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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:24 pm 
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This is a nice article by Al Harron, one of my favorite fantasy bloggers. Aside from his own blog, he's also written for the fantasy blog The Cimmerian, which is chiefly about Robert E. Howard and his stuff like Conan the Barbarian (of Cimmeria). But the site also talks a lot about Tolkien and other authors.:

http://theblogthattimeforgot.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-lord-of-rings-alternate-timeline.html

Quote:
It's J.R.R. Tolkien's twelvety-first birthday, and it's amazing to think how the Middle-earth franchise has changed in a scant decade. Sure, there were multiple video games, board games and the like before the films, but nothing like the volume of other franchises. For most of its years, Middle-earth has enjoyed a sort of sanctity, with Tolkien afforded his deserved place as Sub-Creator, any derivative efforts considered exactly that. [...] And Tolkien's been lucky: nobody's been trying to horn in on his status, claiming to be "co-creators" of Middle-earth, or that their fan-fiction is just as good as his, if not better. Though there is someone who is unfairly saddled with that label.

I keep seeing this allegation that Christopher Tolkien's only in it for the money. That The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-earth, The Children of Húrin, and so forth, speak to a mind tainted by the lure of moneys...

[...]

Think about this. If CT was truly interested in wringing as much money out of Middle-earth as he could, he surely could have teamed up with someone [...] and expanded his father's work into entire novels. And as anyone could tell you, there are a lot of stories ripe for expansion...

[...]

Playing the "What If" game is rarely useful or critically insightful, but it might offer a bit of perspective. What if Christopher Tolkien was more mercenary minded? Here's an entirely speculative timeline...


Some context:

If Tolkien was the "father of High Fantasy", Howard was the "father of Sword and Sorcery". Decades after Howard's death, his Conan stories were rewritten by other authors and new Conan stories were produced by these same and other individuals, far exceeding the original number of stories, all with the Official Seal of Approval, all "canon". One of these other authors was Lin Carter, who also wrote "A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings". In some cases, Howard's non-Conan stories were rewritten as Conan stories (the guy was writing for the pulps years before Tolkien wrote The Hobbit). It was not until the 2000s that Howard's Conan stories were widely published again in their original form, and the "canon" was "restored".

And the article also mentions Brian Herbert's work on his father's Dune universe.

So this is about what might have happened if Middle-earth had gotten similar treatment.

(Cross-posted to TORC)


Last edited by Anduril on Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Good stuff, Anduril. Thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 3:00 am 
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Christopher has gotten a little well-deserved recognition:

http://www.tolkiensociety.org/2016/10/c ... ley-medal/

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