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Old 08-27-2019, 09:05 PM   #31
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Right. I'm aware that he has other books available. But unfortunately, seemingly everything else he wrote (except for the fairy tale books and the D&D players vs. a computer books) are sequels to The Iron Tower.

That's the danger of an author setting everything in the same fictional world. To an outsider, their work can become impenetrable. Ray Feist has the same problem.
He also wrote a bunch of other unrelated things, I've bought as physical and ebooks. Check out his brilliant novel, The Caverns Of Socrates, for one ... now called Shadowtrap (and it has a sequel, Shadowprey), it is a great blend of technology and fantasy, and could make a great movie I reckon.

However, it depends on how you look at things and how he became an author in the first place, and what motivated him to write.

Many of the latter books in the same Mithgar series, are prequels, and both them and later sequels change things within the world of Mithgar significantly. So they are very much different to the humble beginnings of The Iron Tower. In fact for me personally, while still enjoying them a lot, they mostly never really had the magic of his first foray (Hel's Crucible duology one of the exceptions). Chiefly because they give a very different slant on things ... much broader scope. So you would be very much mistaken, to think his later books in the series add little. Terry Brooks has done a similar thing, especially with his prequels to Shannara.

So Dennis did diverge, but pressure from fans and the odd idea popping up, meant he kept returning to Mithgar. And very much in the beginning at least, he was governed by writing for pleasure, especially as he started late in his life. He was not exactly a prolific writer either, when you consider the timeline.

From what I have picked up about him, he never had the goals of being a best selling author.

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Old 08-27-2019, 09:20 PM   #32
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True enough. It can be hard to know what order you need to read them in and if you really need to read book A to enjoy book B.
My recollection, is that they can all be read pretty independent of each other, though I would recommend one reads The Iron Tower first, if just to gain full appreciation of it, without other later influences or knowledge added to the world.

Aside from that, published order is a good way to proceed. One can find both the usual orders listed online, easy enough.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:23 PM   #33
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Can't say that I've ever heard of the listed publisher, Thornwall Press.
It is his own publishing name, the Thornwall referring to that surrounding the Boskydells, where the Warrows live.

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As @DuckieTigger says.

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Old 08-27-2019, 09:38 PM   #34
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To get back to this particular point, I'm sure most Tolkien fans know that for The Silmarillion, the first of the posthumously published Tolkien add on's put out by Christopher Tolkien, he was aided by Guy Gavriel Kay, a fine writer in his own right. I wouldn't be incredibly surprised to find out that Kay gave the book that polish that made it a lot more readable as a pure narrative than the other ones.

Now that Christopher Tolkien, who is now in his mid 90's, has relinquished control of the Tolkien literary estate, many have expressed a hope that the family will open up to either allowing, or perhaps hiring writers to novelize many of the earlier parts of the Tolkien universe, or at least open up the material for movies and TV. It's going to be very interesting to see if Amazon's miniseries dips into that material for their LOTR prequel mini-series, or if much of it is made up whole cloth. One hopes the former, but we will see.
I agree, and love the writing of Guy Gavriel Kay.

The last one or two releases from the Tolkien Estate, have been by another family member ... one of Christopher's children or grandchildren I think.

His (oldest??) son is also a fiction writer, and while seemingly now back in the good books with his dad, Christopher, had an estrangement from him, due to some dispute regarding the legacy. I recall, that he felt they should have been more engaged with Peter Jackson and the public etc, rather than take the standoff no comment position they did, especially after the success of the movies.

Hopefully, if that son is not now written out of the picture, we might see something. I seem to recall he was something like a lawyer, now turned writer.

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Old 08-28-2019, 10:52 AM   #35
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I've never understood the need to explore every last nook and cranny of a fictional world, wringing every last drop of lore out of it. I'd be happy to let Middle Earth go with just The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

I know I'm in the minority and am not disparaging others. But I'd rather read new works by authors than have them write fantasy novels in Middle Earth.
Of course, many books are loosely based on other works or real events with the serial numbers filed off. How many books, movies and TV series have been based on the Robin Hood legends? Same for the Greek legends and Norse legends. For example, I really enjoyed Kay's retelling of the El Cid story.

Normally, I tend to agree with you, but I think the fascination of Tolkien's universe is that it does seem so much like a real mythos and there are so many brief mentions where I think, wow that would make a great book or movie. I'm not so keen on something like the Star Trek novel universe, Star Wars novel universe or Conan universe, but there are a few stories in Tolkien's universe that I would love to read if done right. Of course, it would need to be something like Sanderson finishing the Wheel of Time series.
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:16 PM   #36
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Of course, many books are loosely based on other works or real events with the serial numbers filed off. How many books, movies and TV series have been based on the Robin Hood legends? Same for the Greek legends and Norse legends. For example, I really enjoyed Kay's retelling of the El Cid story.
Right, but that's not the same thing as officially licensed books set in some copyrighted universe.

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Normally, I tend to agree with you, but I think the fascination of Tolkien's universe is that it does seem so much like a real mythos and there are so many brief mentions where I think, wow that would make a great book or movie.
I think that added depth to the books for sure. But I think other writers fleshing out all those stories will dilute some of that magic.

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I'm not so keen on something like the Star Trek novel universe, Star Wars novel universe or Conan universe, but there are a few stories in Tolkien's universe that I would love to read if done right. Of course, it would need to be something like Sanderson finishing the Wheel of Time series.
I have some Star Trek and Star Wars novels, along with D&D and so forth. It's inevitable if you read SF&F. But I've always preferred the ones that are tertiary and don't feature main characters (like the Republic Commando books or the trilogy about Khan Noonian Singh). One thing I never worry about is if a story is 'canon'. If I like the story, I like it.
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:34 PM   #37
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You better put that Stephen King book on hold and start The Institute, when it's published Sept. 10.

https://www.amazon.com/Institute-Nov...gateway&sr=8-1
Tell me about it. I swear, Stephen King writes books faster than I read them. Stephen King really is an amazing guy. He writes a book or more a year, every year, even when he was hospitalized, without ghost writers.

To be fair, Dean Koontz does that as well, I just don't care for Dean Koontz
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:50 PM   #38
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Of course, many books are loosely based on other works or real events with the serial numbers filed off. How many books, movies and TV series have been based on the Robin Hood legends?
Over the years, but not much in the last 15 to 20 years, I have been building a good collection of Robin Hood stories ... books mostly, but also a bunch of the movies and TV series.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:07 PM   #39
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.... I think the fascination of Tolkien's universe is that it does seem so much like a real mythos and there are so many brief mentions where I think, wow that would make a great book or movie.

..... there are a few stories in Tolkien's universe that I would love to read if done right.
I can but agree.

Dennis McKiernan clearly thought the mines of Moria held an unfinished tale, hence his sequel, that eventually became something else, so it could be published.

Many of us of course would like to read his original version.

I am not sure on what the rules are governing derivative works, especially unpublished ones, when a book goes into Public Domain. I suspect you cannot earn profit, but you may be allowed to publish as free?

So some of us might live long enough to see the estate of Dennis McKiernan release his original work.

And he is not alone. I know of at least two others that have written unauthorized stories set in Middle Earth.

Both of those are non English authors .... Russian or Polish etc ... I forget.

One of those wrote a single story (The Last Ringbearer), which has had an English translation, and is a different take on The Lord Of The Rings, written from the perspective of the Orcs and Goblins etc. It is somewhat sympathetic I believe, even going as far as to portray the Tolkien story as some kind of propaganda ... so a bit like a conspiracy theory.

The other author, Nick Perumov, has written a trilogy of sequels to The Lord Of The Rings, but as far as I know, they have never been translated into English. He is quite the popular author in the Eastern Bloc I believe ... Europe actually.
EDIT - You can I believe, read some elements in English, via The Wayback Machine ... just one later chapter and a few beginning summaries. The author now seemingly lives in the U.S.A ... and no mental slouch going by his job of microbiologist ... writing is apparently a hobby only.

Those stories too, might become widely available one day.

I think I have copies of all those, especially the alternate perspective ... which I haven't read yet ... and naturally I cannot read the others, but grabbed them while I could (I think).

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Old 08-28-2019, 06:42 PM   #40
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Tell me about it. I swear, Stephen King writes books faster than I read them. Stephen King really is an amazing guy. He writes a book or more a year, every year, even when he was hospitalized, without ghost writers.
Stephen King has never really captured my interest, in part because my interest in Horror based stories is minimal. I do have a few of his works, especially in The Dark Tower series, but with the few bits I have read, his style never grabbed me enough, never sold itself enough.

Not entirely sure why, but could be the psychological element too, which has never appealed to me ... hence you won't find me a fan of The Silence Of The Lambs for instance ... or The Piano ... or The Cell.

Maybe I was spoiled by Michael Moorcock and his fiction ... though the reason may be a leap for some. Some of his work admittedly pretty borderline with me liking, no doubt held up for some kind of tolerance or acceptance, by his other great works ... his cannon being all encompassing in regard to the Eternal Champion ethos.

I am also a huge Robert E. Howard fan.

Perhaps I just need to give Stephen King more of a chance. I do get into (or tolerate) the psychological elements in the stories by Val McDermid and C.J. Box for instance.

I was a big fan of horror movies in my teens to early twenties. I even have a certificate to show I saw the first Friday The 13th movie .... ha ha ha. By my mid twenties though, I lost interest in straight horror, preferring it in a more fantastical or SciFi setting, like the Alien movies ... some Vampire, Werewolf and Zombie are appealing enough too.

Please don't see this as a criticism of those who do like Stephen King or the man himself. To each their own, and he just did not resonate with me ... so far .... never say never.

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Old 08-28-2019, 07:39 PM   #41
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Stephen King has never really captured my interest, in part because my interest in Horror based stories is minimal. I do have a few of his works, especially in The Dark Tower series, but with the few bits I have read, his style never grabbed me enough, never sold itself enough...

Maybe I was spoiled by Michael Moorcock and his fiction...

I am also a huge Robert E. Howard fan.
Not sure why liking Michael Moorcock would turn you off of Stephen King? I enjoy all three authors you mentioned. Maybe I misunderstood something.

If you don't like horror, but want to give Stephen King a try, you might like Eyes of the Dragon, a fairy tale he wrote for his daughter. Also The Talisman and Black House, fantasy stories we co-wrote with Peter Straub. They keep promising a third book.

Then there's Different Seasons, a collection of four novellas. Apt Pupil and The Breathing Method are horrific, but The Body and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption are not (and both were made into terrific movies: Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption).

And of course, there's The Stand, a horror story that becomes an epic fantasy. King said he wanted to write something like Lord of the Rings, but set it in modern America.

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Old 08-28-2019, 09:09 PM   #42
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Not sure why liking Michael Moorcock would turn you off of Stephen King? I enjoy all three authors you mentioned. Maybe I misunderstood something.
Probably a bit hard to explain, but I always found Jerry Cornelius for instance, to be one mixed up persona, and I don't really care for how his thoughts often made me feel ... maybe because I am anti-being-drugged ... never liked that loss of connection with the world of reality. No doubt Moorcock was heavily into drugs at that stage of his life. Strangely perhaps, he and I share a love of the band Hawkwind, which was kind of known as the penultimate druggy Space Rock band. I like going to far away places, but still having my wits about me. Unlike many others, music was enough of a drug for me ... and the books I read ... plus the occasional Beer or Scotch or Brandy or Wine.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Works inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien - check out the Literature section, for those I mentioned earlier, plus others.

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Old 08-28-2019, 10:16 PM   #43
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I like going to far away places, but still having my wits about me. Unlike many others, music was enough of a drug for me ... and the books I read ... plus the occasional Beer or Scotch or Brandy or Wine.
You are not alone about wanting to enjoy music without having to be high on drugs. My understanding about recreational drugs is that they are used as a substitute for imagination or sleep. The problem is usually the danger of getting addicted. Sure, nobody is planning on getting addicted, and at first you can stop anytime you want to. Here, try this, you might enjoy it. Exactly. That is why you should at all cost avoid doing it in the first place. Because you might enjoy it. First step to being addicted. I can also understand why music is really good with drugs. What else can you do when you are drugged out of your mind? Sit down and read a book? Not likely.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:11 PM   #44
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The problem is usually the danger of getting addicted. Sure, nobody is planning on getting addicted, and at first you can stop anytime you want to. Here, try this, you might enjoy it. Exactly. That is why you should at all cost avoid doing it in the first place. Because you might enjoy it. First step to being addicted.
To be honest, while I do indeed agree with all of that, I just never wanted a layer of something between me and what I enjoy or want to appreciate. I have never needed that heightened sense that many claim ... perhaps they have barriers that a drug can break down ... who knows ... and who knows what life has dished up to them, either nature or nurture wise, that might make that seem necessary.

While my life has not been perfect, I am grateful I have not experienced first hand, what some, maybe many, have had to endure.

In any case, anyone who has been lost in a good book until the wee hours, knows something of being over-tired and somewhat delirious. It can be a bit like being drunk, maybe even stoned .... I've certainly had the giggles on occasion ... that's enough for me, to not deliberately inflict that on myself, by imbibing something.

And really, it is surprising what can be achieved by some form of meditation or even a good night's sleep ... just taking a break from the rat race, can do wonders. And I say that as a person, who has a propensity to perhaps over-think things at times. Slow and deep, that's me ... ha ha ha.

For better or worse, I just like things to feel real.

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Old 08-29-2019, 01:37 AM   #45
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FYI - Having had a look through Nick Perumov's works, I noticed he had co-written a book with the well known American writer Allan Cole (who I have now discovered, passed away from Cancer earlier this year).

I tried to find that as an ebook on Amazon, but no luck. I did find another he co-authored with him (The Hate Parallax), and a solo work (Godsdoom), that gets many 5 star reviews. Both are quite cheap as ebooks go.

I decided to take a punt, and get both ... I sometimes do that, but not very often in the last 30 years.

I was also amazed to discover a co-written Doctor Who ebook by my favorite Doctor Who actor, Tom Baker, so grabbed that as well - Doctor Who: Scratchman. I read his self-penned biography not long ago.

PASSING COMMENT - Sometimes you gotta laugh at what pops up, and in this case absolutely no idea why ... unless it is somehow related to the word, Godsdoom ... certainly I haven't done any browsing or searching at Amazon that would bring the result up. What I am talking about, is the single ebook advert on the web page, for - Anus: Surgical Treatment and Pathology. Amazon and their damn algorithms.

Last edited by Timboli; 08-29-2019 at 02:08 AM.
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