Now…I don’t usually leave columns this close, but this has been one incredible week. Between polishing up a column for the very first English-language Malaysian computer game magazine, preparing for a new job, and preparing legal material in my ongoing battle against VerticalScope, I’ve
    barely had time to breathe.

    A little while back, I decided I wanted to do something new for the first anniversary of the column. After all, I have a cadre of loyal readers who I wouldn’t trade for the world, and I wanted to do something special. So, the next three columns are special editions. It is my great pleasure to introduce the first one: Ask Garwulf. I didn’t get as many questions as I had expected, but the ones I did get were interesting. So, without further ado, let’s get started…

    1. Why do you take computer games so seriously? What catches you so much about them?

    That’s not an easy question to answer. I guess it goes back to my childhood, back when I was on an IBM XT clone (also known as two rocks and a battery). The first game I ever played was Echelon, a quirky little spaceflight sim which allowed you to fly through mountains. King’s Quest, Space Quest, and a host of other games followed (it got bad enough that at one point the only way my father could punish me in a meaningful way was to take away my computer games).

    I think it was watching the games develop into what they are today that made me take them seriously. I mean, look at Civilization II, Blade Runner, Diablo II. They’re great games, and they are coming close to an art form. I only hope they do better than Hollywood when they finally reach their pinnacle.

    2. Where can I find a copy of your e-book?

    Yeah, I know this one isn’t deep and meaningful, but I get it often enough that I figured it was worth including. You can find and download Demonsbane on Amazon.com. I think it costs around $5.00 US, but I may well be mistaken.
    [You can also find links to purchase Demonsbane on the Garwulf’s Corner Main Page.  Ed.]

    3. I want to do some research on stories about Elves and Dwarves and other such creatures. What are some good books about them?

    What can I say? I love opportunities to show off my library. The problem is that they are mythological creatures, and everybody’s interpretation of them is different. Tolkien provided the model that a lot of people use, but at the same time you’ll see something else from Dennis McKiernan, or Tad Williams, or Michael Scott Rohan.

    I would suggest going back to the original mythologies. Every now and then Lady Gregory’s Complete Irish Mythology is reprinted, and it is an excellent resource for stories about the Tuatha de Danaan (a big inspiration for modern Elves). Also, the Poetic and Prose Eddas are currently in print, and they’ll cover the mythology from the Norse side.

    4. I kept seeing references to a Diablo Writer’s Bible…what is this, and is there any way us normal public or aspiring writers can get a hold of this interesting piece of mystery?

    Well, the Diablo Writer’s Bible is a guidebook to the Diablo world. The thing is that sometimes a writer won’t have actually played the game (I don’t know if that was an issue in the case of the Diablo books; I figure it counts as one of those “cover all your bases” moves), or will have missed out on some of the aspects of the world covered in the game. So, each author is issued a copy of the official world guide. Unfortunately for those who want a copy, you have to get onto the Pocket Books author list, and be writing a Diablo book to get one. So, while I am an author on the Pocket Books roster, I do not have a copy of the Warcraft Writer’s Bible (no matter how dearly I would love to get my hands on it).

    (That being said, a good chunk of the information from the Writer’s Bible can be found in the manuals to both games.)

    Sad to say, I think that about does it for the questions. As I said earlier, it wasn’t quite the response I had expected (well, that’s what I get for revealing a bit of my personal life every column).

    Just before I go, I want to put in a good word for a fellow author who is fighting a battle that truly needs to be fought. No doubt you’ve all heard of him…his name is Harlan Ellison. For some months now, he’s been fighting a court case against AOL, RemarQ, and a couple of other defendants over Internet book piracy. This is actually a big issue, but don’t take my word for it. The website to look at is http://www.harlanellison.com/kick.

    Next installment: Random Thoughts, in which your heroic author looks at the year in review…

    Back to Garwulf’s Corner Main Page.

    Garwulf’s Corner was written from 2000-2002, by Robert Marks and published on Diabloii.net. Garwulf’s Corner covered gaming culture, fantasy literature, computers, and more. Robert Marks was also the author of Demonsbane, a work in the Diablo series of novels published by Blizzard Entertainment. Though he no longer writes on video games, his blog can be seen here.

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