Ask Me Anything: Answers II

The schtick is “here”: “Glen”: obligingly asked me three questions, answered below.

_What is your goal as a role-player? That is, why do you play RPGs and what do you get out of playing them?_

I love make-believe and always have. Every once in a while you come across someone who thinks that it’s appropriate to stop such activity at a certain age, which is nonsense. RPGs are a sort of structured collective storytelling, and thus combine three of my favorite activities in the whole world: telling stories, playing games, and hanging out with friends. It doesn’t even seem fair that it’s possible to do those three things all at once, but hey, sometimes the world is a wonderful place.

_You just won VH1’s contest for the ultimate concert. Name three currently active musical acts that you would put together for a private concert at a local venue for you and 50 of your close personal friends._

At first I tried to come up with list of three acts that would all set a similar tone for the evening. But this is going to be a very long concert, so some variety is OK and even desirable. Had I chosen three singer-songwriter-y types, the upstairs at Common Grounds would be the right venue, but as it is we’ll need a decent sound system, so it’ll have to be The Black Cat.

First set: They Might Be Giants. Among the 50 people I’d pick, at least a third of them would have a strong opinion as to what they’d like to hear the Johns play. This’d be an all-request set, with the Band of Dans there too. I’ll be fine as long as they end with “She’s an Angel.”

Second set: Radiohead. But first both bands would be up there, playing “Cyclops Rock” followed by “Killer Cars.” A year ago I might have insisted that they stick to their Bends/OK Computer material, but “having seen them live”:, they can play whatever the heck they want.

Third set: Tom Waits. But first Radiohead will stay on the stage and they’ll play together: “A Wolf at the Door” (Waits on vocals) and “Filipino Box Spring Hog” (with the band totally rocking out). I can imagine TMBG and Radiohead playing together, and Radiohead and Waits, but not TMBG and Waits, hence the order. By this time it’ll be late, so it’s OK if everybody just collapses to the floor and Tom’s up there with just his piano while we stare at the ceiling. He can play whatever he wants as long as he ends with “Anywhere I Lay My Head.”

_With the new popularity of the long form video for adapting classic books (i.e., Lord of the Rings), what book(s) would you like to see adapted next as a movie series with the same loving attention to detail?_

So . . . many . . . choices . . . I’ll just write about the first two things that came to mind as options.

_The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever_, by Stephen R. Donaldson — Probably the weakest part of this trilogy is Donaldson’s purply prose, but that’s not a problem for film as long as whoever adapts the screenplay doesn’t fall into the same trap. Hollywood’s probably not ready for the fantasy anti-hero, but there’s plenty of juicy cinematic bits to move things along. It’d be worth the price of admission just to see a cool visual treatment of the Bloodguard and of Saltheart Foamfollower.

_Snow Crash_, by Neal Stephenson — Take out the chapter-long disquisitions on the nam-shub of enki, and you have a very cinematic book here. Plus, it’d be fun at cocktail parties to let it drop that the book was written in ’92, _before_ a lot of the stuff in it was even on the horizon, whereas now a lot of it seems pretty darn topical. (Well, not the Mafia running pizza delivery, but we can dream.) On second thought, why would you ever want to be at a cocktail party attended by people who’ve never read _Snow Crash_?

_Lord of Light_, by Roger Zelazny — Because _Amber_ wouldn’t really work as a movie, but you’ve got to get that Zelazny dialogue up on the screen somehow. Vedic godlings, high tech, demon spirits, and a monkey dude: how can you go wrong?