Tuesday, August 8, 2017

One of this summer's projects has been to turn a story I'd always meant to write into an e-book--more of an e-booklet, I suppose, since it's turned out to be a long-ish novella, rather than a novel properly so called.  I finished it last night (or early this morning), somewhat surprised to see that html skills I learned back in the 90's still came in handy. So it is now available from Amazon on Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Fortunate-Empire-Leedeu-Worlds-Heart-ebook/dp/B074MQWF7C/  Here's the blurb: "Fortunate the nation that grows by marriage rather than warfare," a proverb says. In an age still new to steam and steel, the fledgling empire of the World's Heart has long overlooked the ancient city of Leedeu, far off to the east on the other side of the globe. The Autarch's decision to dispatch the empire's heir apparent, incognito, to serve as the first official Legate to the city only highlights imperial ignorance of the older culture. Confronted as soon as they leave their ship by a series of seemingly random deaths which local authorities insistently downplay, the Legate and his staff face increasing complications as they labor to navigate shadowy factions that have been struggling against each other since before the earliest legends of the World's Heart. Ultimately, only the Prince's submersion in the city's grotesque rituals resolves the tensions his legation has caused."

Friday, April 28, 2017

A New Tolkien Essay

I was very pleased to hear yesterday evening that an essay I've been working on for a while has appeared in the Journal of Tolkien Research. I am on the board of JTR, so this could, admittedly, look a bit fishy, but we use blind peer review, so I'm taking legitimate pride in the piece. It's on-line here:


Saturday, February 25, 2017

The indefatigable Douglas Anderson has written a very nice blog post on fantasy by Tolkien scholars (in which company I am honored to be included): http://tolkienandfantasy.blogspot.com/2017/02/tolkien-scholars-write-fantasy.html

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Vernal Exercise

Very springlike weather today in Pottstown led me to a springtime sonnet, with perhaps a little too much allusion:

“The only pretty ring time . . .
--As You Like It V.3

Could any of us then have understood,
In that now-faded spring when golden boughs
Of poorly-kept forsythia wove nets
Along our paths, and April lilacs bloomed
In mourning or in promise at the gate—
Could we have recognized in our own lives
The vestiges of such an ancient flame
As stirred the heart of one Italian boy
Or doomed a queen, and made Augustin weep?
The overwhelming question, like a Boston fog,
Surrounded, choked, or even blinded us:
And yet eluded us—or we fled it.
Love, more than youth, is wasted on the young:
But fear can master us at any age.