Middle-Earth Fanfiction Awards

A Beleriand Treasury of Childish Tales

Author: Clodia
Nominator: Morthoron
2010 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Incomplete - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Incomplete : Length: Medium Length
Rating: Teen -- Reason for Rating: Some of these stories deal with serious themes (e.g. the fall of Gondolin, the awakening of Durin's Bane), although there is nothing particularly graphic.
Summary: An on-going series of short stories united by stylistic considerations. A collection of tales imitating considerably more distinguished authors, currently including Rudyard Kipling on Gondolin's fall, Lord Dunsany on the abandonment of Nevrast, J.R.R. Tolkien on dwarvish singing, H.P. Lovecraft on Durin's Bane, Terry Pratchett on trolls, tea parties and a touch of literary theory, C.S. Lewis on FŽanor's rebellion and Saki on domestic discontent in Lothlůrien.


Reviewed by: Morthoron -- Score: 10

Some tales are highly original, some are contrived. What then can one say about the sly contrivances of Clodia's 'A Beleriand Treasury of Childish Tales'? In context, these are not original; on the contrary, they mimic the literary styles of several famous authors (Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis, Kipling, Pratchett, et al.). However, the prose impersonations Clodia perpetrates in a 'Beleriand Treasury' imbue Middle-earth with clever and highly stylized vignettes that so mirror the targeted authors, one wishes further excursions into external writing styles invading the Shire (Poe, Joyce and Faulkner would be intriguing). The tales that work best for me are "A Correspondence Concerning FŽanor" (based on C.S. Lewis' 'Screwtape Letters' -- a witty send-up!), "Sleeping Beauty" (a la H.P. Lovecraft -- probably the tenebrous best of the cacodaemonic lot) and "Teleporno" (from the droll H.H. Munro). Beautifully rendered, well-researched and devilishly clever -- I applaud Clodia on her efforts. The old adage 'imitation is the highest form of flattery' should be revised to read 'imitation is the highest form of fan-fiction'. Although that is not as catchy (and not necessarily universally true).

Reviewed by: Virtuella -- Score: 7

While Clodia has her very own distinctive style, which we see perhaps most potently in her drabbles, she is demonstrating here that she can also play the literary chameleon. From chapter to chapter she takes on the guise of a different author, imitating his style with a mixture of parody and loving admiration. The chapters are given a sense of unity by the fiction that this is an Elvish children's book, to the extent that illustrations are described in detail. It is not neccessary to be intimately familiar with the emulated authors, though it increases the delight and personally, for reasons of familiarity, I enjoyed the Terry Pratchett/troll chapter best. As usual, Clodia includes references to her other fics, which give the reader a further pleasant sense of discovering connectings. Whimsical, original and always beautifully worded, the Beleriand Treasury is a collection of stories not to be missed.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat -- Score: 7

It is difficult, Best Beloved, to tell you how much I love this collection of stories. Perhaps I can explain it best by telling you that I love it not too much, not too little, but just enough. Clodia has a ['scruciatingly brilliant] way of spinning words - this time she starts by doing so in a Kiplingesque manner that makes me smile even as she tells us of death, destruction, and the fall of Gondolin... [or OndolindŽ when the Wind was wrong]. Mixing death and destruction with gentle words is traditional in all the best children's tales, of course, which makes this is the perfect tale for your small child at bed-time... And that is only the first tale in The Treasury - although one of my favourites. There are also tales that remind us ( oh so much considering that these tales were already well known when Elrond's children had them read to them), of the works of Lord Dunsany, CS Lewis, and Terry Pratchett amongst others. I have to admit the Pratchettesque tale is my other favourite...

Reviewed by: Larner -- Score: 4

Oh, Best Beloveds, you must read these tales! From Kipling to Pratchett (may he be praised with great praise!) to Saki, we have a collection of short tales each of which would be bound to bring a laugh of recognition from its inspiring author. A most delightful compendium, and one to be celebrated, and particularly the tale of Erestor and the trolls. Now, where did that turtle and those elephants get to?

Reviewed by: Anna Wing -- Score: 4

A rather brilliant series of ficlets, each perfectly in the style of a different author. A masterpiece of pastiche. While the Discworld tale of the trolls is brilliant, I admire the impressive tale of the waking of the Balrog under Moria (in the style of Lovecraft but more readable). I am fond of Erestor and Melinna, the author's continuing characters. The Gondolin piece imitates Dunsany brilliantly, with added creepiness Altogether very fine.