(January 1892 – 2 September 1973)
British fantasist and profession at Oxford who more-or-less single-handedly made high fantasy popular. He was not involved in fandom nor in the pro community in Britain, though C. S. Lewis, who did have connections, was his close friend and colleague.
His major works are, of course, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion. Since his death, his son, Christopher Tolkien, has edited and published more than a dozen volumes of his father's papers. Tom Shippey succeeded to Tolkien's Chair at Oxford. J. R. R. Tolkien, along with George R. R. Martin and Terry R. R. Pratchett define modern fantasy.
Lord of the Rings was nominated for the 1966 Best All Time Series Hugo, but did not win — this was just before its popularity began its incredible rise. See under Ace Books and Del Rey Books for some related history.
His work has produced an extraordinary number of clubs and fanzines devoted to it. Below is a list of those devoted (at least on paper) exclusively to Tolkien and his work and a few which are more widely focused, but which are essential to Tolkien studies.
- The Minnesota Tolkien Society
- The Mythopoeic Society
- Sydney University Tolkien Society
- Stockholm Tolkien Society
- Tolkien Fellowships
- The Tolkien Society
Tolkien was never GoH at a convention, but was was Ghost of Honor at Demicon 15. One of the few contacts with fandom was in 1957 when Tolkien was presented the International Fantasy Award for Lord of the Rings at a closed meeting of the SF Luncheon Club during Loncon.