News Archive from 1998

Holiday Gift Ideas
Posted on December 1, 1998

by Eleanor M. Farrell

The elves have all gotten computer upgrades this year, and are busy with their annual "naughty or nice" sort. Help them out with some holiday shopping of your own....


The Mythopoeic Award winners and finalists are always a good choice for any reader of mythopoeic fiction or scholarship. Many of this year's award winning books are now available in trade or mass market paperbacks (great stocking stuffers!). Check out our complete list of winners (and fiction finalists) for 1998 and earlier years.

Among the newer publications, you can't go wrong with a copy of the new edition of The Silmarillion from HarperCollins, with 20 new color illustrations by Ted Nasmith. Houghton Mifflin offers a small, stocking-sized edition of The Father Christmas Letters, and the Narnia books have been re-released in celebration of the C.S. Lewis centenary. If you're a Lewis fan, pick up a copy of Chad Walsh Reviews C.S. Lewis, the new publication from the Mythopoeic Press.

We've received some delightful new children's books, including The Oldest Elf by James Stevenson, and a beautiful retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Marianna Mayer, with illustrations by K.Y. Craft (both in coffee-table paperbacks from Mulberry Books, William Morris).

Information on books is easy to find on-line! Try BookWire for resources and links on titles, authors, awards, bookstores, and just about anything else you can imagine. Probably the most comprehensive site for on-line book shopping is Books; if it's in print, they probably carry it, and give discounts on many of their titles. And don't forget our own growing Books, Books, Books list for other sites recommended by Mythopoeic Society members.


Deck the walls.... The 1999 J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar features illustrations from The Hobbit by Alan Lee. To give you an overview of the calendar's successes (and failings), read the Tolkien calendar review by Society artist and critic Paula DiSante. (There's also a desk calendar version, again featuring Lee's work.) Enough options are available among art- and media-related calendar offerings to decorate every room in your house... you can put Buffy in the bathroom, Star Wars Weapons and Technology in the workshop, Fairies (Good or Bad) in the family room, and wake up to some lovely PreRaphaelite illustrations....


It seems that every Fall brings a bushel of new holiday CDs, and this one is no exception. Browse your local record store and choose among the many offerings of Celtic, medieval or Renaissance, or popular Christmas music. Be creative: replace those Perry Como standards with some Hawaiian slack key guitar carols!

Bantam Doubleday Dell has released a new 3-CD audio rendition of Tolkien's Silmarillion, unabridged and narrated by actor Martin Shaw. Just right for those long drives to Grandma's house.... Lewis readers will enjoy Angelee Sailer Anderson's new tape, The Sunrise Path, inspired by The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. And fans of Bay Area band Avalon Rising's Mythcon performances and Tolkien renditions will want to pick up singer Margaret Davis's new solo effort CD, Princess of Flowers.


Fans of Arthurian legend might enjoy either of two new video offerings: the animated Quest for Camelot or Merlin, the 1998 NBC mini-series, which has prompted quite a bit of heated discussion on Arthurnet (the Arthurian mailing list). The science fiction-noir blend Dark City, in theaters last spring and now on video, is an evocative visual treat. Finally, you can't go wrong (that is, if you choose carefully!) with a video version of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. I personally like the recent Muppets' adaptation, with Michael Caine obviously enjoying his performance as Scrooge.


Celebrate the holiday atmosphere and take someone out to a movie, play, or musical performance. Films are a universally popular and easily accessible entertainment. Literature fans can enjoy new movies based on the works of Toni Morrison (Beloved) or Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic). As a real holiday treat, the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz, gets a theatrical re-release on Christmas day. The Internet Movie Database is THE web site for information on films, new or old. They also have links to movie reviews on the web.

Going to a live performance -- a play, a concert, or a ballet -- is a rare treat for most of us. The holidays are a good excuse. Even many small communities host holiday productions of The Nutcracker ballet or A Christmas Carol, and check local papers for play versions of The Hobbit or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, other popular offerings particularly for children's theater groups. If you live in or near a city, the possibilities are even more promising. Lots of information on local theater and musical events can be found on-line. Yahoo! hosts web pages for several major cities, and many area newspapers publish events, news, and other information on the web. Try a little seasonal surfing!

Books, Books, Books

Acses, Universum's Smartest Bookfinder
A search site that can be used to check book prices, availability, and shipping information for over 25 online stores. Great for comparison shopping!

Alexandria Digital Literature
A free book-recommendation service, where the reader, after rating a selection of books and/or authors (fantasy and science fiction featured prominently!), can get a list of suggestions for future reading. The site also has over 200 stories (science fiction, fantasy, horror) on-line and available for purchase. Books
One of the largest Internet bookstores, with a searchable catalog of over a million titles offering on-line ordering, plus information on best sellers, reviews and awards. Customers can recommend and review their favorite books, too!

Blackwell's Online Bookshop
Academic Booksellers to the World -- One of the world's greatest bookstores, Blackwell's specialises in academic, research, scholarly, business and technical books.

An outstanding Web page for any and all information about books: conferences, publishers, libraries, booksellers, you name it. Of particular interest to Society members is their listing of Book Awards (including the Mythopoeic Awards).

Daerons Books
Daerons Books are specialist bookdealers and enthusiasts in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams and the other Inklings. Run by several members of the Tolkien and Mythopoeic Societies.

Dreamhaven Books
A Minneapolis establishment specializing in small press and hard-to-find titles, which also carries new and used science fiction, horror, fantasy and related weird stuff. They will send free monthly mail catalogs, and have an 800 number for phone orders. Service is always prompt and pleasant.

Internet Book Information Center
Includes a guide to book-related sources on the Internet, reviews of current and classic books, and more....

Internet Public Library
Contains collections of reference, magazines, newspapers, online texts, and more useful data for librarians and general readers. One of the site's highlights is a collection of links to over 950 critical and biographical websites (including many on the Inklings) which can be browsed by author, title or literary period .

Internet Speculative Fiction DataBase
A continuous, ongoing effort to catalog works of Speculative Fiction, linking various types of bibliographic data and searchable by author, title, series, or year. Includes information on genre awards, including the Mythopoeic Awards.

Powell's Books
Powell's is the Mecca for booklovers: the main store alone covers an entire Portland, Oregon, city block, and helpfully provides maps to prevent browsers from getting completely lost. Now shoppers far from the Pacific Northwest can take advantage of the store's vast stocks of new and used titles, search service, and sales.

Thornton's of Oxford
This venerable Oxford establishment ("Booksellers and Publishers since 1835") gets an intriguing selection of Tolkien- and Inkling-related material through auction, and carries all of the publications in print as well.They have an electronic mailing list for book-lovers interested in obtaining that rare first edition....

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