Book Club

My lack of interest in the fantasy MMOs out there continues like an unfamiliar malaise which saps my imagination.  I have no idea where this came from – maybe something as simple as an overload of dwarf guilds.  There did seem to be a lot of them in WAR.

So, I have been reading through the Discworld books (Rincewind is pretty much how I play my mage characters – nuke and run like hell) and listening to a reading of the Silmarillion during my commute.  Terry Pratchett’s stuff is fun to read, but I really can’t consider it to be fantasy.  Basically, Discworld is to fantasy literature what Blazing Saddles was to Western movies.  The Silmariliion – and all of Tolkien’s works – have a gravity and an epic feel to them which I enjoy.  Unfortunately, they are also depressing.  Each age of Tolkien’s universe is less full of wonders and knowledge, and more filled with ignorance and brutality.  While it makes a nice read once in a while, it’s not something you want to read every month, unless clinical depression is your goal.

I should consider giving my Fritz Leiber stuff a once-over, but some of the books are pretty worn, and the bindings are falling apart.  Wish I could get my hands on some hardcover copies.  At one point White Wolf (yes, the same people who published “Vampire: the Emo-Parade”) published a handful of Leiber’s works in a harcover set, but they only made three books.  Personally, I put Leiber on the same level as Tolkien – he just doesn’t do epic storylines, he focuses on smaller ones.  (Leiber also features far more gore, sex, drinking, and humor)

Which brings me to a series which I consider to be the spiritual heir of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Thieves’ World.  This series made its debut in the 80’s, and was written by a team of authors instead of just one.  Some good editing kept the stories flowing together in the same direction, and the whole project gave rise to an urban setting which I think would make a superb setting for a MMO: Sanctuary.  The fact that City of Heroes could work so well in a single virtual city has just underscored my belief that this could be done.  It should be done.  However, I doubt that such a MMO will ever be made.  I can still dream, though.


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