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Monday, March 21, 2005

Turn to 36

So I'm talking to Melanie tonight for the first time in a few days, and I tell her about a book I ordered that's coming into the store this week.

"It's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer choose your own adventure."

There was a long pause while she struggled to comprehend this before finally responding.

"There is no God."

Apparently, not everyone shares my affection for the genre. For Choose Your Own Adventure, I mean, not Buffy. There's tons of fans for that stuff, including my own fanfic-writing sister, who--Sweet Christmas!--is going to be here in less than two weeks! But more on that later.

As a kid, I had the standard issue Ninja Turtles t-shirt, GI Joes, and CYOA novels. I'm pretty sure they just mailed that stuff to your house if you had a child in the early eighties to save everyone the trouble. Anyway, mostly it was your standard "let's go see your uncle who's invented a time machine!" stuff, and I remember one with a kind of kid-spy thing to it where at one point you noticed your socks had been folded wrong by someone tossing your luggage. It's one of my weird inconsequential childhood memories that stayed with me for some reason.

The reason I look back on CYOAs with as much fondness as I do, though, can be traced back to one guy: Joe Dever. When I was about ten, my dad bought me a couple of the books he wrote from the Lone Wolf series, and they were awesome. Each one stands alone, but there's a storyline that runs through them that starts--like all great sagas of the 20th century--with your monestary being burnt down and your masters killed. From then on out, it's great fantasy, complete with character sheets, combat, and character advancement as you go through the books. Seriously, there's one choice you can make in the first book that can help you out like nine books later.

It's also probably the reason I've spent so much money on D&D over the past few years, although ironically, I haven't bought the d20 Lone Wolf book. Anyway, the best thing about these books is that these guys who were WAY more into them than I was have taken the time to put them all online in a great navigation system with a bunch of resources to manage your stats. It's called Project Aon, and you should check 'em out.

Or, if you choose to read more comics, turn to 43.


Blogger Mark W. Hale said...

A GI Joe CYOA book scarred me as a kid. "You" were the main character, a new Joe recruit along on a mission to... I dunno what, but you were there, with all your favorites like Roadblock, Hung Ho, Shipwreck, the Movie Star, and all the rest. Anyhow, I don't remember any details except for one: If you chose the wrong adventure, you ended up dead in the desert, the sun bleaching your bones a glossy white.


A bit traumatizing for a 9-year-old.

3/22/2005 12:55 AM

Blogger Phil Looney said...

I remember reading the cave of time, and those Lone Wolf books. good stuff.

3/22/2005 8:48 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOLY CRAP! I'm reading this in like, November '06, but I just noticed the Joe Dever. I got the Dungeons of Torgar when I was eight, and never saw another one until about a month ago when my local Half Price Books had the first thirteen wrapped together for like, ten bucks. Needless to say I bought them. They're like, awesomeness distilled.

11/22/2006 1:25 AM

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