Official biography (2005):
Oliver Dickinson, who lies behind the character Olaf first named in the original 1983 Pavis box, is a well-known specialist in Greek archaeology, especially the Greek Bronze Age and 'Dark Age', who taught in the Classics and Ancient History Department at the University of Durham, U.K. from 1976 to 2005, and lives in Haxby near York. Like most archaeologists, he has continued his activities after retirement; for example, he will have attended four international conferences in 2006, two in Greece, and will have written a paper at all of them.
He has always been fond of science fiction, fantasy, and complex board games, and his involvement with the fantasy world of Glorantha began in 1979 when he was introduced to the boardgame White Bear and Red Moon by a temporary Lecturer in Economics. He swiftly began writing to Greg Stafford, bought RuneQuest, and ran the RuneRites column in White Dwarf in the years 1981-4, but had to give it up when it was eating into time that should have been spent on academic matters. He 'came out' in 1990 when he attended the Conjunction of the Million Spheres fantasy convention in Cambridge and did a Griselda spot, which he has continued to do at all the Convulsion conventions and will be doing at Continuum in 2006. He has little experience otherwise of gaming or live-action roleplaying in a group (his academic career absorbs too much of his time), but he takes a general interest in fantasy roleplaying and greatly enjoys the comics Knights of the Dinner Table, Dork Tower, and P v P. He also enjoyed the computer game King of Dragon Pass, though he hasn't played it recently, and was a fan of Xena, Warrior Princess, but did not really go for Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Charmed, nor has he ever been a Trekkie. However, he has been and to a great extent still is obsessed with F.R.I.E.N.D.S (hence The One Where Rachel Is Brave).
Now in his sixty-fifth year, he may well be the oldest person interested in Glorantha He is very gratified that the Griselda stories have proved so popular, but he may finally be running out of ideas for them.