J.R.R. Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth has been discovered inside a copy of The Lord of the Rings.

Culled from today’s Montreal Gazette: J.R.R. Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth has been discovered inside a copy of The Lord of the Rings.

JRRTAnnotations J.R.R. Tolkien made on a map of Middle-earth show his attention to detail. The map was found in Blackwell’s Rare Books in Oxford. It reveals the author’s observation that Hobbiton is on the same latitude as Oxford, and implies that the Italian city of Ravenna could have been the inspiration behind the fictional city of Minas Tirith.A specialist at Blackwell’s Rare Books found the map in a copy of The Lord of the Rings that had belonged to illustrator Pauline Baynes.

Baynes had removed the map from another edition of the novel as she began work on her own colour map of Middle-earth for Tolkien, which Allen & Unwin would publish in 1970. Bayne also created cover and inside illustrations for the Narnia books by Tolkien’s friend and colleague C.S. Lewis.

When Baynes turned her hand to the map, Tolkien had then copiously annotated it in green ink and pencil, with Baynes adding her own notes to the document while she worked.

Blackwell’s, which is exhibiting the map in Oxford and selling it for about $121,000, said it is “an important document, and perhaps the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least.” The bookshop said it demonstrates “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision. He corrects place names, provides extra ones and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s flora and fauna.

Hobbiton, he notes, “is assumed to be approx. at latitude of Oxford.” Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus and Jerusalem as other reference points. Blackwell’s says this suggests “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith — a key location in the third book of The Lord of The Rings trilogy.”

“The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril,” said Sian Wainwright at Blackwell’s.

Henry Gott, modern first editions specialist at Blackwell’s Rare Books, said the map was “an exciting and important discovery.”

Some links to other news sources, some with pictures of the map:





Star Wars Fandom

Science Vs. Cinema co-creator James Darling has mashed together the ultimate supercut for Star Wars: The Force Awakens using all three trailers and the Comic-Con BTS reel.

The Binks Awakens–a quick jaunt through YouTube will pick up quite a few fans with a lot of time on their hands!

Meanwhile, in Odessa, people dressed as Chewbacca and Stormtroopers from Star Wars attend the unveiling of the Darth Vader monument in Odessa on Friday. The monument, built around a bronze Lenin statue, which would have been torn down as part of Ukraine’s de-communisation legislation.  Darth Vader says that he is happy to be made into a monument while ‘still alive’.  Watch the video here,

palpatineA candidate who dresses as Star Wars villain Emperor Palpatine has been voted on to a Ukrainian city council despite standing as a joke. According to fellow candidate Aleksandr Borovik, the man posing as Sheev Palpatine, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, won a place on Odessa City Council, in the south west of the country. It comes after the local electoral commission revealed that 48 candidates from the Darth Vader Block political party were registered to stand in the local election.  Emperor Palatine won 54.4 per cent of the poll. Mr Borovik, was heard to say, “This is beyond my understanding. People, what’s wrong with you?’

ChewyChewbacca was arrested while campaigning for Darth Vader on election day. Canvassing on the day of polls in Ukraine is banned. He was fined about 10$, but refused to pay, saying that his “funds are in an intergalactic bank that has no branches on this planet.” He also had his lightsaber and laser gun confiscated.

Video footage from the arrest showed a growling Chewbacca resisting four law enforcement officers, who were forced to pin him down on the hood of a van to handcuff him.

MonSFFA Holiday Supper

105Our Holiday supper will be on December 5, Saturday, at 18:00, Irish Embassy Pub, 1234 rue Bishop, Mtl, Qc, H3G 2E3.

MonSFFA’s members, family, friends, and all fandom are invited, please confirm your presence, <president@monsffa.ca>

There is a set menu, priced at 25$ plus taxes and gratuity. Details of choices available <president@monsffa.ca>.

This is a great way to meet people who share your interests!

Meeting Date/Room Changes

It’s very rare that we change our meeting dates — they are pretty much set in stone after March. If you cannot find us, ask at the front desk.

Part of the deal with the Espresso Hotel is that we have to expect the occasional change of location.  Usually we find ourselves in a better room, such as when we got the Grand Salon. Last month, we were given their fanciest suite, room 700. We even had coffee service! Unfortunately, I know of at least one person who could not find us because he came early and the sign was not yet posted on the St-François door.

At the November meeting, we set the tentative dates for the following year. Please bring your agendas, and if you know the dates of events such as Grand Prix, Parades, and so on, please let us know. This will save us some grief later.


Bones & Sleepy Hollow Crossover

bonesI saw a promo for a Halloween crossover between Bones and Sleepy Hollow next Thursday that MonSFFA members might find of interest. It looks promising.    –Josée Bellemare
Fox has released a trailer ( http://www.fox.com/bones )  for the crossover event airing Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8/7c
The two-hour event finds the foursome collaborating as the discovery of human remains leads to the return of one of Crane’s enemies.

Looking Up! (Post Script)

Space Weather News for Oct. 24, 2015


3 planets
The morning planet show is a worldwide event. Pictured above is the view from Yading, China (credit: Jeff Dai).

CME IMPACT:  Arriving earlier than expected, a CME hit Earth’s magnetic field on Saturday, Oct. 24th. Solar wind speeds abruptly jumped to more than 500 km/s as the CME passed by. The shockwave rattled Earth’s magnetic field and caused electrical currents to flow through the ground of Norway’s Lofoten islands.  A full-fledged geomagnetic storm did not erupt, and few auroras have been reported. Why was the CME so ineffective? Its internal magnetic field did not connect to Earth’s magnetic field; the mismatch mitigated the CME’s impact.

MORNING SKY SHOW:  Set your alarm for dawn. Venus, Jupiter and Mars are gathering for a three-way close encounter in the early morning sky. Sky maps and observing tips are available on today’s edition of  http://spaceweather.com

From Oct. 25th to Oct. 29th Venus, Jupiter and Mars will fit together inside a circle only 5o wide (sky maps: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5). Super-bright Venus and Jupiter are visible even after the black pre-dawn sky turns cobalt blue. Once you find them, you will have little trouble locating the dimmer red planet Mars.

Looking Up!

Robot looks upAn Exceptional Solar Flare:  Typical solar flares are finished in a matter of minutes. On Oct. 22nd, a solar flare in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2434 lasted for more than 3 hours. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the eruption.

The CME is not heading directly for Earth. Nevertheless, it does have an Earth-directed component. NOAA forecast models suggest that the cloud will deliver a glancing blow to our planet’s magnetic field on Oct. 25th. There is a 50% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms when it arrives, so watch for potential auroras on the weekend.  More information, including video of the flare: http://spaceweather.com/

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU. None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time. On October 23, 2015 there were 1630 potentially hazardous asteroids.

The Moon is at perigee, Monday, October 26, 9 a.m. EDT.  The Moon will be at its closest to the Earth this month. Expect high tides for the next four days.  Full moon, Tuesday, October 27, 8:05 a.m. EDT. The October Full Moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon.  Thursday, October 29, 8:30 p.m, the Moon passes close to Aldebaran, the eye of the bull, Taurus.

Urthecast and NASA bring you live, high definition video from the ISS. Perched 250 miles (400 km) above Earth’s surface are four high-definition cameras that capture video of our planet from four unique angles. You’ll see storms swirl over the oceans, watch the sun rise and set 16 times a day, and experience the blue marble as it rolls beneath the ISS.   https://www.urthecast.com/live  

You have to be patient–bookmark the site and check in often because when the ISS is on the night side, the screen of course is black. That’s a good time to view the gallery.

ToyCon Montreal 2015

The next Montreal ToyCon will be happening this Sunday, October 25, 2015 from 10am to 4pm at the Montreal Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Ville St Laurent.

If you’ve enjoyed the previous conventions and are looking for the best and brightest toys for your collection, be sure to check it out! There will be comic book and toy dealers selling GI-Joe, DC, Marvel, Transformers, Star Wars, Lego and tons more. We have also invited several different Cosplay clubs. We’d love to see you there. For more details, visit our website.

Once again, the address is:

Courtyard by Marriott Hotel
7000 Place Robert-Joncas
St Laurent, QC H4M-2Z5
(Near Mega-Plex Speheretech 14 – Cinema Guzzo)

Date and Time: Sunday, October 25th from 10am to 4pm
Admission $5

* * * * * * *

Le Toycon de Montréal est une convention d’un jour où il y a plus de 50 tables de marchands de livres, jouets et bandes dessinées. Chaque revendeur est spécialisé dans diverses gammes de produits il y aura donc une large sélection de jouets de collection et livres de bandes dessinées: GI-Joe, DC, Marvel, Transformers, Star Wars, Lego, des super héros, et divers jouets vintage. L’exposition aura également des invités de différents clubs: Clubs de costumes et plus encore. Pour plus de renseignements, visitez notre site web!

Lieu / adresse de l’évènement:

Hôtel Courtyard Marriott
7000 Place Robert-Joncas
Ville St-Laurent, QC H4M 2Z5
(Pres du Mega-Plex Speheretech 14 – Cinema Guzzo)

Heures & dates de l’évènement: dimanche, 25 octobre de 10:00-16:00 hres
Admission 5$