Posted by: Joelle Jameson | January 24, 2011

Ethan Gilsdorf: “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks”

Wow, it has been two long months since I’ve recorded a new show. I’ve missed you all. I know you missed me too. To make it up to you, I have a great new show, featuring this guy, and this book:

Ethan Gilsdorf, conquering his car

But first, an announcement: you may have the instructions for how to listen have changed slightly (that is, if you have the memory of a goldfish and look at them every time a new episode of High Volumes comes out). That’s because Cyberstation has an amazing new web platform called Worldvuer. It’s sort of like a hybrid of the old website, facebook and skype. It hasn’t been officially launched yet, but it is up and running, so I encourage you to log on and check out the High Volumes homepage: I still need to work on it a bit, but I’ve uploaded some pictures, as well as the audio overflow from this episode (more on that later).

Secondly, devotees will remember my guest Henriette Lazaridus Power. She joined me in the studio back in October to talk about The Drum and share three lovely excerpts from her upcoming novel Clean Monday. At the time that she appeared on the show, she was in the process of finding a publisher and nothing had been finalized yet, but now Ballantine Books has picked it up. So congratulations to Henriette, and make sure to send me an email if you’d like to receive a copy of that show and hear those exclusive excerpts of Clean Monday.

And now, most importantly, today’s wonderful episode. After Henriette was on the show, she recommended that I talk to Ethan Gilsdorf, the author of the highly praised travel memoir / pop culture investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. This is especially exciting for three reasons. One is that I haven’t had a guest yet who has read a memoir/pop culture investigation. 2) I personally have been on the fringes of geek culture my whole life, and 3) Ethan is a pretty cool guy and a great writer. And I am definitely not the only one who thinks so:  Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks was named a Must-Read Book by the Massachusetts Book Awards. Ethan also publishes travel, arts, and pop culture stories regularly in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Christian Science Monitor; his blog “Geek Pride” is seen regularly on; and he does loads of other cool stuff, like teaching, and storming the Somerville citadel.

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks is a seriously fun, thoughtful and relevant read; I’d pick it up immediately if I were you. But first—listen to this episode of High Volumes, because “The Gary Gygax” song loses a lot in print.

To listen to another excerpt from the book, another poem by Ethan, and two more Harry Potter-related songs, go to and click on the icon with headphones (located under my pictures). There are four audio files waiting there that wouldn’t fit into the show. Stay tunes for more updates about the new site . . .

This show will be archived January 30th.


Excerpts/Poems by Ethan Gilsdorf

“Prologue” from “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks”

“Notes of the Previous Users”



“The Shire” by Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

“The Gary Gygax Song” by Uncle Monsterface

“The Weapon” by Harry and the Potters


Transition songs

“Positively Inclined” by Wax Tailor

“The Pass of Caradhras” by Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)

“Save Ginny Weasley” by Harry and the Potters

“Rosa” by Grimes


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