Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
Douglas A. Anderson
Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2003 - Fiction - 436 pages
Terry Brooks. David Eddings. George R. R. Martin. Robin Hobb. The top names in modern fantasy all acknowledge J. R. R. Tolkien as their role model, the author whose work inspired them to create their own epics. But what writers influenced Tolkien himself? Here, internationally recognized Tolkien expert Douglas A. Anderson has gathered the fiction of authors who sparked Tolkien's imagination in a collection destined to become a classic in its own right.
Andrew Lang's romantic swashbuckler, "The Story of Sigurd," features magic rings, an enchanted sword, and a brave hero loved by two beautiful women-- and cursed by a ferocious dragon. Tolkien read E. A. Wyke-Smith's "The Marvelous Land of Snergs" to his children, delighting in these charming tales of a pixieish people "only slightly taller than the average table." Also appearing in this collection is a never-before-published gem by David Lindsay, author of "Voyage to Arcturus," a novel which Tolkien praised highly both as a thriller and as a work of philosophy, religion, and morals.
In stories packed with magical journeys, conflicted heroes, and terrible beasts, this extraordinary volume is one that no fan of fantasy or Tolkien should be without. These tales just might inspire a new generation of creative writers.
Tales Before Tolkien: 22 Magical Stories
Once upon a time, fantasy writers were looked down upon by the literary mainstream as purveyors of mere escapism or, at best, bedtime tales fit only for children. Today fantasy novels stand atop the bestseller lists, while fantasy films smash box office records. Fantasy dominates the role-playing and computer gaming industries, and classic works in the genre are taught in schools and universities throughout the world. Credit for this amazing turnaround belongs to one man more than any other: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the beloved author of "The Hobbit and "The Lord of the Rings.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JonathanGorman - LibraryThing
Some gems in here, but also felt like the collection was a little over-zealous with the inclusion of stories and a desire for completeness that doesn't necessarily mesh with the stated goal of getting the general world of fantasy fans to enjoy pre-Tolkien works. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - t1bnotown - LibraryThing
I thought the stories in this volume were okay, but not particularly exciting. What is most interesting about this collection is that it shows fantasy as a continuum- something that came out of old ... Read full review