Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Wizards and Wookiees: A Panel Discussion on Gaming & Fandom



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

The Lyons Press 320 pp  US/Canada Hardcover: ISBN 978-1-59921-480-1
Retail  $24.95
US/Canada Paperback: ISBN 978-1-59921-994-3
Retail  $14.95
UK paperback: ISBN-13: 978-0762756759
Retail  £9.99
The UK Tolkien Society and NPR have called Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: ""Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac’s On the Road."

Click here to Read the Synopsis

Now author Ethan Gilsdorf teams up with author, Tony Pacitti, MY BEST FRIEND IS A WOOKIEE: One Boy's Journey to Find His Place in the Galaxy (Adams Media), to bring us an evening:

Of Wizards and Wookiees: A Panel Discussion on Gaming & Fandom


*Attention gamers and geeks! Free Mountain Dew and Doritos!*

“Of Wizards and Wookiees: A Panel Discussion on Gaming & Fandom”

Word Books, Brooklyn, Mon Nov 22

Somerville --- Two local geek memoirists have teamed up to offer an evening of geekery at WORD Books Monday, November 22 at 7:30pm (22126 Franklin St., Brooklyn, NY)

Moderated by Rebecca Carroll, former editor at PAPER, their panel “Of Wizards and Wookiees: A Panel Discussion on Gaming & Fandom” will delve into the appeal of fantasy, science fiction, gaming and other geek subcultures.

Free Mountain Dew and Doritos will be served.

Ethan Gilsdorf, a Somerville, Massachusetts resident, wrote FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS (Lyons Press).

Tony Pacitti, of Providence, RI, is the author of MY BEST FRIEND IS A WOOKIEE " (Adams Media). The authors will discuss their books and the appeal of fantasy, science fiction and gaming, followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Both are heartbreaking works of staggering geekiness --- coming-of-age tales set against the backdrop of Star Wars and Dungeons & Dragons obsessions --- that are ultimately quests to make peace with their geeky pasts and accept their "inner geeks."

National Public Radio described “FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms” as "Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac’s On the Road." proclaimed, “For anyone who has ever spent time within imaginary realms, the book will speak volumes.” It was also named a "Must-Read" by the Massachusetts Book Awards.

Gilsdorf’s geek-out travel memoir investigates fantasy and gaming subcultures. In FANTASY FREAKS AND GAMING GEEKS, the author travels from Boston to England, France to New Zealand, Planet Earth to the realm of Aggramar, to ask gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood. He hangs out with Harry Potter tribute bands, attends fan conventions and gaming tournaments, camps with 12,000 medieval reenactors, sews his own tunic, learns to sword fight, battles online goblins and trolls, and plays D&D again for the first time in 25 years. FANTASY FREAKS AND
GAMING GEEKS was recently released in paperback.

Author Ethan Gilsdorf

Gilsdorf publishes travel, arts, and pop culture stories regularly in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other magazines and newspapers worldwide. His blog
"Geek Pride" is seen regularly on and he has also been a guest on talk radio as a fantasy and escapism expert. He watches the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least once a year.

Follow Ethan’s adventures at

Pacitti’s "MY BEST FRIEND IS A WOOKIEE: A Memoir, One Boy’s Journey to Find His Place in the Galaxy" is a hilarious and heart-wrenching tale of a real-life certified geek and official Jedi Knight wannabe, framed around Lucas’ epic Star Wars, the movie that changed one little boy’s life. With the Force on his side, Pacitti survives countless hurdles of adolescence, temptations from the Dark Side, and ultimately lives
to see the day when he can be comfortable in his own skin.'s Techland says, "[My Best Friend Is A Wookiee] is an autobiographical coming of age tale with a bit of sci-fi thrown in for good measure that reminds us all of the good old days when we were being picked on and laughed at." Alec Sulkin, executive producer of Family Guy, calls the book “hilarious, tragic, touching, and most of all, honest. Tony Pacitti deserves a medal from Princess Leia and a hug from Chewbacca.”

Author Tony Pacitti and his best friend

 Tony Pacitti has written for as a features writer and video game reviewer and has had his short science fiction published at 365tomorrows. He has been the writer for the online comics RoboPlanet and The Silencer at Pandemonium Comics. Tony lives in Providence, Rhode Island and is probably watching The Empire Strikes Back on laserdisc at this very moment.

Click here for more info on Tony and Wookiees

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel

Editors Note:
We have been seeing alot of discussion of this book lately, most notably the brilliant review by Pieter Collier of The Tolkien Library. Below is the official press release, book trailer, and information on the author David C. Downing. Stay tuned for our own review of Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel

Click here to Visit the official website

SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2010 – A fascinating new book from
Ignatius Press, Looking for the King: An Inklings Novel, brings to life the beloved writers C.S. Lewis,

J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams, in the context of a mysterious adventure story.
The novel opens in 1940, and American Tom McCord, a 23-year-old aspiring doctoral candidate, is in England researching the historical evidence for the legendary King Arthur. There he meets perky and intuitive Laura Hartman, a fellow American staying with her aunt in Oxford, and the two of them team up for an even more ambitious and dangerous quest.

Aided by the Inklings—that illustrious circle of scholars and writers made famous by its two most prolific members, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien—Tom and Laura begin to suspect that the fabled Spear of Destiny, the lance that pierced the side of Christ on the cross, is hidden somewhere in England.

Tom discovers that Laura has been having mysterious dreams, which seem to be related to the subject of his research, and, though doubtful of her visions, he hires her as an assistant. Heeding the insights and advice of the Inklings, while becoming aware of being shadowed by powerful and secretive foes who would claim the spear as their own, Tom and Laura end up on a treasure hunt that crisscrosses the English countryside and leads beyond a search for the elusive relics of Camelot into the depths of the
human heart and soul.

Weaving his narrative with actual quotes from the works of the Inklings, author David Downing offers a vivid portrait of Oxford and draws a welcome glimpse into the personalities and ideas of Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams, while never losing sight of his adventure story and its two very appealing main characters.

Looking for the King has piqued the interest of Inklings lovers everywhere, and has already earned advanced praise. Joseph Pearce, author of Tolkien: Man and Myth, says, “This superbly gripping novel about dreams coming true is itself a dream come true. Lewis and Tolkien come alive as real-life characters, playing their sagacious parts to realistic perfection as the protagonists follow their Arthurian quest pursued by deadly enemies. For lovers of Arthurian romance and for admirers of Tolkien and Lewis, this is indeed a dream come true!”

“The subtitle of this book is An Inklings Novel. That claim might seem presumptuous at first. But lo – it is an Inklings novel,” says Thomas Howard, author of Narnia and Beyond. He continues, “My own guess is that Lewis, Tolkien, and Williams would all be mightily pleased with it. All three of them, as it happens, figure as characters in the story, which is Arthurian, but set in the contemporary world--very much in the vein of That Hideous Strength and War in Heaven. The Inklings themselves are flawlessly depicted, as are the two protagonists, a very appealing young man and woman. All Inklings lovers will be
highly delighted.”

Peter J. Schakel, author of The Way into Narnia and Imagination and the Arts in C. S. Lewis,
commends Looking for the King, calling it “A highly engaging historical mystery adventure that brings

C. S. Lewis and his friends and ideas to life. Fans of Lewis and Tolkien will love it. I couldn't put it
Marjorie Lamp Mead, Associate Director of The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College,
also praises Looking for the King, saying, “Steeped in Arthurian lore, the mystery of the grail legends,
and World War II intrigue, this engaging tale of a young man's search for a hidden relic ultimately
uncovers treasure of a far different kind. David Downing's homage to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and
Charles Williams succeeds masterfully in bringing these historical figures to life in the midst of an
unfolding spiritual thriller. This is a beguiling and enjoyable read – laced throughout with romance, wry
humor and questions of eternal consequence.”



About the Author

David C. Downing, PhD, is the R. W. Schlosser Professor of English at Elizabethtown College in
Pennsylvania. He is the author of four award-winning books on C. S. Lewis: Planets in Peril, The Most
Reluctant Convert, Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in C. S. Lewis and Into the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis
and the Narnia Chronicles. Downing has also written short fiction for Christianity Today and other

To request a review copy or an interview with author David C. Downing, please contact:
Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239)867-4180 or

Product Facts

An Inklings Novel

Author: David C. Downing
Release Date: October 2010
Length: 285 pages
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-58617-514-6 • 5.25 x 8" Sewn Hardcover
Order: 1-800-651-1531 •

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

10th Anniversary Calendar Now in Print! Order Now!

Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of The Northeast Tolkien Society we are happy to announce our 2011 Shire Calendar.
Once again Phil "Parmastahir" Goss and his wonderful daughter Megan are steadily at work just in time for the Fall Holidays to create another wonderful calendar for us. Many of you, hopefully all of you, know Phil from his incredible Tolkien Calendar Collection, and website dedicated to it:
The Compleat Gyde to Tolkien Calendars

In its 4th year, our Calendar has been blessed to have a special cover by the brilliant artist Jef Murray.  The reflective nature of Gandalf and Frodo as they look upon the Shire is perfection.  The Northeast Tolkien Society is very grateful to have had such a wonderful community and member support in the past 10 years, and looking ahead we hope to continue being the Tolkien community in the New York City area.
The Host of Nargothrond
by Anke EiƟmann
For our Shire Calendar format we are fortunate to feature the work of Anke Eissman and Sue Wookey, and a special 10th Anniversary centerfold illustration by Catherine Sparsidis to accompany our 10th Anniversary narrative.
Tom Looks Through the Ring
by Sue Wookey

Postage in the United States has significantly increased.

Below we have three options for purchase of the calendar.

The Calendar costs $20 USD and the options below incorporate shipping for domestic US, Canada and UK.


TOTAL $26, $34, $36

Within the United States, including Hawaii, and Alaska, plus Canada

Click here to Visit our Online Store and purchase

If you live in areas beyond UK, let us know and we will calculate shipping for you.

Click here to contact us




Jessica Burke
110 Patten St.,
Staten Island, NY 10307