Rationalist Lord of the Rings fanfiction, newly translated from Russian

by Costanza 1 min read14th Mar 201169 comments

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This may be old news to some people, especially the Russian speakers, but I didn't see an article about it here.

In 1999, Kirill Yeskov, a Russian paleontologist, wrote The Last Ringbearer, a 270-page take on Lord of the Rings from the point of view of a medic in Mordor's dying armies who is also a "skeptic and a rationalist."  In fact, Mordor represents the forces of reason in this retelling of the story.  As a Nazgúl (himself a former mathematician) explains, Mordor is "the little oasis of Reason in which your light-minded civilization had so comfortably nestled."  Barad-dur is "that amazing city of alchemists and poets, mechanics and astronomers, philosophers and physicians, the heart of the only civilization in Middle-earth to bet on rational knowledge and bravely pitch its barely adolescent technology against ancient magic."

The story has been newly translated and is available in free PDF form -- in English and the original Russian. There's a recent review from Salon as well.