Friday, April 11, 2008

JOHN RATELIFF - April 16 Guest

Probably the only Tolkien scholar to hail from Magnolia, Arkansas, John D. Rateliff moved to Wisconsin in 1981 in order to work with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University, where he received what he likes to call 'a doctor's degree in fantasy' (his Ph.D. dissertation was on the work of Tolkien's great precursor, Lord Dunsany). He has been active in Tolkien scholarship for many years, helping to organize two major Tolkien conferences. While at Marquette, he assisted in the collation of their holdings with those that Christopher Tolkien was editing for volumes VI through IX of The History of Middle-earth series. In addition, in 1991 he joined TSR as a roleplaying games editor in 1991 and later worked for Wizards of the Coast as well as freelancing for companies like Green Ronin, White Wolf, and Guardians of Order. He has worked on three Tolkien rpgs over the years, one of which actually got published (Decipher's), and has edited or written many, many rpg projects in the last seventeen years, including co-editing the Third Edition D&D Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide and d20 Call of Cthulhu. He now lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three cats, only one of whom is named after a Great Old One.

His most recent project is The History of 'The Hobbit', an edition of the complete rough draft of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit with extensive commentary on Tolkien's sources and changes to the story, which has been published by HarperCollins in two volumes: Mr. Baggins (vol. I) and Return to Bag-End (vol. II).

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