Halflings, Half-Nerds, Worms...

A lot of my friends are half-nerds. What I mean is they've seen and read The Lord of the Rings trilogy and agree the books are better. They love Blade Runner, but they've probably never actually read a book by Philip K. Dick. They've never been serious about Dungeons & Dragons or those Dragon Lance books, but they can recite more than one popular Star Wars quote. Some of us listened to Rush, a band who wrote concept albums about fantastical planets. While these all rest comfortably in fantasy worlds, their prevalence in modern pop-culture allows non-nerds to do nerdy things without being labeled. Err...

This bit of labeling tomfoolery is partly to make fun of the labeling process that, like it or not, still exists in high schools, colleges and only slightly seriously into adulthood. Then we get to Dune. The book was given to me by an artsy friend in college, and after a few pages (on several occasions) I decided that there was no better treatment for insomnia than reading Dune.

However, after being successfully seduced by the books-on-iPod reading method, I had to revisit the books I'd wanted to read but never could. The only annoying part about reading Dune on iPod was importing the 18 discs into iTunes. Since then, I've waded into a fantasy world that, secretly, I prefer to Tolkien's. The idea of humans cultivating their own natural potential into a sort of half-magic is much easier for me to get into. As a half-nerd. Ahem...

--Casey Danielson