This was sent in by Siobhán a week or so back, and I loved the description of skulduggery in the world of Tolkien publishing:

“Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports today that a new translation of LOTR is on the way. The old one is heavily criticized. Personally my view on the old translation has been mellowed after reading how the translator, being declared persona non grata by the Tolkiens for his translation, broke into their house to get a sneak preview of the Silmarillion. Discovered by Christopher Tolkien, he was apparently kicked out.

“The new translation will be done by the the translator Erik Andersson (previous work: Zadie Smith, James Ellroy, Nick Hornby and Jeff Noon) and the poet Lotta Olsson Andersson (she´ll take care of songs and stuff). First part planned for autumn 2004.”

Cecilia writes from Australia: “Sydney radio station 2dayfm has a segment called Battle of the Sexes, in which guys answer girlie related questions and vice versa, scores are kept and there is a winner at the end of the year. The girls have won for the last 3 years, but this year, they are way behind. Because of this, at the beginning of the segment they always play the words spoken by Saruman “There is a new power arising!” relating to the boys and the girls reply is the words of Gandalf and Aragorn “The defences must hold”, “They will hold”. It always gives me thrill when they play it each morning and my kids rush in to hear it. Anyway, what girl wouldn’t want Aragorn on their side?”

Kirk writes from Wellington: “The School of Mathematical and Computing Sciences (at Victoria University of Wellington) will be hosting a seminar “Tales from Two Towers” on Wednesday 12 March 2003 presented by Weta’s Milton Ngan.” [More

Bruce wrote: “The Two Towers had its premier here in Japan last Saturday, the 15th. I went with my wife, sister-in-law and two friends to the third showing that day. The first two and the one that I attended were all sold out. I don’t know about the final showing, however. It did not start until 9:00 p.m., and with the movie being 3 hours long, there is the question of being able to catch a train home.” Bruce sent in a link to the review in an English-language Japanese paper here.