In 1977, Christopher Tolkien published a long-awaited book containing his father’s legends of the ‘Elder Days’ of Middle-earth, The Silmarillion. The central and longest section of this book was the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’, the ‘tale of the Jewels’, which told the history of Elves and Men from the earliest days through the end of their war against the first great Dark Lord, Morgoth. While Tolkien had for years worked on and meant to publish the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’ on his own, when he died the work was still incomplete. His son had to edit together the published work from his father’s drafts (with a small amount of invention to fill in gaps), attempting to create a final product consistent in both narrative content and in style.
Happy New Year!
Yup, I know: I’m late … again.
Still, not as much as last month, and things are looking up, and I am now gnawing away slowly at the backlog – the ‘Mountain of Neglects’, as I joined Brenton Dickieson in quoting Tolkien last month. There are still old neglects to catch up on, but they are fewer than they were.
I attended my first fan convention in 1992. It was World Fantasy Con and there I met a dear lady and now departed friend, Clara Miller, who recruited me to join the volunteers of her small north Georgia convention, Magic Carpet Con. I say “recruited” but I was a complete stranger to Clara and she to me; she handed me a flyer announcing Magic Carpet ON I. For some reason, I found myself on the last night of the MCC convention helping Clara count money in the con suite. There had been a dispute among the con staff (as sadly happens too often) and virtually the entire crew left. I promised Clara I would help the next year but I wasn’t able to take on the responsibility of being a board member.
They eventually recruited me for the board of directors for MCC III and eventually we started a new convention, Galacticon. Somewhere along the way I met one of the senior directors for DragonCon. I had heard of Georgia’s “big” convention. All my friends had attended it at least once but I was remiss in my fan experience, mainly because I kept so busy with other things. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the DragonCon guy was there looking for volunteers for the big convention. Some people criticized this practice but when I mentioned the criticism to him he pointed out that all the small cons were recruiting each other’s staff, too. (more…)
The new year is often treated as a fresh start and an opportunity to look forwards at the significant events over the coming 12 months. And in 2017 we do indeed have a very exciting year ahead, but first I want to look back over the previous year and explain why I think 2016 was a great year for Tolkien. (more…)