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[page 3] FROM THE HOBBIT HOLE "WELL, I'M BACK ..." Lewis Carroll once said "Never spend more than half a page apologizing for being late." Therefore we shall simply say that between a paucity of material and a shortage of time, this issue has taken roughly four times as long to prepare as we had expected. Marion Zimmer Bradley's excellent article arrived some months ago as the first indication that a second issue would be possible, and Don Studebaker's haikus arrived just a few weeks before publication to round out the issue. Only promises have been received from the remainder of our membership. As for the mechanics of publishing, both Bruce and I have too many other deadlines to meet to give this all our attention. It might be better to give I PALANTIR over to a monomaniac, but we would not like to risk the informal nature of the publication. For future issues, we have only promises, but some very interesting ones. Jack Harness has an Elven-English dictionary-cum- grammar which we may be able to publish; Jackson B. Lackey is preparing a paper on astronomy in Middle-Earth, with star maps; Dainis Bisenieks has discovered a startling tie-in between the ancient legends and more contemporary lore. What is is about Elves and fans? A remarkably high percentage of the studies which have been brought to our attention deal with one aspect or another of the Elves. No one has written about the dwarves, who are in many ways more mysterious than the Elvenkind -- are they less esthetically esthetically @aesthetically@ pleasing? No one has pointed out the fact that at least one Ent-wife may have been seen in the Shire, or wondered at the geneology of Beorn or Tom Bombadil. What happened to the other two of the Istari? Did Lobelia Sackville-Baggins _really_ try to steal the spoons? Nearly a year has passed since our first issue was sent to Professor Tolkien, and we have received no comment on it. It is not unlikely that he took us to be a pack of maundering teen-agers, and neither is it unlikely that he is right. However, we can only hope that his time is better taken with completion of his current translation of the Silmarillion than with answering his accolades. The last rumors on the subject, incidentally, were that the first part of this saga of the First Age had been delivered to the publishers. We look forward eagerly to the publication of the first volume, and subsequent volumes, as we look forward to eventual publication of the Akhallabeth. May the stars ever shine upon your pathway. {Signature: Ted Johnstone}