Explorations and Experiences of a Technology Services Librarian
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Bilbo's Last Song
Probably the most fitting way leave The Lord of the Rings behind is to visit Bilbo's Last Song.
A poem written as a gift to his secretary, Bilbo's Last Stand was published posthumously and serves as an epilogue to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the poem makes a graceful transition to picture book, with paired scenes from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as Bilbo pens his farewell to Middle Earth.
Some of our party rides out to meet battle, but not all. Merry, and others still healing, are left behind in Gondor. This journey is neither quick nor subtle, and that Sauron prepares a trap in wait is no surprise. Their presence is a clear and deliberate provocation of Sauron, and one that is nearly countered by the brief capture of Frodo. I think that if it were not for Gandalf the armies would have quailed, recognition by items that the Mouth of Sauron is referring to one of the hobbits. Of course, the key piece not mentioned in all of this is the Ring... and the fact that if Sauron had the Ring already the parlay would not even be necessary.
This chapter is definitely one that was ripe for translation to the screen. Cinematically it is both an apex and a cliffhanger, on top of the whole launching into likely doomed battle. Jackson made some pretty good decisions here to visually ramp up the tension. I can't really argue with the decision to have all of the Fellowship p…
This chapter can largely be viewed as two sections; the first part consisting of reunions and filling in backstory, the second part looking forward at hard decisions and action. The reunion of the fellowship stands as a focal point to pull us in at this juncture, some joy taking part in this brief calm.
The real action of the chapter however is decision. Denethor has good reason for his despair, the seeing stones do not lie... and the fight they all face against the shadow will not be won by strength of arms alone. In terms of the narrative of the page, their hopes rely mostly on the shoulders of two hobbits. In a more layered take, the battle they face isn't just that of weapons and physical force, but of psychological maneuvering and propaganda. Sauron has relied on feeding misinformation and doubt to those who stand against him, now the opposition seeks to do the same to him.
By and large, the updating details supplied by the fellowship members to each other in this chap…
The Snow Queen reinvents the well-known fairy tale into a far flung future, combing elements of science fiction and fantasy together into a textured space opera.
For nearly 150 years Winter has ruled over the planet of Tiamat, a world in a solar system with two suns which revolve around a black hole. During Winter the planet is accessible to interstellar travel via a black hole gate, but during Summer the system's orbit isolates Tiamat from other planets and the Hegemony that rules them. As the last years of Winter wane, the Winter Queen sets plans in motions to retain the throne and power through the transition, even at the expense of genocide.
I discovered The Snow Queen through Women in Science Fiction, with Vinge as one of the many incredible female SF authors who's been unfortunately forgotten. It's a 1981 Hugo Winner with a whole lot going on in it. I put in as the November Virtual Speculation pick based on that stumbled upon review …