Tag: pre tolkien challenge

Tolkien and Modernity — Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog

Part two of Jeffro going hard on Tolkien. Good convo in the comments and across Twitter.

Tolkien was ahead of his time. And that’s precisely what I object to about him. And you know it’s real. People experience a culture shock when they go look up his forgotten contemporaries that they don’t with his work. You can see it, too, in where people struggle with him. I tend to like the […]

via Tolkien and Modernity — Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog

Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Challenge Roundup: Part I


The Pre-Tolkien Challenge got started two days ago and there’s already been a great response. Some great conversation across blogs and on twitter. Exactly what I was looking for. Creating an interlinked community of like-minded people sharing our love for classic fantasy and discussing what made the old works fantastic and how to apply it to new fiction, is exactly what our community needs. Keep the posts coming and keep the discussion floating.

The Challenge

Completed Challenge:

Things I Like

Paul Lucas

Jeffro Johnson

Jon Mollison: Algernon Blackwood

Adventures Fantastic: William Morris 

Eldritch Paths: Clark Ashton Smith

Participants Taking up the Sword:

Adventures Fantastic

Jon Mollison

Woelf Dietrich

Fletcher A. Vredenburgh

Jeffro goes hard and opens up some great discussion on Tolkien being a man of his time, and comparing him to the more authentic and pure writing of Lord Dunsany. You’re going to have to follow the Twitter for that conversation if you are interested.

Keep them coming, and share this post and the challenge so we can get a lot of reviews. Let me know if I missed anyone and when you do complete your reviews tag me so I can compile.


Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Challenge


One of the often repeated refrains from the vile Cult of Resentment is that so much Fantasy is just rehashed, Tolkien fanfiction. Unfortunately, there is some truth in this, a lot of modern multi-volume fantasy is quite derivative of Middle Earth. Pale imitators lacking the poetic and moral compass of JRRT. Due to the popularity of the imitators, and the almost systematic erasure of most pre-Tolkien fantasy from the public sphere, a new reader often thinks of Middle Earth as ground zero for fantasy, myself included.

But that is starting to change, big thanks to Jeffro’s Appendix N for one, and also a revival of the pulp aesthetic by indie magazines like Cirsova and Storyhack and the many new writers affiliated with the PulpRev movement.

In order to educate, and also hopefully find some great reading material for myself, I propose a challenge to all my blogger friends.

Pre-Tolkien Short Story Challenge

  • Identify 3 Fantasy stories written before Lord of the Rings was published. 3 stories written before 1954.
  • Review all three on your blog, focusing on pre-Tolkien differences of similarities, and making sure you let us know where we can find them for ourselves.
  • Share the challenge.

I think this will be an interesting exercise. I hope a lot of people join me so I can compile a great collection of reviews that hopefully will inspire others to read older Fantasy.