So, the thread on TSR and the Tolkien license is still going on over at the Piazzo forum.* Wish I had time to chime in, since there are a lot of interesting comments, not all of which I agree with.**
I do have two observations though.
1. Our lives would all be simpler, and discussions like this one less at cross-purposes, if we could all grasp the difference between Tolkien Enterprises (=Saul Zaentz) and The Tolkien Estate (=the Tolkien family) and remember which controls exactly which rights.
2. My eye was drawn by the following quote:
"To be honest, I had not heard of John D. Rateliff before. I'll have to have a look to see if he has worked on any TSR product lines I like. It sounds like he has some good stories."
This doesn't surprise me, because a good editor is invisible. But, just to toot my own horn,*** game worlds I've worked on during my time at TSR and WotC and Hasbro include
some GREYHAWK, some FORGOTTEN REALMS, a very little PLANESCAPE
the DOMINARIA setting (an abandoned project)
--in fact, I worked at one time or another on just about every AD&D game world except DARK SUN****
Mostly, though, I worked on core AD&D projects, like the boxed sets NIGHT BELOW and RETURN TO THE TOMB OF HORRORS, as well as the third edition PLAYER'S HANDBOOK (and DMG).
I'm glad he liked my stories.
*"When TSR Passed on Tolkien" http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=22537
**but then you rarely get a good discussion when everyone agrees at the outset
****which was fortunate for me, since that was probably my least-favorite setting
alternative universe IV
10 hours ago