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From Margaret ...
From Margaret Weis--co-creator of the 2 million-copy bestselling Death Gate series--comes this anthology of 20 great contemporary dragon stories, written by winners of every award in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.
|Two Yards of Dragon||79|
|Saint Willibald's Dragon||117|
|The Ice Dragon||140|
|The George Business||193|
|The Dragonbone Flute||204|
|A Drama of Dragons||218|
|A Plague of Butterflies||241|
|St. Dragon and the George||269|
Of all the beasts in the Bestiary, the dragon is the most fascinadng. Perhaps because it is- or has become over time and literature the most human in its nature and characteristics. Dragons attract us with their beauty and grace, fascinate us with their magic, lure us with promises of fabulous wealth, illgotten booty, free for the taking, with nary a guilty thought or qualm of conscience, for, after all, we are ridding the world of evil.
Sometime around 1983, when I first started working as a book editor for TSR, Inc., producers of the Dungeons & Dragons® role-playing games, the marketing department conducted a survey. They asked the players what the company could do to rnake the garne modules better.
The answer The dungeons are fine. We want more dragons.
One would think battling dragons every Saturday would lose its thrill, but, being a "gamer" myself, I can assure you that nothing causes the heart of a player to quicken, the eye to brighten, than to discover a gigantic clawed footprint in the path or to hear the peasant relate in panicked tones how, "Yon great winged beast done lifted me daughter clean in the air and made off wit' her!"
We know that at least half the party won't survive the encounter, but the knowledge of treasure, of battle with a worthy and cunning foe, draws us on.
Yet, after the hard-fought battle, with a foe worthy of our steel, who among the party doesn't feel a pang of regret when the glorious creature falls from the air, mortally wounded. And as we sneak off, like thieves with the treasure, we talk in hushed, almost reverent tones, of the monster we slew, and we feel-deep inside-ashamed, unworthy.
We know we have felled something greater, more wondrous than ourselves.
In this volume I have collected some of my very favorite dragon stories, by some of the best-known authors in the science fiction and fantasy felds. Some, I'm sure, you will come to as old favorites, as interesting and exciting to read again as they were the first time. In others, you will find new and entertaining adventures.
Just exacdy the sort of book to take along while posting guard on the king's treasure caravan. You are reading, enthralled, when suddenly from the sky above, you hear the creak and flap of huge leathery wings....
(c) 1994 by Margaret Weis
Dungeons & Dragons is a registered trademark of TSR, Inc."
Posted February 11, 2003
Anyone who has read my book reviews for a while knows that I have a soft spot for short story anthologies. I enter them knowing that I've got a mixed bag. I will adore some stories, and some I will rather not care for at all. But the short story is such a wonderful literary piece, a complete tale that can be fully discovered in a single evening. And this one is all about dragons! I rather fancy the standard european mythical dragons, especially the ones that are intelligent and old. I just like the concept. So, this book had a lot going for it in my opinion. And it was a good use of my time. There were two stories that I just adored, "The Dragonbone Flute" by Lois Tilton, and "The Ice Dragon" by George R. R. Martin. I wouldn't be at all surprised if in future years I pull down this volume just to re-read those stories. And, as expected, there was the story I really could have done without, "A Plague of Butterflies" by Orson Scott Card. I've never been a fan of Mr. Card's work. It's not that he's a bad writer, not at all, I just don't care for what he does with his stories. But there were many more good stories than not-so-good. I was rather surprised at the large number of sci-fi dragon stories, with dragons being creatures living on other planets in the far future. I'd never seen them as science ficition fodder, but I can't really see the harm in it, either. Just a matter of taste, I guess. And this collection is mostly tasteful, and a good read for those with a liking for Dragons.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2010
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Posted January 27, 2011
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