Farewell to dragons.

Mycabbage
It’s the end of Dragon Month, and I get to round things out with the last appearance of Billie and his guardian dragon. I wonder what the CBKs will get up to next?

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!
Dragonsm

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?)

Tem
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.

Fighting

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 Wtwta WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, but they also loved Cookie Monster.Cookiemonster
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!

44 thoughts on “Farewell to dragons.”

  1. I really adored Temeraire, especially in the first book. I also find Patricia Briggs’ dragon in Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood very intriguing.
    I, too, have been wondering about the modern tendency to re-imagine the monsters as less scary. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the things that we need to worry about now are so big. Instead of boogey-men going bump in the night, we can worry about Weapons of Mass Destruction, serial killers, AIDS, and the ozone layer. We need all the powerful friends we can get, so by all means, let us co-opt the dragons, vampires and anything else we can entice to the light side of the Force! At least monsters can be *imagined* as rational.

    Reply
  2. I really adored Temeraire, especially in the first book. I also find Patricia Briggs’ dragon in Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood very intriguing.
    I, too, have been wondering about the modern tendency to re-imagine the monsters as less scary. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the things that we need to worry about now are so big. Instead of boogey-men going bump in the night, we can worry about Weapons of Mass Destruction, serial killers, AIDS, and the ozone layer. We need all the powerful friends we can get, so by all means, let us co-opt the dragons, vampires and anything else we can entice to the light side of the Force! At least monsters can be *imagined* as rational.

    Reply
  3. I really adored Temeraire, especially in the first book. I also find Patricia Briggs’ dragon in Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood very intriguing.
    I, too, have been wondering about the modern tendency to re-imagine the monsters as less scary. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the things that we need to worry about now are so big. Instead of boogey-men going bump in the night, we can worry about Weapons of Mass Destruction, serial killers, AIDS, and the ozone layer. We need all the powerful friends we can get, so by all means, let us co-opt the dragons, vampires and anything else we can entice to the light side of the Force! At least monsters can be *imagined* as rational.

    Reply
  4. I really adored Temeraire, especially in the first book. I also find Patricia Briggs’ dragon in Dragon Bones and Dragon Blood very intriguing.
    I, too, have been wondering about the modern tendency to re-imagine the monsters as less scary. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that the things that we need to worry about now are so big. Instead of boogey-men going bump in the night, we can worry about Weapons of Mass Destruction, serial killers, AIDS, and the ozone layer. We need all the powerful friends we can get, so by all means, let us co-opt the dragons, vampires and anything else we can entice to the light side of the Force! At least monsters can be *imagined* as rational.

    Reply
  5. Adieu, adieu, fair dragonkin! I’ve been enjoying this, but 31 days of dragons are probably enough. 🙂
    Jo, I’m also intrigued by the way popular culture wants to turn monsters into cuddle toys. My theory is the opposite of Elaine’s, though I do like the idea of enlisting dragons and werewoves and such on our side!
    My theory (which I made up about ten seconds ago), is that in this scary world, taming fictional monsters is a kind of sublimation of the fears we can’t do anything about.
    As to true monsters–well, there’s always the IRS. 🙂
    Mary Jo, trying to remember scary and benign fictional dragons from her childhood, and drawing a blank before Anne McCaffrey

    Reply
  6. Adieu, adieu, fair dragonkin! I’ve been enjoying this, but 31 days of dragons are probably enough. 🙂
    Jo, I’m also intrigued by the way popular culture wants to turn monsters into cuddle toys. My theory is the opposite of Elaine’s, though I do like the idea of enlisting dragons and werewoves and such on our side!
    My theory (which I made up about ten seconds ago), is that in this scary world, taming fictional monsters is a kind of sublimation of the fears we can’t do anything about.
    As to true monsters–well, there’s always the IRS. 🙂
    Mary Jo, trying to remember scary and benign fictional dragons from her childhood, and drawing a blank before Anne McCaffrey

    Reply
  7. Adieu, adieu, fair dragonkin! I’ve been enjoying this, but 31 days of dragons are probably enough. 🙂
    Jo, I’m also intrigued by the way popular culture wants to turn monsters into cuddle toys. My theory is the opposite of Elaine’s, though I do like the idea of enlisting dragons and werewoves and such on our side!
    My theory (which I made up about ten seconds ago), is that in this scary world, taming fictional monsters is a kind of sublimation of the fears we can’t do anything about.
    As to true monsters–well, there’s always the IRS. 🙂
    Mary Jo, trying to remember scary and benign fictional dragons from her childhood, and drawing a blank before Anne McCaffrey

    Reply
  8. Adieu, adieu, fair dragonkin! I’ve been enjoying this, but 31 days of dragons are probably enough. 🙂
    Jo, I’m also intrigued by the way popular culture wants to turn monsters into cuddle toys. My theory is the opposite of Elaine’s, though I do like the idea of enlisting dragons and werewoves and such on our side!
    My theory (which I made up about ten seconds ago), is that in this scary world, taming fictional monsters is a kind of sublimation of the fears we can’t do anything about.
    As to true monsters–well, there’s always the IRS. 🙂
    Mary Jo, trying to remember scary and benign fictional dragons from her childhood, and drawing a blank before Anne McCaffrey

    Reply
  9. My favorite dragon is Kazul, the intelligent, civilized dragon from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Chronicles: I think it’s wonderful when she becomes King of the Dragons. I also love Kenneth Graham’s poetry-making, story-telling Reluctant Dragon and Tiamat from Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.

    Reply
  10. My favorite dragon is Kazul, the intelligent, civilized dragon from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Chronicles: I think it’s wonderful when she becomes King of the Dragons. I also love Kenneth Graham’s poetry-making, story-telling Reluctant Dragon and Tiamat from Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.

    Reply
  11. My favorite dragon is Kazul, the intelligent, civilized dragon from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Chronicles: I think it’s wonderful when she becomes King of the Dragons. I also love Kenneth Graham’s poetry-making, story-telling Reluctant Dragon and Tiamat from Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.

    Reply
  12. My favorite dragon is Kazul, the intelligent, civilized dragon from Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Chronicles: I think it’s wonderful when she becomes King of the Dragons. I also love Kenneth Graham’s poetry-making, story-telling Reluctant Dragon and Tiamat from Bruce Coville’s Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher.

    Reply
  13. Thanks Jo, for wrapping up the dragons and providing more cool links and pix.
    Farewell, dragons, for now at least. I’ve been enjoying the various posts and many interesting comments and recommendations, and I’ve met a few new dragons along the way! It’s been fun!
    Very cool dragon website, thanks, Melinda–I went and voted for my favorite dragons.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  14. Thanks Jo, for wrapping up the dragons and providing more cool links and pix.
    Farewell, dragons, for now at least. I’ve been enjoying the various posts and many interesting comments and recommendations, and I’ve met a few new dragons along the way! It’s been fun!
    Very cool dragon website, thanks, Melinda–I went and voted for my favorite dragons.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  15. Thanks Jo, for wrapping up the dragons and providing more cool links and pix.
    Farewell, dragons, for now at least. I’ve been enjoying the various posts and many interesting comments and recommendations, and I’ve met a few new dragons along the way! It’s been fun!
    Very cool dragon website, thanks, Melinda–I went and voted for my favorite dragons.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  16. Thanks Jo, for wrapping up the dragons and providing more cool links and pix.
    Farewell, dragons, for now at least. I’ve been enjoying the various posts and many interesting comments and recommendations, and I’ve met a few new dragons along the way! It’s been fun!
    Very cool dragon website, thanks, Melinda–I went and voted for my favorite dragons.
    Susan Sarah

    Reply
  17. Hmmm. Facing down monsters as the natural result of greater respect being given to psychotherapy and self-growth?
    Maybe on the personal level. Our national (US) psyche, however, has some great big Nasties in the closet. (“There’s something nasty in the woodshed.”)But I won’t start a laundry list here!
    On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.
    So here goes, Thank you!!! (that’s one for each eyebrow and a raised voice) for bringing such wonderful authors here as well as yourselves, and expanding my library, and those of my friends.

    Reply
  18. Hmmm. Facing down monsters as the natural result of greater respect being given to psychotherapy and self-growth?
    Maybe on the personal level. Our national (US) psyche, however, has some great big Nasties in the closet. (“There’s something nasty in the woodshed.”)But I won’t start a laundry list here!
    On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.
    So here goes, Thank you!!! (that’s one for each eyebrow and a raised voice) for bringing such wonderful authors here as well as yourselves, and expanding my library, and those of my friends.

    Reply
  19. Hmmm. Facing down monsters as the natural result of greater respect being given to psychotherapy and self-growth?
    Maybe on the personal level. Our national (US) psyche, however, has some great big Nasties in the closet. (“There’s something nasty in the woodshed.”)But I won’t start a laundry list here!
    On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.
    So here goes, Thank you!!! (that’s one for each eyebrow and a raised voice) for bringing such wonderful authors here as well as yourselves, and expanding my library, and those of my friends.

    Reply
  20. Hmmm. Facing down monsters as the natural result of greater respect being given to psychotherapy and self-growth?
    Maybe on the personal level. Our national (US) psyche, however, has some great big Nasties in the closet. (“There’s something nasty in the woodshed.”)But I won’t start a laundry list here!
    On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.
    So here goes, Thank you!!! (that’s one for each eyebrow and a raised voice) for bringing such wonderful authors here as well as yourselves, and expanding my library, and those of my friends.

    Reply
  21. Jo here.
    More great dragons emerging! Actually, that could be scary.
    Isn’t it interesting that dragons are nearly always potrayed as hatching from eggs? That’s why my dragons are marsupial. Always want to be different.
    Good point, Jane, about the English ! being a raised eyebrow and the American a raised voice. According to my long-suffering editor, it’s more a shrill screech.*G*
    On scary times, there have been terrors in the past. Two world wars, which were more intimate in Europe that North America, for sure, but we can take a global view. WWI is said to have had a major effect on Tolkien’s fiction.
    The ominous clouds of nuclear anihilation, including the Cuban crisis. The threat of bio-death in Silent Spring etc.
    And yet through it all, the monsters stayed dark. Didn’t they?
    Jo

    Reply
  22. Jo here.
    More great dragons emerging! Actually, that could be scary.
    Isn’t it interesting that dragons are nearly always potrayed as hatching from eggs? That’s why my dragons are marsupial. Always want to be different.
    Good point, Jane, about the English ! being a raised eyebrow and the American a raised voice. According to my long-suffering editor, it’s more a shrill screech.*G*
    On scary times, there have been terrors in the past. Two world wars, which were more intimate in Europe that North America, for sure, but we can take a global view. WWI is said to have had a major effect on Tolkien’s fiction.
    The ominous clouds of nuclear anihilation, including the Cuban crisis. The threat of bio-death in Silent Spring etc.
    And yet through it all, the monsters stayed dark. Didn’t they?
    Jo

    Reply
  23. Jo here.
    More great dragons emerging! Actually, that could be scary.
    Isn’t it interesting that dragons are nearly always potrayed as hatching from eggs? That’s why my dragons are marsupial. Always want to be different.
    Good point, Jane, about the English ! being a raised eyebrow and the American a raised voice. According to my long-suffering editor, it’s more a shrill screech.*G*
    On scary times, there have been terrors in the past. Two world wars, which were more intimate in Europe that North America, for sure, but we can take a global view. WWI is said to have had a major effect on Tolkien’s fiction.
    The ominous clouds of nuclear anihilation, including the Cuban crisis. The threat of bio-death in Silent Spring etc.
    And yet through it all, the monsters stayed dark. Didn’t they?
    Jo

    Reply
  24. Jo here.
    More great dragons emerging! Actually, that could be scary.
    Isn’t it interesting that dragons are nearly always potrayed as hatching from eggs? That’s why my dragons are marsupial. Always want to be different.
    Good point, Jane, about the English ! being a raised eyebrow and the American a raised voice. According to my long-suffering editor, it’s more a shrill screech.*G*
    On scary times, there have been terrors in the past. Two world wars, which were more intimate in Europe that North America, for sure, but we can take a global view. WWI is said to have had a major effect on Tolkien’s fiction.
    The ominous clouds of nuclear anihilation, including the Cuban crisis. The threat of bio-death in Silent Spring etc.
    And yet through it all, the monsters stayed dark. Didn’t they?
    Jo

    Reply
  25. “On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.”
    An extremely laid-back colleague once said that there was no good reason to ever use an exclamation mark. Terribly bad manners. I think of him every time I (over)use exclamation marks!

    Reply
  26. “On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.”
    An extremely laid-back colleague once said that there was no good reason to ever use an exclamation mark. Terribly bad manners. I think of him every time I (over)use exclamation marks!

    Reply
  27. “On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.”
    An extremely laid-back colleague once said that there was no good reason to ever use an exclamation mark. Terribly bad manners. I think of him every time I (over)use exclamation marks!

    Reply
  28. “On exclamation marks, I’m now thinking of the English exclamation as a raised eyebrow, and an American exclamation as a raised voice.”
    An extremely laid-back colleague once said that there was no good reason to ever use an exclamation mark. Terribly bad manners. I think of him every time I (over)use exclamation marks!

    Reply
  29. I have been enjoying the fallen angels series. I keep getting the feeling that I’ve read them before but I pobobly read them the first time they came out the first time. I too live in Baltimore. Where in Balto do you live? Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Janet Abramowitz

    Reply
  30. I have been enjoying the fallen angels series. I keep getting the feeling that I’ve read them before but I pobobly read them the first time they came out the first time. I too live in Baltimore. Where in Balto do you live? Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Janet Abramowitz

    Reply
  31. I have been enjoying the fallen angels series. I keep getting the feeling that I’ve read them before but I pobobly read them the first time they came out the first time. I too live in Baltimore. Where in Balto do you live? Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Janet Abramowitz

    Reply
  32. I have been enjoying the fallen angels series. I keep getting the feeling that I’ve read them before but I pobobly read them the first time they came out the first time. I too live in Baltimore. Where in Balto do you live? Keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Janet Abramowitz

    Reply

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