Just a quick note, review to come later. Henry Gee has produced a Second Edition of his book The Science of Middle-Earth: Explaining The Science Behind The Greatest Fantasy Epic Ever Told!, which will be released on December 14th as a Kindle eBook.
There are two things to know about this. First, the Second Edition is revised enough to want to get it even if you have the first edition. Second, if you are not familiar with the book, it may be a bit different than you expect. It is not a book about the science IN Tolkein’s books as much as it is a scientifically oriented investigation of Tolken, the world he created, and the relationship between that made up world and the real world that provided the context for the created universe. Gee is a scholar of Science Fiction literature and his prowess in this field is well demonstrated by his cogent and deep analysis of Tolkien. The Science of Middle-Earth: Explaining The Science Behind The Greatest Fantasy Epic Ever Told! is a philology of the pertaining documents, an anthropology (both cultural and biological) of the languages of that world, and an historical investigation of origins. There is demographics and life history theory, geology, genetics, allometry, and some attention to the mechanics of locomotion of trees and flying things.
You will probably want to read this before you see The Hobbit.
I’ll let you know if I notice the book’s early availability.