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Thread: Historyofmiddleearth ebooks??

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The only ebooks of History of middle earth that are available are 'The book of lost tales' part I and II. Does anyone have an idea when Chris Tolkien will publish the rest as ebooks(kindle, pubs etc)? I always read my books on so I don't want the hard copies. Thanks

I've been wondering the same thing. I've shifted over to my Kindle a lot lately and would love to be able to carry my HOME collection with me everywhere I go.

But, I know CT isn't an easy sell when it comes to releasing more of his father's work, so I'm not going to get my hopes up any time soon. But only time will tell I guess.

Yes as discussed here a few time now, its a shame that CT seems so Bitter & Twisted about technology, whether film or other media.  I feel for him as I don't think he actually understands the amazing reaction the work has had on new generations and how the games, comic and movies drive more kids to read.

Christopher Tolkien has been relatively silent over the years, although I'm aware of this much, concerning commercialization, from a fairly recent interview that is all over the web by now, at least in various Tolkien forums anyway [Le Monde]...

Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? "They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25," Christopher says regretfully. "And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film."

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. "Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time," Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. "The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away."


Anyway, if The Book of Lost Tales is available, doesn't that suggest that the Estate has made it so, and will arguably continue with the rest of The History of Middle-Earth series?

And generally speaking, Christopher Tolkien has released a lot of his father's unpublished work, including The Fall of Arthur, most recently.

Galin we are talking about Ebooks, not about CT's supposed hatred of PJ which you seem to love to harp on about.....

Brego, in my opinion you weren't just talking about Ebooks when you wrote that Christopher Tolkien seems 'bitter and twisted' about 'technology, whether film or other media' and in the very next sentence brought up games, comics, movies.

So I thought in addition to your opinion about Christopher Tolkien here, readers of this thread could also see what he himself has actually said about commercialization and the films, to help them make up their own minds [if they had not read the Le Monde interview of course].

And if we are just talking about Ebooks, then [while it's news to me], based on the release of The Book of Lost Tales part I and II, if legal, this to me appears to indicate that more of The History of Middle-Earth series is coming...

... unless there has been some sort of problem with the book deal or whatever.

Also wouldn't surprise me if BoLT was released as sort of a "tester" to see if people would buy them as e-books. If it did well enough, then CT might agree to release more. But if not, then he probably didn't see any reason to other than transitioning his father's work into the new age of technology, a concept he is always hesitant about.

Hmm, I found this from David Brawn [Publishing Director at HarperCollins], although back in 2010...


DB. We are working on a couple of projects for the autumn, but nothing at the moment of the 'previously unpublished' variety. For once it is the calendar this year that really fulfils the brief of unpublished archive material.

Though I appreciate that Tolkienlibrary is a site dedicated to traditional forms of publishing, it is worth mentioning e-books. In April last year we published many of Tolkien's books as e-books for the first time - The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, Unfinished Tales and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, with the Tales from the Perilous Realm anthology following in the autumn. These have not surprisingly been welcomed by the growing number of adopters of the new technology, with The Hobbit especially a constant presence in Kindle's list of genre bestsellers. 2010 will see more of Tolkien's books available as e-books, most significantly The History of Middle-earth, work on which has been done in tandem with preparing the new hardbacks. I think it's quite important for us as publisher to be championing all forms of publishing, and there's rather a nice symmetry in being able to re-release books in hardcover at the same time as we publish them for the first time electronically.

HarperCollins has been ahead of the game in publishing ebooks for some years, a position we are keen to hold on to. Many thousands of books are being digitized and released at the moment, which is why it's very difficult to give exact dates as to when every book will be available, but Tolkien's books are very much part of that programme. We are paying special attention to the Tolkien editions, however, in terms of ensuring that the special characters in the text and the many cross references don't turn into gibberish on the screen, as you will find in many e-books that some companies shovel out. Digitizing the History of Middle-earth has been turning a few people here cross-eyed as a result, but we hope it will be worth it in the end.

So not very helpful but it looks like it takes time, and Tolkien's work is obviously only part of the plan.

That said, BOLT II was on sale as an Ebook in 2011.

Well that's good news! Sounds like there is definitely an interest in publishing all of HOME as an ebook eventually, but the transition is being slowed because of the fine print within many of the books. Which is understandable.

But it's reassuring to know they want to publish them eventually, as opposed to an official statement flat out saying no. Thanks for the update Galin!