Who is back? A fellow named James Maliszewski. Who's he? Apparently he's a historian of sorts, also a pro writer, and a fellow deeply emerged in the world of RPGs (that's roleplaying games to us amateurs), Fantasy, Sci-Fi and all that jazz.
I stumbled on his blog years and years ago, before I even had mine. It was a post celebrating JRR Tolkien. It was a well written, pithy post, that capture much of Toklien's greatness and influence on modern fantasy. I thoughts at first it was just a literary or perhaps fantasy type blog. Since Mr. Maliszewski is also openly Catholic, I thought it might be something along those lines.
After a few posts, it dawned on me that this was no Catholic or literary blog. Even if much of his purpose was tracing the literary roots of the RPG genre - particularly that flagship RPG Dungeons and Dragons - it was definitely focused on the game, the hobby and the surrounding culture. One of his big theses is that Tolkien had bupkis to do with Dungeons and Dragons, and he seems to take the late Gary Gygax at his word when he insisted he hated The Lord of the Rings and only used Middle Earth references as cheap marketing ploys.
I found him a bit touchy at times. A couple of times I merely asked a question and received rather curt responses of an almost 'how dare you' nature. But then, again, the genre in question. I've mused before on the disproportionate level of influence that fanboys and brandboys have had on the Internet and Social Media culture. Nonetheless, I found his writing enjoyable, and he often delved into areas of nostalgia (a plus for me) and history, with some very keen insights I must say.
A few years ago he fell off the radar. Apparently it had to do with problems with a game he was trying to publish by way of that crowd funding or what have you. I have no clue about those things and can only guess what may have happened. Also, he had written about health problems with his father.
Whatever the reason, he abruptly ceased writing for his blog back in 2012. I would go back on occasion to look up a couple of his more perceptive posts. In getting ready for the big 2020 Fall Season (woohoo!), I went back to look up one I remembered when, lo and behold!, it looks like he's back.
No fanfare. No return post. No 'I'm back!'. Just some posts beginning a couple weeks ago this very year. So no clue what to expect. I'd like to think he'll be as interesting and perceptive as he was. If you're inclined toward things like interesting insights about history, Tolkien and fantasy, if you like RPGs and Science Fiction and even Comic books, then you might like it, too.
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