Dickens meets Tolkien?

I was absent-mindedly perusing the internet recently when the following headline caught my eye:

Tolkien and Dickens grandsons join for book

I don’t wish to seem overly vulgar, nor do I want the integrity of my digestive system to be called into question, but upon reading those words I more or less shat all over myself.

“The heirs of Tolkien and Dickens collaborating on a book?!” I thought, giddy as a girl with a new pair of shoes. “This will unquestionably constitute the best thing that has ever happened in the history of mankind!”

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Thorin Joke-enshield: The Hobbit trailer reviewed

I should begin this piece with an apology.

The trailer for the upcoming Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit, was released weeks ago.  It has been and gone.  Critics have reviewed it – offering up their predictable and (some might say) banal opinions – and fanboys have drooled all over it, their Pepsi-rich saliva dissolving parts of it, like nerdy versions of the Alien.  Yet still Johnny Fisher has not commented on it.  As a prominent Tolkien expert, this represents a grievous professional shortcoming on my part, and I therefore offer up the necessary apologies:

Sorry for not reviewing the trailer for The Hobbit.

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American Clods: A scathing rebuke of Neil Gaiman’s bafflingly successful American Gods

The Hugo Awards, the Nebula Awards, SFX Magazine, the International Horror Guild, the Geffen Award, what do they all have in common? They’re all idiots who unjustly lauded Neil Gaiman’s sprawling, turgid American Gods.

In aforesaid novel, Gaiman (whom I was pleased to recently discover, has not fallen victim to nominative determinism) posits a situation where the broadly contemporary United States of America are littered with destitute gods, brought over by immigrants years previously, but now gone to seed through lack of reverence and observance.

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Wizard Rock

Somebody suggested to me recently that J Mascis is in fact Saruman.

I of course laughed at such a ridiculous concept, and berated them for their utter stupidity. “Sure, J’s got long white hair”, said I, “But he’s an American grunge pioneer, not an immortal sorcerer from the Land of the Valar! Where is his staff? Show me his cloak! You are a total idiot, mum.”

But later that night I confess my mind returned to the matter. I was working into the small hours on my seminal Tolkien musical suite, The Seven Sons of Fëanor, when the comment resurfaced in my thoughts, like a stealthy Russian Shark-class nuclear sub, unseen until it breaks the waves.

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At last… King Elessar Telcontar vs. Elric of Melniboné

Imagine a deadly duel between two of fantasy’s greatest swordsmen.

The setting is some unreal dimension, transcending the boundaries of great works of fantastical fiction. Weird creatures soar through smoky skies, and raging fire-pits pock the landscape.

On a forsaken plain at the heart of this unusual world, two terrible enemies face each other.

To one side stands the newly-crowned King of Gondor, Elessar Telcontar, handsome and fell, and taller than most. His storied sword, Andúril, glints in the light of a nearby fire. Aragorn son of Arathorn is in complete control of his lengthy weapon, and it silently awaits his command. The man’s Númenórean face is wise, and his robust jaw set firmly against his opponent.

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