Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Name that book!

I'm reading a trilogy of books right now, The Fionavar Tapestry(hmm, can't figure out how to underline...oh well), by Guy Gavriel Kay. I'm reading them because a friend gifted me with them saying that I might like them, as they are about a group of college students that get magically transported to a fantasy land.

I immediately jumped on the offer, as I flashed back to a book I read as a young lad, lo these many years ago. Alas, these books do not contain the story a read mumblety-years ago. I'm about halfway through the first one, and while it is intriguing, I keep getting distracted trying to remember the story I read so long ago.

So I thought I'd throw it out on the net, on the off chance that someone that stops by here might have read that story, and can tell me what the name was, so that I can track down a copy of it for myself.

What I remember of it is only vague, and a little sketchy. It would have been early, early 1980s, not too terribly long after D&D made it's appearance, and grabbed the imaginations of kids(of all ages) like a bear trap. I seem to remember that the premise was that of a group of college age students, who got together fairly regular for a fantasy gaming group, run by someone a little older than themselves, possibly a professor type. The DM somehow figured out a way to transport the group into the D&D-type game they were playing, with the members of the group becoming the characters that they played. Two things stand out in my, admittedly hazy, memory. One, the DM gathered various sundries that would approximate the gear their characters would use, and stored it in wooden trunks, one for each player/character, to be transported with them. Secondly, and possibly most identifying to someone who has read the story, I recall that the player who played a thief-type character, was greatly into the role-playing aspect of the game. Consequently, the character he played had only one hand, or maybe it was one eye, I don't recall exactly which, but I do know the player was initially horrified after the transfer, to find himself so handicapped when he became his character.

Does any of that ring any bells with anyone? I've read so much fantasy since then, that I've totally lost anything else that might have been specific to that book, but I do remember liking it at the time. Of course, it could be absolute crap writing, but to a mumblety-teen year old boy it was amazing, and got me to branch out from reading almost exclusively westerns, to almost exclusively Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre.

If anyone had the faintest idea of what that might be, please, please, please let me know, so I can kill this niggle-worm, and track down a copy of the book for myself :)




Ben said...

There was the Guardians of the Flame series by Joel Rosenberg that was similar but not exactly what you are describing.
Here is a link to an Omnibus of the first 3 books in the series.

Crucis said...

I seem to vaguely remember the same, now that you've mentioned it. But I can't remember any more details. I've read some of Rosengerg's books, but only the SF ones, not any fantasy.

If you find out, let us know. I'm curious now too!

Ben said...

Been a long time since I read the Rosenberg series but if I remember correctly one of the characters was in a wheel chair in the real world and was a dwarf in the D&D world I think one of the characters, a thief, dies very quickly when he is caught stealing but I am not sure.At the end of the first book the wizard loses his powers but he is an engineer and in subsequent books stars introducing technology into the world.

Casey said...

I think you guys are right, it is the Rosenberg series. I went to check out the omnibus on Amazon, and there's a shot of the cover of the original "The Sleeping Dragon", and that stirs some old memories.

Now I just have to snag a copy, and get down to reading again after all these years.

Less than 24 hours, and it's already tracked down. Isn't the internet great? Thanks for the help guys!


wolfwalker said...

Can't help on the book, and it looks like that's been covered anyway; I just wanted to add a small note on netiquette. Casey, you asked in passing about how to underline in a webpost. The HTML tags for underlining are <u> and </u>, as described here. However, it's considered bad form to underline in a web document unless you have to, because most browsers automatically present a link as being underlined, so most people have learned to interpret "underlined" as "a link," and can get annoyed if there isn't actually a link there. They might even decide your page is broken somehow. Bolding, as you've done, and italics are both entirely acceptable ways to indicate a book title.