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Re: Tolkien as a gateway drug

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  • R.J. Anderson
    I started with Lewis rather than Tolkien, and then discovered George MacDonald, so apparently I did everything backward. But after that it was a short step to
    Message 1 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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      I started with Lewis rather than Tolkien, and then discovered George MacDonald, so apparently I did everything backward. But after that it was a short step to Ursula K. LeGuin, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander and Robin McKinley; and soon after that I was devouring the works of Patricia A. McKillip, David Eddings (though I don't think I could re-read THE BELGARIAD now with anything like the same fondness), Stephen R. Donaldson (ditto, only more so) and so on. At about sixteen I also stumbled onto Mervyn Peake and wallowed around in TITUS GROAN and GORMENGHAST for a while.
      --
      Rebecca
      (R.J. Anderson)

      --
      Forget everything you think you know about faeries... 

      KNIFE (2009) | REBEL (2010) | ARROW (2011)
      SWIFT (2012) | NOMAD (2014)
      by R.J. Anderson

    • Tony Zbaraschuk
      ... It s interesting how often McKillip seems to be coming up in these posts, though maybe it says more about us than her. For me, it was Tolkien from my
      Message 2 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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        On Tue, Feb 05, 2013 at 04:55:34PM -0500, R.J. Anderson wrote:
        > I started with Lewis rather than Tolkien, and then discovered George
        > MacDonald, so apparently I did everything backward. But after that
        > it was a short step to Ursula K. LeGuin, Susan Cooper, Lloyd
        > Alexander and Robin McKinley; and soon after that I was devouring
        > the works of Patricia A. McKillip, David Eddings (though I don't
        > think I could re-read THE BELGARIAD now with anything like the same
        > fondness), Stephen R. Donaldson (ditto, only more so) and so on.

        It's interesting how often McKillip seems to be coming up in these
        posts, though maybe it says more about us than her.

        For me, it was Tolkien from my parents' library, and then the
        SF section at the local library. Patricia McKillip, Anne McCaffrey,
        Poul Anderson (especially "No Truce with Kings" and "The Queen of
        Air and Darkness"), Doc Smith, and eventually a whole bunch of
        others.


        Tony Z

        --
        There is a reason most German philosophy scholarship consists of
        trying to parse what German philosophers actually meant.
        --Lady Wisdom's Favorite
      • JOSEPH
        For me the gateway drug was probably Lloyd Alexander s Prydain books, and Narnia. But Tolkien was what really sealed the deal for me. The next steps down the
        Message 3 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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          For me the gateway drug was probably Lloyd Alexander's Prydain books, and Narnia. But Tolkien was what really sealed the deal for me. The next steps down the path were probably whatever I could lay hands on in small-town Minnesota in the early 1980's -- Michael Moorcock and Stephen R. Donaldson are ones that spring particularly to mind, plus Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom books if you want to count those. Then Lovecraft which led to Clark Ashton Smith. And a couple of really excellent Lin Carter anthologies -- Kingdoms of Sorcery and Realms of Wizardry -- turned me on to a bunch of new authors.

          For whatever reason, I didn't start actively seeking out Robert E. Howard until I was in college. And later I kind of stumbled into the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series -- William Morris and George MacDonald in particular, then eventually to Peake and Eddison.

          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "shawnareppert" wrote:
          >
          > OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:
          >
          > If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
          >
          > For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
          >
          > Anyone else?
          >
          > --Shawna Reppert
          >
          > author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press
          >
          > www.ShawnaReppert.com
          >
        • Jason Fisher
          For me, Lloyd Alexander, not just Prydain but everything I could get my hands on. Alan Garner, ditto, everything. Ursula K. Le Guin s Earthsea books, and a few
          Message 4 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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            For me, Lloyd Alexander, not just Prydain but everything I could get my hands on. Alan Garner, ditto, everything. Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books, and a few others. Susan Cooper and Madeline L'Engle. I read a couple of Terry Brooks but gave that up quickly. One that I remember really enjoying was Dragonworld, by Byron Preiss and Michael Reeves. I only ever read it once (though I still have it), and from what I remember it was a bit of a rip-off of Tolkien, with its diminutive main character Amsel. I also read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but no other Lewis as a youngster; and I read a couple of the Narnia rip-offs by John White, The Tower of Geburah and The Iron Sceptre. Amazing illustrations, as I recall. And Walter Wangerin's Book of the Dun Cow and the sequel, The Book of Sorrows (the most depressing book I've ever read; even beating out Cormac McCarthy's The Road). I also read Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne as a kid. Oh, and Beowulf. :)


            From: shawnareppert <evenstar@...>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 5:02 AM
            Subject: [mythsoc] Tolkien as a gateway drug

             
            OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:

            If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?

            For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.

            Anyone else?

            --Shawna Reppert

            author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press

            www.ShawnaReppert.com



          • David Emerson
            ... A lot of people have chimed in on this, with a few responses indicating that JRRT was not their gateway into fantasy, but other SF authors and/or adult
            Message 5 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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              >OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:
              >
              >If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
              >
              >For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
              >
              >Anyone else?
              >
              >--Shawna Reppert

              A lot of people have chimed in on this, with a few responses indicating that JRRT was not their gateway into fantasy, but other SF authors and/or "adult fantasy" writers like Dunsany and Eddison.

              For me, it started in childhood with fairy tales, Oz books, Freddy the Pig, and the like. Tolkien just raised the bar by several miles. After Tolkien, there is no next step, just steps to the side and backwards.

              David Emerson
            • Mike Foster
              Rather like David Emerson: long before Tolkien, Greek and Norse mythology out of Compton’s, I read Barrie’s PETER & WENDY first, then Grimm, Jacobs CELTIC
              Message 6 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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                Rather like David Emerson: long before Tolkien, Greek and Norse mythology out of Compton’s, I read Barrie’s PETER & WENDY first, then Grimm, Jacobs CELTIC TALES, and the Andrew Lang Colored Series, all 12 (Lilac, Green, Crimson the best) ,and his PRINCE PRIGIO; Grahame, THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON.  OZ before they got tedious.
                 
                I’d include Walter R. Brooks Freddy the Pig series (the first one was called “There & Back Again.”; “The Horrible Ten” would be a great band name). 
                 
                Beast fables like  Robert Lawson’s BEN & ME, RABBIT HILL, MR. REVERE & ME, and especially THE TOUGH WINTER, too. 
                 
                And in the ten-cent stack, Carl Barks’ best Scrooge McDucks.
                 
                Only later did I discover Lewis’ OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET and PERELANDRA, both used paperbacks sold as sci-fi.  Only belatedly, aged 28, did I discover Tolkien.  For 38 years since, I’m still rediscovering him.
                 
                For me, MacDonald, Dunsany, Eddison aren’t close rivals.
                 
                Mike Foster
                 
                Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 9:51 PM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien as a gateway drug
                 
                 

                >OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion

                going:
                >
                >If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step
                into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
                >
                >For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not
                strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
                >
                >Anyone
                else?
                >
                >--Shawna Reppert

                A lot of people have chimed in on this, with a few responses indicating that JRRT was not their gateway into fantasy, but other SF authors and/or "adult fantasy" writers like Dunsany and Eddison.

                For me, it started in childhood with fairy tales, Oz books, Freddy the Pig, and the like. Tolkien just raised the bar by several miles. After Tolkien, there is no next step, just steps to the side and backwards.

                David Emerson
              • Bill West
                Like others (of my generation I suppose) Tolkien wasn t my gateway into fantasy.I d already read Bulfinch s Mythology and any Arthurian books I could get my
                Message 7 of 26 , Feb 5, 2013
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                  Like others (of my generation I suppose) Tolkien wasn't my gateway into fantasy.I'd already
                  read Bulfinch's Mythology and any Arthurian books I could get my hands on by the time
                  I was 12, then read Robert E Howard and Andre Norton. But Tolkien was my gateway to high
                  fantasy because afterward I read every book in the original Ballentine Adult Fantasy series, and discovered Dunsany, Morris, Eddison and Cabell. I still have most of the Ballentine books nearly 50 years later.

                  Bill 



                • jef.murray
                  Great question! Tolkien wasn t my first step. That was Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, some books of which my mum read to us at bedtime when I was in second
                  Message 8 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                    Great question!

                    Tolkien wasn't my first step. That was Lewis'
                    Chronicles of Narnia, some books of which my mum read to us at
                    bedtime when I was in second grade. But, along with
                    "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", she also read
                    us "The Hobbit", so I consider Middle-earth and Narnia
                    introductions to have been simultaneous.

                    After these, and like some other posters, I went headlong
                    into fairy tales...mostly compilations from the Grimm brothers.
                    Then I became a rabid Sci-Fi fan, with favorites Ray Bradbury,
                    Arthur C. Clark, Niven, and Asimov.

                    I only returned to Tolkien in high school, reading LotR
                    in its entirety, then rereading. I actually hated to reread it
                    too often, as it was such a lush world to inhabit, I always
                    hated its being over. But after LotR, and in college, I
                    discovered Frank Herbert, and read the first six (!!!) of
                    his Dune series before they became tedious.

                    As an adult, I've tried Le Guin and Rowling, but didn't
                    much care for either of them. Over the last several years,
                    I've become much more interested in tales that have a more
                    archaic "high" linguistic style, such as Walter Scott's
                    historical romances (the Waverley books) and, especially, William Morris.

                    But, I've been enjoying this thread and will save it...looks
                    like there are many authors out there I've not sampled, certainly,
                    and I expect that's true of most of us!

                    Jef



                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "shawnareppert" wrote:
                    >
                    > OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:
                    >
                    > If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
                    >
                    > For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
                    >
                    > Anyone else?
                    >
                    > --Shawna Reppert
                    >
                    > author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press
                    >
                    > www.ShawnaReppert.com
                    >
                  • Doug Kane
                    Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New
                    Message 9 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                      Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New Line.  Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law.  I have had a chance to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much with the slot machine issue).  They cite correspondence going back to 1996 in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant" agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the point that motions for summary judgment are filed. 
                       
                      It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky legal grounds.
                       
                      Doug
                    • GH Chinoy
                      Doug, Thanks for the update - fascinating (ok, I find it fascinating) stuff. Would you happen to have references to the documents/filings? Thanks, H
                      Message 10 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                        Doug,

                        Thanks for the update - fascinating (ok, I find it fascinating) stuff. Would you happen to have references to the documents/filings?

                        Thanks,

                        H


                        On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:
                         

                        Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New Line.  Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law.  I have had a chance to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much with the slot machine issue).  They cite correspondence going back to 1996 in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant" agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the point that motions for summary judgment are filed. 
                         
                        It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky legal grounds.
                         
                        Doug


                      • David Bratman
                        According to http://file770.com/?p=11534 the Zaentz countersuit claims that the movies and their spinoffs, and not the books themselves, are responsible for
                        Message 11 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                          According to http://file770.com/?p=11534 the Zaentz countersuit claims that
                          the movies and their spinoffs, and not the books themselves, are responsible
                          for Tolkien's popularity. May we have done with such nonsense?


                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Doug Kane" <dougkane@...>
                          To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 10:54 AM
                          Subject: [mythsoc] Law suit update


                          Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien
                          Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner
                          Brothers/New Line. Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in
                          addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory
                          relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
                          fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law. I have had a chance
                          to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have
                          a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much
                          with the slot machine issue). They cite correspondence going back to 1996
                          in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz
                          has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the
                          Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant"
                          agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and
                          licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred
                          to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted
                          as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the
                          Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to
                          see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and
                          Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the
                          point that motions for summary judgment are filed.

                          It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the
                          history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and
                          Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky
                          legal grounds.

                          Doug
                        • Doug Kane
                          I accessed the documents through my PACER ( Public Access to Court Electronic Records ) account. I believe that one or more periodicals printed a link to
                          Message 12 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                            I accessed the documents through my PACER ("Public Access to Court Electronic Records") account.  I believe that one or more periodicals printed a link to Zaentz's response last week, but unfortunately, I don't have that link.  What a second, let me see if I can find it. ... Here you go, here is Zaentz's Answer and Counterclaim:  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/custom/Documents/ESQ/GGDOCS1-%231878321-v1-CONFORMED_Complaint.pdf
                             
                            Doug

                            From: GH Chinoy
                            Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:19 AM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Law suit update

                             

                            Doug,

                            Thanks for the update - fascinating (ok, I find it fascinating) stuff. Would you happen to have references to the documents/filings?

                            Thanks,

                            H


                            On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:
                             

                            Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New Line.  Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law.  I have had a chance to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much with the slot machine issue).  They cite correspondence going back to 1996 in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant" agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the point that motions for summary judgment are filed. 
                             
                            It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky legal grounds.
                             
                            Doug



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                          • Doug Kane
                            Sorry, that is actually a link to the original Complaint, not Zaentz s response. From: Doug Kane Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:28 AM To:
                            Message 13 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                              Sorry, that is actually a link to the original Complaint, not Zaentz's response.

                              From: Doug Kane
                              Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:28 AM
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Law suit update

                               

                              I accessed the documents through my PACER ("Public Access to Court Electronic Records") account.  I believe that one or more periodicals printed a link to Zaentz's response last week, but unfortunately, I don't have that link.  What a second, let me see if I can find it. ... Here you go, here is Zaentz's Answer and Counterclaim:  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/custom/Documents/ESQ/GGDOCS1-%231878321-v1-CONFORMED_Complaint.pdf
                               
                              Doug

                              From: GH Chinoy
                              Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:19 AM
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Law suit update

                               

                              Doug,

                              Thanks for the update - fascinating (ok, I find it fascinating) stuff. Would you happen to have references to the documents/filings?

                              Thanks,

                              H


                              On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM, Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:
                               

                              Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner Brothers/New Line.  Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law.  I have had a chance to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much with the slot machine issue).  They cite correspondence going back to 1996 in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant" agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the point that motions for summary judgment are filed. 
                               
                              It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky legal grounds.
                               
                              Doug



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                              Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
                              Version: 10.0.1430 / Virus Database: 2639/5585 - Release Date: 02/06/13


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                            • R.J. Anderson
                              Jason, I almost mentioned THE TOWER OF GEBURAH myself! Even as a child reader I was appalled at how much he ripped off of Tolkien (I recognized the scene where
                              Message 14 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                Jason, I almost mentioned THE TOWER OF GEBURAH myself! Even as a child reader I was appalled at how much he ripped off of Tolkien (I recognized the scene where the children almost get "eaten" by the trees right away), and yet there are some gems of original thinking in there as well. I think THE IRON SCEPTRE holds up better as an original narrative (though my brother says that's John White doing Donaldson instead of John White doing Tolkien, the similarity is less blatant).

                                Though a few years later I tried to read the third novel GAAL THE CONQUEROR, and it didn't work for me at all. The heavy-handed psychobabble ("Oh no! We're caught in a Guilt Trap!") was off-putting to say the least, and the story seemed thin and simplistic. Haven't bothered to check out anything else White's written since then.
                                --
                                Rebecca
                              • Westermeyer GS11 Paul W
                                This is great question, as with others, Tolkien wasn t my gateway either. :) The first great love of my reading life was history, specifically military
                                Message 15 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                  This is great question, as with others, Tolkien wasn't my 'gateway' either. :)

                                  The first great love of my reading life was history, specifically military history, and more specifically WWII. I LOVED reading anything WWII in 4th grade. That eventually led to my reading some of Howard Pyle's works on King Arthur and Robin Hood, as I just ran out of WWII and even WWI books in my parents small book collection and the almost as small rural elementary school library. We didn't have a Public Library out in the country where I lived, back then.

                                  In 6th grade, at one of those school book sales I got a copy of Lloyd Alexander's _The High King_, the end of his Prydain series. I loved it, and started looking for more fantasy. I don't recall the exact order but in middle school I discovered both Tolkien and AD&D near simultaneously, and I began the habit I have now of rereading Tolkien every year. I then expanded to ancient history (especially loved the Gallic Wars and Bullfinch) and historical fiction but the school library had little fantasy beyond Tolkien. I recall when they finally opened a small branch library in my town I was over-joyed to discover David Edding's Belgariad, and once I could drive and thus finally get to the suburbs and the mall I discovered bookstores and started really engaging with fantasy literature.

                                  I was disappointed when I was younger that I could find so few of the books listed in Gygax's AD&D DMG appendix on fantasy literature, but I've been slowly reading my way through it over the years.

                                  Looking back, Tolkien has impacted me most profoundly, but there are other writers not far behind. Lloyd Alexander's Prydain series, Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising Series, the first three books of LeGuin's Earthsea series, and Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy all top the list for fantasy authors; Alexander Dumas' Three Musketeers, Wyss' Swiss Family Roberston, ERB's Tarzan, and Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are the most influential classics for me.

                                  It is interesting to see my children grow up in a house filled with books (very unlike my own childhood) and with a father who obsessively promotes reading. They seem to be good readers, and have their own tastes. My daughter complains we have nothing to read, because she doesn't want to read any of the hundreds of fantasy, history, or adventure tales - she prefers 'modern' tales with little supernatural elment unless it is vampires or werewolves. My son, in 4th grade, seems as obsessed with military history as I was at that age - he liked it when I read the Hobbit to him at bedtime, and loved the movie (I didn't) and likes Alexander's Prydain series, which I am reading to him at night now, but on his own he goes for the history books. I wonder if he will become fascinated with Tolkien as he gets older.

                                  Paul Westermeyer
                                  Historian, History Division
                                  Marine Corps University
                                  Paul.Westermeyer@...
                                  http://www.history.usmc.mil

                                  "The first law for the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." Marcus Tullius Cicero, De Oratore, II.XV,62

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                                • Doug Kane
                                  I agree that that claim is ludicrous, but it is legally irrelevant. From: David Bratman Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:27 AM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                    I agree that that claim is ludicrous, but it is legally irrelevant.

                                    Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:27 AM
                                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Law suit update

                                     

                                    According to http://file770.com/?p=11534 the Zaentz countersuit claims that
                                    the movies and their spinoffs, and not the books themselves, are responsible
                                    for Tolkien's popularity. May we have done with such nonsense?

                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "Doug Kane" dougkane@...>
                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 10:54 AM
                                    Subject: [mythsoc] Law suit update

                                    Here is an update on the situation with the lawsuit filed by the Tolkien
                                    Estate and Harper Collins against Saul Zaentz and Company, and Warner
                                    Brothers/New Line. Zaentz and WB have responded to the lawsuit by, in
                                    addition to denying the allegations, filing counterclaims for declaratory
                                    relief and for damages for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
                                    fair dealing inherent in all contracts under U.S. law. I have had a chance
                                    to review these documents, and I have to say that it appears that they have
                                    a pretty compelling case as the issue of online games (perhaps not so much
                                    with the slot machine issue). They cite correspondence going back to 1996
                                    in which with Harper Collins and the Estate's attorney concede that Zaentz
                                    has the right to online video games based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the
                                    Rings. Perhaps most interesting, they cite a September 2010 "regrant"
                                    agreement in which the Estate confirms the rights held by Zaentz, and
                                    licenced to Warners/New Line. That must be the agreement that was referred
                                    to in Entertainment Weekly back in October 2010, in which Jackson was quoted
                                    as saying that one of the issues causing the delay was negotiations with the
                                    Estate over rights issues. I think it is likely that I will get a chance to
                                    see that agreement (as well as the other documentation that Zaentz and
                                    Warners say they have) over the course of the lawsuit, if it reaches the
                                    point that motions for summary judgment are filed.

                                    It is, of course, possibly that Zaentz and WB are misrepresenting the
                                    history and that the true facts will support the position of the Estate and
                                    Harper Collins, but right now it looks to me like they are on pretty shaky
                                    legal grounds.

                                    Doug


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                                  • "Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles"
                                    When I first read The Lord of the Rings in German I immediately went to the British Council library in Cologne (at that time they weren t all amalgated into
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                      When I first read "The Lord of the Rings" in German I immediately went
                                      to the British Council library in Cologne (at that time they weren't all
                                      amalgated into the one in Berlin only) and asked for a membership which
                                      they considered odd for a fourteen year old German ;) (that was in 1986,
                                      mind.)

                                      Luckily enough, they had LotR, Hobbit and Sil in English there. In
                                      addition to this I first saw "Pictures by Tolkien" (and to this very day
                                      want a copy of it) and Barbara Strachey's "Frodo's Journeys." I think
                                      they even had a copy of "Unfinished Tales" but that was all they had on
                                      Tolkien.

                                      As I had run out of eminent fantasy authors (oh, I forgot - they had
                                      the first Discworld novels and that's when I started reading Pratchett!)
                                      I fell for Nigel Tranter as I also have a penchant for historical novels
                                      - the pre-1286 Scotland/Viking stories (Lord of the Isles etc.)

                                      I never stopped reading. They had Welsh for beginners (I taught myself
                                      some - see Tolkien); Old English grammars (taught myself some) and I
                                      tried to have a proper Tolkien exhibition done many years later.
                                      Unfortunately, the Wall fell and all British Council branches were
                                      closed, quite in contradiction to historical connections (with Cologne
                                      being the major city in the British Zone after the war - let's forget
                                      about that Hamburg thingy ...)

                                      And all that reading led to me study English Literature and Linguistics.

                                      --

                                      Best wishes,

                                      Marcel Aubron-Bülles

                                      http://www.thetolkienist.com
                                    • Jason Fisher
                                      I remember them being rip-offs of Narnia especially, even more than Tolkien or Donaldson, and White even admitted this in one of the later books. A bunch of
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                        I remember them being rip-offs of Narnia especially, even more than Tolkien or Donaldson, and White even admitted this in one of the later books. A bunch of kids in Winnipeg, Canada find an old TV set in an attic, turn it on and see another world, which they are all presently sucked into. Sounds a bit like a cross between the Wardrobe and the painting in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Still, when I read them as a child, I enjoyed the Anthropos books. They didn't stick with me much, except for a few names (King Kardia, Inkleth, etc.) and some of the fine illustrations. I seem to remember one with a giant threatening chicken.

                                        Nice to know somebody else out there read these too! :)

                                        Jase


                                        From: R.J. Anderson <rjawriter@...>
                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:41 AM
                                        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Tolkien as a gateway drug

                                         
                                        Jason, I almost mentioned THE TOWER OF GEBURAH myself! Even as a child reader I was appalled at how much he ripped off of Tolkien (I recognized the scene where the children almost get "eaten" by the trees right away), and yet there are some gems of original thinking in there as well. I think THE IRON SCEPTRE holds up better as an original narrative (though my brother says that's John White doing Donaldson instead of John White doing Tolkien, the similarity is less blatant).

                                        Though a few years later I tried to read the third novel GAAL THE CONQUEROR, and it didn't work for me at all. The heavy-handed psychobabble ("Oh no! We're caught in a Guilt Trap!") was off-putting to say the least, and the story seemed thin and simplistic. Haven't bothered to check out anything else White's written since then.
                                        --
                                        Rebecca


                                      • C.N. Bartch
                                        Just because I haven t seen anybody mention them yet, I ll throw in that one of the series I ve enjoyed the most after Tolkien drew me into fantasy is the
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                          Just because I haven't seen anybody mention them yet, I'll throw in that one of the series I've enjoyed the most after Tolkien drew me into fantasy is the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

                                          ~Chris B.

                                          On Feb 5, 2013 5:02 AM, "shawnareppert" <evenstar@...> wrote:
                                           

                                          OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:

                                          If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?

                                          For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.

                                          Anyone else?

                                          --Shawna Reppert

                                          author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press

                                          www.ShawnaReppert.com

                                        • JOSEPH
                                          And how did I forget d Aulaire s Greek Myths and Norse Gods & Giants? And also (and I just had to Google this one up) The Big Joke Game by Scott Corbett? And
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Feb 6, 2013
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                                            And how did I forget d'Aulaire's Greek Myths and Norse Gods & Giants? And also (and I just had to Google this one up) The Big Joke Game by Scott Corbett? And probably some of Andre Norton's colored magic books.

                                            As far as SF, I came to that early also -- I obsessively read John Christopher's Tripods trilogy, and Dad had a bunch of Heinlein juveniles.

                                            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "shawnareppert" wrote:
                                            >
                                            > OK, here's a question for the group to get some discussion going:
                                            >
                                            > If Tolkien was for you, as it was for me, your first step into fantasy literature addiction, what was your next step down the path?
                                            >
                                            > For myself, it was Robin Hood by Paul Creswick. Not strictly fantasy, but it had the same feel, the same elevated language, milieu, heroism and concern for honor.
                                            >
                                            > Anyone else?
                                            >
                                            > --Shawna Reppert
                                            >
                                            > author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press
                                            >
                                            > www.ShawnaReppert.com
                                            >
                                          • shawnareppert
                                            Love all the discussion, especially love seeing my old friends mentioned. Ursula LeGuin, Robin McKinley, Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes, oh,
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Feb 7, 2013
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                                              Love all the discussion, especially love seeing my old 'friends' mentioned. Ursula LeGuin, Robin McKinley, Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes, oh, yes.) Patricia McPhillip just keeps getting better and better.

                                              Surprised no one else mentioned one of my later, twenty-plus year addiction: Charles de Lint. His writing totally rocks my world. Had the privilege to workshop with him, and can report he is also a wonderful gentleman and a superb teacher.


                                              --Shawna Reppert

                                              author of The Stolen Luck, coming soon from Carina Press

                                              www.ShawnaReppert.com
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