So, congratulations to the winner of this year's Mythopoeic Award for best work of Inklings Scholarship, John M. Bower for TOLKIEN'S LOST CHAUCER,* who came out on top of an impressive list of finalists this year: McIlwaine, Cilli, Garth, and the contributors to A WILDERNESS OF DRAGONS.** Bower was gracious in his acceptance speech, praising each of the runner-ups.*** Best of all, he announced that he is now under contract with Oxford University Press to produce his next book, TOLKIEN ON CHAUCER, 1913 - 1959 --- which sounds like the edition of Tolkien's writings on Chaucer some of us had hoped for in the first book. More primary Tolkien material made available is a good thing in my reckoning.
The other big winner, for the Fantasy Scholarship (Non-Inkling) Award, is Anna Vaninskaya's FANTASIES OF TIME AND DEATH, which looks at Eddison, Dunsany, and Tolkien: two neglected authors put in context with the most famous fantasy author of them all. In her acceptance, Vaninskaya mentioned that this book was the first installment of a much bigger project; I'll be interested to see what comes next.
*a book I reviewed for TOLKIEN STUDIES.
**disclosure: I was a contributor and editor of the volume.
*** "John Rateliff is one of those Tolkien scholars that I learned quickly to consult for unrivaled expertise in books like THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT." Gosh.