Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Oct 14
2020/10/14 20:23:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Caudimordax wrote:

That Science of Middle Earth most caught my attention. Anyone have insights beyond what Blackwell's states about the book on the product listing? Seems like a good fit with Flora of Middle Earth, the upcoming Nature of Middle Earth, as well as Ents, Elves, and Eriador.

It was previously published in French last year, and this is the English translation.

Tolkien et les sciences
Hardcover : 400 pages
ISBN-10 : 2410000754
ISBN-13 : 978-2410000757
Amazon.com link
Amazon.fr link

A quick google translate of the French description:
A key key to understanding Tolkien's world was missing: science. We knew the formidable writer, creator of worlds, inventor of languages, we discovered the botanist, the paleontologist, the geologist, the archeology and chemistry enthusiast. Self-taught in science, Tolkien observed a lot and asked himself a thousand and one questions about fauna, flora, marine currents, volcanoes. This is what makes his imaginary universes and his creatures so believable. 38 experts (archaeologist, astrophysicist, philosopher, paleontologist, economist, psychoanalyst, volcanologist, botanist, chemist, doctor, etc.) sifted through Tolkien's many novels, poems and correspondence to reveal their scientific roots. Each chapter is thus the object of a discovery: the hidden meaning of the Ring which corrupts, why the Hobbits have big feet, the origin of the people of the Dwarves, the animals which inspired their dragons, an Ent is impossible ... Illustrated by superb unpublished drawings by Arnaud Rafaelian, this book intended for Tolkien fans, science lovers, and others sheds a new light on this world work.
Oct 14
2020/10/14 20:26:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
About "The Science of Middle Earth", it's the translation of a French book published last year, whose title is "Tolkien and sciences". Unlike the title suggests, it's not a book that explores the sciences applied to Middle-earth, more a book of sciences which uses Tolkien's works as an excuse. It lacked a review of a Tolkien specialist before publication, so even I, as both a contributor (I wrote a chapter about Tolkien and archeology) and a scientist, was disappointed by the contents. The good point : the beautiful illustrations.
In any case, if you're interested by the contents (in French) :
https://www.tolkiendil.com/tolkien/sur ... n/tolkien_et_les_sciences

And a review (also in French of course) : https://www.tolkiendil.com/tolkien/sur ... _et_les_sciences/critique

(Google Translate seems to work enough to understand)
Oct 21
2020/10/21 18:01:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Druss wrote:

About "The Science of Middle Earth", it's the translation of a French book published last year, whose title is "Tolkien and sciences". Unlike the title suggests, it's not a book that explores the sciences applied to Middle-earth, more a book of sciences which uses Tolkien's works as an excuse. It lacked a review of a Tolkien specialist before publication, so even I, as both a contributor (I wrote a chapter about Tolkien and archeology) and a scientist, was disappointed by the contents. The good point : the beautiful illustrations.
In any case, if you're interested by the contents (in French) :
https://www.tolkiendil.com/tolkien/sur ... n/tolkien_et_les_sciences

And a review (also in French of course) : https://www.tolkiendil.com/tolkien/sur ... _et_les_sciences/critique

(Google Translate seems to work enough to understand)

This is precisely the insight I was looking for, thank you! Do you mind elaborating a bit further on "a book of sciences which uses Tolkien's works as an excuse"? I wasn't really able to puzzle it out based on your link. Could be the lack of coffee...
Oct 22
2020/10/22 8:23:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
How to explain that... The books explores some scientific concepts (phylogenetics, paleontology, geology, etc.) but rather than to stay in the limits of Tolkien's world, some contributions stretch it to their hypothesis.

For example, one article about the evolution (phylogenetic) tree of the peoples of Middle-earth conclude that, for one part Humans, Hobbits and Dwarves are on the same evolution branch (first, because of the Hobbit/Human relation explicited in the prologue of LR, second because of the short size of both Hobbit and Dwarves) and for another part, that Ents and Elves are on a another same branch, because of the long live shared by both species. The author, here, forgot to take account of the fact that Humans and Elves can breed, so they are de facto the same species (plus Tolkien says so explicitly in a letter), on the same branch, like Sapiens et Neanderthals were. And, likewise, Ents and Dwarves can't share kinship with them in the limits of Tolkien's works, for there is not proof of that. That's an example among lots.

I'm not sure it's clear enough for you ?

That being said, some contributions are interesting, I'd say 50 or 75% from a scientific point of view. My opinion is surely a bit harsh, but it's just that reading it and being a scientist and a tolkienist passionate by both, I wanted to correct each error or misunderstanding I read :D
Oct 26
2020/10/26 23:44:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Hi Druss, thanks for the clarification. It actually sounds similar to the reviews I've read of Henry Gee's 2004 book with a similar title. Just to make sure, the two are absolutely not connected, correct?
Oct 27
2020/10/27 8:31:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
No, not at all, except a similar title. This one is a pure collaborative French book directed by three reknowned scientists.
Oct 27
2020/10/27 16:21:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Appreciate the help! I might still be tempted to pick up a copy if I see it at a good price. Moreover, it seems to release around my birthday, so it could be an easy gift from someone ;)
Oct 27
2020/10/27 17:15:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
What Tolkien books are coming out in 2021?
Oct 27
2020/10/27 17:52:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Unintentionally announced was The Nature of Middle-earth, edited by Carl Hostetter. It is not yet confirmed when it will be published.

No other primary works have been announced, that I am aware of.

Are you looking for secondary works (books about Tolkien and his writings)?
Oct 27
2020/10/27 19:11:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Isn't there an update of the Annotated Hobbit due out in March? I know it's been postponed a couple of times now, but hopefully it's still in the pipeline.
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