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After the King: Stories In Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien Paperback – October 11, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (October 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765302071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765302076
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,733,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A cautionary tale by Stephen R. Donaldson ("Reeve the Just"), a whimsical ad venture in miniature by Dennis L. McKiernan ("The Halfling House"), and a tribute to the art of storytelling by Charles de Lint ("The Conjure Man") il lustrate the variety of this collection of 19 stories written to celebrate the centennial of Tolkien's birth. Although fans of Middle Earth may be disappointed that none of these tales draw directly from Tolkien's world, discerning readers will find the unmistakable stamp of the master concealed in the heart of each story. All in all, this solid collection of fantasy belongs in most libraries. For a new edition of The Lord of the Rings and more on Tolkien, see Classic Returns, LJ 11/15/91.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Yet another Festschrift anthology by Greenberg, who has recently edited or coedited tributes to Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and H.P. Lovecraft, this time to honor the much-imitated author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The difficulty with these projects is that the writers must retain the essential flavor of their own work while evoking somehow the style or subject or tone of the revered predecessor, and here--as in the Asimov, Bradbury, and Lovecraft volumes--the quality of the stories varies tremendously. The book leads off with an exceptionally good story by Stephen R. Donaldson, ``Reave the Just,'' in which a legendary hero saves the day in a most unusual fashion. Emma Bull's ``Silver or Gold,'' Peter S. Beagle's ``The Naga,'' Judith Tarr's ``Death and the Lady,'' and Patricia A. McKillip's ``The Fellowship of the Dragon'' likewise evoke something of the spirit of Tolkien while offering wonderful, original tales in their authors' own strong voices. Meanwhile, John Brunner, Barry N. Malzberg, and Gregory Benford provide solid stories, but their connection to Tolkien is slight. Much that's unfortunately mediocre, and a few stories (such as Dennis L. McKiernan's ``The Halfling House,'' egregious at 29 pages) that would have made Tolkien himself wince--but, still, the strongest tales here are among the best short-length fantasy of the year. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It would make as much sense.
_ Rick _
There is a story here for everyone, whether you like comedy, tragedy, classic fantasy, or futuristic science-fiction.
N. Lee
I would recommend this book to anyone that has enjoyed fantasy, and especially Tolkien lovers.
Little Tree

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
J.R.R. Tolkien is the man who made the fantasy genre what it is today, so if you're gonna make an anthology honoring him, it better be GOOD. And for the most part, "After the King" succeeds wildly at that -- it has stories from some of the greats of fantasy/SF literature, with only a couple duds here and there.

Among the best are stories by Patricia McKillip, Charles de Lint, Peter S. Beagle, Andre Norton, Jane Yolen, Emma Bull and Terry Pratchett -- they spin out stories that are poetic and spellbinding, funny and haunting, evocative and magical. Their stories honor Tolkien by making brilliant use of language and fantastical worlds.

There are also some lesser but still wonderful stories by Harry Turtledove, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Karen Haber, Poul and Karen Anderson, Robert Silverberg and Judith Tarr. While not as gloriously memorable as the best stories, they are still really good stories, ranging from a delightfully cute story about a wizard with a new assistant to a rather uncomfortable SF story about the origins of a religion.

But despite those stories, there are also some duds -- Stephen R. Donaldson ("Reave the Just"... or "Reave the Supremely Uninteresting"), Gregory Benford and Barry N. Malzberg all seem to have totally missed out on the charm, magic and language.

The absolute worst: Dennis McKiernan's "Halfling House," which is basically devoted to McKiernan's Pysks and ripoff-hobbit Warrows, while also making fun of Tolkien's original hobbits. There's a strange plot about a TARDIS-like inn for tiny magical creatures, and a demonic opium den, and an incoherent ending where SOMETHING happens... it's just a mess.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By N. Lee on August 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow! The first word to come to mind when I read this book after I got it from the library. I searched local bookstores for almost a year before I decided to try Amazon. But don't be fooled, this book is not meant to be anything like Tolkien. It is written by authors who have been greatly influenced by this great man and his work. There is a story here for everyone, whether you like comedy, tragedy, classic fantasy, or futuristic science-fiction. True, not all the entries were "right up my alley", but reading each of them was a pleasure. I recommend it to anyone whose life has been changed by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found all of the stories well written and enjoyable, but then I did not assume that they would be done in a Tolkien-like writing style or would be based on Tolkien's works. If you are looking for stories that are reminiscient of Tolkien's Middle Earth, you will be sorely dissapointed. If you are looking for an tome of enjoyable fantasy fiction (that sometimes borders on science fiction) you will like this collection. The fact that the stories (although very good) did not live up to the title of the book prompted me to give it three stars rather than four. Caveat Emptor.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Brownson on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
I see quite a few other readers have preceded me, but I just want to express my anger, as a life long Tolkien fan, at the ethically shabby tactic used to sell this book. If I were an author who's story was published as a part of this collection, I'd be pretty angry, too; I doubt if any of them had any idea that they were going to be associated with a shameful hustle like this. As has been pointed out: none of these stories have any thing to do with Tolkeien's world or characters, nor are they written in a style that recalls his. This is just a particularly grubby sales tactic, intended to sell books to those of us longing to revisit that world in some way. Shame on the editor or the publisher or whoever hatched this misleading title and subtitle- and thanks for the internet, where wary book buyers can be warned.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "elvandar" on March 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One might suspect that in "After the King: Stories in Honor of J.R.R. Tolkien," each story would have a distinctly Tolkien-esque feel. However, this is not entirely the case. Not every short story contained here is even traditional high fantasy, and sometimes it seems more like an issue of a fantasy or sci-fi magazine with assorted, mismatched tales.
Of course none of this means much in the long haul, because there are some nice little gems hidden in this 500 page volume. I particularly enjoyed the hilarious "Troll Bridge," the suspenseful "Faith," "The Halfling House," the haunting 6 page tale called "Winter's King," and even "The Revolt of the Sugar Plum Fairies," though the latter was one that seemed out of place.
Fantasy and science fiction fans alike will certainly find enjoyment here, whether it's comedy, adventure, or emotional yarns you prefer. Just don't expect Tolkien-esque fantasy from cover to cover.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Torrance on November 26, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Good stories, but if you expect anything that has any continuity with the Ring Mythos, look elsewhere. You will be very disappointed.

What next, "tales of the old south- a tribute to tolkien"? Or how about "a history of jet planes- stories in honor of tolkien"?

The stories, as a collection, deserve 4 stars, but this book's title and dust jacket (hardcover ed.) is so misleading that ol' Greenberg gets only one.
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