“JV: You’ve also said that the typical mythpunk author was “over Tolkien by roughly second grade,” and indeed many mythpunk authors had or still have an interest in his work. While Tolkien is, of course, a granddaddy of fantasy as we know it in the West today, what role does he play in mythpunk specifically?
CMV: Well, I mean, I was being confrontational, and trying to differentiate mythpunk from the bulk of mainstream fantasy which is still in deep hock to Big Daddy T. The fact is, I am a Sindarin-speaking Tolkien dork, the kind that genuinely loved the Silmarillion and memorized the poetry. I love Tolkien. Thus, I have no desire to repeat his work. I think that great work can be done by confronting head-on the anxiety (of influence) toward Tolkien’s dominant work, toward the assumptions and prescription of his incredibly pervasive memes. But that’s different than the trend I was talking about. Tolkien himself was reacting to a long tradition of folklore and myth, going to the sources for inspiration. Afterward, many authors looked to Tolkien as a first source rather than a reaction, and a great deal of generation loss was experienced by the field as a whole.”