The Evil of Hoarded Gold

The Evil of Hoarded Gold ThumbnailI’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of The Hobbit film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. In fact, many of my friends will poke at me with the topic (in good-natured fun) just to see me bristle up in ire.

Whereas Jackson (or at least the people working alongside him who reined in some of his more madcap suggestions) made a very valiant attempt in the Lord of the Rings films to stay as true to the books as possible, with one or two notably disappointing exceptions, it seemed as though he decided that The Hobbit as written by Tolkien wasn’t good enough Continue reading

Concerning Hobbits: Narrative and The Shire

2015-9-24 Hobbits img01Perhaps one of the most delightful holidays of the year (for members of the Tolkien fandom) is September 22. This particular day is the birthday of two of the most important hobbits in Tolkien’s works: Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo Baggins. Dedicated Tolkien fans all over the world remove their shoes and eat a second breakfast in honor of the beloved shire-folk. For that reason, a post concerning hobbits (even one sadly posted two days after the actual date) seems rather fitting. Continue reading

The Good Fight

It is a simple fact of life that Evil “plays dirty.”  It’s something we knew and witnessed from early childhood when the school bullies ganged up on the one weak kid, or when sniggering tale-tellers spread rumors about someone without giving them a chance to speak for themselves.  We see it most recently and profoundly in the organization called ISIS, which routinely murders Christians and other non-Muslims in abominable ways to make an example of them to the rest of the world.  Evil simply doesn’t play by the rules. Continue reading

On the Differences between Revisiting, Reinterpreting, Retconning, and Retroactively Ruining Stories

2015-7-16 Retcon img01What does it mean to tell a story? Why does spinning a yarn matter, and what kind of effect does it have on both the tale-spinner and the audience? And, of most concern to this article, what happens when a storyteller decides that some tales do not meet a particular need in their current form? This last question invites an examination primarily of means in a creative act; that is, how does an author go about changing or altering something he has already published or released to others? Implicit in such literary activity, however, is also a moral component worth consideration on a case-by-case basis. Continue reading

On the Art of Storytelling: The Merits and Pitfalls of Interactive Media as a Storytelling Medium

2014-10-23 Stories img01

Once upon a time, a man left his village and traveled in the wilderness for many, many years.  When his wanderings were done and he finally deemed it time to return home, he found that things were not quite as he recalled them.  Where once the village folk had gathered around fires in the evening and hearkened to the voice of the storyteller, who remembered every line of the epics passed down to him through the generations; where once those stories and many more were written on parchment, and later printed on paper; where once children played games and ‘make-believe’ outside with sticks and stone forts…well, the man found that they still played these games, and read these stories, and heard these tales.  But they did other things as well, like scrying far-off or even imaginary events in little speaking boxes and in glowing windows.  And the man found these novel additions quite curious. Continue reading