Percy Bysshe Shelley contemplates the linguistic topography of Middle-Earth’s Third Age

Inscribed in Black Speech of Mordor, not Adûnaic

I weep for Adûnaic—it is dead!

Oh, weep for Adûnaic! Extinct tongue

of sunken Númenór! Of men who fled

their language and their home to live among

elves, ents and hobbits, dwarves and orcish dung.

Oh Adûnaic! speech of kingly fools!

Forgot among the songs of the Third Age,

Sindarin, Quenya, even Dwarf Khuzdul.

Such linguistic neglect bringeth me rage.

No Adûnaic now in Middle-Earth

abides in minds of ents or mine-dwellers,

nor elves nor hobbits. Such a shameful dearth!

This lost tongue of rangers and Gondor fellows.

Reach beyond the easy binaries

It’s always gratifying to be reviewed. I always thought that, even when I made my living from reviewing for newspapers, even when sometimes I (felt I) had to dish out a negative opinion.

It’s a commitment of someone’s time to your work, chronicled for posterity. That attention alone is flattering. You write so that people might read, after all. Reading closely and responding? It’s appreciated.

Everett Hamner’s review of Science Fiction and Catholicism is generous and astutely insightful. It is always an education to get a tour of your own thinking from the perspective of an attentive, observant and intellectually acute reader.

He has, I think, a slightly different vision for the future of Religious Futurisms than I do. Or than I did when I wrote Science Fiction and Catholicism. I’ve probably moved much closer to Everett’s position while writing a volume on SF and Buddhism, but especially as a co-editor of the very eclectic, ecumenist and transdisciplinary volume of Religious Futurisms.

It’s a very positive review, maybe kinder than the book deserves. I think it made one great point, and Everett identifies that very succinctly. I hope I can produce a better volume on Buddhism’s interaction with SF, as that is at least a more expansive and intriguing story to tell. And I hope I get a reviewer as acute as Everett Hamner to review it.

Thanks for reaching beyond the easy binaries, Everett.