Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for Otherworlds Club

When I was first getting into D&D back int he early 80s there was an explosion of Sci-fi and Fantasy books to hit the shelves in it's wake. For me this was a great time and one I have talked about before: "Reflecting on D&D - Sometimes you can't go back".

Friday I was driving home past a closed Border's, the company that had bough Waldenbooks and it made me think of my now mostly underused Border's Rewards Card in my wallet, and all the cards that came before it.  But the first one, the one I was "proud" of, was my Waldenbooks "Otherwords" card.

For me being part of the Otherworlds Club back then was part and parcel of the D&D experience for me.  Back then my FLGS ("favorite local game store" for those new here) was Waldenbooks in White Oaks mall in nearby Springfield Il. This card (which my dad laminated for me) allowed me to get 10% off an Sci-Fi/Fantasty and D&D book I bought! Given the taxes at the time that pretty much meant I was paying just under the price on the cover.  Sure, not a great deal, but when you are 12 and the money for D&D books comes from your paper route then that is awesome.

The Otherworlds Club had a little newsletter call Xingals that I used to enjoy the heck out off.  I would have upcoming releases and I'd always be thrilled to see the latest D&D book on the back.

Sadly, the Otherworlds club is no more.  It was replaced by successive book clubs at Waldens till Waldenbooks itself was replaced by Borders.

It has been said that the Golden Age of Sci-Fi/Fantasy is 12-14.  Well for me that was 1982 to 1984 and the Otherworlds Club was my ticket.

Today I have frequent buy cards at two different game stores, discount cards for Borders and Barnes and Nobles and of course my RPGA card. But the Otherworlds card was the only one I ever laminated and carried with me all the time.


Martin R. Thomas said...

Oh wow! I totally remember that and I actually have that card, too, stuffed in an old cigar box somewhere. I remember drawing my own version of that picture and trying to use it as the basis of a science-fantasy RPG (it didn't go anywhere).

I also noted from your post that you and I seem to be pretty much the exact same age.


Timothy S. Brannan said...

I think a lot of us are about the same age! I thought that was an awesome picture and you could tell what was big at the time, D&D and the Buck Rogers TV show.

akfu23 said...

I had totally forgotten about the Otherworlds Club, but now the fond memories come flooding back. Especially flashing my membership card at the register each month to get that copy of Xignals!

Anthony N. Emmel said...

Tim, my exact age as well. I think I had to actually trade in my OW card when the "new" Waldenbooks card.

Yes, found memories of the Waldens in my hometown mall.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Ha, that takes me back a long way. I think I was introduced to D&D in the 90s

alzarius said...

Haha! Still have mine too! (i'm in the 83-85 bracket) Was thinking of digging it out and taking it into my local Borders before it closes :( to see if any of the staff recognise it. Once they're gone, the link is broken.

Peter Heck said...

Heh -- just ran across this. I've still got my Otherworlds Club card, too. Nice that some folks still have fond memories of the club and of Xignals - that was a very enjoyable part of my own life.

Unknown said...

Just came across this while talking about Waldenbooks with friends. I had that card too! So cool to see it again. Thanks for this post.