September 29, 2016

Do Authors "Owe" Us Books?

This topic or phrase has come up somewhat recently on the internet: people defending an author for long publication delays and saying '__ doesn't owe you anything".

I say they do. But here's why.

Now, this post is in no way or form a "Finish the book George!" or "Where's book 3, Rothfuss?" angry fanboy rant, but why authors owe us books.

If a writer announces that they are working on a series (first hint there) and how many books it will be (second and final hint there) then, yes they do. You just said how many there will be! So, if an author has 2 out of 4 books published, for example, then the remaining 2 count as 'owed'. If that author only writes 'standalone' novels (not part of a series), then no: they don't owe the fans a book. The fact that the author has indicated there will be a book series, and how many there will be; then we, as readers, expect at least that many to be published in that series. However, that does not give readers the right to complain about long waits between books in that series, however, or if authors (annoyingly) publish material between books that's not related to the book series. It's their passion, it's their career, whatever works for them. 

Now, there's no legal binding document or laws or anything like that when you a buy a book in that series that you are entitled to have the author write more just for you. I'm a writer myself, aside from this blog. I'm working on a fantasy series, and I've got it worked out that there will be six books in my series. Initially, I was saying '5 or 6' just in case. But I've settled on 6. The writing is going a little slowly, but well. I hope to have all 6 in the shortest time possible. I'm still in the early stages. I started writing Jan of 2012 I believe it was, with a hopeful deadline for the first draft of the first book to be completed this year sometime. that didn't happen. As an aspiring writer or author, writing is tricky. You may not always be in the mood to do it. You may wish to do other things when at the keyboard. Myself speaking as an author - once I really get going with my series, I don't intend to top until I've completed the final book. On the other hand, as a future reader of said series, that means that the readers can expect 6 books in your series. Yes, that's true. That is the intent of me being the author. I'll even 'joke' about it: the first of five is completed....5 more to go!' because that's what I've announced, and I know future readers will expect 6 installments of my series.

So, as you can see, in a way, authors do owe readers books. they probably owe it to themselves as well: it must be relieving and great to not only have another book published, but to make progress in the series itself overall. However, readers also need to be patient with authors as well. Every time a book in the series get a new cover, new edition's not the author stopping their work / projects and taking part in that. It's a publisher thing. Think about it: every time the Harry Potter books get a new cover / edition, is J.K. Rowling stopping work on her detective novels to put something in? No (unless indicated there's new  or additional content by the author ). Another example is A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R.  Martin. Many many fans have outcried that that book is not The Winds of Winter. It is, inf ct, a collection of 3 short stories written in 1998, 2003, and 2010. So that publication did not have any impact on George writing Winds.

In short, it's a two-way street: authors have their work ethics and habits, and readers have to respect that and be patient. Waiting is never fun, but it's usually worth it. And, authors don't make you wait on purpose.

September 28, 2016

News on the Final Series of Shannara

It seems that Terry Brooks is hard at work, as well on track to finishing the 'main' Shannara series. Both of the net bit of my post comes from his site:

"Books! Now there’s a happy subject. The new (final) Shannara series is going well in the writing stage. Book One is done, Book Two is being written. Still on schedule to publish late spring, early summer 2017-2020 to finish the series. Really, I will probably never finish writing Shannara books, only close off the ending so that there is a clear cycle between beginning in 1977 and ending in 2020. I can always find gaps in which to add new stories, both long and short. Hard to imagine not writing something in that world after 2020. But I don’t have to think about it now, anyway."

"Releasing 2017
  • Book One of new Shannara quadrology (tentatively May 2017)
  • A Knight of the Word (Cemetery Dance Edition, TBD)
Releasing 2018
  • Book Two of new Shannara quadrology (tentatively August 2018)
  • Angel Fire East (Cemetery Dance Edition, TBD)
There you have it – from the man himself.
The newest published book is The Sorcerer’s Daughter. It is the third book in the Defenders of Shannara series that began with The High Druid’s Blade and The Darkling Child. The series is a departure for Terry, featuring a Leah as a main character and the books are largely stand alone stories.
Terry has finished writing an untitled Book One, the first book in the chronological-end, four-book Shannara series. It will publish mid-2017!
Currently, Terry is writing the second book in the chronological-ending Shannara series. It does not have a title yet.
When finished with the series, Terry will continue writing Shannara novels set in pre-history and probably return to Landover."

So it seems that after The Sorcerer's Daughter there will be 4 more main Shannara books, as well as others here and there; much like what Stephen King did with The Wind in the Keyhole with his Dark Tower series after the 7th (and at that point, final) book was published. 

As mentioned in a previous blog post, I'm presently reading The Elfstones of Shannara on my ereader. I started with that one because that's MTV did. I'll read from that series to the end of the Shannara books. I won't read anything that takes place Elfstones (some 'mystery in the lore can be fun) and I won't read any more Shannara books after the last of the four 'ending quadrology' (Quadrilogy? Tetralogy??)

September 27, 2016

"Warcraft" On blu-ray Today!

With The Hobbit Trilogy now completed as extended edition blu-ray releases, there isn't too much for the fantasy fan.

One of my favourite and underrated movies, Warcraft, is out today.

Now, it wasn't exactly a smash hit, and it certainly wasn't as bad as the critics made it out to be, but it was also not The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones epic that was promised from the various convention panels, etc. I gave the film a solid, well-rounded 7/10.

So, today, it arrives on blu-ray. Sadly, there isn't an extended / director's cut version of the film included. Perhaps some day. It is mine, and other fans' hopes that the blu-ray will sell enough that a Warcraft II will get made, or possibly an extended version later on. I mention this because, wasn't it DVD sales that saved Family Guy, as well as a few other shows and films??

Here are the specs, and what's included:

Run Time: Theatrical: 2 Hour(s) 3 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Language & Audio: Blu-ray: English Dolby Atmos / English DVS Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo / Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround / French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: Blu-ray: English SDH / Spanish / French
Picture: Widescreen / Color

All Blu-ray versions will include:

  • The Fandom of Warcraft – Delve into the history and breadth of the fandom behind the game and film, as well as the way it has influenced pop culture.
  • ILM: Behind the Magic of Warcraft – See some of the groundbreaking facial capture technology utilized by Industrial Lights & Magic to convey the emotion and depth of the visually impressive Orc characters in the film.
  • Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood Motion Comic – Take an interactive journey through the official Warcraft graphic novel with a never-before-seen motion comic that brings the story of the film’s young heroes – Prince Llane, Captain Lothar and Guardian Medivh - to life in this unique experience.
  • The World of Warcraft on Film – The “World of Warcraft” is much more than just a game – it is a cultural phenomenon as documented in this comprehensive multi-part feature focused on bringing the unique environs of Warcraft to film:
    • The World of Talent – Fans can learn more about the casts’ reactions to being a part of the Warcraft film, how they prepared for their role and the challenges they encountered during filming.
    • The World of VFX – The Warcraft universe wouldn’t exist without the tireless efforts of the VFX crew. Follow along with the filmmakers as they tell the story of how Warcraft came to life through VFX.
    • Outfitting a World – Learn how the filmmakers worked with WETA workshop, Blizzard, and acclaimed costume designer Mayes Rubeo to create the weaponry and armor that must be familiar and otherworldly at the same time, all while creating a unique aesthetic for the film.
    • The World of MOCAP – An overview of the creation of the Orcs and other digital characters from inception all the way through to the final execution. Through extensive footage of the actors in their MOCAP suits and live in-camera renderings during production, the audience will see the incredible effort that went into creating the Orcs.
    • The World of Stunts – Though much of Warcraft was created through extensive VFX, the fight scenes and stunts had to be very real. In this featurette, fans can learn more about the extensive fight choreography and stunt work that fueled the film’s action from beginning to end.
  • Madame Tussauds’ Featurette – Featurette on the making of the Warcraft wax figures by Madame Tussauds.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Origin Story
  • Warcraft Teaser: An early teaser which premiered at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013.

September 26, 2016

Tolkien Tuesday: The Professor's Favourites

This week, I'm going to delve into some works that have both inspired Tolkien, and that he considered among his favorite stories. Since there's going to be a few titles to mention, I'll jump straight into them now.This is, of course, a sampling of his inspiration / favourites, but I like to think that he would have loved to own these exact copies as well.

I also do my best to explain how each of the books is relevant to Tolkien. He was a Professor he greatly enjoyed old age stories, myth and (epic) poems, in various languages, or variations of English. Anything that's left blank is because beyond what I've just said, I'm unable to accurately elaborate on.  

The Sagas of Icelanders

In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age. A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world’s great literary treasures – as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ultimately, North America. Sailing as far from the archetypal heroic adventure as the long ships did from home, the Sagas are written with psychological intensity, peopled by characters with depth, and explore perennial human issues like love, hate, fate and freedom.

Note: This book is rough-cut, which means the pages will be unevenly cut to give the book and unique look and feel. [This is is also known as 'deckle-edge']

ISBN: 9780141000039

Norse Myths (Gods of the Vikings)

Dramatic, compelling and comprehensive - the great cycle of Norse myths are retold for the modern reader in The Penguin Book of Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland.
'Burning ice, biting flame; that is how life begins'
The extraordinary Scandinavian myth cycle is one of the most enduring, exciting, dramatic and compelling of the world's great stories.
A series of intertwined tales which together form a strange and fantastical world teeming with gods and goddesses, heroes and monsters, battles and couplings, the Norse myths are as exciting to read as they are of vast cultural and historical importance.
Taking us from the creation of the world through the building of Asgard's Wall to the final end in Ragnorak, and featuring the exploits and adventures of such legendary figures as Odin, Thor and Loki, The Penguin Book of the Norse Myths brings alive the passion, cruelty and heroism of these unforgettable stories.

ISBN: 9780241953211


Beowulf is the longest and finest literary work to have come down to us from Anglo-Saxon times, and one of the world's greatest epic poems. Set in the half-legendary, half historical Scandinavian past, it tells the story of the hero Beowulf, who comes to the aid of the Danish king Hrothgar by killing first the terrifying, demonic monster Grendel, and then Grendel's infuriated and vengeful mother. A lifetime later, Beowulf's own kingdom, Geatland, is threatened by a fiery dragon; Beowulf heroically takes on this challenge, but himself dies killing the dragon.

The poem celebrates the virtues of the heroic life, but Hrothgar and Beowulf are beacons of wisdom and courage in a dark world of feuds, violence and uncertainty, and Beowulf's selfless heroism is set against a background of ruthless power struggles, fratricide and tyranny. This acclaimed translation is complemented by a critical introduction and substantial editorial apparatus.

Relevance to Tolkien: In 1926, Tolkien created his own prose translation (and possibly a verse one, which is unfinished and unpublished.). The story itself is of great importance to Tolkien. We can see its influence throughout his writings, and he even gve lectures on it on many occasions.

ISBN: 9780199555291

The Poetic Edda (sometimes called The Elder Eda)


'She sees, coming up a second time,
Earth from the ocean, eternally green;
the waterfalls plunge, an eagle soars above them,
over the mountain hunting fish.'

After the terrible conflagration of Ragnarok, the earth rises serenely again from the ocean, and life is renewed. The Poetic Edda begins with The Seeress's Prophecy which recounts the creation of the world, and looks forward to its destruction and rebirth. In this great collection of Norse-Icelandic mythological and heroic poetry, the exploits of gods and humans are related. The one-eyed Odin, red-bearded Thor, Loki the trickster, the lovely goddesses and the giants who are their enemies walk beside the heroic Helgi, Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer, Brynhild the shield-maiden, and the implacable Gudrun. New in this revised translation are the quest-poem The Lay of Svipdag and The Waking
of Angantyr, in which a girl faces down her dead father to retrieve his sword.

Comic, tragic, instructive, grandiose, witty and profound, the poems of the Edda have influenced artists from Wagner to Tolkien and a new generation of video-game and film makers.

Relevance to Tolkien: One of his faves, and like Beowulf, it shows throughout his work. Was inspired by this, as well as the Saga of the Volsungs, to do his own version of a Norse tale, which became "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun." It was completed, but not published during his life-time. This is possibly due to his work on "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", and "The Silmarillion."

ISBN: 9780199675340

The Kalevala

The Kalevala is the great Finnish epic, which like the Iliad and the Odyssey, grew out of a rich oral tradition with prehistoric roots.

During the first millenium of our era, speakers of Uralic languages (those outside the Indo-European group) who had settled in the Baltic region of Karelia, that straddles the border of eastern Finland and north-west Russia, developed an oral poetry that was to last into the nineteenth century.

This poetry provided the basis of the Kalevala. It was assembled in the 1840s by the Finnish scholar Elias Lönnrot, who took `dictation' from the performance of a folk singer, in much the same way as our great collections from the past, from Homeric poems to medieval songs and epics, have probably been set down.

Relevance to Tolkien: This is where "The Story of Kullervo" stems from; which was incomplete, and very recently published. It was among his first-ever writings.

ISBN: 9780199538867

The Mabinogion

'I cannot be killed indoors,' he said, 'nor out of doors; I cannot be killed on horseback, nor on foot.' 'Well,' she said, 'how can you be killed?'

Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and an intriguing interpretation of British history - these are just some of the themes embraced by the anonymous authors of the eleven tales that make up the Welsh medieval masterpiece known as the Mabinogion. They tell of Gwydion the shape-shifter, who can create a woman out of flowers; of Math the magician whose feet must lie in the lap of a virgin; of hanging a pregnant mouse and hunting a magical boar. Dragons, witches, and giants live alongside kings and heroes, and quests of honour, revenge, and love are set against the backdrop of a country struggling to retain its independence.

This new translation, the first for thirty years, recreates the storytelling world of medieval Wales and re-invests the tales with the power of performance.

ISBN: 9780199218783

The Nibelungenlied

'In ancient tales many marvels are told us ... now you may hear such marvels told!'

The greatest of the heroic epics to emerge from medieval Germany, the Nibelungenlied is a revenge saga of sweeping dimensions. It tells of the dragon-slayer Sivrit, and the mysterious kingdom of the Nibelungs with its priceless treasure-hoard guarded by dwarves and giants, of Prünhilt the Amazonian queen, fortune-telling water-sprites and a cloak of invisibility. Driven by the conflict between Kriemhilt, the innocent maiden turned she-devil, and her antagonist, the stoic, indomitable Hagen, the story is one of human tragedy, of love, jealousy, murder, and revenge, ending in slaughter on a horrific scale. The work of an anonymous poet of c.1200, since its rediscovery in the eighteenth century the Nibelungenlied has come to be regarded as the national epic of the Germans. It has inspired countless reworkings and adaptations, including two masterpieces: Fritz Lang's two-part film, and Richard Wagner's Ring cycle.

This is the first prose translation for over forty years: accurate and compelling, it is accompanied by a wealth of useful background information.

ISBN:  9780199238545

The Iliad

'War, the bringer of tears...'

For 2,700 years the Iliad has gripped listeners and readers with the story of Achilles' anger and Hector's death. This tragic episode during the siege of Troy, sparked by a quarrel between the leader of the Greek army and its mightiest warrior, Achilles, is played out between mortals and gods, with devastating human consequences. It is a story of many truths, speaking of awesome emotions, the quest for fame and revenge, the plight of women, and the lighthearted laughter of the gods. Above all, it confronts us with war in all its brutality - and with fleeting images of peace, which punctuate the poem as distant memories, startling comparisons, and doomed aspirations. The Iliad's extraordinary power testifies to the commitment of its many readers, who have turned to it in their own struggles to understand life and death.

This elegant and compelling new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and notes that guide the reader in understanding the poem and the many different contexts in which it was performed and read.


The Odyssey

This prose translation of the Odyssey is so successful that it has taken its place as one of the few really outstanding versions of Homer's famous epic poem. It is the story of the return of Odysseus from the siege of Troy to his home in Ithaca, and of the vengeance he takes on the suitors of his wife Penelope. Odysseus's account of his adventures since leaving Troy includes his encounter with the enchantress Circe, his visit to the Underworld, and the lure of the Sirens.


The Aeneid

'Arms and the man I sing of Troy...'

So begins one of the greatest works of literature in any language. Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is nevertheless assailed by dangers invoked by the goddess Juno, and by the torments of love, loyalty, and despair. Virgil's supreme achievement is not only to reveal Rome's imperial future for his patron Augustus, but to invest it with both passion and suffering for all those caught up in the fates of others.

Frederick Ahl's new translation echoes the Virgilian hexameter in a thrillingly accurate and engaging style. An Introduction by Elaine Fantham, and Ahl's comprehensive notes and invaluable indexed glossary complement the translation. 

ISBN: 9780199231959

The Canterbury Tales

'Whoever best acquits himself, and tells
The most amusing and instructive tale,
Shall have a dinner, paid for by us all...'

In Chaucer's most ambitious poem, The Canterbury Tales (c. 1387), a group of pilgrims assembles in an inn just outside London and agree to entertain each other on the way to Canterbury by telling stories. The pilgrims come from all ranks of society, from the crusading Knight and burly Miller to the worldly Monk and lusty Wife of Bath. Their tales are as various as the tellers, including romance, bawdy comedy, beast fable, learned debate, parable, and Eastern adventure. The resulting collection gives us a set of characters so vivid that they have often been taken as portraits from real life, and a series of stories as hilarious in their comedy as they are affecting in their tragedy. Even after 600 years, their account of the human condition seems both fresh and true.

This new edition of David Wright's acclaimed translation includes a new critical introduction and invaluable notes by a leading Chaucer scholar.

ISBN: 9780199599028

Troilus and Criseyde

`Now listen with good will, as I go straight to my subject matter, in which you may hear the double sorrows of Troilus in his love for Criseyde, and how she forsook him before she died'

Like Romeo and Juliet, or Tristan and Iseult, the names of Troilus and Criseyde will always be united: a pair of lovers whose names are inseparable from passion and tragedy. Troilus and Criseyde is Chaucer's masterpiece and was prized for centuries as his supreme achievement. The story of how Troilus and Criseyde discover love and how she abandons him for Diomede after her departure from Troy is dramatically presented in all its comedy and tragic pathos. With its deep humanity and penetrating insight, Troilus and Criseyde is now recognized as one of the finest narrative poems in the English language.

This is a new translation into contemporary English of Chaucer's greatest single poem which can be read alongside the Middle English original, or as an accurate and readable version in its own right.


Le Morte Darthur

The definitive English version of the stories of King Arthur, Le Morte Darthur was completed in 1469-70 by Sir Thomas Malory, `knight-prisoner'. In a resonant prose style, Malory charts the tragic disintegration of the fellowship of the Round Table, destroyed from within by warring factions. Recounting the life of King Arthur, the knightly exploits of Sir Lancelot du Lake, Sir Tristram, Sir Gawain, and the quest for the Holy Grail, Le Morte Darthur depicts the contradictions that underscore the Fellowship's chivalric ideals. A pervading tension cumulates in the revelation of Lancelot and Guenivere's illicit passion, and in Arthur's powerlessness to prevent a related outbreak of violence and revenge.

This generously annotated edition is based on the authoritative Winchester manuscript and represents what Malory wrote more closely than the first version printed by William Caxton. Intelligently abridged from the original to make a single substantial volume, the translation is supplemented by a fine Introduction, a Glossary, and extensive Notes. 


Relevance to Tolkien:

His "Fall of Arthur" is inspired by Sir Thomas Malory's 'version' of Arthur. Tolkien didn't do his own version or translation of this exact work, but was greatly inspired by it.

"The Fall of Arthur" is incomplete, although, it's worth noting that this was due to Tolkien's work on "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". If Tolkien did not work on those Middle-earth stories, he would have completed (and possibly published) "The Fall of Arthur." And, if Christopher Tolkien did not work on The History of Middle-earth 12-volume series, "The Fall of Arthur" would have been published a lot sooner than 2013.
It's also highly likely that in the 'what if (of Tolkien not doing "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"), that "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" would have also been published as well, during his lifetime, in the 1930s at some point.

Sir Gawain


Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, with its intricate plot of enchantment and betrayal is probably the most skilfully told story in the whole of the English Arthurian cycle. Originating from the north-west midlands of England, it is based on two separate and very ancient Celtic motifs of the Beheading and the Exchange of Winnings, brought together by the anonymous 14th century poet. His telling comprehends a great variety of moods and modes - from the stark realism of the hunt-scenes to the delicious and dangerous bedroom encounters between Lady Bercilak and Gawain, from moments of pure lyric beauty when he evokes the English countryside in all its seasons, to authorial asides that are full of irony and puckish humour. This new verse translation uses a modern alliterative pattern which subtly echoes the music of the original at the same time as it strives for fidelity.

ISBN: 9780199540167

Relevance to Tolkien:

Tolkien did his own translation, which is often sold with two other poems he translated in the same book: Sir Orfeo and Pearl.

Nintendo 64 Turns 20

"It's a-me...Mario!"

20 years ago, Mario spoke for the first time.

20 years ago today, the Nintendo 64 (formerly named 'Ultra'), or 'N64' came out. And boy do I remember it.

I was born in '84. I had the NES when I was about 6, until I was 10 when I sold it to get money to buy the SNES (hey how did kids get money to buy systems, right?). But that's OK, because I basically owned the NES games on the SNES again (plus a bit more...) thanks to the Super Mario All-Stars. THEN, there was the Nintendo 64.

At launch, there weren't that many games out for it: Super Mario 64, and Pilot Wings 64. A few months later yielded a few sports games, as well as Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.

I knew I wouldn't be able to get it straight away: it was brand new, and therefore expensive (especially for a 12 year old kid.) I really wanted one for Christmas but if I got one, I would have just gotten the system sadly. The N64 was the first Nintendo system (out of NES, SNES, and N64 at that point) not to come with a game. So you would have to buy the game separate. So I waited and saved as much and as best as I could. In the mean time, my parents would rent me one for the weekend with a game or two from time to time from West Coast Video. I'll never forget playing Super Mario 64 for the very first time and adjusting to both camera controls, and the analog stick / joystick.   

When my birthday in July rolled around, I had enough to buy it. Plus, I remember getting a few other things for my birthday: that's where my love of blue controllers came from. My PS4 controller is blue, as well, as was my PS2 one. Off to Costco I went: I remember getting it, Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64.

I also remember reading about and wanting upcoming games for it. The first ever 'collector's item' I ever wanted as the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time gold edition. And my parents got it for me the Christmas that game came out, as well as the strategy guide. I remember when the Rumble Pak and Expansion Pak came out as well.

Video gaming isn't what it used to be. But boy oh boy, do I remember the Nintendo 64 coming out, as well as certain games and milestones it had. And you know what? I still have it, with my controllers and games in the basement in storage, as well my SNES "Mario Set."

September 22, 2016

Happy Hobbit Day!

Happy Hobbit Day!

Today is Frodo's and Bilbo's birthdays. They were both born today, although in different years, in The Third Age.

This tradition has been going since about 1978, celebrating both Frodo's and Bilbo's birthdays by fans of Tolkien's works: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and others. The Tolkien Society celebrates close to the day with their annual Oxonmoot.

It is among a few days (Tolkien's birth, Tolkien's death, a publication of a specific book (I choose to celebrate the day that The Return of the King was published), as well 'The Downfall' in March) to celebrate being a Tolkien fan, as well, as well as the values and ethics presented in Tolkien's books.

Also, today this book is being published:

It's The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition!

This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951.

The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.

The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text – particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its ‘sequel’, The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.

This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages – not just ‘children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission – can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared.
ISBN: 9780007440832

So enjoy the day, have some hobbit-y food, a pint of ale, read a Tolkien book (or buy one you may be missing)...whatever you choose, and however you choose to do it.

Cheers to you, fellow Tolkien fans!

September 21, 2016

Mario Maker: Back to the Building Blocks

I've taken a bit of a break from Mario Maker, but lately I started making levels again. I was occupied with reading, Skyrim, and other things. I still am, but I've gotten back into Mario Maker a little bit.

I'm almost finished the 'game' I'm making. Currently I have 1-1 - 9-4 posted, and the game will end at level 10-4. So that means I need more stars in order to post 10-1 - 10-4.

Here is the start of my game, level 1-1....  . Log in with your Nintendo ID, and bookmark it. Alternatively, the code is: EE59-0000-0293-6CFA .

Enjoy, check out the levels I have posted, and be sure to star them (if you like them) so that I can upload the final world. And won't THAT be fun and challenging.... I should have those completed by Monday, I only lack stars to upload the final four levels.

Please note that none of my levels are 'troll' levels or auto levels.  

September 20, 2016

Newest Tolkien Addition: "The Lord of the Rings" (60th Anniversary (illustrated) Edition)

Well, I've done it - I've got myself another Tolkien book for the 'Do Not Read' Editions collection. This one is a copy of The Lord of the Rings. Detailed info below.

60th Anniversary (illustrated) Edition, Harper Collins. ISBN: 9780007525546
Product info: This new edition includes all 50 of Alan Lee's beautiful watercolour paintings that have been newly scanned by the artist himself, together with his stunning frontispiece painting that appears in full, for the very first time, as a three-page foldout sheet. The text has been reset using the definitive 50th anniversary text and is printed on high-quality paper, and this is accompanied by Tolkien's own maps, which are printed in red & black as endpapers. The unjacketed book features illustrated boards and includes a silk ribbon marker, and is housed in a special transparent slipcase; together with Alan's beautiful paintings, this new presentation of this landmark work provides the reader with the ultimate edition with which to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its first publication.

The title is not factory-sealed issued, however there is a box provided by the publisher, which is plain cardboard. There is a label on the box featuring the Tolkien emblem, as well as the ISBN, and bar code. Box is in excellent condition. Upon reciving the item, it was removed from the provided box to check for exterior / noticeable damage to the book or slipcase. Both book and slipcase are in brand new / near-mint condition. The book has never been removed from the slipcase, and therefore, never been opened. Book was replaced back inside provided publisher box exactly how it came out. [please note that the slipcase is flimsy, and replacing the book back inside can be tricky. This was discovered and observed while examining a shelf-copy at a national bookstore. Reading up about this particular edition online, it appears that many, many copies of this have recieved some degree of damage due to postage; whether to the book, the slipcase, or the provided box. This copy has never been removed from the slipcase.]

Book in as new condition

Why I got it: Do I regret having my reading copy of The Lord of the Rings, or the 50th anniversary deluxe edition offered by Houghton Mifflin which is my other 'do not read' copy? No. Now, I'm not going to get every edition of The Lord of the Rings that ever was, or ever will be, but this one definitely appealed to me. First of all, I fully intend to pair this with my copy of The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin, as that book seems lonely....Also, it seems quite collectible: the slipcase (which is flimsy and seems quite easy to damage. This is based from handling and observations of a few copies I've seen in book stores. If you plan on getting a copy yourself, take extreme care with the slipcase), the fold-out artwork sheet at the front, the ribbon place-holder, the publisher-provided box (The Children of Hurin and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun Super Deluxe editions?).... Also, it didn't cost me too much to actually get such a high-end publication, thanks to a store promotion; much like The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin.

So that's all! I truly do not intend to 'collect' any more Tolkien books (or books, period) for the 'Do Not Read' category, however, who knows what Tolkien items Houghton Mifflin or Harper Collins could publish in the future....? At this moment, my Tolkien collection (for 'collecting' not 'reading') is complete.

This edition pairs quite well with Jemima Catlin's illustrated edition (standard hardback or deluxe) of The Hobbit.

Tolkien Tuesday: Tolkien....Today?

For this week's entry, I'm going to take a break from books for a bit (I will undoubtedly return to that at some point...but not 'books by Tolkien', though...)

This week's post is a collection of random thoughts, but they all bear a similar theme or idea.

I just turned 32 years old this year. Which means, that Tolkien was not alive in my lifetime. Reading about him, I've learned to appreciate the many parts of Tolkien: as an author, as a 'Professor' (his love and contributions to the scholarly and academic world, as well as his love of old, ancient epic poems) and other things.

One thing that has repeatedly crossed my mind, and I'm going to share that thought with you this week, is "what if Tolkien ere around now??"

I am of course not speaking of living very long, but if instead of living 1892 - 1973 he lived in another space of time.

What has prompted this question, was reading about his likes and dislikes, what technology he loved, and which he despised. Also, technology and the world have come a long way, and changed quite a bit since his lifetime. Because he lived outside of 'my time', let's imagine if he did....what follows are  series of bullet-point statements or questions. There are so many more that can be asked....

- Would he have self published?

Without a doubt, I can see his works as 'Tolkien the Professor' (The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf, The Story of Kullervo, etc) being printed by the Oxford University Press. But what about his own tales?

Reading about the publication history of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and even The Silmarillion, I admit to being curious if Tolkien would want to self-publish or go 'print on demand' with his own, original, unique, material.

The publishing world, as well the world itself has changed quite a bit. Would the publishers of today granted Tolkien's requests? Tolkien had a very clear idea of ho he wanted his books to look, what he wanted in them (aside from the text) as well how he wanted them designed. With the self-publishing route, Tolkien would have liked to control everything and anything about his books; and have final say. Please note, that I am not saying "Tolkien's works wouldn't have been published" but more of how would they have been published. It is extremely likely, for example, that The Lord of the Rings would have been published as a single volume.

- What technology would he liked/disliked?
This one is a little bit trickier to examine. Tolkien owned and used a typewriter, a tape recorder (this one I'm unsure of) as well as car and telephone. How well he received this inventions, and used them etc...I cannot say at this time.

I believe Tolkien would have loved the internet. Although, he would have hated how it, as well technology, 'degrades' the English language: lol, g2g, where r u, etc... the social media trend, I believe would have received harsh criticism from him. Similar t smartphones. I'm not going to go into if Tolkien would have preferred Android or Apple/iOS, bu the ability to have a wealth of information on a device about the size of a calculator would have greatly appealed to him.

If Tolkien owned and used a typewriter, I see no reason why he would also own a computer (desktop or laptop, though most likely laptop).

I don't know if Tolkien would have been a computer/video gamer, but I believe he would have tremendous respect for games such as The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher series.Also, I'm curious what Tolkien would have thought of ebooks and ereaders....

- Would his diet have changed?
This one is a bit 'off the wall', but do you think Tolkien would have taken part in the 'special diet needs' that have come bout recently? Organic, gluten free, etc....

Those are some thoughts I had, I wanted to share, or think aloud via my blog this week. I suppose it would have been more accurate to name it, or focus on, things about today that Tolkien would have liked or disliked.

September 12, 2016

Tolkien Tuesday: Definitive Deluxe Editions

This weeks post will be about the very nice, and slightly pricier than a hardback, the Tolkien deluxe editions by Harper Collins. These feature the definitive text (as do my editions when I went through them week by week, as well as the paperbacks I shared last week) as well as some great quality extras, so you'll never have to buy these tales again, and they will last at least a lifetime. 

I'll start with original publication dates....

This deluxe slipcased edition of The Hobbit, printed and bound using superior materials including a silk ribbon marker, features the definitive text, plus Tolkien's paintings and drawings in full colour, and a special fold-out version of Thror's Map. Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services - as a burglar - on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's life is never to be the same again. Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, The Hobbit.

ISBN: 9780007118359 


This deluxe slipcased volume contains the definitive version of the text, featuring for the very first time full-colour facsimiles of pages from the Book of Mazarbul, illustrations by Tolkien that he intended for inclusion in the 'Bridge of Khazad-dum' chapter. Also appearing are previously unpublished family trees and two full-size fold-out maps. Since it was first published in 1954, The Lord of the Rings has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy and epic adventure has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Over 100 million copies of its many editions have been sold around the world, and occasional collectors' editions become prized and valuable items of publishing.



To celebrate the 30th anniversary of first publication, a new de luxe edition of The Silmarillion, featuring the revised, reset text, a colour frontispiece illustration, bound in special materials and presented in a matching slipcase. The Silmarillion is an account of the Elder Days, of the First Age of Tolkien's world. It is the ancient drama to which the characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, and in whose events some of them such as Elrond and Galadriel took part. The tales of The Silmarillion are set in an age when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middle-Earth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the Silmarils, the jewels containing the pure light of Valinor. Included in the book are several shorter works. The Ainulindale is a myth of the Creation and in the Valaquenta the nature and powers of each of the gods is described. The Akallabeth recounts the downfall of the great island kingdom of Numenor at the end of the Second Age and Of the Rings of Power tells of the great events at the end of the Third Age, as narrated in The Lord of the Rings. For the first time, we are publishing a deluxe edition of this pivotal work, featuring the revised, corrected text and including, by way of an introduction, a fascinating letter written by Tolkien in 1951 in which he gives a full explanation of how he conceived the early Ages of Middle-earth. Quarter-bound, and set in a matching slipcase, this attractive edition will prove a fine addition to any Tolkien collection.



Deluxe collector's edition featuring the definitive edition text and containing a full-colour reproduction of Tolkien's painting of the dragon, Glorund. The book is quarterbound, stamped on the front board with a gold motif previously seen only on the first edition hardback, and is presented in a matching slipcase. Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring, and provides those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories. The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf's lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan. Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Numenor before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were edited by Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father's writings. This deluxe collector's edition includes a full-colour facsimile of Tolkien's painting, 'Glorund Sets Forth to Seek Turin', which illustrates his narrative 'The Children of Hurin', his colour design of a Numenorean tile, and a fold-out reproduction of the definitive map of Middle-earth drawn by Christopher Tolkien. The book is foil stamped with a Numenorean helmet design by J.R.R. Tolkien that appeared on the first edition hardback and is housed in a matching slipcase.

ISBN: 9780007542925


This de luxe collector's edition features the first edition text and eight full-colour plates, with an exclusive colour frontispiece illustration. The book is quarterbound with a special gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. There are tales of Middle-earth from times long before The Lord of the Rings, and the story told in this book is set in the great country that lay beyond the Grey Havens in the West: lands where Treebeard once walked, but which were drowned in the great cataclysm that ended the First Age of the World. In that remote time Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in the vast fortress of Angband, the Hells of Iron, in the North; and the tragedy of Turin and his sister Nienor unfolded within the shadow of the fear of Angband and the war waged by Morgoth against the lands and secret cities of the Elves. Their brief and passionate lives were dominated by the elemental hatred that Morgoth bore them as the children of Hurin, the man who had dared to defy and to scorn him to his face. Against them he sent his most formidable servant, Glaurung, a powerful spirit in the form of a huge wingless dragon of fire. Into this story of brutal conquest and flight, of forest hiding-places and pursuit, of resistance with lessening hope, the Dark Lord and the Dragon enter in direly articulate form. Sardonic and mocking, Glaurung manipulated the fates of Turin and Nienor by lies of diabolic cunning and guile, and the curse of Morgoth was fulfilled. The earliest versions of this story by J.R.R. Tolkien go back to the end of the First World War and the years that followed; but long afterwards, when The Lord of the Rings was finished, he wrote it anew and greatly enlarged it in complexities of motive and character: it became the dominant story in his later work on Middle-earth. But he could not bring it to a final and finished form. In this book Christopher Tolkien has constructed, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.

ISBN: 9780007252237


This de luxe collector's edition includes the first edition text and features an exclusive colour frontispiece illustration on a fold-out sheet. The book is quarterbound, with a specially commissioned motif stamped in three foils on the front board, and is presented in a matching slipcase. The five tales are written with the same skill, quality and charm that made The Hobbit a classic. Largely overlooked because of their short lengths, they are finally together in a volume which reaffirms Tolkien's place as a master storyteller for readers young and old. * Roverandom is a toy dog who, enchanted by a sand sorcerer, gets to explore the world and encounter strange and fabulous creatures. * Farmer Giles of Ham is fat and unheroic, but - having unwittingly managed to scare off a short-sighted giant - is called upon to do battle when a dragon comes to town; * The Adventures of Tom Bombadil tells in verse of Tom's many adventures with hobbits, princesses, dwarves and trolls; * Leaf by Niggle recounts the strange adventures of the painter Niggle who sets out to paint the perfect tree; * Smith of Wootton Major journeys to the Land of Faery thanks to the magical ingredients of the Great Cake of the Feast of Good Children. This new collection is fully illustrated throughout by Oscar-winning artist, Alan Lee, who provides a wealth of pencil drawings to bring the stories to life as he did so memorably for The Hobbit and The Children of Hurin. Alan also provides an Afterword, in which he opens the door into illustrating Tolkien's world. World-renowned Tolkien author and expert, Tom Shippey, takes the reader through the hidden links in the tales to Tolkien's Middle-earth in his Introduction, and recounts their history and themes. Lastly, included as an appendix is Tolkien's most famous essay, "On Fairy-stories", in which he brilliantly discusses fairy-stories and their relationship to fantasy. Taken together, this rich collection of new and unknown work from the author of The Children of Hurin will provide the reader with a fascinating journey into lands as wild and strange as Middle-earth.

ISBN: 9780007286188


This de luxe collector's edition features the first edition text and contains a facsimile page of Tolkien's original manuscript. The book is quarterbound with a special gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. "Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles The New Lay of the Volsungs and The New Lay of Gudrun. In the Lay of the Volsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fafnir most celebrated of dragons, whose treasure he took for his own; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness. In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrun his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrun. In the Lay of Gudrun her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge. Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Volsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda." -- Christopher Tolkien

ISBN: 9780007317257


Deluxe collector's edition featuring the first edition text and containing a facsimile page of Tolkien's original manuscript. The book is quarterbound with a gold motif stamped on the front board and is presented in a matching slipcase. The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur's expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere's flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur's return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle. Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him 'You simply must finish it!' But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that 'he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur'; but that day never came. Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem's structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.

ISBN: 9780007489893


The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book. From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel's terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot. But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf 'snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup'; but he rebuts the notion that this is 'a mere treasure story', 'just another dragon tale'. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is 'the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history' that raises it to another level. 'The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The "treasure" is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.' Sellic Spell, a 'marvellous tale', is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the 'historical legends' of the Northern kingdoms.

ISBN: 9780007590070


No over artwork or deluxe info available yet, but it;s being published in October, and its ISBN for the deluxe edition is:

So once again, should you want to grab these, check out,,,, or Blackwell's.

Please note, that there are some videos of some these on the web, should you desire more info. There was a boxed set of some the deluxe editions published, however you can get them separately (missing the slipcase of course, though you can always find custom slip cases makers). The user's comments below the provided link may provide additional sources or info.

THESE VIDEOS FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE HOBBIT - THE CHILDREN OF HURIN. They do give you an idea what to expect, though.

And, another, from the same YouTube user:

I bought this from

I paid 400 euro for them at the time, I see how now charges 550 euro (this set is getting harder to find now I suppose)

Another place to get it is perhaps or

If you search for them by ISBN number, you can still find them at a lot of places and even on Amazon:

Harper Collins Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Hobbit Published Date: 18/10/2004 ISBN: 978-0-00-711835-9

Harper Collins 50th Anniversary Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Lord of the Ring's Published Date: 18/10/2004 ISBN: 978-0-00-718236-7

Harper Collins Deluxe Slipcased Edition of the Children of Hurin Published Date: 17/04/2007 ISBN: 978-0-00-725223-7

Harper Collins 30th Anniversary Deluxe Slipcased Edition of The Silmarillion. Published Date: 05/11/2007 ISBN: 978-0-00-726489-6

Information about the books:
The J.R.R. Tolkien Deluxe Edition Collection: The Children of Hurin, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

A unique set of never-before-collected deluxe editions in original publishers slipcase.
Limited to 500 pieces only.
Not available to US customers, but now availbale through the Tolkien Library Store.

Since the 50th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings in 2004, HarperCollins has published a series of new deluxe editions of the principal Tolkien works. The series is completed in November this year with the release of The Silmarillion to commemorate the 30th anniversary of that book's original publication.

For the first time ever, you can buy the complete collection of four books as a set.

* All four books are quarterbound in textured paper in a slipcase with a curved edge and are embossed with Tolkien's own motifs on the books
* The books have sewn bindings, silk ribbon markers, and include a number of exclusive features unique to these editions
* This collection is double-slipcased: a matching slipcase houses the four individual slipcased editions

The books that make up the collection - all in mint unread condition, still in shrinkwrap:

The Hobbit (2004) - 1st edition 1st impression
Features Tolkien's drawing of the dragon Smaug embossed in gold and red foil on the case. This is the only edition of The Hobbit to feature all 13 of Tolkien's own illustrations for the book reproduced in full colour, together with his original maps reproduced as he originally intended but not previously achieved in nearly 70 years.

The Lord of the Rings (2004) - 1st edition 2nd impression (might be 3rd impression, but am unable to verify since it is still in original shrinkwrap)
This 50th anniversary edition is embossed with Tolkien's "Eye of Sauron" design in two foils and features for the very first time the pages from the Book of Mazarbul, illustrations done by Tolkien and intended for inclusion in the famous "Bridge of Khazad-dum" chapter but previously never used. Also appearing are previously unpublished family trees and the two original fold-out maps by Christopher Tolkien. For this edition and for The Hobbit, the text was checked by Tolkien experts against the original first editions and manuscripts, and more than 400 corrections were made to make this the most accurate and definitive version ever published.

The Children of Hurin (2007)- 1st edition 1st impression
Matching The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this first edition deluxe printing of The Children of Hurin includes a ninth colour plate by Alan Lee not featured inside the standard hardback, with Hurin 's golden helm designed by Alan Lee embossed on the cover.

The Silmarillion (2007) - 1st edition 1st impression
Published for its 30th anniversary, this newly reset edition of Tolkien's masterwork The Silmarillion features an exclusive full colour frontispiece The Halls of Manwë painted by J.R.R. Tolkien, the only scene from the book he painted, and is embossed with the delicate heraldic symbol he designed to represent Luthien, The Silmarillion's greatest heroine, which is also reproduced inside the book in colour. This edition also includes Christopher Tolkien's two-colour maps, including a fold-out map of Beleriand, and as a Preface, Tolkien's original letter of 1951containing his account of the mythology of Middle-earth."

September 7, 2016

iPhone 7 Unveiled

Starting September 9th, you can begin pre-orders on the iPhone 7, which is released on Sept. 16.

From the official Apple site, here is the quick summary of the upcoming smartphone:

iPhone 7 dramatically improves the most important aspects of the iPhone experience. It introduces advanced new camera systems. The best performance and battery life ever in an iPhone. Immersive stereo speakers. The brightest, most colorful iPhone display. Splash and water resistance.1 And it looks every bit as powerful as it is. This is iPhone 7.

New black and jet black finishes
Splash and water resistant

New Home button 12MP camera
Optical image stabilization

7MP FaceTime HD camera
Quad-LED True Tone flash

A10 Fusion Chip

The most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.
faster than iPhone 6
Longest battery life ever in an iPhone
New stereo speaker system

louder than iPhone 6s
EarPods with Lightning Connector

Introducing AirPods

What's in the Box:

-iPhone 7 of choice

- Earpods with lightning connector

- Lightning to USB connector

- 5W USB Power Connector

- Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus will come in 32GB (yes!! bye-bye, 16GB default / lowest end!), 128GB (awww no 64? Oh well. I'll most likely go for the 128) and 256GB. Please note, that there is no headphone jack. However, Apple includes an adapter in the box. Expect to see some 3rd party lightning headphones pop up. What this means, is that your headphones will use the port that you use to plug in to charge, or to connect to a computer, etc.Sound wise, this will be an awesome thing. Though of course, not all will be happy over this.

To pre-order head over to:

"The Lay of Aortrou and Itroun" Full Details

Cover art has been revealed for the upcoming re-publication of the new Tolkien book, The Lay of Aortrou and Itroun, which completes the information on the book.

It is a 503-line poem written by Tolkien in 1930, and published in The Welsh Review in 1945. Nov. 3, 2016 will see it re-published as its own book.

Here are the official details:

Coming from the darker side of J.R.R. Tolkien's imagination, "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" is an important non Middle-earth work to set alongside his other retellings of existing myth and legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, The Fall of Arthur and The Story of Kullervo. Together with Tolkien’s “Corrigan Poems”, which are included in this book, the Aotrou and Itroun texts comprise a sequence that was the outcome of a comparatively short but intense period in Tolkien's life when he was deeply engaged with Celtic languages and mythologies.

The sequence shows the corrigan’s increasingly powerful presence, as she takes an ever more active role in the lives of Aotrou and Itroun, Lord and Lady. She would finally emerge, changed in motive and character but still recognizable, in The Lord of the Rings as the beautiful and terrible Lady of the Golden Wood, the Elven queen Galadriel.
The book is edited and introduced by Verlyn Flieger, and includes a new prefatory note on the text by Christopher Tolkien.

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 01 edition (3 Nov. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008202133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008202132
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
Please note that as of now, it's only being published as a hardback, as well as an ebook. Expect a paperback edition 1-2 years after. No word on a deluxe edition. Don't expect one, but if it's announced I'll relay the info here.