Episode 48
March 13, 2023

It’s Important to Get Really into Jewelry

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Jared’s choice of topic: worldbuilding. Tolkien is so heavily identified with the concept of worldbuilding that a map of Middle-earth represents the topic on Wikipedia, and his impact in both fantasy and beyond regarding how a world that is not this actual globe we live on is perceived and presented has continuing afterechoes that don’t look to disappear anytime soon. At the same time, what exactly worldbuilding IS is a hardly an agreed upon formal standard anywhere, and the amount of work that’s been put into developing a story setting in any number of media, not just that of fantasy novels much less novels in general, is vast, varied and takes many particular forms. Meanwhile, Tolkien’s own approach as to what worldbuilding is comes out of his own particular personal and philosophical conclusions, and doesn't always take the form of what a more stereotypical approach to the subject might be in the current day. What makes the idea of Middle-earth so compelling to readers entranced by his works, and what drives them to learn more about it or to elaborate on it in their own right? What other creators, in fiction and beyond it, successfully approach similar levels of immersion, and are there particular points of commonality to be found there? Are there particular points in Tolkien’s stylistic approach that signal notable strengths in creating the sense of Middle-earth as an actual place, and how much of that might lie in a difference between received perception and the reality of the work? And how much does Jared’s own forthcoming fantasy novel drive this discussion? (A lot – and we’re going to be talking about that novel a lot over time, don’t you worry – but also listen for initial news about our live episode in Portland in April!)

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle – makes you wonder what else is going on in this world shown here…

More about the HarperCollins Union contract. Well done, we say again.

The Lord of the Rings musical is coming back! We’re still scratching our heads a bit. (Listen in to our 2020 episode about it.)

The Watermill. It does seem like a nice theatre…

Variety’s report on the Embracer/Warner Bros. Discovery deal and the prospect of more movies.

A little more about Mike de Luca from 2011.

Still confused about the overall rights issues when it comes to Tolkien in the first place? A handy Gizmodo explainer.

The announcement of Jared’s novel! Due for release next year, and we’ll get you a preorder link when there is one.

More on that whole Doug Liman/Bourne Identity thing. Ah, Hollywood power politics…

Worldbuilding! Yup, Middle-earth, right there.

Terry Pratchett, rest in peace. One of the greats.

Sub-creation, how Tolkien thought of his own creative impulse ultimately deriving from his own belief in God as the ultimate creator.

Our episode on “A Secret Vice,” Tolkien’s lecture about creating languages.

NaNoWriMo! It’s a thing, believe us.

Our death episode! (Very early days for the podcast and the format’s a bit different but we were still figuring it out!)

The Chekhov’s gun principle.

Oriana’s Star Wars comments specifically refer to Solo.

Ioreth! There should have been more of her but we’re glad we have her.

The ‘whispering to date’ Twitter meme origin. (Forgot what Chappie is? So did everyone else.)

Ted Bundy – and yes we hope he’s not part of your narrative either.

Our Rings of Power Season 1 episode. That did feel good to do.

N. K. Jemisin and the Broken Earth trilogy – check it out. As well as: Frank Herbert and Dune! Ursula K Le Guin and Earthsea! Lloyd Alexander and Prydain! Steven Erikson and Malazan Book of the Fallen!

The Dark Crystal, still awesome.

As you know, Bob…

The cats of Queen Berúthiel and Carn Dûm.

Our food in Middle-earth episode.

Enjoy talk about Roman sewers. And Amsterdam’s canals.

M. R. James, so awesome.

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