Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Forthcoming Publication (Tolkien and Magic)

So, a while back I was asked if I wanted to contribute to the forthcoming KOBOLD GUIDE TO MAGIC. I said yes, of course, once I'd checked the schedule and made sure there was time to fit in another project among the ones I was already committed to. I've worked with the Kobold Press/Open Design folks before,* and known them for longer than there's actually been a Kobold Press (having been a 'new fish' at TSR with Wolfgang Baur; we both started there the same month [October 1991]),** and thus knowing them to be Good People who do good work. A class act, in fact, in an industry where such are few and far between.

And now in the final run-up to the book's release, they're posting excerpts from some of the chapters: Ed Greenwood's, Steve Winter's, and now mine (so I'm v. much in good company).*** My topic is Magic in Tolkien's works, and my essay looks at three distinct competing theories of what magic is and now it works, and the ways in which Tolkien embraced or rejected each of those three concepts. I'll be curious to see what people make of it, since it belongs to one of my relatively few works that includes both Tolkien and roleplaying games, two topics that have engrossed me for decades now and to one or the other of which the vast majority of my publications belong.

Here's the link.

I'm really looking forward to the book myself, so that I can read the other contributors' essays. I'll try to post a follow-up notice when the book actually comes out.

--John R.

current audiobook: CATCHING FIRE

*having edited THE KOBOLD GUIDE TO GAME DESIGN Vol. II [2008], the D-and-D 4th edition adventure LOST CITY (the only 4th edition project I ever worked on), and the Call of Cthulhu RED EYE OF AZATHOTH campaign [both 2011].

**along with Thomas Reid and Rich Baker.

***thanks to JC for the link.

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