Garwulf’s Corner #3: Revelations from The Exorcist


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Revelations from The Exorcist

Although it will be an event that occurred a couple of months ago by the time you read this, recently I did something fairly stupid. You see, my little brother was in for a brief break from his incredibly exciting life at the University of Waterloo (a life that I am sure contains lots of fast cars, fast women, and machine guns, although he assures me that mostly he studies), and I decided to take him out to a movie. The Exorcist, to be exact. And, using every brain cell available at the time, I brought us to the theater to catch a late show.

Now, for those who haven’t seen this particular film, let me assure you: The Exorcist has very good claim to being the scariest movie ever made. Through a combination of eerie events, painful moments, and absolute shocks (Linda Blair’s spiderwalk down a flight of stairs is forever burned into my memory), the film manages to completely disturb and terrify the viewer. It is a movie that actually can spook somebody out for hours at a time, one of only two that have done it to me (the second is The Sixth Sense). As you can guess, catching a late show of this film is not the brightest idea.

Unfortunately, the experience for my brother was ruined. Not because of the movie itself, but because of the audience. The Exorcist begins slowly, starting with easily explainable events and building until the rational mind can no longer accept any other possibilities but the demonic. It is like being slowly immersed into scalding water: at first it seems bearable, but then it gets worse and worse and worse…

Unfortunately, this was not good enough for the audience. “Where’s the scary stuff?” the people behind us asked, pointing at a slightly eerie scene. “I thought this was supposed to be a horror movie.” They did this continually until the fear became overwhelming, at which point they finally shut up.

As a result, my brother could not get into it, and the immersion effect was lost. All because the people behind us had the attention span of an avocado.

(Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering, “What does this have to do with Diablo? Has the author finally gone nuts?”

(Don’t worry…I’m getting there.)

Put simply, frightening movies such as The Sixth Sense and The Exorcist, true horror films, not those gawdawful hack-and-slash monstrosities that fill the theaters these days, are not for people with short attention spans. In order to truly feel the fear, one has to get involved with the characters and environment, and that takes time. Even Alien, possibly one of the most suspenseful films ever made, starts slowly, carefully crafted with the skill of a true master.

But these films are few and far between these days. And, like a shortage of really good horror movies, I think the action genre of computer games is a symptom of a larger, more alarming ailment.

Set back the clock by a few months. Blizzard Entertainment puts out a message that Diablo II has gone gold at last. The game is released on the weekend, and promptly sells over a million copies, earning more money than Titanic did in its first weekend. And Diablo II, like its predecessor, is a game for people with short attention spans.

More and more, the multimedia entertainment industry is catering to those wishing instant gratification. Scream has no fewer than two brutal murders within the first five minutes; Urban Legend had only one, but substituted an attack on a nubile teenager to make up for lost time. And don’t even get me started on the horribly written and acted piece of dung that was I Know What You Did Last Summer…

Make no mistake, Diablo and its sequel have their place. I certainly enjoy building up Garwulf the Barbarian to the point that he can kill a hell knight using only bad breath, in the vain hope that one day I will be able to afford a new hard disk and play with him on Battle.net. But at the same time, I also play Civilization II, a game that requires an attention span long enough to notice continental drift.

I wonder, though, how many people play only Diablo-style games. The sort of games where if you’re not off killing something, you’re getting instructions on where to go to start maiming and slaying. The sort of games that not only require nothing more than the attention span of an avocado, but are sometimes lauded as the greatest games ever made, suggesting that any reasonable person doesn’t need anything other than instant gratification.

I am singling out Diablo in this instance because I am writing a Diablo column, and it makes my editors feel better when there is actually some Diablo content. The great monster-slaying game and its brethren were not the first on the scene, but like the multitude of first person shooters and third person actioners, they are designed for instant gratification.

Something I want to see in the expansion: a quest where not a single drop of blood is shed. A quest right in the middle of the act, where the characters must find some arcane object out in the middle of nowhere, something that will reveal the great secrets of the angels and demons, something where every step in the quest grants the character experience, and where s/he can rise two levels through the exploration alone.

Think about it; a quest like that would be incredibly rewarding, add to the sense of wonder in the game, and require a decent attention span.

I am not saying that this will solve the problem of expected instant gratification; it won’t. As I said earlier, the nature of the Diablo games and their incredible popularity are a symptom rather than a cause. But perhaps it will turn the tide a little. Perhaps it will make somebody think that some things are worth waiting for, and just because the scary bits don’t come until later, it doesn’t mean that the game or film is worthless.

Disclaimer: Garwulf’s Corner was written by Robert B. Marks and hosted by Diii.net. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of Diii.net.

Garwulf’s Corner #2: The Royal Circle and the Hacker


The Royal Circle and the Hacker

Sometimes, it’s enough to make me wonder why people are playing.

Perhaps I should explain. I was on Battle.net venturing through a Diablo I dungeon, when a player (who shall remain nameless) entered the game. He came down to the caves to join me, there was a moment of lag, and then he killed some monsters. He then tried to draw my attention to several magical items that just didn’t appear on my screen, and when I said I couldn’t see them, picked them up and town portaled away.

When I returned to that wonderfully rustic village of Tristram, I found myself facing a menagerie of unique and magical items literally carpeting the center of town. Enough to fill an inventory three times over. “They’re all legit,” he said. “I found them in the caves.”

Rather skeptical, I picked a Royal Circlet off the ground and examined it. It had a fancy graphic, and for all I knew, it looked like a real Royal Circlet. For a moment, I considered that perhaps this strange warrior was telling the truth, and due to a bug in the game, he really had found these things in the middle of the caves.

As I rolled the crown around in my hands, wondering if there was some bizarre quirk in the game that would make this possible, I received one last message from the mystery warrior. “I have a Bnet cheat code that lets me get the good items,” he declared proudly, and left the game.

I dropped the Royal Circlet in the dust and sighed.

Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t stay to kill any more monsters. Wandering through the caves in Hell difficulty, I might not be about to find that ultimate armor or weapon, but I am coming close to pumping my character up another level. It’s a goal that is fun and time-consuming, and at the end there is a fair bit of reward. And, if I should come across an item that is an absolute keeper, at least I have the satisfaction of having found it myself. For me, it is worthwhile to stick around and keep playing.

But for somebody like the mystery warrior, who has found a hacker’s code that gives him all the things he would actually have to work at finding, there is no challenge. Where is the joy in discovering that the unique greatsword you’ve just found is actually one of the best items in the game, when you can simply type in a code and have it appear?

Is it any surprise that he was in the game for less than twenty minutes?

It is really rather sad. The hackers and cheaters keep appearing, so proud of what they can do with the software they’ve downloaded from the internet, and log on to Battle.net. They create that ultimate item, start their god mode and kill some monsters, and then retire. In the process, they miss the point entirely. The reason I am so proud of my level 34 warrior is that I built him from scratch; he didn’t even venture onto Battle.net until he could adventure at Hell difficulty. These new players with their fancy cheat codes will never know the simple pleasure I get out of loading up Garwulf and taking him for romp in the dungeon, hoping to get that next level.

Unfortunately, it seems they don’t even try to play the game properly. And, since they are cheating, they figure that everybody else is to. And thus, in what should be a straightforward kill-the-monsters game, the town square becomes littered with hacked magical items. Not only do they litter the ground, making it difficult to walk without accidentally picking them up, but any legitimate player who comes into the game is immediately given cause to leave.

In the end, I pity the poor warrior with his cheat code. I really do. It was obvious that there was no longer a challenge for him, and that he had managed to ruin the game for himself. Perhaps, if he hadn’t activated the hack, he would have stayed longer, and actually had some fun. Maybe he will begin playing without cheating, and discover just how wonderful the Diablo games are; I can only hope.

Disclaimer: Garwulf’s Corner was written by Robert B. Marks and hosted by Diii.net. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of Diii.net.

Garwulf’s Corner #1: Harlan Ellison, Diablo, and Insomnia


Harlan Ellison, Diablo, and Insomnia

Someday I’ll learn: no more Harlan Ellison stories right before going to bed. It isn’t that they are poor stories; indeed, I wish I could write like Ellison. Unfortunately, they’re just too good. I read a story or essay by this wonder of modern SF, and my mind starts to go, spinning like some demonic Ferris wheel. Great for coming up with stories, but lousy if I actually have intentions of getting any sleep. And, as I toss and turn, telling my brain to shut up for crying out loud, my mind turns to Diablo.

Somehow, especially now that I’ve written Demonsbane, writing and Diablo have become linked in my mind. After waiting for almost three years to generate that magic acceptance letter from a publisher, how was I to know that my professional fiction career would start with some phone calls and an emailed short story? If somebody had told me three months ago that I would be writing Diablo professional fiction, I would have laughed them off of whatever street they traveled (although I would try not to laugh them into traffic).

Still, Diablo has been good to me, in more ways than one. It was through Diablo that I met one of my best friends, a fellow named Gordon Brown. Gord is a great friend, the sort of man you can count on to help you through that crushing real-life problem, or to stand by your side and actually share the gold as the party goes deeper into the dungeon, noticing for the first time that these goat men happen to be better armed than you are.

Ah, yes, those halcyon comic-book shop days of Diablo back in the summer of 1997. I remember them so well. From the start, I had linked the game and literature; my character was named Sigifrith, from the Stephen Grundy novel Rhinegold. Later, when I finally made my way onto Battle.net, Sigifrith became Garwulf, a character from the novel I’m currently working on.

(Note, for all those who have a love of meaningless trivia: Garwulf is a mythical character, properly known as “Garwulf the Slayer.” He’s the sort of warrior that makes Conan the Barbarian appear to be a weakling, a character capable of defeating an entire army using only a bread knife and a loaf of whole wheat. Hell, if you’re going to name a Diablo character after one of your own, you may as well be ambitious…)

Gord was Sarnakyle, a wizard with a knack for getting me out of those situations where I had heedlessly charged into a room filled with monsters, one of whom invariably had the Medieval equivalent of a machine gun. Sometimes, he even managed to do it without both of us dying as well. When we did die, though, we were assured of spending half an hour working out who owned what, as we picked up the arms and armor that had fallen in enough quantity to fill in a castle moat. We fought together, we died together. It was true comradery.

As we played, I learned, and stopped charging into rooms, attracting the attention of every single monster in the dungeon at once. We still occasionally ran into the Diablo equal of the bazooka and Gatling gun, but we stood a better chance of survival. By the time we took on the big, horn-studded demon of Hell himself, we were a well oiled team, and our arch-nemesis didn’t stand a change.

(Okay; we actually still bore a remarkable resemblance to thugs with swords, but deep down inside, we were a well-oiled team. Really.)

Still, nothing is forever, and eventually Diablo went the way of the wind. We waited for a while, spending our time painting miniatures and penning up our need to inflict acts of incredible and brutal violence on monsters. Finally, the new game came out, and we flocked to the comic shop to begin anew.

Garwulf rose again, this time as a terrifying barbarian, capable of sending monsters scrambling away in fear at the very sound of his voice (although Garwulf secretly believes that it might actually be his bad breath). Sarnakyle was transmuted into Sarnaka, a fetching sorceress with a knack for knocking demons about the head with a big stick (and who Gord insists is Sarnakyle’s daughter).

You know what? Diablo II was a better game than its predecessor. There was much more to do, and a better in-game story. We were able to save some time when one of us managed to attract the attention of every monster in the area (remember, we were now going through deserts and jungles, rather than caves and catacombs), as our rotting corpse would survive our demise. We would wander back to where the monsters had been screaming obscenities at our fallen forms, and having driven them off, Garwulf would stare at his body and remark, “So that explains the agonizing back pain a moment ago.”

And then, while Garwulf the Slayer from my yet-to-be-finished novel was living an active life slaughtering demons, came the contract offer from Pocket Books. Gord was kind enough to let me use Sarnakyle as a character in the novella, and our adventures in the jungles of the Diablo world continued unabated during what little free time I had as I worked day and night on my word processor.

Except now, the original Sigifrith-Sarnakyle team, due to a neat little inside joke in the book referring to the Norse Volsunga Saga, is enshrined for all eternity in that new, wondrous thing called “Diablo literature.” And thus the link is complete. Diablo and writing, all bundled up into one neat little package, specifically designed to keep me up at nights after reading yet another Harlan Ellison story.

There is a Mel Brooks film with the line: “It’s good to be the king.” The line is wrong; it’s even better to be an author.

Disclaimer: Garwulf’s Corner was written by Robert B. Marks and hosted by Diii.net. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of Diii.net.

Index: The Ninth Circle


The Ninth Circle was written from 2002-2006, by David Kay, and with 58 installments it was the longest running column in Diabloii.net’s history. The Ninth Circle covered computer gaming, RPGs, fantasy novels, the gamer’s life, and other related issues.

Full column listing:

  1. A Patch or a Crutch?—Nov 12, 2002
  2. Baang: Or Why I No Longer Buy Games—Dec 1, 2002
  3. The World Cyber Games—Dec 23, 2002
  4. Why Are We Here?—Jan 13, 2003
  5. Bricks and Bouquets I (Feedback)—Feb 5, 2003
  6. Designing Diablo III: Game and Plot—Feb 19, 2003
  7. Designing Diablo III: Characters—Mar 5, 2003
  8. Designing Diablo III: Items—Mar 19, 2003
  9. The Best Part I: Games—Apr 2, 2003
  10. The Best Part II: Companies—Apr 16, 2003
  11. The Best Part III: Designers—Apr 30, 2003
  12. A Shot Across the Bows—May 14, 2003
  13. Status Woe?—May 28, 2003
  14. Good Sequels, Bad Sequels—June 11, 2003
  15. Unexplored Lands—June 25, 2003
  16. Breaking In—July 23, 2003
  17. Firearms and Fireballs—Aug 6, 2003
  18. Big Screen Fantasy—Aug 20, 2003
  19. Circles and Columns—Sept 3, 2003
  20. Do We Need A Sequel?—Sept 17, 2003
  21. The Review—Oct 1, 2003
  22. Dead Trees in the Digital Age—Oct 15, 2003
  23. Playing For Keeps—Oct 29, 2003
  24. The Ninth Circle: Year One—Nov 12, 2003
  25. Massive Disappointments—Nov 26, 2003
  26. Party Games—Dec 10, 2003
  27. What I’d Like to See in an MMORPG—Dec 24, 2003
  28. Stories We Can Tell—Jan 7, 2004
  29. Other Diablos—Jan 21, 2004
  30. My Best Games of 2003—Feb 4, 2004
  31. Missing Legacy—Feb 18, 2004
  32. Value Proposition—Apr 14, 2004
  33. I Prefer Humans—Apr 28, 2004
  34. Not Your Average Gamer—May 12, 2004
  35. Going Massive—June 9, 2004
  36. Fiendishly Simple—Aug 3, 2004
  37. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 1: Fantasy—Sept 1, 2004
  38. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 2: Science Fiction—Sept 15, 2004
  39. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 3: Speculative Fiction—Sept 29, 2004
  40. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 4: History—Oct 13, 2004
  41. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 5: Reading Room Review—Nov 10, 2004
  42. Getting Back Into It—Dec 1, 2004
  43. Games of 2004—Dec 15, 2004
  44. About the Music—Jan 5, 2005
  45. The Intro Movie—Jan 19, 2005
  46. Room and Board—Feb 2, 2005
  47. Diablo 3?—Feb 23, 2005
  48. How Big Is Your Internet?—Apr 20, 2005
  49. Barriers to Entry?—May 5, 2005
  50. Exploration—May 25, 2005
  51. Lifestyle—July 6, 2005
  52. Generational Change—July 20, 2005
  53. The Big Game Idea—Aug 8, 2005
  54. Time and Genres—Sept 1, 2005
  55. Looking for Fun—Nov 18, 2005
  56. The Genre Offline—Jan 3, 2006
  57. My Favourite MMOG—Feb 6, 2006
  58. Anticipation—March 17, 2006
Author Biography

Lorelorn is more often known as David Kay. He lives in Brisbane, Australia, and is 31 years old. He grew up in Britain, and has been playing computer games for over 20 years now. His computer gaming started with the Commodore 64, and moved through the Amiga to the PC, where it pretty much stayed, except for a brief flirtation with the N64, and the PS2. He still owns and uses the venerable Commodore 64 though. In fact the name Lorelorn comes from a game on the C-64, Doomdark’s Revenge. He also enjoys tabletop wargames, such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

He is something of an eclectic gamer, with a taste that covers almost every genre. Except graphic adventures. He has written for other websites in the past, and also writes professionally. His past publications include a market report on the Online Games industry (published 2001), as well as a short story, Sister Supernova, published in Issue 12 of Andromeda Spaceways, in April 2004. He has also written too many internal work documents to mention.

Index: The Ninth Circle


The Ninth Circle was written from 2002-2006, by David Kay, and with 58 installments it was the longest running column in Diabloii.net’s history. The Ninth Circle covered computer gaming, RPGs, fantasy novels, the gamer’s life, and other related issues.

Full column listing:

  1. A Patch or a Crutch?—Nov 12, 2002
  2. Baang: Or Why I No Longer Buy Games—Dec 1, 2002
  3. The World Cyber Games—Dec 23, 2002
  4. Why Are We Here?—Jan 13, 2003
  5. Bricks and Bouquets I (Feedback)—Feb 5, 2003
  6. Designing Diablo III: Game and Plot—Feb 19, 2003
  7. Designing Diablo III: Characters—Mar 5, 2003
  8. Designing Diablo III: Items—Mar 19, 2003
  9. The Best Part I: Games—Apr 2, 2003
  10. The Best Part II: Companies—Apr 16, 2003
  11. The Best Part III: Designers—Apr 30, 2003
  12. A Shot Across the Bows—May 14, 2003
  13. Status Woe?—May 28, 2003
  14. Good Sequels, Bad Sequels—June 11, 2003
  15. Unexplored Lands—June 25, 2003
  16. Breaking In—July 23, 2003
  17. Firearms and Fireballs—Aug 6, 2003
  18. Big Screen Fantasy—Aug 20, 2003
  19. Circles and Columns—Sept 3, 2003
  20. Do We Need A Sequel?—Sept 17, 2003
  21. The Review—Oct 1, 2003
  22. Dead Trees in the Digital Age—Oct 15, 2003
  23. Playing For Keeps—Oct 29, 2003
  24. The Ninth Circle: Year One—Nov 12, 2003
  25. Massive Disappointments—Nov 26, 2003
  26. Party Games—Dec 10, 2003
  27. What I’d Like to See in an MMORPG—Dec 24, 2003
  28. Stories We Can Tell—Jan 7, 2004
  29. Other Diablos—Jan 21, 2004
  30. My Best Games of 2003—Feb 4, 2004
  31. Missing Legacy—Feb 18, 2004
  32. Value Proposition—Apr 14, 2004
  33. I Prefer Humans—Apr 28, 2004
  34. Not Your Average Gamer—May 12, 2004
  35. Going Massive—June 9, 2004
  36. Fiendishly Simple—Aug 3, 2004
  37. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 1: Fantasy—Sept 1, 2004
  38. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 2: Science Fiction—Sept 15, 2004
  39. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 3: Speculative Fiction—Sept 29, 2004
  40. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 4: History—Oct 13, 2004
  41. Lorelorn’s Reading Room, Part 5: Reading Room Review—Nov 10, 2004
  42. Getting Back Into It—Dec 1, 2004
  43. Games of 2004—Dec 15, 2004
  44. About the Music—Jan 5, 2005
  45. The Intro Movie—Jan 19, 2005
  46. Room and Board—Feb 2, 2005
  47. Diablo 3?—Feb 23, 2005
  48. How Big Is Your Internet?—Apr 20, 2005
  49. Barriers to Entry?—May 5, 2005
  50. Exploration—May 25, 2005
  51. Lifestyle—July 6, 2005
  52. Generational Change—July 20, 2005
  53. The Big Game Idea—Aug 8, 2005
  54. Time and Genres—Sept 1, 2005
  55. Looking for Fun—Nov 18, 2005
  56. The Genre Offline—Jan 3, 2006
  57. My Favourite MMOG—Feb 6, 2006
  58. Anticipation—March 17, 2006
Author Biography

Lorelorn is more often known as David Kay. He lives in Brisbane, Australia, and is 31 years old. He grew up in Britain, and has been playing computer games for over 20 years now. His computer gaming started with the Commodore 64, and moved through the Amiga to the PC, where it pretty much stayed, except for a brief flirtation with the N64, and the PS2. He still owns and uses the venerable Commodore 64 though. In fact the name Lorelorn comes from a game on the C-64, Doomdark’s Revenge. He also enjoys tabletop wargames, such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

He is something of an eclectic gamer, with a taste that covers almost every genre. Except graphic adventures. He has written for other websites in the past, and also writes professionally. His past publications include a market report on the Online Games industry (published 2001), as well as a short story, Sister Supernova, published in Issue 12 of Andromeda Spaceways, in April 2004. He has also written too many internal work documents to mention.

Index: Garwulf’s Corner


Garwulf’s Corner Columns:

Full column listing:

  1. Harlan Ellison, Diablo, and Insomnia—October 31, 2000
  2. The Royal Circlet and the Hacker—November 14, 2000
  3. Revelations from the Exorcist—November 30, 2000
  4. Films for the Diablo Fan—December 11, 2000
  5. Millennial Thoughts—December 29, 2000
  6. Walking with the Dead—January 8, 2001
  7. Emails from the Edge—January 22, 2001
  8. I am NOT Harlan Ellison—February 5, 2001
  9. Staring at the Top Rung—February 19, 2001
  10. Cutting Through the Dung Pile—March 5, 2001
  11. Changing the Guard—March 19, 2001
  12. The Devil in the Details—April 3, 2001
  13. Hackers at the Gate—April 17, 2001
  14. More Emails from the Edge—May 1, 2001
  15. Through a Glass, Demonically—May 14, 2001
  16. Small Matters—May 28, 2001
  17. Books for the Diablo Fan—June 12, 2001
  18. Shades of Grey—June 26, 2001
  19. Back to the Beginning—July 12, 2001
  20. Touching Darkness—July 26, 2001
  21. Emails from the Edge, the Third—August 13, 2001
  22. Once Upon a Time—August 27, 2001
  23. Special Disaster Edition—September 11, 2001
  24. Coming of Age—September 25, 2001
  25. Ask Garwulf—October 8, 2001
  26. One Year Anniversary—October 23, 2001
  27. Baal’s Friend, and Other Stories—November 8, 2001
  28. Emails From the Edge Goes Forth—November 26, 2001
  29. Will You Be Eating That Ration?—December 10, 2001
  30. Language, Language—December 26, 2001
  31. A Matter of Habit—January 7, 2002
  32. Real Sticks and Stones—January 21, 2002
  33. One Film To Rule Them All—February 4, 2002
  34. Is Diablo Dead?—February 18, 2002
  35. Emails from the Edge: V—March 3, 2002
  36. A Question of Rights—March 17, 2002
  37. A Glance at the Other Side—April 1, 2002
  38. Having the Edge—April 15, 2002
  39. The Lawsuits of April—April 30, 2002
  40. The Future of the Genre—May 13, 2002
  41. To Judge a Medium—May 27, 2002
  42. Yet Another Emails from the Edge—June 11, 2002
  43. The Fate of Siggard—June 24, 2002
  44. The Paradox of the Internet—July 8, 2002
  45. A Copy of a Copy—July 22, 2002
  46. A Matter of Freedoms—August 5, 2002
  47. Double Standard—August 19, 2002
  48. The Issue of Morality—September 6, 2002
  49. Emails from the Edge: The Final Slice—September 17, 2002
  50. The Second Year Retrospective—September 30, 2002
  51. Baby Steps—October 14, 2002
  52. Looking Into the Future—October 28, 2002
Special Columns and Interviews.
  • BnetD Special—April 9, 2002
  • A Bit of Inspiration: a discussion of the impact of Lord of the Rings, both the novels and the movies.—December 23, 2002
  • Garwulf interviewed about the Diablo novella Demonsbane, October 31, 2002.
  • Demonsbane Review, by Flux. October 31, 2002.
  • Garwulf interviewed about his time writing Garwulf’s Corner, November 2003.

About the Author
Robert B. Marks was born in 1976 in the Toronto Area. While growing up, he developed a love of reading, and by the end of public school was devouring novels by authors such as Tom Clancy and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. During high school, he discovered the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, Tad Williams, and Dennis L. McKiernan, and developed a lifelong love of the fantasy genre.

It was after reading McKiernan’s The Eye of the Hunter that he began to write serious fantasy. His first, and unpublishable, 70,000 word novel was completed by the end of high school. He then spent his years at Queen’s University developing his writing skills on the Internet, winning two fanfiction awards in the process. After graduating with a degree in Medieval Studies in 1999, he was offered a Diablo e-book by Pocket Books in late 2000. “Demonsbane” was released on Halloween, 2000, allowing him to squeak in as a 20th century author by around two months, and remained on the PeanutPress bestseller list for three weeks.

Robert’s other published works include The Everquest Companion. He also maintains a live journal page to chronicle his latest doings.

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Disclaimer: Garwulf’s Corner is written by Robert B. Marks and hosted by Diii.net. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of Diii.net.

 

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