January 17, 2017

Tolkien Tuesday: 2017

One subject I wished to blog about, was upcoming Tolkien publications this year. I could have covered it in my books post, but I thought I should give it its own spot.

There are a few interesting items on the horizon, as well as events.

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of The Silmarillion. Presently, there isn’t a new edition planned (or a republication of an older, etc), however that could happen in 2027 for its 50th. I’m not too sure what else they can add, to be honest. I can see both The Hobbit and The Silmarillion getting an edition similar to the 60th anniversary illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings. What I’d like to see in a future Silmarillion edition would be the sheet about the heraldry and devices that was included in a Tolkien calendar from the ‘70s, and it was also included in the white collector’s box that came out in ’99.

Most likely the biggest Tolkien publication this year is Beren and Luthien. At this point, because I haven’t seen the table of contents, I can’t say exactly what the book will contain. What’s for certain, though, is that it’s one of Tolkien’s original 3 ‘Great Tales’ edited by Christopher Tolkien, and illustrated by Alan Lee. The others are The Children of Hurin (which came out in 2007, 10 years ago) and The Fall of Gondolin. Here’s hoping that The Fall of Gondolin will happen in this manner, as it will round out all the Great Tales in that style. For Beren and Luthien, there will be a deluxe edition published the same day as the hardback and ebook. The 2018 Tolkien Calendar will also feature Alan Lee’s artwork from Beren and Luthien.  

Another item I’m looking forward to is 10th anniversary revised edition of The Tolkien Companion and Guide by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. I’ve been on the lookout for the original box set by Harper Collins, however, since it’s out of print, the market place prices are crazy high. I believe around 2010-2013 was when it caught my attention. However, this year, the two book set has been expanded. So much so, that it will now be a three book set. If I’m not mistaken, the Reader’s Guide has expanded from one book to two.

There doesn’t appear to be any sign [and by that I mean pre-order listing] for a deluxe version of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun. The deluxe version of The Story of Kullervo came out a year and a bit after the hardback and ebook did; so I’m wondering if Harper Collins will do likewise with this one. Then again, Beren and Luthien gets its deluxe edition ‘same day’, so…. Aotrou & Itroun is smaller / slimmer / thinner than Kullervo, so it may be possible that the book may be too small to get produced or printed in the deluxe edition design and style. Anyway, at this point, it’s not known if one will come [this year or ever.]. I check about once a week, every week, but I’ll make a point to check around the half-way mark for the year. If July or August rolls around and there’s no listing for it, then there won’t be in 2017 [or…ever?], would be my guess.

For those who like paperbacks, it seems that The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin will be arriving later this year (September), under the title “Colour Illustrated Hobbit”. I’m guessing because paperbacks usually have black and white artwork etc, they wanted to specify. The Story of Kullervo will also be coming out in paperback, in the “matching” size as the other Tolkien paperbacks in August.

I usually don’t track ‘books about Tolkien’ but in August, The Song of Middle-earth by David Harvey is coming out in hardback….which is a tad backwards, considering that the paperback came out last year. I am not sure what it will feature [aside from the fact the book will be in hardback], if anything. It could possibly be a print-on-demand title offered from Tolkien.co.uk , the official Tolkien bookstore.

For the time being, I believe that covers the notable Tolkien publications for 2017….that we know of at this point.

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