An Updated Look at Fall 2003 Tolkien Publications
Since my previous column on Recent and Forthcoming Tolkien-related Publications, I've learned of a number of new things, and more significantly I've got updated and more extensive information from Clay Harper at Houghton Mifflin about their upcoming books. So it seems appropriate now to do another column with all of the new and updated information.
From Houghton Mifflin:
First of all, the two-volume J. R. R. Tolkien Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull has been postponed for 2003, and has not been rescheduled. Look for it on a future list.
For October, be on the lookout for Brian Sibley's Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth, which is a slip-cased collection of Sibley's four map-booklets, including three that have previously been available, There and Back Again: The Map of The Hobbit; The Map of Tolkien's Middle-earth; The Map of Tolkien's Beleriand and the Lands to the North; and a new one for Nûmenor. These are all illustrated by John Howe, and look quite nice (ISBN 061839110X $29.95).
Also appearing in stores in October will be John Garth's Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshhold of Middle-earth (ISBN 0618331298 $26.00). This is a new biography of Tolkien covering the impact of World War I on Tolkien's mythology. The cover is pretty cool.
November 5th is the on-sale date for the first batch of movie tie-in books for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. There will be five books total but only the first three will be out on November 5th.
The first of these will be The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Visual Companion by Jude Fisher (ISBN 0618390979 $18.95 hardcover). This will be in the same format as last year's Visual Companion for The Two Towers, but it will be eight pages longer.
Next, for younger readers, will be The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Photo Guide by David Brawn (ISBN 0618390987 $8.95 oversize paperback).
And the last of the three looks to be the best. The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare by Chris Smith, dual edition (ISBN 0618391002 $17.95 oversize paperback; and ISBN 0618390995 $24.95 hardcover). Clay Harper writes: "Weapons is easily the most substantive of all tie-in books with a lot of specificity on the history and details of weaponry. It comes in at 224 pages and is very meaty. The Preface is by Christopher Lee, and the Introduction by Richard Taylor. It contains about a thousand illustrations."
Also coming in November is a special one-time only limited edition The Lord of the Rings Bookend Gift Set (ISBN 0618401210 $75.00). This set will include a movie tie-in hardcover one-volume edition of The Lord of the Rings with unique art on the cover, plus (by special arrangement) the Sideshow bookends set of Gandalf and Bilbo at Bag End. What's really special about this volume is that fans at TheOneRing.net selected the book's cover, and the text on the flap will read: "The cover for this Book and Bookends Gift Set edition was selected by visitors to TheOneRing.net. Thank you to the 13,500 individuals who participated. The Road Goes Ever On." Hoorah!
In December, the fourth film book will appear, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum by Andy Serkis (ISBN 0618391045 $9.95 oversize paperback). It clocks in at 128 pages, much longer than the Photo Guide.
And finally for January, the fifth film book will be The Lord of the Rings: The Art of The Return of the King by Gary Russell (ISBN 0618430296 $35.00)
From other publishers:
Alchemy in Middle-earth: The Significance of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, by Mahmoud Shelton (ISBN 0974146803 $19.95 hardcover), was recently released by Temple of Justice Books. The publisher's blurb describes it as follows: "Never before has the esoteric significance of the "Novel of the Century" been explained. At last its profound symbolism is made clear in light of the Hermetic tradition, establishing The Lord of the Rings to be the work of an illuminated imagination. Alchemy in Middle-earth traces J.R.R. Tolkien's motifs to unexpected connections with Scotland, the Middle East, and legendary Atlantis, and unveils the ancient wisdom in Tolkien's great work not only with the Alchemy of the past, but also with the living spiritual alchemy of Sufism. In the process, the mysterious relationship between the spirituality of Islam and Tolkien's Christianity is revealed, signifying nothing less than the completion of the Grail quest at the end of an age."
Just shipping from Open Road is Tolkien in the Land of Heroes: Discovering the Human Spirit by Anne Petty (ISBN 1892975998 $17.95 trade paperback). The publisher describes it as follows: "Petty discusses the grand themes in Tolkien's works, including the nature of evil, how power is used and abused, the desire for immortality, the nature of life, loss and sorrow, and the need for heroes. Along the way she examines Tolkien's own beliefs, the sources he used, and his doubts and conflicts. The book is divided into four sections: I) The Myth of the Fall; II) The Consequences of Power; III) Loss and Longing; IV) Of Heroes and Hope. Through extensive commentary and literary analysis of the main works known to Tolkien fans (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion) and with reference to Tolkien's collected letters, his short stories, and academic essays, Petty demonstrates how Tolkien's universal themes evolved from his concept of the Fall of Man."
Also just out, this time from Open Court Publishing Company, is The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All, by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson (ISBN 0812695453 $17.95 trade paperback).
Another recent release is Return of the Heroes: The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Social Conflict by Hal G. P. Colebach (ISBN 1877275573 $17.95). This is a revised edition of a 1990 work published only in Australia.
And a recently published title is Tolkien in Perspective: Sifting the Gold from the Glitter: A Look at the Unsettling Power of Tolkien's Mythology by Greg Wright (ISBN 0971231168 $13.95)
Recently re-issued by Ballantine is Paul H. Kocher's Master of Middle-earth, which was first-published in 1972. It is of course outdated, but it remains a good study of Tolkien (ISBN 0345465601 $12.95 trade paperback).
Also just out from Ballantine is Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy, edited by Douglas A. Anderson (editor of The Annotated Hobbit). This anthology was published simultaneously in hardcover (ISBN 0345458540 $26.95) and in trade paperback (ISBN 0345458559 $13.95). For more information, see this article.
Coming very soon is a paperback of Perry C. Bramlett's "I Am in Fact a Hobbit": An Introduction to the Life and Works of J. R. R. Tolkien (ISBN 0865548943 $16.00)
Coming in September from Palgrave Macmillan will be Brian Rosebury's Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon (ISBN 1403912637 $19.95 trade paperback). This is the second edition of the book originally published as Tolkien: A Critical Assessment in 1992.
Also coming in September is The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies by Greg Harvey (ISBN 0764541862 $19.99 oversize paperback).
Also scheduled for September is Faith Journey Through Fantasy Lands: A
Christian Dialogue with Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings
by Russell W. Dalton (ISBN 0806645717 $13.99).
Also in September, from Ballantine, is a hardcover edition of Robert Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth (ISBN 0345465296 $24.95).
In October, and published by HarperCollins in England only, there will be a hardcover edition of Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth, but illustrated throughout by Ted Nasmith! This sounds highly interesting (ISBN 0007169426 £30.00), and is on my must-buy list.
New Page books will be publishing in October The Essential J. R. R. Tolkien Sourcebook by George Beahm (ISBN 1564147029 $18.99). The publisher describes it as follows: "It is a comprehensive reference work long awaited by the millions of Tolkien fans throughout the world who have bought 100 million copies of his books, in more than 40 languages. This book will also be especially appealing to the millions of new fans-moviegoers-turned-readers-who have rushed from theaters to bookstores worldwide to seek more information about Tolkien and his work. Profusely illustrated, it features one hundred photographs and drawings from noted fantasy artist Colleen Doran, plus art portfolios by Tolkien calendar artist Tim Kirk, and cover artist Donato Giancola. Chock-full of sidebars, quotes, and short interviews, this guide to Middle-earth and beyond will be an indispensable addition to any Tolkien collection." It'll be real nice to see Tim Kirk's artwork available again. He was one of the best Tolkien illustrators in the early 1970s.
Coming in October from Palgrave Macmillan is The Real Middle Earth: Exploring the Magic and Mystery of the Middle Ages, J. R. R. Tolkien, and "The Lord of the Rings" by Brian Bates (ISBN 1403963193 $24.95).
Also coming in October, from Westminster John Knox Press is The Gospel According to Tolkien: Visions of the Kingdom in Middle-earth by Ralph C. Wood (ISBN 0664226108 $14.95 hardcover).
Another October release is Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral
Victory in The Lord of the Rings by Matthew T. Dickerson (ISBN 1587430851
Coming in November is Michael Martinez's sequel to his successful Visualizing Middle-earth. It will be published by Vivisphere, and it is called Understanding Middle-earth: Essays on Tolkien's Middle-earth. For more information, see the publisher's website.
Also up for November is Walking with Frodo: A Devotional Journey Through The Lord of the Rings by Sarah Arthur (ISBN 0842385541 $9.99)
And Colin Duriez's book Tolkien and C. S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship (ISBN 1587680262 $15.00) will be coming from Hidden Spring. There is an interesting interview with Duriez at ChristianityToday.
And Rough Guides will be issuing The Rough Guide to The Lord of the Rings: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Middle Earth (ISBN 1843532751 $12.95)
And in November comes a trade paperback of Bradley J. Birzer's J. R. R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth (ISBN 1932236201 $15.00)
There are some very interesting things on tap for 2004, but I'll just mention one here and save the rest for next time. An intriguing January publication will be a biography Peter Jackson: From Prince of Splatter to Lord of the Rings by Ian Pryor (ISBN 0312322941 $23.95)