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#1: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-07 11:26:09 by JGMJG

Being a fan of the Tolkien saga (Silmarillion , Hobbit & Lord of the Rings),
I sometimes wish that someone would get the rights to the books, so they
could write new stories and adventures. It's a common desire for avid
readers and viewers of fiction. All too often people who like something so
much find themselves asking "when are they going to make a new one of
those", and the publishers and film industry eager to create a market
franchise throw in their support.

However, I'm not altogether sure of how well an expanded universe would be
received in the end. I mean it might do well commercially, but what would
be the general feeling toward it in comparison to the original books.
Sometimes I think that the continuing of a great story that seemingly ended
for good, can cheapen the accomplishments and deeds of the characters of old
and providing no true closure to anything. While I'm willing to except
that life goes on and politics continue, anything new is just a remnant of
an old evil, a cult, a new plot against someone or a war. The almost
magical bliss and harmony that the old story seemingly ended on is
diminished, giving the new a rather depressing feel which is too much like
reality. This diminished quality and/or magic has the effect of leaving a
bad taste in the mouths of some readers, leading to outright rejection of
the new and a longing for the old.

Opinions?

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#2: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-07 23:07:15 by Troels Forchhammer

In message
&lt;news:RMprg.4305$<a href="mailto:PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net" target="_blank">PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net</a>&gt; &quot;JGMJG&quot;
&lt;<a href="mailto:jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net" target="_blank">jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net</a>&gt; enriched us with:
&gt;
&gt; Being a fan of the Tolkien saga (Silmarillion , Hobbit &amp; Lord of
&gt; the Rings), I sometimes wish that someone would get the rights to
&gt; the books, so they could write new stories and adventures.

Though based on his father's various writings and notes on Middle-
earth, and in particular the manuscripts for The Silmarillion, this was
to some extent what Christopher Tolkien did with parts of the published
/The Silmarillion/ -- in particular with the chapter dealing with the
ruin of Doriath.

Even then, opinions are divided about that work -- there is
disagreement about whether some of his extrapolations were justified,
and I am certain that any invention (published for profit) by others
will be met with general disapproval in the 'fan community' (just see
the debates about Jackson's treatment of LotR).

It is a bit different with non-profit fan-fiction, which I think is
generally met with an attitude of 'I suppose it's OK for those who like
that kind of things' -- there is a greater tolerance towards those who
do not seek to earn money.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is &lt;t.forch(a)email.dk&gt;

If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you
haven't understood it yet.
- Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

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#3: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-08 07:24:22 by sbjensen

Quoth &quot;JGMJG&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net" target="_blank">jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net</a>&gt; in article
&lt;RMprg.4305$<a href="mailto:PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net" target="_blank">PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net</a>&gt;:
&gt; Being a fan of the Tolkien saga (Silmarillion , Hobbit &amp; Lord of the Rings),

As a side question, have you read /Unfinished Tales/? It's absolutely
fantastic, especially if you've already read /The Silmarillion/.

&gt; I sometimes wish that someone would get the rights to the books, so
&gt; they could write new stories and adventures.

Not me. :) Heck, I've even seen authors spoil their /own/ great books
with inappropriate sequels. (Barbara Hambly comes to mind: I've read
at least one of the sequels to her Darwath trilogy, and it just felt
entirely wrong to me. And I've avoided the sequels to the fantastic
/Dragonsbane/ like the plague, for fear that they'd taint one of my
favorite books.)

Happily, Tolkien himself seems to have been aware of that danger: as
discussed in /The Peoples of Middle-earth/, he in fact started to
write a sequel to LotR (&quot;The New Shadow&quot;, the draft of which was
published in that book) but abandoned it because he felt it would just
be a simple thriller--not worth writing.

But as for other authors writing stories within Middle-earth, some
folks might enjoy them. I might have read them myself, years ago.
But then, I once read a dozen or so Xanth books, too; my tastes have
shifted a bit since then. :) I'm sufficiently fond of Tolkien's
Middle-earth that I don't think I could stomach any attempts to
duplicate his magic.

For the record, I understand that there have been a number of LotR
sequels and prequels published in Russia (where copyright law is,
well, less strict than most places). It sounds like Tolkien knockoffs
(and Tolkien knockoff knockoffs) are a minor industry there. There's
also some fairly substantial fanfic out there. I've never seen the
former and I've only glimpsed a few examples of the latter, but I
don't think anyone can recapture the things about Tolkien's work that
gives it such enduring popularity. So for my part, I'll stick with
what we've got.
Steuard Jensen

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#4: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-08 12:24:42 by JGMJG

&quot;Steuard Jensen&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:akHrg.39$<a href="mailto:45.1473&#64;news.uchicago.edu..." target="_blank">45.1473&#64;news.uchicago.edu...</a>
&gt; Quoth &quot;JGMJG&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net" target="_blank">jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net</a>&gt; in article
&gt; &lt;RMprg.4305$<a href="mailto:PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net" target="_blank">PE1.4046&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net</a>&gt;:
&gt; &gt; Being a fan of the Tolkien saga (Silmarillion , Hobbit &amp; Lord of the
Rings),
&gt;
&gt; As a side question, have you read /Unfinished Tales/? It's absolutely
fantastic, especially if you've already read /The Silmarillion/.

I have read most of the Unfinished Tales. I would say that that is an
extension to the tolkien saga, since it covers some things that were not
covered in the Silmarillion. Lets face it, although a profoundly inspiring
read, the Silmarillion was vague on some details concerning the travels and
deeds of the heroes. I sometimes think that if an author is going to write
an extension to a great story, it should be set during the original in the
past before the great ending.

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#5: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-08 16:24:48 by bredband.net

&quot;JGMJG&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net" target="_blank">jgmjg&#64;noteonline.net</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
news:KJLrg.4710$<a href="mailto:PE1.3255&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net..." target="_blank">PE1.3255&#64;newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...</a>

[snip]

&gt; I have read most of the Unfinished Tales. I would say that that is an
&gt; extension to the tolkien saga, since it covers some things that were not
&gt; covered in the Silmarillion. Lets face it, although a profoundly
&gt; inspiring
&gt; read, the Silmarillion was vague on some details concerning the travels
&gt; and
&gt; deeds of the heroes. I sometimes think that if an author is going to
&gt; write
&gt; an extension to a great story, it should be set during the original in the
&gt; past before the great ending.

Well, after all, Tolkien never got down to writing a final version of the
Sil. After his death, his literary executors (his son Christopher and
someone else - Roger Lancelyn Green? Walter Hooper?) said that there was no
material coherent enough to be published as the Sil. Then Christopher
Tolkien painstakingly cobbled together a Sil from various drafts and
isolated stories, and all praise to him for that, but the seams do show at
times, and he has later acknowledged that he made some mistakes. Small
wonder, that.

Öjevind

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#6: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-09 16:54:32 by morgothscurse2002

On Sat, 08 Jul 2006 05:24:22 GMT, <a href="mailto:sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu</a>
(Steuard Jensen) wrote:


&gt;&gt; I sometimes wish that someone would get the rights to the books, so
&gt;&gt; they could write new stories and adventures.
&gt;
&gt;Not me. :) Heck, I've even seen authors spoil their /own/ great books
&gt;with inappropriate sequels. (Barbara Hambly comes to mind: I've read
&gt;at least one of the sequels to her Darwath trilogy, and it just felt
&gt;entirely wrong to me. And I've avoided the sequels to the fantastic
&gt;/Dragonsbane/ like the plague, for fear that they'd taint one of my
&gt;favorite books.)

You were wise, Steuard. ;-) The series definitely went downhill after
that book. 8-{

I would also add Terry Brooks and Gordon R. Dickson to that list.

Morgoth's Curse

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#7: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-09 17:48:08 by Taemon

Morgoth's Curse wrote:

&gt; On Sat, 08 Jul 2006 05:24:22 GMT, <a href="mailto:sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu" target="_blank">sbjensen&#64;midway.uchicago.edu</a>
&gt; (Steuard Jensen) wrote:
&gt;&gt; Not me. :) Heck, I've even seen authors spoil their /own/ great
&gt;&gt; books with inappropriate sequels.
&gt; I would also add Terry Brooks and Gordon R. Dickson to that list.

You mean that Terry Brooks has written a good book? Which one would
that be?

T.

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#8: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-09 19:08:50 by Flame of the West

Steuard Jensen wrote:

&gt; Not me. :) Heck, I've even seen authors spoil their /own/ great books
&gt; with inappropriate sequels. (Barbara Hambly comes to mind: I've read
&gt; at least one of the sequels to her Darwath trilogy, and it just felt
&gt; entirely wrong to me. And I've avoided the sequels to the fantastic
&gt; /Dragonsbane/ like the plague, for fear that they'd taint one of my
&gt; favorite books.)

This is precisely why I refuse to watch the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
I saw Phantom Menace once and realized it would taint the first trilogy.
(Of course George Lucas tried to taint the originals anyway by messing
with them, but I have rips from the old LaserDisc versions.)


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.

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#9: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-09 19:31:26 by denaldo

JGMJG wrote:

&gt; Being a fan of the Tolkien saga (Silmarillion , Hobbit &amp; Lord of the Rings),
&gt; I sometimes wish that someone would get the rights to the books, so they
&gt; could write new stories and adventures. It's a common desire for avid
&gt; readers and viewers of fiction. All too often people who like something so
&gt; much find themselves asking &quot;when are they going to make a new one of
&gt; those&quot;, and the publishers and film industry eager to create a market
&gt; franchise throw in their support.
&gt;
&gt; However, I'm not altogether sure of how well an expanded universe would be
&gt; received in the end. I mean it might do well commercially, but what would
&gt; be the general feeling toward it in comparison to the original books.
&gt; Sometimes I think that the continuing of a great story that seemingly ended
&gt; for good, can cheapen the accomplishments and deeds of the characters of old
&gt; and providing no true closure to anything. While I'm willing to except
&gt; that life goes on and politics continue, anything new is just a remnant of
&gt; an old evil, a cult, a new plot against someone or a war. The almost
&gt; magical bliss and harmony that the old story seemingly ended on is
&gt; diminished, giving the new a rather depressing feel which is too much like
&gt; reality. This diminished quality and/or magic has the effect of leaving a
&gt; bad taste in the mouths of some readers, leading to outright rejection of
&gt; the new and a longing for the old.
&gt;
&gt; Opinions?

Unless you had a select, tight-knit group of extra-ordinary
authors, and an almost God-like editor, I think it would
eventually go to seed. My opinion only, but I was just thinking
along the same lines as I tried to wade through a 'Tales of the
Witch World' collection. Franchise the Shannarra universe,
but leave my beloved Middle Earth in peace.



--
The Gaffer's kid went all the way to Mordor, and all I
got was this lousy .sig file.
Send POINTless replies to <a href="mailto:denaldo&#64;ePOINTv1.com" target="_blank">denaldo&#64;ePOINTv1.com</a>

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#10: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-12 16:41:12 by burnsdavidj

Flame of the West wrote:
&gt; Steuard Jensen wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &gt; Not me. :) Heck, I've even seen authors spoil their /own/ great books
&gt; &gt; with inappropriate sequels. (Barbara Hambly comes to mind: I've read
&gt; &gt; at least one of the sequels to her Darwath trilogy, and it just felt
&gt; &gt; entirely wrong to me. And I've avoided the sequels to the fantastic
&gt; &gt; /Dragonsbane/ like the plague, for fear that they'd taint one of my
&gt; &gt; favorite books.)
&gt;
&gt; This is precisely why I refuse to watch the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
&gt; I saw Phantom Menace once and realized it would taint the first trilogy.
&gt; (Of course George Lucas tried to taint the originals anyway by messing
&gt; with them, but I have rips from the old LaserDisc versions.)

You'll be happy to know that after stating absolutely categorically
that the original unedited movies would never again be released (and
implying technical limitations as well), that in Nov 2006 a new set of
DVDs will be released. Yup you guessed it -- remastered original
prints. Looks like now that he's sopped the market with his re-edited
origials (which sadly i purchased under duress) he can re-re-sell the
real originals.

<a href="http://www.starwars.com/episode-iv/release/video/news20060503.html" target="_blank"> http://www.starwars.com/episode-iv/release/video/news2006050 3.html</a>

As for 'fan fiction' and expanded universes, my experience has been the
following: the subsequent writtings have NEVER surprassed the
originals. HP Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Philip K Dick, Frank Herbert
(he himself was guilty in some respects) etc etc. All derivative works
lack the essential quality and originality of the source material. At
best you can categorise these as 'interesting' rather than remarkable.

Even 'fan fiction' from televised or film works rarely work -- thing of
the legion of Star Wars / Star Trek / Dr Who / The New Avengers / After
M.A.S.H. pulp fiction our there. Dreck upon dreck upon dreck. There
might be some brilliant jewel of literary worth buried within the mass
of trade paperbacks, but who would ever find it amongst the thousands
upon thousands of mass manufactured dreck?

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#11: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-17 05:54:41 by Flame of the West

<a href="mailto:burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com</a> wrote:

&gt; You'll be happy to know that after stating absolutely categorically
&gt; that the original unedited movies would never again be released (and
&gt; implying technical limitations as well), that in Nov 2006 a new set of
&gt; DVDs will be released. Yup you guessed it -- remastered original
&gt; prints. Looks like now that he's sopped the market with his re-edited
&gt; origials (which sadly i purchased under duress) he can re-re-sell the
&gt; real originals.

You are right - I am very happy to know that! But Amazon.com claims
that they are coming out Sept. 12. I am going to pre-order, so I'll get
them whenever it is they come out.


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.

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#12: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-17 17:02:28 by Een Wilde Ier

Flame of the West wrote:
&gt; <a href="mailto:burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com</a> wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt; You'll be happy to know that after stating absolutely categorically
&gt;&gt; that the original unedited movies would never again be released (and
&gt;&gt; implying technical limitations as well), that in Nov 2006 a new set of
&gt;&gt; DVDs will be released. Yup you guessed it -- remastered original
&gt;&gt; prints. Looks like now that he's sopped the market with his re-edited
&gt;&gt; origials (which sadly i purchased under duress) he can re-re-sell the
&gt;&gt; real originals.
&gt;
&gt; You are right - I am very happy to know that! But Amazon.com claims
&gt; that they are coming out Sept. 12. I am going to pre-order, so I'll get
&gt; them whenever it is they come out.

And next year he'll have yet another edition for the suckers to buy.

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#13: Re: ? of expanded universe

Posted on 2006-07-20 04:47:04 by Flame of the West

Een Wilde Ier wrote:
&gt; Flame of the West wrote:
&gt;&gt; <a href="mailto:burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">burnsdavidj&#64;yahoo.com</a> wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt; You'll be happy to know that after stating absolutely categorically
&gt;&gt;&gt; that the original unedited movies would never again be released (and
&gt;&gt;&gt; implying technical limitations as well), that in Nov 2006 a new set of
&gt;&gt;&gt; DVDs will be released. Yup you guessed it -- remastered original
&gt;&gt;&gt; prints. Looks like now that he's sopped the market with his re-edited
&gt;&gt;&gt; origials (which sadly i purchased under duress) he can re-re-sell the
&gt;&gt;&gt; real originals.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; You are right - I am very happy to know that! But Amazon.com claims
&gt;&gt; that they are coming out Sept. 12. I am going to pre-order, so I'll
&gt;&gt; get them whenever it is they come out.
&gt;
&gt; And next year he'll have yet another edition for the suckers to buy.

I don't doubt it, but the theatrical versions are unique and
definitely for non-suckers. He can only get people to buy
them once.


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.

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