Dragon month has been lots of fun. I note that many of you have decided to try Shana Abe's books for the first time. Say thank you to the Wenches for pointing you in the right direction! I hope you’re also sampling our fellow dragon lovers, Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. Be sure to check out Barbara's wonderful stories of hiking and Karen's information on yarn Again, say thank you!
And of course you've all read Dragon Lovers, yes? It's doing splendidly. Hip, hip, hooray!
(I'm feeling terribly English -- perhaps gearing up for St. George's Day in April -- and the English use a lot more exclamation marks than Americans. There’s a different nuance to them in our mind. Check out a British author. While you’re at it, if you haven’t noticed before, look at the quotation marks in UK published books. Single, not double. Yet really, we don’t notice, do we?)
Back to dragons. Found the Temeraireseries? These are Naomi Novik’s fabulous books about the Napoleonic war with a dragon airforce. That cover is the one on the Science Fiction Book Club edition, which I have. I really like that particular cover.
The first book came out in Britain as Temeraire, but people thought Americans wouldn't recognize the allusion, so the book over here is His Majesty's Dragon, which is another great title. Here is is the Turner painting, The Fighting Temeraire, which is what made the ship famous, and I found it in this wonderful Gutenberg book. You do all know about Gutenberg, don't you? If not, explore the wonders. Click here to see the picture in the book.
I note that His Majesty’s Dragon is up for a Hugo Award. Wonderful news! This is the list I found, after being pointed to it by the SF Canada list. Hugo Award nominees. Fingers crossed for a dragon victory.
And of course, going way back, we have Anne McCaffrey's Pern books (still ongoing, of course.)
Which are your favorite fictional dragons?
What is the oldest fictional dragon you can think of? I found this picture of Tolkien's Smaug, which is a good representation of the nasty dragon. See Smaug here. Check out the rest of the pictures. They're good.
What’s the oldest benign fictional dragon?
Dragons seem to be another “monster” that’s been tamed by the modern imagination. I think they were once universally harmful and feared in European culture (anyone know differently?), but now they’re often large, flying horses, or warships, or amiable – even heroic shape shifters. In romance in particular, we’ve domesticated vampires and werewolves, and we’re working on demons now. What is it in our modern age that wants to tame everything? Are there any imaginary monsters left that really scare us?
Is it perhaps because so many children’s stories have worked hard to teach us that monsters aren’t real, or are actually lovable and misunderstood, or can easily be defeated if we’re only strong enough? My kids loved WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, but they also loved Cookie Monster.
Wikipedia on Maurice Sendak
And here's my page of funny dragons.Click here to visit.
Rambling thoughts on dragons, monsters, and fears, past and present. Comments?
And get ready, everyone, for something new from the Wenches!
Jo, enjoying an exclamatory Englishness. It must be spring!