Contributor: Michael Martinez

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 […]

We use trivia to prove our depth of knowledge in a given topic but also to introduce people to new ideas or to revive interest in old things.  How many people do trivia contests motivate to read books or perform Internet searches?  But what we choose to include in our trivia lists suggests our priorities or […]

Some years ago I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a special project in which someone wanted me to translate a number of texts into Elvish, a task for which I am singularly unqualified.  Visions of con artists streamed through my head as I thought what it would take to do the work […]

It is such a little thing, the word “fellowship”, that one might not expect it to elicit so much commentary from so many learned and wise (or to draw administrative admonishment to be polite).  A while, Jeffrey Ryan was walking down the yellow brick road and he stopped to ask on the Tolkien Society Facebook […]

I don’t remember where or when I first heard that I was banned from participating in Tolkien trivia contests at conventions.  This has been a running joke for decades, now, but it was going strong when I handed the Tolkien fan programming track at Dragon*Con over to Jincey from TheOneRing.net.  She sent me an email […]

I am still amazed at the ill logic people resort to when throwing down the gauntlet at Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  I am on record as trashing the second movie and barely acknowledging the third, so I feel like I have earned my spurs in this charade of film criticism that has dominated many fannish […]

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 […]

It is such a little thing, the word “fellowship”, that one might not expect it to elicit so much commentary from so many learned and wise (or to draw administrative admonishment to be polite).  A while, Jeffrey Ryan was walking down the yellow brick road and he stopped to ask on the Tolkien Society Facebook […]

We use trivia to prove our depth of knowledge in a given topic but also to introduce people to new ideas or to revive interest in old things.  How many people do trivia contests motivate to read books or perform Internet searches?  But what we choose to include in our trivia lists suggests our priorities or […]

I don’t remember where or when I first heard that I was banned from participating in Tolkien trivia contests at conventions.  This has been a running joke for decades, now, but it was going strong when I handed the Tolkien fan programming track at Dragon*Con over to Jincey from TheOneRing.net.  She sent me an email […]

Some years ago I was presented with the opportunity to participate in a special project in which someone wanted me to translate a number of texts into Elvish, a task for which I am singularly unqualified.  Visions of con artists streamed through my head as I thought what it would take to do the work […]

I am still amazed at the ill logic people resort to when throwing down the gauntlet at Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  I am on record as trashing the second movie and barely acknowledging the third, so I feel like I have earned my spurs in this charade of film criticism that has dominated many fannish […]

About the Author: Michael Martinez
Michael Martinez is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and author of Parma Endorion: Essays on Middle-earth, Visualizing Middle-earth, Understanding Middle-earth: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, and Mindfaring through Middle-earth.