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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
Tehanu Reviews Weta Workshop's "Dr Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory"

Superuser / Moderator

May 11 2008, 6:03pm

Post #1 of 6 (907 views)
Tehanu Reviews Weta Workshop's "Dr Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory" Can't Post

Fantastic Nonsense!

Or as Dr Grordbort himself might say, “absolute balderdash.” And what fun! Dr. Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory is a recent product of Weta Workshops, launched in New Zealand last month, though available overseas before that. I got hold of a copy recently and found it zany, funny as heck, and a lovely object in its own right.

Dr Grordbort, a mad scientist character invented by Weta designer Greg Broadmore, is prone to the kind of malapropisms that will reward the careful reader with a good laugh, as the opening sentences make clear. “Welcome to Futurity! Greetings and welcome to this, my suppository of scientific splendour. You hold in your hand a directory of today’s foremost contraptions and inventions…” And what a nice little book it is to hold in the hand, too, with its satiny leather-look cover and heavy pages trimmed with elegant art deco doodads.

Inside you’ll find all kinds of lovingly illustrated devices to make life easier in an alternate world of rayguns, death rays, invading moon soldiers and awful creatures from Venus. It’s the life that science fiction writers of the 1920s predicted we’d have today.

The book takes the format of a 1920s gun catalogue, with diagrams and illustrations of everything from the rayguns and disintegrator pistols you might expect, to scorpion-like walking chairs and mysterious inventions such as “Dephagmotisers” and “Bifurnalisers”.

As much as I like what modern SF is capable of, I grew up around my Dad’s stash of pulp SF magazines. It’s hard not to love some of the stuff written in their heyday, when science was sketchier and space more mysterious. The pulps had boundless imagination illustrated with luridly exciting pictures of bug-eyed monsters threatening scantily clad maidens. Dr Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory is celebrates that fun, as well as enjoying the laughable assumptions of the day.

It’s not a long read, but that’s offset by its value as a coffee-table book that’s sure to kickstart some good conversations.
Richard Taylor and Weta Workshops have never been ones for letting their talented staff cool their heels between film projects. The film industry in New Zealand is sporadic, and there was a time during the production of The Lord of the Rings when, difficult as it is to believe now, there were no new jobs on Weta’s books. As a result, Weta became very inventive in creating projects outside of film work, including publishing ventures such as this one.

Further adventures Dr Grordbort are promised for the future. Or futurity, as he might say.

Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.

"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase

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Superuser / Moderator

May 11 2008, 6:59pm

Post #2 of 6 (486 views)
That sounds like so much fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

And we certainly need as much 'fun' in our lives as we can possibly get our hands on!

Isn't it great when companies let their employees' creativity off the leash?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories

L. Ron Halfelven
Grey Havens

May 11 2008, 10:14pm

Post #3 of 6 (460 views)
"Be a Better Man with a MANMELTER. Your wife may come back to you!" [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see I'm going to have to pick up a copy. It has rather a steampunk look to it.


May 11 2008, 11:14pm

Post #4 of 6 (454 views)
This sounds hilarious! [In reply to] Can't Post

I know someone wo would appreciate this as a gift ... besides myself of course Wink

Thanks for the heads-up!

Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Forum Admin / Moderator

May 12 2008, 12:17am

Post #5 of 6 (456 views)
The "Falconer 6000"? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ooh, I'll take one! Laugh

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


May 12 2008, 12:45am

Post #6 of 6 (453 views)
My grandson would [In reply to] Can't Post

LOVE this book! Leave it to Weta to break the mold again on creativity. Thanks so much for this :D

sample sample
Trust him... The Hobbit is coming!

"Barney Snow was here." ~Hug like a hobbit!~ "In my heaven..."

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