The Science of Middle Earth
The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books in the world, and is the third best-selling title of all time. J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation of Middle Earth, with its languages and peoples, is more of a parallel world to our own than a fictional one. Middle Earth has a reality that none of its fans questions, a reality seen all over the world through the recent trilogy of movies directed by Peter Jackson. But what can Tolkien’s fantasy world teach us about science? Tolkien’s approach to the creation of Middle Earth was scientific in its rigour, consistency and imagination. And after all, the world of modern science can be as fantastic as fiction.
The Science of Middle Earth is filled with insights into Tolkien and the origins of Middle Earth. Containing a foreword by acclaimed science fiction author David Brin, this book is a must for any Tolkien fan.
Renowned science writer Henry Gee explores Middle Earth with a scientific eye, covering everything from the lifespan of the Ents (Treebeard, Gee calculates, is over 6,000 years old) to the properties of mithril.
Giving the reader a renewed appreciation of Tolkien’s work, The Science of Middle Earth ingeniously reveals how contemporary science can explain some of the wonders of Middle Earth.
“Gee has a huge respect for his source material. He seeks not to ridicule or demystify Tolkien’s fantasy but simply to add another dimension. This book will give die-hard fans another reason to spend a few more hours exploring Middle-earth.”
“The Science of Middle Earth is the most unexpectedly Tolkienian book about Tolkien that I have ever come across.”
Tom Shippey, ‘New York Review of Science Fiction’
“This is a deeply serious book which is both accessible and has surprisingly valid things to say about both science fiction and science fact.”
“One of the most clever and insightful explorations of its kind”