The Palantir (Tolkien zine)

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Title: The Palantir
Publisher: East Hardenburgh Press
Editor(s): general coordinator: Jo Anne Fatherly, circulation manager: Nicki Fatherly, art director: Dorothy Sasscer, literary director: Cathy Siemann, help: Bethanne Kelly
Date(s): 1978-
Medium: print
Fandom: Tolkien
Language: English
External Links:
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The Palantir is a Tolkien anthology of fiction, non-fiction and art.

A 1978 Ad

A rarity: a zine that came out ahead of schedule!

THE PALANTIR is a new fanzine for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and ALL fantasy! The zine features fan artwork, fiction, articles, poetry, etc. The first issue is scheduled for publication in January, 1978. It will carry some excellent artwork, by Melly Frame. Leah Rosenthal, & Jason Keehn, among others. There will also be poetry, fiction, humor, articles, a trivia quiz, and a special feature on Tolkien's Tengwar writing system. To reserve a copy, please send $2 and two SASE's to Dorothy Sasscer [address redacted]. The estimated length of the first issue is 40 pages, reduced offset. We are endeavoring to maintain a high level of quality with THE PALANTIR — we're selling it at what it costs us to print it. However, there are many other costs involved in the publication of a fanzine. If we had some extra money, we could have an even better zine! So if anyone's interested in donating... Contributions —- fantasy-oriented artwork, fiction, humor, articles, poetry, cartoons, etc. are wanted for the second issue. Please enclose SASE with all correspondence, and make all checks payable to Nicki Fatherly/The East Hardenburgh Press. Thank you and may the stars of Elbereth shine upon you! [1]

Issue 1

The Palantir 1 was published in 1978 and contains 42 pages.

front cover by Jason Keehn
back cover by Leah Rosenthal
  • Editorial (4)
  • Middle Earth Technology by Jim Michel (6)
  • From a Hobbit's Pantry by Jo Anne Fatherly (9)
  • Elementary, My Dear Gollum by Cathy Siemann (11) (a Tolkien/Sherlock Holmes crossover story, reprinted in The Holmesian Federation #2)
  • LOTR movie review by Lisa Cowan (16)
  • Chalice by Ellen Rawson (17)
  • Tolkien Trivia Quiz by Beverly Glielmi (19)
  • Like a Needle in a Haystack by Irene Shafer (22)
  • Quiz Answers (35)
  • Galadriel's Song by Ellen Rawson (36)
  • The Tengwar by Beverly Glielmi (38)
  • Smaug's Hoard (ads) (41)
  • Horns of Elfland by Sharon Allen (42)
  • art: Jason Keehn (front cover), Melody Frame (inside front cover), Leah Rosenthal (back over)

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

The best word for this zine is 'promising.' Reproduction is fair, which is too bad. With a little more clarity, some of the art would have been much more effective. It is a Tolkien/fantasy zine, named after Tolkien's palantiri, the mythical seeing stones from LotR. Keehan, Sasscer, Rosenthal, and Frame all provide the art, all ranging from very good to fair. Many typos appear. There are some better than average poems which surprised me. I think general fantasy and myth is a much better subject for poetry than ST, SW, or BG. A thorough Tolkien quiz, somewhat banal cooking recipes, original fantasy filk, and ads provide fillers. Nonfiction is represented by a knowledgeable article on Middle-earth technology and an interesting lesson in Tenwar, a Middle-earth tongue. There is a rushed but quaint Tolkien/Sherlock Holmes story which could have benefited from more expansion, and an interesting story based on the recent and very delightful 'Parsival or a Knight's Tale' by Richard Monaco, which is the longest piece in the zine. It is a troubled story but shows intelligence and a great deal of potential on the part of the writer, Irene Schafer. It has a good title, but the story needs a lot of work and, if developed more, could have been something quite superb. As it is, it's a simple adventure in a noble lord's life -- ANY noble lord since the characters don't matter to the plot. For a first issue, 'Palantir' shows potential. Its editors are obviously people who want to put out a good product but must make mistakes necessary in their initial tryout. I can't recommend 'The Palantir' for its price [$3.00] (sorry, guys). Borrow it somewhere. But lookout for upcoming issues. We NEED a fantasy zine, and this one looks like it will develop into a diverse and charming one. [2]

Issue 2

The Palantir 2 is undated (probably published in 1980) and contains 42 pages. It is a "special unicorn issue."

front cover of issue #2, Ingrid Kallick
a 1980 flyer printed in Warped Space #43
  • The Road Goes Ever On (editorial) (1)
  • What is a Unicorn by Beverly Glielmi (2)
  • Writing Contest Update (4)
  • Unicorn by Sharon Allen (5)
  • The Last Night by Anji Valenza (7)
  • Maris by Ellen Rawson (14)
  • The Tolkien Societies in Sweden by Gabriel Stein (15)
  • Irrefutable Evidence by Clare Bell (15)
  • Book Reviews (19)
  • The Rings of Power by Jim Michel (21)
  • Dance with Me by Beverley Glielmi (23)
  • Grey Lord of Death by Jason Keehn (26)
  • Ballads by Ellen Rawson (27)
  • The Mythical Beast by Cathy Siemann (29)
  • White on Grey by Lisa Cowan (36)
  • Smaug's Hoard (37)
  • The Bilbo Biweekly (41)
  • art by Ingrid Kallick (front cover), Melody Frame, Anji Valenza, MH, Clare Bell, Jason Keehn, Stephen Fox, Leah Rosenthal (back cover), Amy Harlib


  1. ^ from The Clipper Trade Ship #23
  2. ^ from Scuttlebutt #15