Review of “How Tolkein Saved the World” by Ahmed A. Khan

Kai Lung II unfurls his mat and gets set to regale the lad and lasses with tales filled with monumental happenstances, awe-inspiring wonders, and dubious morals.

The dolphins, he tells his listeners, had had enough of humanity’s pollution of the ocean and sent an android scout to get the lay of the land. Its mission was to find maps, power centers, and any other information that could help the dolphins conquer the humans once and for all.

The android approached a boy of about fifteen who was reading a book with what seemed to be detailed maps in it. They talked for a while, and the android returned to the ocean.


On the one hand, the story is cute. It is enjoyable. On the other hand, the reader can see the end from a mile away. Little happens to deflect the reader’s expectation. One nice aspect is the author’s use of language, particularly in the opening paragraphs. There is a light, tongue-in-cheek flavor in the narrative. Such short pieces often end in a single punch line, but there are little jokes along the way here as well.

These don’t quite overcome the problem with predictability, however. Sadly, J. R. R. Tolkien’s name is misspelled in the title.


There was no bio blurb with this story. Several writers have the same name, and none of the websites I looked at listed this story among the author’s works. The malware detector blocked one site because of a Trojan, damn it.
Title: “How Tolkein Saved the World”
Author: Ahmed A. Khan
First published: Daily Science Fiction, March 18, 2019

The story can be read here.

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

2 thoughts on “Review of “How Tolkein Saved the World” by Ahmed A. Khan

  1. This is Ahmed A. Khan, the writer of the reviewed piece. Thank you for your review. Just wanted to clarify that the typo in Tolkien’s name was not mine. I even emailed “Daily Science Fiction” asking them to correct the typo but I received no response. Secondly, I see that you were looking for my bio. Links to some of my published works can be found at and my FaceBook page is at

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