Friday, February 12, 2010

Things I've Noticed: Catching up with your old hobbies can be strange

We've all had it, that bizarre meeting with an ex you dated way back in your childhood - I'm talking about elementary or possibly as late as junior high before dating got really complicated, someone who you haven't really thought of in years and then bang - there they are with kids, a husband and a life all of their own. The same thing just happened to me, but instead of with a girl, it was with the world of Dragonlance.

Back in grades eight and nine, I was into role playing games. I played Dragonlance (pictured right) or Robotech with my friends every weekend, watched the Dungeons and Dragons animated series (thankfully I went through my D&D phase well before the movie came out), and read a lot of sword and sorcery books, my favourites being the Dragonlance series.

Basically, for those of you who don't know, Dragonlance is a shared world series of books that follow many adventurers through a world called Krynn. There are elves, dwarves, wizards, etc., and for a time, these were my favourite books in the world. I had just come out of a big horror movie phase and my junior high kept all of the Stephen King books on a hidden shelf behind the circulation desk so for the time being, Dragonlance was all I had.

But, as with many things, I got older, moved to other books and Role Playing Games and didn't really think of Dragonlance that much after the fact. Sure it got mentioned in some of my posts as a nod to my childhood, but that was about it.

A couple weeks ago, one of my book clubs selected the book Ashes and Amber by Margaret Weiss as our February selection, so I sat down to revisit the genre equivalent of one of my childhood sweet hearts.

The book is pretty darn good - the world is fleshed out nicely and the adventures are fun, plus this specific novel is a sort of merging of horror and the Sword & Sorcery genres, which appeals to me a lot. I was so impressed by how this book was going, that I thought to my self that maybe I should give Dragonlance another try, I read at least 20 of the novels when I was younger, it should be pretty easy to catch up.

So I went online and asked, How many books are there in the Dragonlance series? The answer brought me to this page which gave me this answer:

[There are] well over 100 at the time of this writing.

Wow. That is a lot of books, so I went to Wikipedia, where I learned that Dragonlance is one of the most popular shared worlds in fiction (right up there with Star Wars and Star Trek). It was at this point that I realized that my childhood hobby had not stopped when I left it 20 years ago, that for the last two decades it had had a life all of its own. The heroes I loved had gotten married, had kids and now those kids were the ones adventuring across the world.

So, in the end I'm happy for Dragonlance, we had a good thing for a few years way back, and I feel pretty good that the series continues to thrive. I have fond memories of our time together, and sometimes I like to think back to the original main characters, the Heroes of the Lance (pictured below), and wonder what they got up to.

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