Tolkien Rises From Dead, Writes New Book

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Tolkien Rises From Dead, Writes New Book

Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:13 am

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Okay for those who haven't heard yet, this is coming out in April. SCIFI.com reported about this a while back. Basically, it's the first new Middle Earth book by Tolkien in 30 years. And like the Silmarillion, this is another work of Tolkien's that has been picked up and finished by Christopher Tolkien. The deluxe edition will feature illustrations by Alan Lee.

Here's what the Tolkien estate says about it:

The Children of Húrin takes the reader back to a time long before The Lord of the Rings, in an area of Middle-earth that was to be drowned before ever Hobbits appeared, and when the great enemy was still the fallen Vala, Morgoth, and Sauron only his lieutenant. This heroic romance is the tale of the Man, Húrin, who dared to defy Morgoth's force of evil, and his family's tragic destiny, as it follows his son Túrin Turambar's travails through the lost world of Beleriand.


Here's the wiki on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Children_of_Hurin

And I'm pretty excited about it right now, in part because I've just arranged for AICN books to get a review copy. Yay us.
Last edited by Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:19 am

Húrin did kick much ass.

any sort of breakdown as to how much of this was J.R.R. and how much of it was from his son?
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:21 am

I almost started this thread a couple months ago under the title "Tolkien Rises From Dead, Writes New Book," but decided not to because it would probably not go over well. Which is why, of course, I'm telling everyone now. Maybe I've gotten more self-destructive since then.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:23 am

Let's see...

Here's what it says about the versions that appeared so far under JRR's hand:

A brief version of the story formed the base of chapter XXI of The Silmarillion, setting the tale in the context of the wars of Beleriand. Although based on the same texts used to complete the new book, the Silmarillion account leaves out the greater part of the tale. (The Silmarillion also includes an essay Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, which tells the story of The Lord of the Rings in compressed form, which could serve as a basis for comparison.)

Other incomplete versions have been published in other works:

* The Narn i Chîn Húrin in Unfinished Tales.
* Items in the History of Middle-earth series, notably:
o The Lay of the Children of Húrin, an early narrative poem.
o Prose versions of the Lay (or Húrinssaga), eventually leading to earlier and alternate versions of the Narn, and thus also to the Children of Húrin.
o The Wanderings of Húrin, a prose continuation of the Narn (not included in the other texts).

None of these writings form a complete and mature narrative. It is likely that the new work will draw heavily on these sources.


And the book coming out is 320 pages, so I think there had to be some heavy expanding going on. I wouldn't be surprised if this is mostly Christopher's work...
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Postby Mr. Nice Gaius on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:26 am

Fantastic Adam. I knew this was coming but I forgot when. Thanks for the reminder!
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:31 am

Ribbons wrote:I almost started this thread a couple months ago under the title "Tolkien Rises From Dead, Writes New Book,"


so the new title of this thread...

Ribbons wrote:Maybe I've gotten more self-destructive since then.


you mess with me in the tb's again, and it'll be death of you!
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:32 am

omfg u gaiz dont fite

EDIT: LAWL! That is a far better title...
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Postby Ribbons on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:39 am

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Ribbons wrote:Maybe I've gotten more self-destructive since then.


you mess with me in the tb's again, and it'll be death of you!


Well in that case... what for, longshanks!
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Postby Iconoclastica on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:42 am

so adam... how many *favors* did you have to put out there in order to make this arrangement? :wink:... regardless, I'm truly jealous... even if it's not wholly JRR, it's his mind, and I shamelessly love silmarillion... can't wait to hear the *damage* :-)
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:48 am

Iconoclastica wrote:so adam... how many *favors* did you have to put out there in order to make this arrangement? :wink:...


You know, normally that would be an insult, but considering that all the publicists and editors in the publishing business are women, you just inadvertently gave me one helluva compliment there. ;)

Now with Moriarty on the other hand, I just told him that I could suck-start a firehose... :oops:
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Postby Iconoclastica on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:50 am

hahahaha... dude, now THERE'S a skill
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:57 am

Ribbons wrote:
Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Ribbons wrote:Maybe I've gotten more self-destructive since then.


you mess with me in the tb's again, and it'll be death of you!


Well in that case... what for, longshanks!


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hey, I'm not afraid to take out my own men, so long as you end up drawn and quartered...
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Postby magicmonkey on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:08 am

Yet more signs of the endtimes :P
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:21 am

magicmonkey wrote:Yet more signs of the endtimes :P


If I'd known Tolkien were coming back I would have been all "bring it, bitches..."

Great news about the advance copy, AB. Any chance of a 2 hour Zone exclusive review before you give it to those schlubs at at the main site? :twisted:
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:24 am

Lord Voldemoo wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:Yet more signs of the endtimes :P


If I'd known Tolkien were coming back I would have been all "bring it, bitches..."

Great news about the advance copy, AB. Any chance of a 2 hour Zone exclusive review before you give it to those schlubs at at the main site? :twisted:


Sadly, it's not exactly an advance copy. They're not doing those with Hurin. I don't know how far ahead of time I'll get it but it won't be like an uncorrected galley like you get with some books, months ahead of time. I think it's not uncommon for them to do this with high profile books ala H@rry Potter, lest it get out too early that Sauron kills Dumbledore...
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:27 am

Adam Balm wrote:Sadly, it's not exactly an advance copy. They're not doing those with Hurin. I don't know how far ahead of time I'll get it but it won't be like an uncorrected galley like you get with some books, months ahead of time. I think it's not uncommon for them to do this with high profile books ala H@rry Potter, lest it get out too early that Sauron kills Dumbledore....


HOW BOUT A FARKING SPOILER WARNING!? I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW DUMBLEDORE WAS IN...

Oh... sorry... now I understand.
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Postby colonel_lugz on Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:25 am

I simply can't wait for this.

That is all... for now
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:30 am

I can't wait. It will keep my English department buzzing for the year!

You know, it seems a bit capitalistic but I think it would be cool if they republished certain stories from The Silmarillion as individual tales with Alan Lee illustrations. I'd love to see a really gorgeous copy of Beren and Luthien.
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Postby colonel_lugz on Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:31 am

Lady Sheridan wrote:I can't wait. It will keep my English department buzzing for the year!

You know, it seems a bit capitalistic but I think it would be cool if they republished certain stories from The Silmarillion as individual tales with Alan Lee illustrations. I'd love to see a really gorgeous copy of Beren and Luthien.


I have the audio CD of that, read by Christopher Tolkien himself, it's bliss
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Postby Doc Holliday on Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:02 am

Great news - whilst not in itself a complete text, the body of work found in THE SILMARILLION and UNFINISHED TALES was substantive enough to provide a strong backbone for revision - I have faith that this will be 100% in step with JRR Tolkien's style and purpose. And a good choice of tale as well - the story of Hurin and then Turin is right up there with Beren and Luthien in terms of First Age lore. Bring it on!
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:04 am

oooo... this sounds cool. I didn't know that Christopher Tolkien did some audio books Lugz... you learn something every day.
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Postby Al Shut on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:39 am

Hell yeah, the Turin story is my favourite part of the Silmarillion.

Of course a several year long possible movie adaption debate will be inevitable. :roll:
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:44 am

lol...

The Children of Húrin: super-extended-Silmarillion-cut-limited-edition DVD box set. I can see it now...
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Postby Doc Holliday on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:47 am

Does it have Raimi's name in the credits?
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Postby MonkeyM666 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:53 am

And PJ...

He was finally freeded up from doing Black Sheep 3: Baa Ram You... release 2012...

They worked together on this puppy.

Fran sat this one out...
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Postby Seppuku on Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:19 am

Ribbons wrote:Tolkien Rises From Dead, Writes New Book


Brings a whole new meaning to the term "Ghostwriter".

I think I'm long overdue a re-read of the LOTR and The Silmarillion. The last time must have been a few years before the films. Maybe this new book will be a nice gateway back into the world of Middle Earth.

Oh by the way, I made a vow when I was about ten to read the complete works of Tolkien to my children, if I ever have any.

So Chrissy, make sure this is the last Tupac you do, I don't want my children to get so deep into Middle Earth mythos that they end up bullying their classmates with things like "yo' mamma shoulda named you Ghan-buri Ghan coz u look like you live in the woods, and u smell of oliphaunt poo".

Oh, Adam, I just noticed that this would be your second posthumous review so far... What's next on the cards, Epimenides of Knossos' long-thought-lost self-help book, "The Art of Making a Happier & Brighter You"?


Looking forward to the review AB!!!
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Postby unikrunk on Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:18 am

Good lord, I hope this is done well, "Quenta Silmarillionesque". I fear, however, that this is going to be akin to Brian Herbert's attempts at filling daddy's shoes. The Machine Crusade? Get the fuck outta here. Crap.

Is Kevin J. Anderson involved in this? If so, I would rather take a full-force cock-punch than lay eyes on it.
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:29 am

What's the word on this? Is this a hard-back or soft back book?

I'm a huge Tolkien fan, and I hope this isn't a disappointment.
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Postby Adam Balm on Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:49 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:Oh, Adam, I just noticed that this would be your second posthumous review so far... What's next on the cards, Epimenides of Knossos' long-thought-lost self-help book, "The Art of Making a Happier & Brighter You"?


You know, actually I think this might prove be the Year of the Dead Guy Books. Not only was there Dick's, but this month I'm reviewing the last Gordon R. Dickson book in the Childe (Dorsai) cycle which is also posthumously completed, then in April Hurin comes out, and then this summer Kevin J Anderson is co-writing the long lost sequel to Slan and finishing up the Dune series.

Mostly I think Tor is responsible for this. After they lost the Star Wars tie-ins they then needed another franchise, so they resurrected Herbert's lost Dune stuff. So it's a bit of a reaction against the onslaught of media tie-in books that are taking up more and more of the SF shelves and killing off the midlist. Known commodities are easier to sell.
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Postby TheBaxter on Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:46 pm

MonkeyM666 wrote:And PJ...

He was finally freeded up from doing Black Sheep 3: Baa Ram You... release 2012...

They worked together on this puppy.

Fran sat this one out...


PJ won't be allowed anywhere near this thing, if robert shaye has anything to say about it.
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Postby colonel_lugz on Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:15 am

UK Zoners and Tolkien fans take note


More on Alan Lee at Forbidden Planet
Xoanon @ 9:55 pm EST

Forbidden Planet is pleased to announce a signing by Alan Lee to promote the release of The Children Of Húrin (Special Offer Price £14.99). He will be at the Forbidden Planet Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR, on Thursday 19th April 6-7pm

Alan Lee is best known as co-lead artist on Peter Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy. However, as well as the Academy Award he won in 2004, he's also the recipient of the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration in 1993 for 'Black Ships Before Troy' and the Best Artist Award at the World Fantasy Awards of 1998. Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films 'Legend', 'Erik the Viking' and 'King Kong' and the television miniseries 'Merlin'.

Painstakingly reconstructed by Christopher Tolkein from his father's manuscripts, this book tells tales of Morgorth, Glaurung and the World before Sauron. Featuring magical illustrations by Lee throughout, this is a miraculous, missing chapter in the greatest fantasy saga of them all.

Alan Lee will be signing at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore. The largest store of its kind in the world, this store continues the Forbidden Planet tradition of hosting appearances by the greatest names in science fiction and fantasy. Previous guests have Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Iain Banks, Douglas Adams, Anne McCaffrey, Clive Barker, Stephen King, William Gibson and H. R. Giger.
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Postby minstrel on Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:26 am

Seems like Tolkein is challenging Ernest Hemingway for most prolific dead writer. I don't remember how many books Hemingway wrote after he died, but it seemed like nearly as many as he wrote when he was alive.

They must have buried these guys with their typewriters. And their agents dig them up every once in a while to see if there are any new manuscripts in the coffins.
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Postby judderman on Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:46 am

Didn't Tolkien say he wanted other people to continue to expand his mythos after he was dead, and that he wanted it to evolve on its own, like an oral tale? If so, isn't all this squeezing every last drop of authentic Tolkien material a bit counter to what he intended?
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Postby Evil Hobbit on Sat Mar 10, 2007 3:01 pm

Gonna pick it up for sure, looks great and Alan Lee artwork on top of that is always a good extra touch.
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Postby wonkabar on Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:55 pm

So, April 17th then?

Any early reviews on it yet?

...when are you getting your copy Adam?
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Postby Brocktune on Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:03 pm

colonel_lugz wrote:Shaftesbury


hahahahahahaha!!!
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Postby justcheckin on Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:09 pm

Hmmmm... very interesting!
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Postby Adam Balm on Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:42 pm

wonkabar wrote:So, April 17th then?

Any early reviews on it yet?

...when are you getting your copy Adam?


Some time in April, that's all I know. Hopefully with a little lead time before it comes out. :roll:

And btw, anybody who knows for sure if they're going to the signing on the 6th, please PM me.
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Postby Wolfpack on Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:23 am

THIS ZOMBIE TOLKIEN WILL DEVOUR US ALL!
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Postby minstrel on Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:58 am

Hey, Adam Balm! I love your Spock-plays-the-bass sig! Where did you get it?

:)
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Postby Adam Balm on Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:30 pm

*bump*

Okay, so this hit book shelves two days ago, did anyone go out and get it? Apparently Houghton Mifflin has sent out a notice to all bookstores that it's already out of stock and re-orders will take weeks. Looks like they might have a runaway hit on their hands.

Anyway, I'm about halfway through it. Going to have the review up by this weekend. So far I'd rank it above the Hobbit, but below LotR. I can definitely see why they're so hot to make a movie out of it. It's got all the basic themes of LotR, finding hope in hopelessness, etc. but it's much more focused and personal. Maybe it's because Tolkien was rewriting it later on as he was getting closer to the grave, but there is a tragic fatalism present throughout that I didn't expect. Funny story, it was taking so long for the review copy to come in the mail that I just went out and bought one the day it came out, then of course I get the review copy today. Ughh. Now I got two. :oops:
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:33 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Now I got two. :oops:


have I told you lately that I love you?
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:33 pm

I hope to have this sitting at home, waiting for me. My mom bought this online for me for my birthday. I'll find out in a few weeks I guess (I won't be home until then).
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Postby so sorry on Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:36 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Funny story, it was taking so long for the review copy to come in the mail that I just went out and bought one the day it came out, then of course I get the review copy today. Ughh. Now I got two. :oops:


I smell a raffle drive!
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Postby Adam Balm on Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:37 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:Now I got two. :oops:


have I told you lately that I love you?


Er, actually I'm probably going to take it back. I'm trying to pinch every penny I got right now. Sorry. :(

Amazon.com seems to have it in stock though, but I wonder how long that'll last.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:54 pm

didn't know it was out yet! I need to pick it up, NOW. Can't wait for the review, AB.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:12 am

so far, so good - reads much like the Silmarillion (that is good)
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Postby wonkabar on Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:40 pm

Are you kidding?
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Fri Apr 20, 2007 11:47 pm

wonkabar wrote:Are you kidding?


That was fast. Guess I'm not surprised, though.
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Postby Adam Balm on Sat Apr 21, 2007 12:51 am

I think this has been discussed in the Hobbit movie thread. The Estate (which controls the rights) has been VERY cool to the idea of making a movie out of this.

But from the studio, I can see exactly why this would appeal to them. 1) It's Tolkien but it's not all legally tied up by competing studios and producers (Ala The Hobbit) with actors that the would probably have to replace (ala The Hobbit).

What it also has is a very John Campbellian mythic hero in the classic mold. All the things that lead the 18-35 males to see comic book movies, you have here. Turin really is a superohero story in middle earth. He even has a mask (er, helm) and a code name. It's also briefer and more focused, with a smaller cast, all of which would make it easier and cheaper to film than The Hobbit or LotR.

But there's one problem, and this may involve spoilers...















































This would have to be an R rated movie. Yes, an R rated Tolkien movie. There's blood on every page, there's torture, public dismemberment, there's attempted rapes, there's incest, and there's the darkest tone you could expect in ANY work of Tolkien. This is about a man with a curse, who know good can come from or too. This is a man who leaves only blood and tears in his wake. This would have to be given the 300 treatment. And I don't see any studio actually making that decision any time soon...
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