New book! The Cracks of Doom: Untold Tales in Middle-earth. This new book is available now in paper. It is a side-project from my larger scholarly Tolkien book, and should be of interest to RPG makers as well as to fan-writers of Tolkien stories set in Middle-earth.

The Cracks of Doom is a comprehensive, fully annotated and indexed list of ‘Untold Tales’ in Middle-earth, pointing out the ‘cracks’ where new fan-works or role-playing might be developed. There are 125 entries and these usually lightly suggest ideas for story development and connections that might not otherwise be considered. This book is intended as a handy and inspiring reference work for writers, game makers, role-players, performers and daydreamers. It will also be useful for scholars seeking to understand what Tolkien “left out” and why, or those interested in ‘transformative works’ and fandom.

1. Introduction: “On Untold Tales in Middle-earth”.

2. Writing guidance: “Faith, Duty and Fun: plan and style in Middle-earth fiction”.

3. The list: ‘Openings, Gaps and Cracks’. 125 entries. Note that this is only for LOTR, inc. the Appendices. It also draws on Unfinished Tales, books in the History series, and for one item I also reference the Letters. It does not, of course, delve into the vast amount of material in The Silmarillion.


PDF sample with the Index. The full book has 64 pages, about 22,000-words, with place and character Index. The book is wholly unofficial, and very respectful of Tolkien’s vision.