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Articles tagged with: Tolkien

Speculative Fiction, Imagined Geographies, and Social Alternatives

By Martin W. Lewis | January 7, 2012 | One Comment

People are drawn to history and geography for various reasons. For myself, the major appeals have always been variety and complexity. I find variations in physical environments, social organizations, and belief systems intrinsically interesting. Obscure cultures, places, and times have particular appeal, as they help break the spell of the commonplace. It is all too easy to assume that one’s …

The Elaborate and Curious Geographies of Frank Herbert and J. R. R. Tolkien

By Martin W. Lewis | January 4, 2012 | 24 Comments
Bird's Map of Middle-earth Transposed on Europe

According to most sources, the best-selling science fiction novel of all time is Frank Herbert’s Dune. When it comes to fantasy literature, nothing compares with J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Both works build intricate worlds, giving obsessive attention to detail. Such elaboration proves compelling to many readers, providing what seem to be fully realized alternatives to …

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