Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks both prove that author David Mitchell has an incredible knack for world-building. So it's probably not a huge surprise that he was obsessed with Tolkien as a child, to the point of drawing his own maps of Middle Earth.
Well, not all of the love stories, necessarily — just Aragorn and Arwen, which he described as "perfunctory" and "unnecessary." Do you agree? And what other fictional love stories would you have advised their authors to drop?
Several years ago, Central Connecticut astrophysics professor Kristine Larsen figured out the structure of the solar system from J.R.R. Tolkien's work, using hints scattered throughout the books as well as her own knowledge of Tolkien's source material (which is, not surprisingly, our own solar system).