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In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which were highly influential in the fantasy genre, he named September 22nd as the shared birthday of his protagonists, Bilbo and Frodo. People now celebrate September 22nd as Hobbit Day, which always falls during the American Tolkien Society's Tolkien Week. Explore Tolkien's legacy along with influential works and authors within the fantasy genre with these e-resources from our collection.
Classic Fantasy Fiction
Start with Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, the first book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and then explore these titles, which helped shape the fantasy genre as we know it now. Hover over the i button to read the synopsis of each book.
The Hobbit by
This lavish gift edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic features cover art, illustrations, and watercolor paintings by the artist Alan Lee. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum. Written for J.R.R. Tolkien's own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.
The Fellowship of the Ring by
The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS nbsp; One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose. “A unique, wholly realized other world, evoked from deep in the well of Time, massively detailed, absorbingly entertaining, profound in meaning.” – New York Times
The Dragonbone Chair by
New York Times-bestselling Tad Williams' landmark epic fantasy saga of Osten Ard begins an exciting new cycle! "One of my favorite fantasy series." --George R. R. Martin * "Groundbreaking." --Patrick Rothfuss * "One of the great fantasy epics of all time." --Christopher Paolini With The Dragonbone Chair, Tad Williams introduced readers to the incredible fantasy world of Osten Ard. His beloved, internationally bestselling series Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn inspired a generation of modern fantasy writers, including George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Christopher Paolini, and defined Tad Williams as one of the most important fantasy writers of our time. This edition features a brand-new introduction from Tad Williams' editor as well as the original introduction from Williams himself! BOOK ONE: THE DRAGONBONE CHAIR A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard--for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king's younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard. Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he's ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die. After the landmark Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, the epic saga of Osten Ard continues with the brand-new novel, The Heart of What Was Lost. Then don't miss the upcoming trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard, beginning with The Witchwood Crown! Praise for Osten Ard: "Inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy.... It's one of my favorite fantasy series." --George R. R. Martin, New York Times-bestselling author of The Game of Thrones "Groundbreaking...changed how people thought of the genre, and paved the way for so much modern fantasy. Including mine." --Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times-bestselling author of The Name of the Wind "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn is one of the great fantasy epics of all time." --Christopher Paolini, New York Times-bestselling author of Eragon
Dragons of Autumn Twilight by
This Dungeons & Dragons-inspired fantasy adventure is the first installment in the beloved Dragonlance Chronicles Once merely creatures of legend, the dragons have returned to Krynn. But with their arrival comes the departure of the old gods--and all healing magic. As war threatens to engulf the land, lifelong friends reunite for an adventure that will change their lives and shape their world forever . . . When Tanis, Sturm, Caramon, Raistlin, Flint, and Tasslehoff see a woman use a blue crystal staff to heal a villager, they wonder if it's a sign the gods have not abandoned them after all. Fueled by this glimmer of hope, the Companions ban together to uncover the truth behind the gods' absence--though they aren't the only ones with an interest in the staff. The Seekers, a new religious order, wants the artifact for their own ends, believing it will help them replace the gods and overtake the continent of Ansalon. Now, the Companions must assume the unlikely roles of heroes if they hope to prevent the staff from falling into the hands of darkness. Dragons of Autumn Twilight is the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles.
The Gunslinger by
In 1978 Stephen King introduced the world to the last Gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Nothing has been the same since. Over twenty years later the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar as the road to the Dark Tower extends beyond its own pages. A classic tale of colossal scope—crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, ‘Salem’s Lot and other familiar King haunts—the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page. And the tower awaits… The First Volume in the Epic DARK TOWER Series… The Gunslinger This heroic fantasy is set in a world of ominous landscape and macabre menace that is a dark mirror of our own. A spellbinding tale of good versus evil, it features one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations—The Gunslinger, a haunting figure who embodies the qualities of the lone hero through the ages, from ancient myth to frontier western legend. The Gunslinger’s quest involves the pursuit of The Man in Black, a liaison with the sexually ravenous Alice, and a friendship with the kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, here is stunning proof of Stephen King’s storytelling sorcery.
Journeys Through Time and Space by
A Nebula Award winner presents tales that shaped modern science fiction and fantasy--five complete novels by Mark Twain, H. G. Wells, and more. In this handpicked collection, New York Times-bestselling author Greg Bear travels back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when novelists let their imaginations soar beyond conventional boundaries of time and space and contributed to the emergence of imaginative new literary genres. In 1889, Mark Twain introduced Americans to time travel in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, in which a hard-headed New Englander is sent back through history to the age of chivalry. Six years later, H. G. Wells propelled an intrepid inventor into the far future via The Time Machine; there, our fearless hero discovers a nightmarish evolutionary scenario in which technologically advanced but mutated Morlocks dwell underground, preying on the innocent aboveground Eloi. In 1912, long before Ray Bradbury or Star Wars, Edgar Rice Burroughs imagined the first wildly popular alternative fantasy/alien culture with A Princess of Mars, transporting readers from Arizona to the red planet, where Confederate soldier John Carter is swept up in another kind of civil war and seduced by a gorgeous red-hued princess. In 1920, Scottish novelist David Lindsay presented A Voyage to Arcturus, an interstellar quest for truth as well as an inquiry into the nature of good and evil that inspired generations of fantasy writers to come. And in 1922, E. R. Eddison turned the planet Mercury into a fantasy version of Earth where demons and witches wage war on a Homeric scale in The Worm Ouroboros. With an insightful introduction, Bear celebrates the writers who first swept readers away to other times and worlds--and blew their minds in ways that altered our literary landscape and collective imagination forever.
Monstrous Regiment by
A new stage adaptation of one of Pratchett's best-selling novels The Monstrous Regiment in question is made up of a vampire (reformed and off the blood, thank you), a troll, Igor (who is only too happy to sew you a new leg if you aren't too particular about previous ownership), a collection of misfits and a young woman discovers that a pair of socks shoved down her pants is a good way to open up doors in a man's army. "One of the funniest English authors alive" (Independent)
For over twenty years, World Fantasy Award winner Patricia A. McKillip has captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of readers. Now at last her renowned Riddle-Master trilogy-The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind-long out of print, is collected in one volume. It is considered her most enduring and beloved work. Now it is collected in one volume for the first time-the epic journeys of a young prince in a strange land, where wizards have long since vanished...but where magic is waiting to be reborn.
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy by
For the first time in one elegant collector's edition hardcover, and featuring an introduction by New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks, here are the first three novels of that classic series: The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara--the beginning of a phenomenal epic of good and evil. The Sword of Shannara Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. The Elfstones of Shannara The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys' seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost. The Wishsong of Shannara An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford--for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death. Thus begins Terry Brooks's thrilling Shannara epic, an unforgettable tale of adventure, magic, and myth.
A Wizard of Earthsea by
Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guin'sA Wizard of Earthsea marks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
Fantasy fiction has roots in epic poetry such as The Iliad, The Aeneid, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and others from around the world. Below is a sampling of what's available in our catalog.
A brilliant and faithful rendering of the Anglo-Saxon epic from the Nobel laureate. Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath. In the contours of this story, at once remote and uncannily familiar at the end of the twentieth century, Seamus Heaney finds a resonance that summons power to the poetry from deep beneath its surface. Drawn to what he has called the "four-squareness of the utterance" in Beowulf and its immense emotional credibility, Heaney gives these epic qualities new and convincing reality for the contemporary reader.
The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald: An Anonymous Icelandic Epic by
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.
The Rāmāyaṇa of Vālmīki : an epic of ancient India. by
This is the first of seven volumes of a translation of the Valmiki Ramayana, the great Sanskrit epic of the life of Rama, ideal man and incarnation of the great god Visnu. This renowned work of ancient India has profoundly affected the literature, art, religions, and cultures of countless millions of people in South and Southeast Asiaan influence that is perhaps unparalleled in the history of world literature. Balakanda, the opening portion of this first translation to be based on the critical edition (Oriental Institute, Baroda), is presented here in a compact volume without the section of notes that appears in the hardcover book.
The Saga of the Volsungs by
The Saga of the Volsungs is an Icelandic epic of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle and a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J. R. R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. A trove of traditional lore, it tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and the mythic deeds of the dragonslayer, Sigurd the Volsung. Byock's comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of a narrative that reaches back to the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed.
Styrbiorn the Strong by
Styrbiorn the Strong tells the grand tale of Styrbiorn Olafsson, heir to the Swedish throne and known both for his impressive size and strength and his unruly, quarrelsome nature. Denied his birthright and exiled from Sweden, Styrbiorn becomes the leader of the Jomsvikings and sets out to reclaim the Swedish throne in the epic Battle of Fcentsrisvellir. A rediscovered classic, Styrbiorn the Strong is a tale reminiscent of the Old Norse sagas, a historical novel from one of the twentieth centuryOCOs most influential masters of fantasy."
Three Kingdoms by
Updated with a new foreword by Moss Roberts for this fifteenth anniversary edition, "Three Kingdoms" tells the story of the fateful last reign of the Han dynasty (206 B.C. A.D. 220), when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. Writing some twelve hundred years later, the Ming author Luo Guanzhong drew on histories, dramas, and poems portraying the crisis to fashion a sophisticated, compelling narrative that has become the Chinese national epic. This abridged edition captures the novel's intimate and unsparing view of how power is wielded, how diplomacy is conducted, and how wars are planned and fought. As important for Chinese culture as the Homeric epics have been for the West, this Ming dynasty masterpiece continues to be widely influential in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam and remains a great work of world literature."
Contemporary Fantasy Fiction
Continue your journey through fantasy books with these contemporary titles that have paid homage to the pillars of the genre while expanding it into something new and more inclusive.
Alphabet of Thorn by
Fantasy author Patricia A. McKillip, the 21st century's response to Hans Christian Andersen, has mastered the art of writing fairy tales -- as evidenced by previous works like The Tower at Stony Wood, Ombria in Shadow, and In the Forests of Serre. Alphabet of Thorn is yet another timeless fable suitable for children and adults alike. In the kingdom of Raine, a vast realm at the edge of the world, an orphaned baby girl is found by a palace librarian and raised to become a translator. Years later, the girl -- named Nepenthe -- comes in contact with a mysterious book written in a language of thorns that no one, not even the wizards at Raine's famous Floating School for mages, can decipher. The book calls out to Nepenthe's very soul, and she is soon privately translating its contents. As she works tirelessly transcribing the book -- which turns out to be about the historical figures of Axis, the Emperor of Night, and Kane, his masked sorcerer -- the kingdom of Raine is teetering on the brink of chaos. The newly crowned queen, a mousy 14-year old girl named Tessera who wants nothing to do with matters of state, hides in the woods as regents plot revolution. The queen's destiny, however, is intertwined with Nepenthe's ability to unravel the mystery of the thorns.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by
Winner of the L.A. Times Ray Bradbury Prize Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award The New York Times Bestseller Named a Best Book of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, TIME, NPR, GQ, Vogue, and The Washington Post "A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made." --Neil Gaiman "Gripping, action-packed....The literary equivalent of a Marvel Comics universe." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times The epic novel, an African Game of Thrones, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings In the stunning first novel in Marlon James's Dark Star trilogy, myth, fantasy, and history come together to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child. Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: "He has a nose," people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy. The band is a hodgepodge, full of unusual characters with secrets of their own, including a shape-shifting man-animal known as Leopard. As Tracker follows the boy's scent--from one ancient city to another; into dense forests and across deep rivers--he and the band are set upon by creatures intent on destroying them. As he struggles to survive, Tracker starts to wonder: Who, really, is this boy? Why has he been missing for so long? Why do so many people want to keep Tracker from finding him? And perhaps the most important questions of all: Who is telling the truth, and who is lying? Drawing from African history and mythology and his own rich imagination, Marlon James has written a novel unlike anything that's come before it: a saga of breathtaking adventure that's also an ambitious, involving read. Defying categorization and full of unforgettable characters, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is both surprising and profound as it explores the fundamentals of truth, the limits of power, and our need to understand them both.
Daughters of the Storm by
Five very different sisters team up against their stepbrother to save their kingdom in this Norse-flavored fantasy epic--the start of a new series in the tradition of Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, and Robin Hobb. FIVE ROYAL SISTERS. ONE CROWN. They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose's heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom who is risking everything for a forbidden love. Ash is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift--or a curse. And then there are the twins--vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, these five sisters must embark on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom. Praise for Daughters of the Storm "[Daughters of the Storm] is a twisty high fantasy . . . exploring political machinations and the relationships between sisters; betrayal lurks at every turn."--The Washington Post "This fantastic series opener, powered by an engaging, female-led cast of characters, is riveting from page one right through to the end, with almost every scene bringing new excitement and intrigue. All of the five leading women are richly drawn, with distinct voices and multidimensional personalities that never slip into caricature. [Kim] Wilkins sketches these royals with nuance and sensitivity, making even the vexing characters like careless Ivy and the villainous Wylm feel worthy of our sympathy. . . . Wilkins has struck gold with her thrilling high fantasy world. Book two can't arrive soon enough!"--RT Book Reviews "Readers who enjoy epic journeys and strong female protagonists will enjoy Wilkins's first installment of her new Sisters of the Fire series."--Booklist
The Emperor Tea Garden by
"The Emperor Tea Garden" is a vividly engaging fantasy romance told on several different levels that transcend time, place, gender, and even species. In this enchanted space, the boundaries between life and death, dream and reality, and here and there are all blurred. The eponymous tea garden is one whose customers are mostly deceased, mostly in love, and mostly fade away with the dawn. Eray captivatingly investigates the concepts of love, passion, and loyalty. For example, the narrator exchanges places with Night for a night, and a young man who has committed suicide in the name of love gets to leave his grave and be reunited with his paramour. Eray presents an underlying theme in which love can conquer even death itself.
The Grace of Kings by
Two men rebel together against tyranny--and then become rivals--in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. Hailed as one of the best books of 2015 by NPR. Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions--two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice. Fans of intrigue, intimate plots, and action will find a new series to embrace in the Dandelion Dynasty.
The Knight and His Shadow by
A brilliant tour de force, The Knight and His Shadow tells the tale of Lat-Sukabé's quest to find his former lover, Khadidja, who writes him to "come before it's too late." As Lat-Sukabé recounts his past with Khadidja, reality shapeshifts and takes on a dreamlike quality. He describes how Khadidja is hired by a wealthy stranger to sit before an open door and tell stories into an uncertain darkness, unable to see the person to whom she speaks. Like Lat-Sukabé and Khadidja, the reader feels farther from home with every page, as the world turns and morphs. With those shifts, the symbolic order, the basis of meaning and sanity, begins to tremble. Postmodernist sensibilities meet postcolonial concerns in this lyrical novel from a master of Senegalese literature.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by
The New York Times bestselling "epic feminist fantasy perfect for fans of Game of Thrones" (Bustle).NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:AMAZON (Top 100 Editors Picks and Science Fiction and Fantasy) * CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY * BOOKPAGE * AUTOSTRADDLEA world divided.A queendom without an heir.An ancient enemy awakens.The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction--but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
So Bright a Darkness by
Okafor ran wildly through the jungle, the phantom captain and his ghoulish platoon in hot pursuit. The faster he ran the more they gained on him. The earth suddenly became marshy and slippery under his feet, impeding speed and balance. He came to an intersection where the jungle paths crossed and saw a mound of earth about four feet high. Just beyond the mound stood a giant Iroko tree. Intuitively, he knew that if he jumped over the mound and quickly climbed up the tree, the ghostly captain and his soldiers would lose him. Eons merge in interstellar whirls. Realism, science fiction and fantasy fuse to drive this drama of transition, cross civilisation and self-discovery.
For further reading, peruse the articles below or browse The Journal of Tolkien Research.
- "Father of Epic Fantasy." Belz, Aaron.
- "Feminine Hypostases in Epic Fantasy: Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling." Măcineanu, Laura.
- "From Narnia to Hogwarts: a Christian perspective on fantasy literature." Sennett, James F.
- "Magical genders: the gender(s) of witches in the historical imagination of Terry Pratchett's Discworld." SincLair, Lian.
- "Monstrous Women: Feminism in Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment." Lashley, Katherine.
- "On Ways of Studying Tolkien: Notes toward a Better (Epic) Fantasy Criticism." Wise, Dennis Wilson.
- '“The Riotous Conflagration of Beauteous Language”: Flowery Style, Defamiliarization, and Empathic Imagination in Epic Fantasy.' Oliver, Matthew.
- "The Search for Self in Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea." Melina, P. Rini, Shanmugasundaram, C.
If you're more interested in the history and analysis of the fantasy genre, here are the books for you.
A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien by
This is a complete resource for scholars and students of Tolkien, as well as avid fans, with coverage of his life, work, dominant themes, influences, and the critical reaction to his writing. An in-depth examination of Tolkien's entire work by a cadre of top scholars Provides up-to-date discussion and analysis of Tolkien's scholarly and literary works, including his latest posthumous book, The Fall of Arthur, as well as addressing contemporary adaptations, including the new Hobbit films Investigates various themes across his body of work, such as mythmaking, medieval languages, nature, war, religion, and the defeat of evil Discusses the impact of his work on art, film, music, gaming, and subsequent generations of fantasy writers
Discovering the Hidden Meaning of the Hobbit by
In Bilbo's Journey go beyond the dragons, dwarves, and elves, and discover the surprisingly deep meaning of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel The Hobbit.
Bilbo's quest to find and slay the dragon Smaug is a riveting tale of daring and heroism, but as renowned Tolkien scholar Joseph Pearce shows, it is not simply Bilbo's journey, it is our journey too.
It is the Christian journey of self-sacrifice out of love for others, and abandonment to providence and grace.
In Bilbo's Journey: Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit you will relive the excitement of Tolkien's classic tale, while discovering the profound Christian meaning that makes The Hobbit a truly timeless adventure.
Ents, Elves, and Eriador by
Many readers drawn into the heroic tales of J. R. R. Tolkien's imaginary world of Middle-earth have given little conscious thought to the importance of the land itself in his stories or to the vital roles played by the flora and fauna of that land. As a result, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion are rarely considered to be works of environmental literature or mentioned together with such authors as John Muir, Rachel Carson, or Aldo Leopold. Tolkien's works do not express an activist agenda; instead, his environmentalism is expressed in the form of literary fiction. Nonetheless, Tolkien's vision of nature is as passionate and has had as profound an influence on his readers as that of many contemporary environmental writers. The burgeoning field of agrarianism provides new insights into Tolkien's view of the natural world and environmental responsibility. In Ents, Elves, and Eriador, Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans show how Tolkien anticipated some of the tenets of modern environmentalism in the imagined world of Middle-earth and the races with which it is peopled. The philosophical foundations that define Tolkien's environmentalism, as well as the practical outworking of these philosophies, are found throughout his work. Agrarianism is evident in the pastoral lifestyle and sustainable agriculture of the Hobbits, as they harmoniously cultivate the land for food and goods. The Elves practice aesthetic, sustainable horticulture as they shape their forest environs into an elaborate garden. To complete Tolkien's vision, the Ents of Fangorn Forest represent what Dickerson and Evans label feraculture, which seeks to preserve wilderness in its natural form. Unlike the Entwives, who are described as cultivating food in tame gardens, the Ents risk eventual extinction for their beliefs. These ecological philosophies reflect an aspect of Christian stewardship rooted in Tolkien's Catholic faith. Dickerson and Evans define it as "stewardship of the kind modeled by Gandalf," a stewardship that nurtures the land rather than exploiting its life-sustaining capacities to the point of exhaustion. Gandalfian stewardship is at odds with the forces of greed exemplified by Sauron and Saruman, who, with their lust for power, ruin the land they inhabit, serving as a dire warning of what comes to pass when stewardly care is corrupted or ignored. Dickerson and Evans examine Tolkien's major works as well as his lesser-known stories and essays, comparing his writing to that of the most important naturalists of the past century. A vital contribution to environmental literature and an essential addition to Tolkien scholarship, Ents, Elves, and Eriador offers both Tolkien fans and environmentalists an understanding of Middle-earth that has profound implications for environmental stewardship in the present and the future of our own world.
Fantasy: The Literature of Subversion by
This study argues against vague interpretations of fantasy as mere escapism and seeks to define it as a distinct kind of narrative. A general theoretical section introduces recent work on fantasy, notably Tzventan Todorov's The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre (1973). Dr Jackson, however, extends Todorov's ideas to include aspects of psychoanalytical theory. Seeing fantasy as primarily an expression of unconscious drives, she stresses the importance of the writings of Freud and subsequent theorists when analysing recurrent themes, such as doubling or multiplying selves, mirror images, metamorphosis and bodily disintegration.^l Gothic fiction, classic Victorian fantasies, the 'fantastic realism' of Dickens and Dostoevsky, tales by Mary Shelley, James Hogg, E.T.A. Hoffmann, George Eliot, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, R.L. Stevenson, Franz Kafka, Mervyn Peake and Thomas Pynchon are among the texts covered. Through a reading of thse frequently disquieting works, Dr Jackson moves towards a definition of fantasy expressing cultural unease. These issues are discussed in relation to a wide range of fantasies with varying images of desire and disenchantment.
Frodo's Journey by
J. R. R. Tolkien's magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings has been beloved for generations, selling millions of copies and selling millions more tickets through its award-winning film adaptations. The immense cultural impact of this epic is undeniable, but the deeper meaning of the story often goes unnoticed. Here, Joseph Pearce, author of Bilbo's Journey uncovers the rich--and distinctly Christian--meaning just beneath the surface of The Lord of the Rings. Make the journey with Frodo as he makes his perilous trek from the Shire to Mordor, while Pearce expertly reveals the deeper, spiritual significance. Did you know that the events of The Lord of the Rings are deeply intertwined with the Christian calendar? Or what the Ring, with its awesome and terrible power represents? How do the figures of good and evil in the story reflect those forces in our own lives? Find the answers to these questions and much more in Frodo's Journey.
Game of Thrones and Philosophy by
An in-depth look at the philosophical issues behind HBO's Game of Thrones television series and the books that inspired it George R.R. Martin's New York Times bestselling epic fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the HBO television show adapted from it, have earned critical acclaim and inspired fanatic devotion. This book delves into the many philosophical questions that arise in this complex, character-driven series, including: Is it right for a "good" king to usurp the throne of a "bad" one and murder his family? How far should you go to protect your family and its secrets? In a fantasy universe with medieval mores and ethics, can female characters reflect modern feminist ideals? Timed for the premiere of the second season of the HBO Game of Thrones series Gives new perspectives on the characters, storylines, and themes of Game of Thrones Draws on great philosophers from ancient Greece to modern America to explore intriguing topics such as the strange creatures of Westeros, the incestuous relationship of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and what the kings of Westeros can show us about virtue and honor (or the lack thereof) as they play their game of thrones Essential reading for fans, Game of Thrones and Philosophy will enrich your experience of your favorite medieval fantasy series.
Here Be Dragons: Exploring Fantasy Maps and Settings by
Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies (2016) Fantasy worlds are never mere backdrops. They are an integral part of the work, and refuse to remain separate from other elements. These worlds combine landscape with narrative logic by incorporating alternative rules about cause and effect or physical transformation. They become actors in the drama--interacting with the characters, offering assistance or hindrance, and making ethical demands. In Here Be Dragons, Stefan Ekman provides a wide-ranging survey of the ubiquitous fantasy map as the point of departure for an in-depth discussion of what such maps can tell us about what is important in the fictional worlds and the stories that take place there. With particular focus on J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, Ekman shows how fantasy settings deserve serious attention from both readers and critics. Includes insightful readings of works by Steven Brust, Garth Nix, Robert Holdstock, Terry Pratchett, Charles de Lint, China Miéville, Patricia McKillip, Tim Powers, Lisa Goldstein, Steven R. Donaldson, Robert Jordan, and Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
The Hobbit and Philosophy by
A philosophical exploration of J.R.R. Tolkien's belovedclassic?just in time for the December 2012 release of PeterJackson's new film adaptation, The Hobbit: An UnexpectedJourney J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best-lovedfantasy books of all time and the enchanting "prequel" to TheLord of the Rings. With the help of some of history's greatphilosophers, this book ponders a host of deep questions raised inthis timeless tale, such as: Are adventures simply "nasty,disturbing, uncomfortable things" that "make you late for dinner,"or are they exciting and potentially life-changing events? Whatduties do friends have to one another? Should mercy be extendedeven to those who deserve to die? Gives you new insights into The Hobbit's centralcharacters, including Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Gollum, and Thorinand their exploits, from the Shire through Mirkwood to the LonelyMountain Explores key questions about The Hobbit's story andthemes, including: Was the Arkenstone really Bilbo's to give? Howshould Smaug's treasure have been distributed? Did Thorin leave his"beautiful golden harp" at Bag-End when he headed out into theWild? (If so, how much could we get for that on eBay?) Draws on the insights of some of the world's deepest thinkers,from Confucius, Plato, and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant, WilliamBlake, and contemporary American philosopher Thomas Nagel From the happy halls of Elrond's Last Homely House to Gollum's"slimy island of rock," this is a must read for longtimeTolkien fans as well as those discovering Bilbo Baggins and hisadventures "there and back again" for the first time.
Lord of the Rings by
" With New Line Cinema's production of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the popularity of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is unparalleled. Tolkien's books continue to be bestsellers decades after their original publication. An epic in league with those of Spenser and Malory, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, begun during Hitler's rise to power, celebrates the insignificant individual as hero in the modern world. Jane Chance's critical appraisal of Tolkien's heroic masterwork is the first to explore its "mythology of power"--that is, how power, politics, and language interact. Chance looks beyond the fantastic, self-contained world of Middle-earth to the twentieth-century parallels presented in the trilogy.
Publication Date: 2010-09-12
Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art by
"Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art "profiles and celebrates the work of today's leading practitioners of art of the fantastic, as well as a handful of gifted newcomers from around the globe. The range and impact of their work is both inspiring and far-reaching. These 28 masters have created images for television, movies, gaming, museum exhibits, theme park rides, and every area of publishing. Some of the artists featured only employ traditional painting techniques, while others use only digital methods, and many more blend the mediums to create their fantastical images. Each artist discusses his/her influences and techniques as well as offering tips to beginning artists. Science Fiction Grandmaster and Hugo Award-winning author Joe Haldeman contributes a foreword. Artists, science fiction fans, and art collectors will appreciate the outstanding artwork featured here. Featured artists include: -Brom -Jim Burns -Kinuko Y. Craft -Dan Dos Santos -Bob Eggleton -Donato Giancola -Rebecca Guay -James Gurney -Gregory Manchess -Stephan Martiniere -Terese Nielsen -John Picacio -Greg Spalenka -Shaun Tan -Charles Vess
Middle-Earth and Beyond by
One wonders whether there really is a need for another volume of essays on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Clearly there is. Especially when the volume takes new directions, employs new approaches, focuses on different texts, or reviews and then challenges received wisdom. This volume intends to do all that. The entries on sources and analogues in The Lord of the Rings, a favorite topic, are still able to take new directions. The analyses of TolkienOCOs literary art, less common in Tolkien critic..."
Narnia and the Fields of Arbol by
The remarkable breadth of C. S. Lewis's (1898--1963) work is nearly as legendary as the fantastical tales he so inventively crafted. A variety of themes emerge in his literary output, which spans the genres of nonfiction, fantasy, science fiction, and children's literature, but much of the scholarship examining his work focuses on religion or philosophy. Overshadowed are Lewis's views on nature and his concern for environmental stewardship, which are present in most of his work. In Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis, authors Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara illuminate this important yet overlooked aspect of the author's visionary work. Dickerson and O'Hara go beyond traditional theological discussions of Lewis's writing to investigate themes of sustainability, stewardship of natural resources, and humanity's relationship to wilderness. The authors examine the environmental and ecological underpinnings of Lewis's work by exploring his best-known works of fantasy, including the seven books of the Chronicles of Narnia and the three novels collectively referred to as the Space Trilogy. Taken together, these works reveal Lewis's enduring environmental concerns, and Dickerson and O'Hara offer a new understanding of his pioneering style of fiction. An avid outdoorsman, Lewis deftly combined an active imagination with a deep appreciation for the natural world. Narnia and the Fields of Arbol, the first book-length work on the subject, explores the marriage of Lewis's environmental passion with his skill as a novelist and finds the author's legacy to have as much in common with the agrarian environmentalism of Wendell Berry as it does with the fantasy of J. R. R. Tolkien. In an era of increasing concern about deforestation, climate change, and other environmental issues, Lewis's work remains as pertinent as ever. The widespread adaption of his work in film lends credence to the author's staying power as an influential voice in both fantastical fiction and environmental literature. With Narnia and the Fields of Arbol, Dickerson and O'Hara have written a timely work of scholarship that offers a fresh perspective on one of the most celebrated authors in literary history.
The New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's the Dispossessed by
The Dispossessed has been described by political theorist Andr Gorz as The most striking description I know of the seductions--and snares--of self-managed communist or, in other words, anarchist society. However this claim, as well as the political, social, and cultural importance of the novel, remain woefully under-explored to this day. New Utopian Politics of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed, an edited collection of original essays on Le Guin's The Dispossessed represents a thorough exploration of the political ramifications of this work by a wide interdisciplinary swath of scholars from around the world.
Of Modern Dragons: And Other Essays on Genre Fiction by
This volume of essays explores some of the best crime fiction, science fiction and writing for children, in the last 40 years, including work by Reginald Hill, Thomas Harris, Dorothy L. Sayers, Nora Roberts, J. D. Robb, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, Ian McDonald, Octavia E. Butler, and Tamora Pierce. A companion volume entitled Of Sex and Faerie; Further Essays on Genre Fiction is also available from Lulu.
There Would Always Be a Fairy-Tale by
Devoted to Tolkien, the teller of tales and co-creator of the myths they brush against, these essays focus on his lifelong interest in and engagement with fairy stories, the special world that he called faërie, a world they both create and inhabit, and with the elements that make that world the special place it is. They cover a range of subjects, from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings and their place within the legendarium he called the Silmarillion to shorter works like "The Story of Kullervo" and "Smith of Wootton Major." From the pen of eminent Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger, the individual essays in this collection were written over a span of twenty years, each written to fit the parameters of a conference, an anthology, or both. They are revised slightly from their original versions to eliminate repetition and bring them up to date. Grouped loosely by theme, they present an unpatterned mosaic, depicting topics from myth to truth, from social manners to moral behavior, from textual history to the micro particles of Middle-earth. Together these essays present a complete picture of a man as complicated as the books that bear his name--an independent and unorthodox thinker who was both a believer and a doubter able to maintain conflicting ideas in tension, a teller of tales both romantic and bitter, hopeful and pessimistic, in equal parts tragic and comedic. A man whose work does not seek for right or wrong answers so much as a way to accommodate both; a man of antitheses. Scholars of fantasy literature generally and of Tolkien particularly will find much of value in this insightful collection by a seasoned explorer of Tolkien's world of faërie.
Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by
Packed with all the information one could need this is the book to set the reader off to a good start in writing science fiction even for those with no previous knowledge. The book shows how to turn ideas into stories that will sell.
Understanding Ursula K. Le Guin by
Historical researcher, Michael Gomes charts the dramatic origins of the theosophical movement, one of the most influential philosophical systems to arise during the last hundred years. In this skillfully woven story of the early years of theosophy, the author re-creates the key events involving Blavatsky, Olcott, and a small group of like-minded occultists. His account covers the publication of Blavatsky's "occult encyclopedia", Isis Unveiled, concluding with the pilgrimage to India by the "theosophical twins."