As journalists around the world scrutinized the life and writings of University of Alabama shooting suspect Amy Bishop, a few outlets condemned Bishop’s experience with Dungeons & Dragons— much to the dismay of the game’s fans (including this GalleyCat editor).
In a long essay defending the game, Matt Staggs interviewed writers influenced by the game, including Jay Lake, Paul Jessup, and Matthue Roth. To find out how these writers turned out, GalleyCat Reviews collected reviews of their novels.
First up, The School Library Journal reviewed Losers by Matthue Roth, summing up both the book and the appeal of Dungeons & Dragons to many young writers. Here’s a sample: “Roth’s wry, lighthearted touch lends this sweet novel and its protagonist tremendous appeal, which transcends the sometimes too-loose plot; it’s a fast, funny read with teen appeal and musical references that will delight fans of ’80s and ’90s shoegazer rock. Outsiders everywhere will rejoice with Jupiter as he finds a place for himself in a world that often feels as foreign to him as he does to it.”
Next, SF Signal reviewed Green by novelist Jay Lake. Check it out: “I think that the best indication of the strength of this book is how strongly I wanted Green to be able to settle down somewhere to a happy, un-action-filled life … That’s how much you can come to empathize with this really wonderfully drawn character. Certainly it is something of a rarity for me when reading fantasy books.”
Finally, Strange Horizons reviewed Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup. Here’s a sample: “There is also a dark, other-worldly magic at work in Open Your Eyes which provides a lovely blend of fantasy and science fiction, fully exploring the possibilities inherent to the space opera sub-genre and begging readers, once again, to have faith–faith in a writer who is willing to leap past genre boundaries and show us what’s waiting in the great wide world beyond.”
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