Middle-earth Unplugged Launched by Xenite.Org

Have you wondered where all my Suite101 articles went? Okay, I suppose people haven’t been reading them as much these days as 10 years ago. Still, I was not happy about the way they were being published by the Suite in recent years and their technical mistakes led to some misidentification of my articles as being written by another person. I finally reached an agreement with the Suite earlier this year about the disposition of the old essays.

They are now being published as part of a larger collection of essays and articles on Middle-earth at Xenite.Org’s new Middle-earth sub-domain. The articles have been reformatted and where necessary the old links have been updated. I have chosen not to republish a few of the articles as they were so timely and seasonal when written that they are really just historical curiosities today.

The Suite101 articles, however, are merely being published in an Archive section. You’ll see 2 or 3 republished each week. The Xenite.Org Twitter account and the SF-Fandom Twitter account post announcements when the articles go live.

And Now for Middle-earth Unplugged

But Middle-earth Unplugged is an entirely new series of articles, never before published anywhere. They take a new look at Middle-earth from an entirely different perspective. Think of reading a National Geographic article that was written by someone in Middle-earth about Middle-earth. That is the effect I am aiming for with the Middle-earth Unplugged series.

The first article, “The Eldar Get Their Game On”, is written from a contemporary viewpoint about the preparations leading up to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, one of the greatest of the battles of the First Age. The article does not invent any characters — it’s not fan fiction in the sense that it’s trying to tell a story or introduce new ideas into Tolkien’s fictional world.

I did resort to naming a city that Tolkien’s stories refer to obliquely but the invention has been kept to an absolute minimum.

Something I felt would enhance the articles, however, would be pictures to accompany them. How does one take pictures from Middle-earth? That’s not easy. My solution may not please everyone but I hope it increases the appeal of the project, especially as more people become aware of it.

The plan right now is to publish a new article every Wednesday. Will I be able to hold to that schedule? Only time will tell. It’s a real challenge.

Other Parts of Middle-earth at Xenite.org

The Xenite.Org Middle-earth Website published other articles as well. There is occasional news about stage plays in local communities, some feature articles (such as a recent one about Hobbit-themed restaurants and hotels), and recaps of the Middle-earth Talk Radio shows that Hawke Robinson and I have recorded over the past few years.

Unfortunately there have been many changes to the URLs published in old articles about Middle-earth Talk Radio. This series of articles attempts to provide up-to-date information on where to find the episodes and what they are about.

Other sections are planned for future publication on the Middle-earth site as well. It should turn out to be a pretty significant resource for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-earth. I hope you agree with me.


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