Although he completely revolutionized the world of fantasy tabletop gaming, only bits and pieces on the life of Gary Gygax have been told and written about, but as the creator of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) his legacy is impossible to ignore.
For the first time ever, writer Michael Witwer, presents the biography of the so-called godfather of fantasy adventure games, in a dramatized novel based on Gygax's real life. The book, Empire of Imagination, will be released on Oct. 6, 2015 and will be published by Bloomsbury USA.
The 320-page book begins with Gygax's childhood in Lake Geneva and chronicles the story of how he came to invent the world's best-selling role-playing dice game. From his troubled days as a youth and his rise to being a Hollywood big shot, and his eventual downfall that forced him to give up his rights to his magnum opus, and eventual untimely death in 2008, Witwer covers it all in his novelization.
Early reviews of the book are calling it a must read for all D&D fanatics.
Gaming website, RPG.net highly recommends the book after reading a preview copy saying, "The book left me feeling warm and yet somewhat sad, but it was definitely a most satisfying read."
Many fans of Gygax call the book a fitting tribute to the man who loved to play games and who undoubtedly touched and changed all their lives.
The book's cover art as well has a story behind it that D&D fans will pick up off the bat. It features a bespectacled writer, presumably Gygax, sitting by candle light at his typewriter surrounded by files, milk, gaming pieces, a skull, an empty beer can, books, a lava lamp and other seemingly random objects.
The artwork was created by artist Jeff Easley who is also responsible for much of the celebrated artwork for D&D. It is actually a parody of the cover from an Adventures of Dungeons and Dragons Manual, "Unearthed Arcana."
An excerpt from the book is currently exclusively available to read on io9 and it's easy to tell why many reviewers are saying the novel makes readers feel as if they are reliving all the highs and lows of Gygax's life right along with him.