-alongs galore! Bring your voice! After we've done a bunch of singing and stuff, we will go to the movies together! We're planning on attending the 12:05am screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at the Blackstone Valley 14 in Millbury, MA which is only about 10 minutes from the Chasm. Follow this link to buy tickets to the 12:05am screening!

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

     

     

    Saturday
    Jun272009

    China Miéville on why Tolkien rocks

    I saw China Miéville speak at a forum at Book Expo a few weeks back. Smart, articulate guy. Re His take on Tolkien is one often forgotten: Tolkien built the world --- mountains, forests, seas --- and made up languages,  THEN wondered who might live there to speak those tongues.

    "The order is reverse: the world comes first, and then, and only then, things happen--stories occur--within it. ... So dominant is this mode now (as millions of women and men draw millions of maps, and write millions of histories, inventing worlds in which, perhaps, eventually, a few will set stories) that it's difficult to see what a conceptual shift it represented."

    Plus, get this note by Miéville: "Tolk gives good monster. Shelob, Smaug, the Balrog...in their astounding names, the fearful verve of their descriptions, their various undomesticated malevolence, these creatures are utterly embedded in our world-view. No one can write giant spiders except through Shelob: all dragons are sidekicks now. And so on."

    Indeed.

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    http://www.omnivoracious.com/2009/06/there-and-back-again-five-reasons-tolkien-rocks.html


    Friday
    Jun262009

    Q&A with Hobbit Director Guillermo del Toro

    Great Q&A with Hobbit Director Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Film, in this month's WIRED. Like a lot of future-thinking folks, he's got grand ideas of the way we'll consume content and narrative in the future:

    In the next 10 years, we're going to see all the forms of entertainment—film, television, video, games, and print—melding into a single-platform "story engine." The Model T of this new platform is the PS3. The moment you connect creative output with a public story engine, a narrative can continue over a period of months or years. It's going to rewrite the rules of fiction.

    Check out his LA lair-------->

     

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

     

    Thursday
    Jun252009

    Harry and Potters video

    here's the direct link, in case you missed it

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks

    Thursday
    Jun252009

    a D&D commercial

    Yes, geeks, the time is the 1980s, and your parents really really don't want you to fall prey to the satanic ways of D&D... so here's a cartoony, *fun* way to look at that weird "game with dice" that no one seems to understand. Not even your sister gets it ... "Wait, what's this ... g-g-g-girls play?"
     

    http://www.retrojunk.com/details_commercial/61/

    "use your lightning bolt!" ...."victory is yours!" ....and the best tag line of all, TSR's slogan "products of your imagination." Yuk yuk.

    Dig the sweaters and lapels. And note the split second snippet from the previous commercial for an NFL-sanctioned Wilson football. Trying to covert geeks, one jock at a time. Did no one do their market research?

     

    --- Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks