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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Tolkien's influence on later writers
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Mon, 2:34am

Post #51 of 52 (85 views)
Terry Brooks' Shannara [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Terry Brooksó Shannara seriesó. The first was so obviously a Tolkien ripoff that I stopped. The tv series gave me a hint that maybe he eventually made his own story but I never went back to see. Anyone have an opinion on Shannara?

The first book was obviously heavily influenced. i would say the series deviated significantly and became its own thing starting with Brooks' second novel. I wonder a little if perhaps the similarity was influenced by Judy Del Rey -- she certainly requested artwork for the first publication that was heavily influenced by work the Hildebrandts did for LOTR. I found the annotated version (okay, the audiobook of it) very enlightening.

I have got a little past midway through the Shannara series. The world really has nothing to do with Tolkien or Middle-earth -- to the point that I question why he calls the races Elves, Dwarves, and Trolls.

It seems very much like different trilogies in the Shannara series have nothing to do with each other but later it becomes clearer that Brooks is trying to generate a millenia-spanning conflict between 2 fundamental forces.

The rules of magic don't seem to have any continuity but it doesn't seem like the magic fart conjuring that you see in Harry Potter, more akin to the enhancing of natural properties or subtle influencing that Tolkien and Scandanavian myths used (leaving aside the magical singing from skalds).

BTW, Brooks' Magic Kingdom series is quite different and has no evidence of borrowing from Tolkien.

Obviously, Tolkien had a huge influence. Before his works, there really hadn't been any serious adult-oriented fantasy. Having said that, a lot of classic SF/F authors don't exhibit any Tolkien influence. Even among contemporary writers, Larry Correia's Monster Hunter and Grimnoir Chronicles series (which are both kind of a blend of science fiction and fantasy) and David Drake's Books of the Elements and The Isles series are distinct.


Mon, 2:44am

Post #52 of 52 (85 views)
Lewis and Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Sometimes when I look at Narnia and Middle Earth tales.... I think they seem the result of two guys handed a list and told go write a story that includes x, y and z and don't forget q and t.

Similar elements -- vastly different treatments --- but a lot of the underlying themes are similar --- though that could be the q and t above.

They both influenced each other quite heavily and they were both influenced heavily by William Morris. IIRC, Lewis convinced Tolkien to finish LOTR.

I don't think it should be any surprise that 2 guys who shared drafts and socialized with each other for decades and who were both heavily influenced by the same literary elements would have similar elements and themes in their own writings.

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