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New Meetup: Ethan Gilsdorf, "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks" @ Harvard Bookstore

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Monday, August 24, 2009 1:30 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Ethan Gilsdorf, "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks" @ Harvard Bookstore

When: September 1,[masked]:00 PM

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

It appears that the Harvard Bookstore is going all out for this one...

From the Harvard Bookstore Site:

"ETHAN GILSDORF tracks down

"Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks:
An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players,
Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms

"Harvard Book Store is happy to welcome journalist ETHAN GILSDORF for the first author event of the fall, a discussion of his new book Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks...and more!

"In addition to the usual reading, Q&A, and book-signing, for this event there will be a trivia contest with prizes; prizes for anyone arriving in costume as his or her favorite fantasy character or creature (elf, orc, warrior, wizard, Harry Potter, etc); a reception with snacks and beverages; and an acoustic performance by Harry and the Potters that will start around 8:30.

Response to Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks [according to the Harvard Bookstore site]:

?Forget Frodo; Ethan Gilsdorf guides readers through fantasy lands far more enchanting than anything you?ll find in Tolkien?s books. Donning his cloak of invisibility, he takes readers along on a mind-blowing tour of nerd universes?from a knighting ceremony in a Pennsylvania park to vampire slayers in a Marriot Hotel. The result is a compassionate, humorous and magical trip that makes reality seem like a poor substitute for the realms of imagination.? ?Pagan Kennedy (Black Livingstone)

?Ethan Gilsdorf?s Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is alternately hilarious, surprising, poignant, and odd, but always utterly compelling. Beginning with his own teenage geekdom and addiction to Dungeons & Dragons, Gilsdorf transports us to the fantastical worlds of live-action role playing, Harry Potter tribute bands, creative anachronism, and Lord of the Rings tourism, reminding us that these substitute realities are not just amusements, but at times, life-savers. A must-read book for trolls, orcs, hobbits, or anyone interested in the quirky corners of popular culture.? ?Dinty W. Moore (Between Panic & Desire)

Where to meet:

Let's grab seats at 6:40 pm, meeting outside. T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. T.J. will be there by 6:30 pm.

About the author:

"Ethan Gilsdorf is a journalist, poet, critic, editor, and teacher whose writings have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, USA Today, and National Geographic Traveler. He lives in Boston, where he has been a guest on talk radio as a fantasy and escapism expert".

About the book coming out 9/1/2009, from Amazon:

"from Kirkus Reviews, ?Big Book Fall Preview?:
?In the late ?70s, playing fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons put [Ethan Gilsdorf] on equal social footing as the AV club. Thirty years later, though, fantasy films rule the box office, J.R.R. Tolkien is considered essential reading and games like World of Warcraft are pop-culture phenomena?. But there are still pockets of fantasy culture?Lord of the Rings conventions, Society for Creative Anachronism battles, LARP (Live Action Role Playing) camps?that the casual fantasy nerd wouldn?t even dare to tread?. ?I wanted to know why a 40-year-old man is still so interested in this stuff that he?d dress up in armor on the weekends,? [Gilsdorf] says. The author traveled from the woods of South Carolina to libraries in Wisconsin, from battlefields in Pennsylvania to the mountains of New Zealand?all in the quest to find some answers. His conclusion? They get to the heart of why any of us, geeks or not, become involved with any group. ?It?s all about a sense of belonging,? says Gilsdorf. And maybe a bit about killing stuff.?

Harry and the Potters, Wikipedia:

"Harry and the Potters are an indie rock band and pioneers of wizard rock formed in Norwood, Massachusetts, in 2002 by brothers Joe and Paul DeGeorge. The band was inspired by the J.K. Rowling book series Harry Potter. Harry and the Potters music is simple unpolished indie rock with the Harry Potter books inspiring the lyrics, usually from the point of view of the fictional protagonist, Harry Potter.

"After Harry and the Potters founded the wizard rock genre, many similar bands that also took on the persona, or dressed as a Harry Potter-themed character?began to appear at Harry Potter fan conventions. The band prefers to play in libraries. Though most fans of the music are previous fans of Harry Potter, some bands have attracted listeners outside of the Harry Potter fanbase. Harry and the Potters and wizard rock, in general, have grown into an international phenomenon"

"Since the band's formation in 2002, they have released three full-length studio albums, three extended plays, and one compilation album, and have appeared in a further three compilation albums. The Boston Phoenix has called Harry and the Potters the "Pink Floyd of Potterdom."

Official site of Ethan Gilsdorf: with a Video Intro about the book:

Learn more here:

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