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Wednesday, December 15, 2010 2:39 pm
Christmas Party and Reindeer Games
Posted by: Neil Hollands

Twenty-three members of the Williamsburg Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Group converged at my house last night for our 7th annual Christmas Party and Reindeer Games. I think it’s the sign of a healthy group when we get one of our biggest turnouts each year in the middle of the holiday season. These readers enjoy each other’s company, and our annual potluck and games fest has traditions and memories that get a little more established each year.

After plenty of great food, we always divide into three or four groups, with each group rotating through three book- or genre-related games of my devising. This year saw the narrow defeat of our resident SF/F historian Bud Webster’s team for the first time in several years. The first game this year involved Christmas gifts derived from the combination of the initial letters of a book title and the title or performer of the song from a mix CD: for instance, “the title of a Peter Beagle novel and the name of track 5 (by Marvin Gaye), create a gift for a bartender who lacks business.” (Last Unicorn + Sexual Healing = LUSH)

The second game involved seven categories, which had to be identified by looking at 7 or 8 pictures each, figuring out the common element, then naming the category and the items in it. For instance, a picture of Sharon Stone, a picture of a barometric chamber, a picture of Patrick McGoohan, a wine goblet, William’s engagement photo, the deathly hallows symbol, and a map of Arizona represented the titles in the Harry Potter series.

See if you can figure out these two categories:

  • Pictures of Barry Sanders rushing for a touchdown
  • David Copperfield
  • His purple symbolness performing “Purple Rain”
  • The Battle of Waterloo
  • Tony Orlando and Dawn
  • The Lone Ranger astride his horse
  • Boy George

or category 2

  • a picture of a common weed from the lawn
  • Marvin the Martian
  • a heavily tattooed gentleman
  • Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel in a recent Broadway hit
  • the inventor of the thermometer
  • a man in an electric chair
  • Superman’s logo

Finally, our last game involved anagrams of famous science fiction and fantasy titles that then had to be matched to a list of authors. My partiers had 15 to contend with, I’ll give you seven:

  • RUNT TACO                                       
  • LUBE RAMS
  • ENTRAILS
  • MAGE OF HORNETS
  • MARTINA MITE-LIPS
  • THE DINGY HEART
  • EARTHKIN

These titles match to these authors:

  1. Jim Butcher
  2. Philip K. Dick
  3. Cornelia Funke
  4. George R. R. Martin
  5. Kim Stanley Robinson
  6. Brandon Sanderson
  7. Jack Vance

I try to mix up visual, word, and sound games each year, but a few party games like this are a nice alternative to talking books. I’ll give the answers in a post later this week.

3 Responses to “Christmas Party and Reindeer Games”
  1. Alissa Says:

    I am wondering how new members are assimilated into existing groups and if anyone out there provides a welcome letter to new members when they sign up for a book group.

  2. Neil Hollands Says:

    That’s an interesting question Alissa. Assimilating new members into a group that is well established and socially active is especially tricky. I’ll think on the subject and see if I can provide some suggestions in a future post.

  3. Book Group Buzz - Discussion of Book Clubs, Reading Lists, and Literary News - Booklist Online » Blog Archive » Reindeer Games Answers Says:

    [...] my last post, I posted some puzzles from one of my book group’s annual Christmas celebration. Here are the [...]


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