Which Writers Would You Like to See Do Stories Set in Middle Earth?

BAYLOR

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What writers would you like to see do stories that take place in Middle Earth ? Who do you want to see do these stories set in Middle Earth? And to all the writers here on this site what kind of stories would like to do in middle Earth if give the opportunity? :)
 

Extollager

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What writers would you like to see do stories that take place in Middle Earth ? Who do you want to see do these stories set in Middle Earth? And to all the writers here on this site what kind of stories would like to do in middle Earth if give the opportunity? :)
Nobody, nobody. Ecchhh!

Here’s a thought experiment. I imagine most people would agree that C. S. Lewis possessed enormous imaginative gifts.

Everyone would agree that he also revered his friend Tolkien and profoundly loved Tolkien’s fantasy (Tolkien himself credited Lewis with helping him stick with the task of getting The Lord of the Rings written and into print).

Both men were deeply read in Old and Middle English, to a degree probably almost no one is, especially today.

heir degree of agreement about the Christian faith, morals, the state of society, and the right understanding of the sexes, and their experience of, and love of, nature, and other topics was great.

So C. S. Lewis would have started with huge advantages, if he had to set about writing a Middle-earth tale. And yet who is there who believes that a Middle-earth story by Lewis would have been a true success?

Where Lewis would not have trod, what rational person would dare to tread?
 

Extollager

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My guess is that the more time one invests in movies, TV, and games, the more readily he or she would accommodate the practice of (unauthorized) sequels, prequels, etc. All of these tend to have an open-endedness that is unlike the closed-endedness of books, although their influence is having, I suspect, an effect on authors of books, who, in the past 30-40 years or so, seem to have become increasingly given to endless, and, I suspect, imaginatively and intellectually flabby, spinnings-out. It’s really quite impressive to see how science fiction used to be pretty-much idea-driven, and an author would work out that idea in 120-300 pages or so; but now, he or she will spin out it. If Orwell were a writer today, he would, I suppose, be pressed to write sequels to 1984, in which there’s a secret underground of rebels who are trying to set Oceania free, but whose midst contains spies in the service of Big Brother, etc etc etc etc etc.
 

Extollager

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Publishing and selling fanfic encourages the erroneous idea that fantasy is all about (baneful term) “worldbuilding,” the use or construction of elaborated “background,” across which one marches one’s gameself or one’s own characters. This is a dreadful diminution of what matters in fantasy, about which Tolkien writes so searchingly in “On Fairy-Stories,” that “kind of Elvish craft.” Middle-earth and Narnia are the creations of poetic scholars whose imaginative work is an integrated whole, a secondary world. The fanfic idea, I suspect, falls far short of, or even betrays, this; it deals in wares, theatrical properties. In de Quincey’s terms: it treats the Literature of Power as the Literature of Knowledge.
 

Boaz

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In regards to Lewis, the man could write in a number of styles (Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia). Could he have mimicked Tolkien? Probably... Extollager listed those reasons. But would he have wanted to do so? I cannot imagine he would. He had his own stories and his own methods of presentation.

I've read that Tolkien disliked allegory. Lewis's foray into fantasy is nothing but allegory!
 

picklematrix

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Leigh Bardugo, author of 'six of crows'.
Brandon Sanderson would be an obvious choice sinces he's already written books as part of a high fantasy IP started by someone else
 

Narkalui

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I don't know how much Christopher Tolkien has left in him, so perhaps Simon Tolkien, although he himself is possibly looking forward to retirement soon...
 

Toby Frost

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My guess is that the more time one invests in movies, TV, and games, the more readily he or she would accommodate the practice of (unauthorized) sequels, prequels, etc. All of these tend to have an open-endedness that is unlike the closed-endedness of books, although their influence is having, I suspect, an effect on authors of books, who, in the past 30-40 years or so, seem to have become increasingly given to endless, and, I suspect, imaginatively and intellectually flabby, spinnings-out.
Yes! This is something that I've been thinking for a while. The idea of the finite story, which may contain loose ends but doesn't need a sequel to tie them up, seems to be on the wane. While there are some settings in which a reader might well want to spend more time, there comes a point where you have to accept that the real story of that setting has been told, and from here on it's just soap opera.

The ending of the film of Starship Troopers is a good example. The story ends with the (idiot) characters being the first people to capture a psychic alien. Then there's a propaganda video that ends with the words "They'll keep on fighting - and they'll win!" Nothing more needs to be said. The story depicted in the film is the tipping point. It's the Normandy landings or the Battle of Kohima: unless something terrible occurs, the dynamic has fundamentally shifted in favour of the good guys. Similarly, there's no need to talk about an underground movement in Airstrip One, or Gilead: we know what we need to know.

And I'd say the same thing about The Lord of the Rings. There isn't any real need to know what Sam did next, at least not in the context of that story. No doubt the coming TV show will deal with it, though.

On another note, I think Raymond Chandler or William Burroughs could have produced something, er, interesting.
 

The Big Peat

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I came in here to say no one but must admit the thought of Asterix vs The Lonely Mountain is an intriguing one.

I would begrudgingly say that it would have been interesting to see a short story by Le Guin in Middle Earth. But only a short story. Only non-canonical short stories for anyone. Seeing what people would make in the playground? Interesting for the right author. Having people expand the playground? Unacceptable.
 

pyan

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How about James Joyce?

Stately, plump Sam Gamgee came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of
lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing-gown,
ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him by the mild morning air. He
held the bowl aloft and intoned:

Elen sila lumenn' omentielvo!

Halted, he peered down the dark winding stairs and called out coarsely:
--Come up, Frodo! Come up, you fearful hobbit!

Solemnly he came forward and mounted the round gunrest. He faced about
and blessed gravely thrice the smials, the surrounding land and the
awaking mountains. Then, catching sight of Frodo Baggins, he bent
towards him and made rapid crosses in the air, gurgling in his throat and
shaking his head. Frodo, displeased and sleepy, leaned his arms
on the top of the staircase and looked coldly at the shaking gurgling
face that blessed him, equine in its length, and at the light untonsured
hair, grained and hued like pale oak....
 

Extollager

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Lewis's foray into fantasy is nothing but allegory!
Well, Lewis made many forays into fantasy -- I'll mention just seven Narnian books, Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce, several superb narrative poems (The Nameless Isle, The Queen of Drum, Lancelot, Dymer), The Pilgrim's Regress -- but only the last one or two of those is truly an allegory. But I won't develop an argument about that here.
 

Extollager

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Yes! This is something that I've been thinking for a while. The idea of the finite story, which may contain loose ends but doesn't need a sequel to tie them up, seems to be on the wane.
One might use a musical analogy. Would anyone, having listened with love to Beethoven's 6th Symphony Pastoral, want to add his or her own bits to it -- add to Beethoven's five movements a sixth and a seventh? I would say LotR is more like a symphony, complete in itself, than it is like a television series like, say, Star Trek, that could go on and on.

Btw C. S. Lewis wrote seven Narnian Chronicles. I guess sometimes people consider that further books could be written, and even that one woman did write an eighth one, The Centaur's Cavern, which the Lewis estate wisely prohibited from publication. No -- those seven books are a unity. That comes out in an unusually interesting way in Michael Ward's book Planet Narnia, which shows that each book has its presiding "planet" (including the Sun and the Moon) of the traditional Seven Planets. No -adult- writer should be so audacious as to add his little asteroids to that group. (Lewis did invite young readers to write their own Narnian stories. Obviously he recognized the value, for creative youngsters, of such apprentice efforts.)
 
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