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Showing posts tagged: J.R.R. TOlkien click to see more stuff tagged with J.R.R. TOlkien
Jul 24 2014 1:45pm

These Chinese Lord of the Rings Book Covers Are Breathtaking

Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring WenJing Publishing Jian Guo Chinese cover

We can’t get enough of these Chinese covers for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, from WenJing Publishing. Artist Jian Guo applies such incredible detail to these nearly-monochromatic, stained glass-inspired covers. We also love how he incorporates Mandarin characters themselves into the design.

[Click through for the other two covers]

Jul 21 2014 4:10pm

Competing J.R.R. Tolkien Biopics Present Different Takes on the Lord of the Rings Author

competing J.R.R. Tolkien biopics Tolkien & Lewis C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia The Lord of the Rings religion paranoia jealousy writers block Simon West

What if we were to tell you that there are two J.R.R. Tolkien movies coming to theaters around 2015, and it's not further splitting up the third Hobbit film?

We've already written about the Tolkien origin story (appopriately titled) Tolkien, but now there's a competing biopic that has snagged an Easter 2015 release. Because while Tolkien is about how the author's World War I service influenced his writing, this new contender Tolkien & Lewis delves into religion, and a rivalry that goes even deeper than Gandalf vs. Saruman.

[Read more]

Jun 18 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We Hope It’s Bigger on the Inside?

The Mary Sue shared some photos from ColseyWolsey’s Instagram earlier–look at the teeny tiny TARDIS! It’s so cute! And look at GIANT CAPALDI! CAPALDI SMAAASH! We can’t wait to see the wacky hijinks that are ensuing in this episode…

Morning Roundup brings you news from the set of Star Wars Episode VII, the possibility of yet another solo Hulk movie, and a conversation with some of the coolest women in SFF.

[Plus: Tolkien speaks!]

Jun 17 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: Who Will Win the Great Sandworm Race?

Sandworm Race

Stephen Andrade has created a sport that handily kicks the ass of the World Cup. Can you imagine attending the Great Sandworm Race, with Paul Atreides using all of his messianic powers to steer a huge worm, Barbara Maitland probably just coaxing her worm through the sheer sweetness of her personality, and Val McKee waving his cowboy hat in the air as his Graboid surged into the lead? Cause obviously Kevin Bacon’s going to win this thing.

Morning Roundup brings some news about the X-Men’s latest foray into the past, some thoughts on A Song of Ice and Fire’s debt to Tolkien, and we ask where have all the Strong Female Characters gone already?

[Plus, John Oliver and Stephen Hawking have a serious discussion about the robot uprising]

May 23 2014 1:30pm

Tolkien’s Lost “Hobbit Dinner” Speech Will Be Remastered For Fans!

J.R.R. Tolkien

In 1958, J.R.R. Tolkien took a trip to Rotterdam, Netherlands for a special “Hobbit Dinner” that his Dutch publishers were throwing for him. There was a Middle-earth menu and 200 fans gathered around—they were eager to hear him talk about Lord of the Rings.

The speech Tolkien gave at this dinner was thought lost to time until it emerged in the private collection of a man named René van Rossenberg, who owns a Tolkien shop... but he wouldn't share it. Now, twenty years later, it would seem he has finally been convinced!

[More info]

Apr 7 2014 10:45am

Remembering Shadowfax

We’re sorry to report that Blanco, the horse who played Shadowfax in The Lord of Rings, has passed away after a sudden illness. Tolkien fansite The One Ring shared the news from Cynthia Royal, Blanco’s trainer and caretaker.

[read more]

Apr 1 2014 10:00am

Spoilers For Every Book Ever

Superman is Clark Kent Batman illustration by Sergio Aragones

Look at you! There’s no time to read. You have decisions to make! Like “what do I become if not an astronaut?” and “how is internet formed?”

But you are so popular! Like George McFly after “Earth Angel” is done playing! And everyone else reads. And it’s all they ever want to talk about. (So boring!)

Don’t worry! We relate. Here is a list of book spoilers for science fiction and fantasy books (and others) so you can feel like king of the party. Always know what everyone is talking about!

[Shhh! Spoilers for all the books ahead!]

Mar 26 2014 7:30am

Tolkien in Translation

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus, Tor.com’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

This week in the business, the Tolkien estate has reached a deal with HarperCollins to publish the grandfather of fantasy’s take on Beowulf, whilst Hodder & Stoughton has set about rescuing Quercus. What does it cost to buy a publisher this close to going under, one wonders?

Later on, Abercrombie readers rejoice, for Half a King is nearly here! And even without the fancy foils and finishes the author promises, the recently released cover art looks lovely.

[Read More]

Mar 20 2014 11:30am

Hwæt! Tolkien’s Beowulf Coming in May

JRR Tolkien Beowulf translation

Tolkien’s 1926 translation of Beowulf will be published after a nearly 90-year wait! The book, which is being edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in May, will include transcripts of lectures that Tolkien gave on the poem, as well as The Sellic Spell, a previously unpublished story that retells The Saga of Hrolf Kraki.

Tolkien spent years studying Beowulf, calling it “laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination… the whole thing is somber, tragic, sinister, curiously real.”

Will Tolkien’s Beowulf supplant Seamus Heaney’s? Will his translation and lectures offer insights into his creation of Smaug? How will he tackle the opening salutation, “Hwæt,” which has been translated in so many different ways? We can’t wait to find out!

Mar 20 2014 8:00am

Morning Roundup: What Hath the Pink Slime Wrought?

Many of the Transformers change into things that aren’t terribly useful, but what if they could transform into other classic vehicles? Darren Rawlings of ThinkMore Studios didn’t just ask that question, he also provided some hilarious answers in this series, including a transformed KITT, General Lee, and our obvious favorite, Ecto-1.

Morning Roundup has so much to tell you! Ghostbusters III has lost its director, Stan Lee is unsure of this Ultron fellow, and Martin Freeman is from Minneapolis now!

[Plus, a magical Majik Cup ad!]

Jan 3 2014 10:00am

J. R. R. Tolkien Went into the West, but Gave Us Middle-earth

JRR TolkienIt’s January 3, which means that on this day, in 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born. Undoubtedly one of the most influential authors of modern mythic literature, Tolkien spent his childhood as an avid reader and a lover of language. As a boy, he often preferred to invent new tongues himself or with friends. His youthful fancies informed his academic career, and Tolkien eventually became a professor of English Literature. In the 1930s, he wrote an article about the criticism of Beowulf that forever changed how the literary world academically viewed the poem.

[Read More]

Jan 2 2014 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: A Return for The Desolation of Smaug

poster for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit, which I’ve reopened so we can talk about the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As you may recall, I liked the first movie more than I expected, and was surprised at some of the ways it adapted events from the larger Middle-earth canon. After the jump, I’ll discuss how I felt about this movie and run through some comparisons with the books. As always, spoilers for the movies and everything Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits). You can catch up with the past reread posts at the Hobbit reread index and the LotR reread index.

This post turned out to be epically long, but it’s broken up into sections for ease of reference, so click the jump link and let’s talk!

[“Like butter that has been scraped over too much bread”]

Dec 23 2013 4:00pm

Advanced Readings in D&D: J.R.R. Tolkien

JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings FellowshipIn “Advanced Readings in D&D,” Tor.com writers Tim Callahan and Mordicai Knode take a look at Gary Gygax’s favorite authors and reread one per week, in an effort to explore the origins of Dungeons and Dragons and see which of these sometimes-famous, sometimes-obscure authors are worth rereading today. Sometimes the posts will be conversations, while other times they will be solo reflections, but one thing is guaranteed: Appendix N will be written about, along with dungeons, and maybe dragons, and probably wizards, and sometimes robots, and, if you’re up for it, even more.

Finishing up Appendix N, we come to the heavyweight on the list, the one they call “The Professor,” the one, the only, J! R! R! Tolkiennnnnnnnn! Yes, we saved J.R.R. Tolkien for last, so get ready for all the hobbits halflings hobbits you can shake a stick at.

[Read More]

Dec 4 2013 11:00am

The Feast Goes on and Ever On: Recipes of Middle-earth!

Each year I host a marathon of Lord of the Rings. We begin at about 9:30 in the morning, watch all the extended editions, and we eat. And eat and eat. We do all seven Hobbit meals (we eat both dinners) which, it turns out, can be scheduled perfectly around each disc of the DVDs. This marathon has turned into a tradition – one friend uses it as an excuse to try a new scone recipe, another always brings Munchkins, and one friend tweaks his vegetarian faux-coney stew each year, always inching closer to perfection. Since we live in Manhattan and have a thematically appropriate hobbit-sized kitchen, we’ve also been more open to ordering one of the meals. (Surely there’s a Middle-earth pizza joint? Maybe in Minas Tirith.)

Since The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug is coming to theaters next week, and there are still more holidays coiled in the back of this year's cave, waiting to strike, I wanted to share some of the best Hobbity recipes resources I've found! 

[There and Snack Again]

Dec 3 2013 11:15am

Goodreads Choice Awards Announce Their “Best Books of 2013”

goodreads choice awards 2013 The winners of the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards are in! Each year Goodreads hosts “the only major book awards decided by readers,” with books chosen from 20 categories including Paranormal Fantasy, Debut Goodreads Author, and Young Adult Fantasy. This year 1,953,770 votes were cast from Goodreads 20 million members. Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane won for Best Fantasy, Jim Butcher’s Cold Days was named Best Paranormal Fantasy, Margaret Atwood’s follow up to Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, Maddaddam, took Best Science Fiction, and J.R.R. Tolkien won for Best Poetry with the collection The Fall of Arthur. Click through to see the choices and get some great book recommendations.

Congratulations to all the winners!

[Goodreads Best Books of 2013]

Dec 2 2013 10:00am

Tolkien, Alignment, Non-Violence, and Why Hobbits are Required for Middle-earth to Survive

Tolkien, Alignment, Non-Violence, and Why Hobbits are Required for Middle-earth to Survive

At this point, using the Dungeons & Dragons alignment system to categorize popular culture is old hat; it has made its fair share of funny memes and passed into common parlance. There are a lot of things wrong with the alignment system, but I think it remains a useful descriptive tool. In fact, I think using it as a rubric for understanding the ethics at play in J.R.R. Tolkien’s work—from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings and back again—can actually tease meaningful statements out of the text. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it explains the whole point of the most contentious of all characters: Tom Bombadil.

[Read more]

Nov 29 2013 10:00am

C.S. Lewis: Moral Fantasist

CS Lewis Artwork by David A. Johnson

Today would have been C.S. Lewis’ 115th birthday. Last week was the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’ death, and he was honored with a memorial in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

C.S. Lewis had three different lives professionally. He was an academic, a medievalist who taught at both Oxford and Cambridge and published extensively in his field. (His book Allegory of Love still considered a classic). He was also a Christian Apologist and lay-theologian, with works like Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Screwtape Letters exploring faith and doubt. Finally, the career that made him famous and became his lasting legacy was that of a fantasy and science fiction author. His Chronicles of Narnia are classics of children’s literature, and have sparked devotion and serious exploration from authors like Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, and Lev Grossman.

[Read More]

Nov 22 2013 6:00pm

New Tolkien Biopic will Bring All the Excitement of Linguistics to the Screen!

JRR Tolkien

A new biopic of J.R.R. Tolkien may be in the works! David Gleeson, who wrote and directed Cowboys and Angels in 2003, has written a script focusing on how Tolkien’s youth and service in World War I impacted his writing.

The script has been picked up by Chernin Entertainment (who also did The Heat and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) They’ve (tentatively!) titled the project Tolkien, but further details are scant. No word on whether or not the Tolkien estate will be involved in the film—they guard Tolkien’s legacy like a certain dragon, so their reaction to the film will be interesting.

The project currently has no director or actors attached—so let the dream casting begin! Who do you want to see playing Tolkien in Tolkien? Perhaps Ian McKellen, for full meta-effect? And who could play Tolkien’s fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis, or a young Christopher Lee? Screw it, since we want him in everything anyway, we can attest that Benedict Cumberbatch looks great in WWI regalia.

Aug 14 2013 10:00am

When I Grow Up: Fantasy Musicals!

SFF Musicals, Matilda

It’s hard to separate out the fantasy from the sci-fi in the case of musicals because you already have the added fantastical element of characters breaking into the song with practically zero provocation. But there are some clear winners in the fantasy category, not counting their fairy tale counterparts.

This time around we’ve got a boy who’s gotta crow, a girl who can move things with her mind, and hobbits! Hobbits who sing!

[“If growing up means it’s to be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up—not me!”]

Jun 24 2013 1:45pm

David Bowie and Joanna Russ Side by Side! EMP Announces New Hall of Fame Inductees

David Bowie, Joanna Russ, Tolkien, and more inducted into Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

EMP (formerly the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame) have announced the 2013 inductees into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame! Multi-award-winning author Joanna Russ will join noted practicing alien David Bowie along with artist H.R. Giger, writer and editor Judith Merril, and renowned fantasist J.R.R. Tolkien.

[He came, he met us, he blew our minds]