It will be an important and historical day in Tolkien history when the new book, “The Children of Hurin” goes on sale. It will be even more significant for a few hundred people who manage to snag a copy signed by Christopher Tolkien and illustrator Alan Lee! At the Manhattan’s Barnes & Noble (555 Fitfh Ave., between 45th & 46th streets) fans will start lining up at 8 a.m. to get one of the rarest of rare, highly coveted copies. will be on hand to distribute edible breakfast stuff to keep fans alive until the book goes on sale at noon. Better yet, the first 500 fans in line will get a great (and we mean great) prize from Sideshow Collectibles!

Our friends at Sideshow Collectibles have a surprise (except that we just let it slip) for the first 500 people attending. This is no promotional trinket, but is worth virtually what an unsigned book costs. (What the signed books might sell for on Ebay is anybody’s guess.) In addition Sideshow has provided 10 or so bigger prize items for a lucky few and Turbine Inc., producers of the ready-to-launch online Tolkien game “The Lord of the Rings Online” have another dozen grand prizes. (Something do to with the game perhaps?!) So, in the course of waiting for the almost unthinkably cool copy of “Children of Hurin” signed by J.R.R. Tolkien’s son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien,, courtesy of Houghton-Mifflin, Sideshow Collectibles and Turbine Inc. will distribute many thousands of dollars worth of prizes!

Barnes & Noble will have a security agent on hand and all people participating in the 8 a.m. line are expected to behave in an orderly and polite fashion. Our goal is to make an event out of the greatest Tolkien literary event in 30 years! (Not to disrupt business.)

Those TORnados planning to attend (part of the greater Tolkien public sure to attend) please go to Barnes & Noble line party and sign up. This will help us know how much breakfast stuff to plan for! Rumour has it that the publisher may rally local media and we definitely want to show the world that the Tolkien era is far from over and the heady days of Hollywood blockbusters was just another stage in many decades of Tolkien fandom. See you there!