J. R. R. Tolkien
(January 1892 – 2 September 1973)
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, a British author and academic at Oxford, more or less single-handedly made high fantasy popular. He was not involved in fandom nor in the pro community in Britain, though C. S. Lewis, who did have connections, was his close friend and colleague.
His major works are, of course, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Since his death, his son, Christopher Tolkien, has edited and published more than a dozen volumes of his father's papers. Tom Shippey succeeded to Tolkien's Chair at Oxford. Tolkien, along with George R. R. Martin and Terry R. R. Pratchett, define modern fantasy.
Tolkien was never GoH at a convention while alive, but was Ghost of Honor at DemiCon 15. One of his few contacts with fandom was in 1957 when he was presented the International Fantasy Award for The Lord of the Rings at a closed meeting of the SF Luncheon Club during Loncon.
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1957 — International Fantasy Award
- 1972 — Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
- 1978 — Ditmar Award for Best International Fiction
- 2004 — DemiCon 15 (posthumous)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
The fanciers’ name for the J. R. R. Tolkien canon, including:
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, a children's fantasy novel was published in September, 1937, to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature. It was the foundation for Tolkien's masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings.
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s epic, three-volume fantasy novel, began as a sequel to The Hobbit, but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II. It is the second best-selling novel ever written, with over 150 million copies sold, and has been adapted to radio, film, the theater, and games.
It was published in over the course of a year, from July 29, 1954, to October 24, 1955, as three volumes titled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
The Lord of the Rings was nominated for the 1966 Best All-Time Series Hugo, but did not win -- this was just before its popularity began its incredible rise. See Ace Books and Del Rey Books for some related history.
The Silmarillion is a collection of mythopoeic works by Tolkien, edited and published posthumously by his son, Christopher Tolkien, in 1977, with assistance from Guy Gavriel Kay. It won the 1978 Ditmar Award for Best International Fiction.
|This is a biography page. Please extend it by adding more information about the person, such as fanzines and apazines published, awards, clubs, conventions worked on, GoHships, impact on fandom, external links, anecdotes, etc. See Standards for People and The Naming of Names.|