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Еврей без ярлыков - The Last Ring-bearer
October 3rd, 2010
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The Last Ring-bearer
UPDATE: Second edition!

More than 15 years ago Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov tried to settle certain geographical problems in Tolkien's fantasy world. One thing led to another, and he tackled a bigger project - what if we assumed that it's no less real than our world? His conclusion was that in such a case, the story of the Ring of Power is most likely a much-altered heroic retelling of a major war - but what was that war really about?

The result of this re-appraisal was the publication in 1999 of The Last Ring-bearer - a re-thinking of Tolkien's story in real-world terms. Dr. Yeskov, a professional paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life from fossil remnants, performs essentially the same feat in The Last Ring-bearer, reconstructing the real world of Tolkien's Arda from The Lord of the Rings - the heroic tales of the Free Men of the West written in that world. We have a pretty good idea how well heroic tales map to reality from our own world...

I was impressed enough by this work to spend a few dozen lunch hours translating it to English. (Reportedly, some publishing houses have considered a commercial translation of this book, which had been published in several major European languages, but abandoned the idea out of fear of the Tolkien estate, which doesn't countenance any derivative works, especially in English. Witness the history of its relationship with New Line Cinema. This translation is non-commercial. The Russian original can be found here.) I have been fortunate to establish communication with the author and have the translation vetted (and much corrected) by him. I now offer this work for your perusal. At 139,000 words, this 1 Mb PDF is about 80% of the length of The Fellowship of the Ring. Suggestions for corrections will be appreciated. Please mention how you heard about this translation when commenting. Errata will be published here soon.

UPDATE: I have translated an essay Dr. Yeskov wrote after the first publication of this book. It may answer some of your questions about his motivation and method.</b>

One user has reported a virus intercepted during downloading. The PDF itself is Javascript-free and ought not to have any payload other than the text. It was likely a false positive when a stub of the file matched some virus signature during download. Sendspace has informed me that my account has gone premium thanks to all the downloads, and users should now see no ads prior to downloading. One user has reported encountering Captcha; I've never seen any, but suspect that Sendspace puts them up when the download request comes from a domain associated with bots. There have been thousands of successful downloads; if yours fails, please try again. .odt and .mobi versions are available here thanks to Matthew Wilcoxson.

I have to disappoint the fans of Sauron: His Majesty Sauron the VIII rates only a few mentions in this work, having been nothing more than an enlightened king. Nor does the Ring of Power rate more than a passing mention. Likewise the Hobbits: unlike LOTR, this story is not about them. Finally, no attempt has been made to imitate J.R.R. Tolkien's style - it is deliberately modern and down-to-earth.

I am now working on a second edition, with some corrections (very few, the author was thorough) and, hopefully, smoother prose.


Errata

  • Page 5: read "consciousness" for "conscious." I'm considering a different expression altogether, as it's hard to walk while unconscious. Same on page 71.

  • Page 53: read "Those may very well be needed more than the rest." for "Seemingly, those will be needed no more than all the rest."

  • Page 108: read "had decided to call them Mountains of Shadow" for "had decided to cal then Mountains of Shadow"

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From:pingback_bot
Date:June 18th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)

No title

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User the_angelus referenced to your post from No title saying: [...] Before I forget:  , here is the link [...]
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From:Piotr Konieczny
Date:June 20th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)

Creative Commons

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"For non-commercial distribution only". Is there any particular reason why you have not simply licensed the book under Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike No-derivatives Non-commercial licenses?

I'd love to see this book join the Creative Common works family.

On another note, it would be nice if you could post an epub, html, and other variants, like Baen Books do. Pdfs are the least friendly way to share a document...
[User Picture]
From:ymarkov
Date:June 28th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Creative Commons

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I've suggested a CC license to the author, but he declined due to unfamiliarity.

On the other note, there links to reader-produced epubs in the comments. I'm close to releasing the second edition and a reader offered to convert it, so you may find it worthwhile to wait. The old ones can be found here - http://www.tenseg.net/press
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From:Piotr Konieczny
Date:July 3rd, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)

Re: Creative Commons

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It would really be great if you can convince the author to consider CC. It would give the book further visibility. Perhaps this will help:

"Russian president pushes for Creative Commons licencing" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2011-06-13/News_and_notes#Briefly)

Also, I've written an entry for the book on English Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Ringbearer

It was featured on the main page (did you know section) yesterday, and the article got almost 7k hits. I wonder if you have some sort of download counter, and if the downloads for the book jumped yesterday-ish too?
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From:delphipsmith
Date:July 2nd, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)
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Really interesting, and how amazing that you took on the task of translating it! Hard to believe they can't get it published here -- there have been so many spoofs, parodies, retellings of other books and all have survived court challenges.

You wanted comments to include how we found you: I was Googling to find an essay on why the Omnipresent Fantasy Trilogy is all Tolkien's fault (which I eventually found here) and this post came up. Intrigued, I went to Wikipedia, source of all knowledge, and found you in the External Links section of this article.

Edited to add: Also, any chance you will translate, or know where to find a translation of, the article that Yeskov mentions in his essay, "Must Fantasy Be Stupid?" by Pereslegin? I've been looking for it and can't find an English version.

Edited at 2011-07-02 08:20 pm (UTC)
From:http://openid.yandex.ru/furyferret/
Date:December 5th, 2011 11:58 am (UTC)
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original paper http://igstab.ru/materials/Pereslegin/Per_FoolFantasy.htm
try google translate, at least it's something
[User Picture]
From:delphipsmith
Date:December 7th, 2011 10:50 pm (UTC)
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I did actually try that -- babelfish does its best, but it's a bit tough going. However, if that's my only option, that's my only option. Thanks for the tip!
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From:mishkaegli
Date:July 2nd, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)
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вау, я как-то этот пост пропустила. а сейчас наткнулась в Википедии статью про The Last Ringbearer, и тут до меня и дошло....... коль а-кавод!!!!!!!!!!!
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From:pingback_bot
Date:July 29th, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)

Long Live Mordor

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User tzunder referenced to your post from Long Live Mordor saying: [...] "static" and "tidy" pseudo-paradise of Middle-earth under the elven regime. The translator Markov [...]
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From:Matthew Skinner
Date:October 11th, 2011 04:37 am (UTC)

English Translation

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Thank your translating "The Last Ring Bearer" into English, I have really enjoyed reading the story. I have spread the love of the story to my friends, as I think it should be read by as many English reading people as possible.



[User Picture]
From:pingback_bot
Date:December 5th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)

repost: The Last Ring-bearer

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User scorry referenced to your post from repost: The Last Ring-bearer saying: [...] a pretty good idea how well heroic tales map to reality from our own world... The Last Ring-bearer [...]
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From:agw0
Date:January 25th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
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You wrote: "Finally, no attempt has been made to imitate J.R.R. Tolkien's style - it is deliberately modern and down-to-earth."

I would've expected it to be down-to-middle-earth.
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From:Kyle Hill
Date:June 22nd, 2013 04:16 pm (UTC)
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2 things. First of all where is the actual PDF? All I see are random links but no actual file.

2nd of all why the fuck did you disable guests from commenting? It's a good thing I have a facebook account *though locked up for privacy* or I'd be screwed thanks to you're *smart* decision to disable guests from commenting. People these days seem to have cement in their ears.
[User Picture]
From:ymarkov
Date:June 23rd, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
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The file is at one of the links. I tried it, it works. Try the link (at the top of the post) for the second edition, it's better anyway. No need ever to "be screwed."

As to "why the fuck," the reason is called "spam."
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From:pxoilan
Date:January 7th, 2014 04:05 am (UTC)
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