An abiding presence in myth and literature from around the world, the dragon has been reborn in modern fantasy fiction. The classic winged fire-breathing reptile often associated with evil (they do despoil villages and demand virgin sacrifices, after all) tends nowadays to be more kindly disposed to humankind, sometimes aloofly offering magical wisdom, sometimes actively involved in human lives, whether as a servant or friend. In this volume, originally compiled exclusively for the members of the Science Fiction Book Club and not available in stores, editor Marvin Kaye has skillfully gathered brand-new contributions to the hoard of dragon lore by five top fantasy authors.
Orson Scott Card---an expert at writing from a child's point of view, as evidenced in his bestselling Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow---offers a gothic yarn set in contemporary suburbia. "In the Dragon's House" tells about the mysterious dragon that lives in the wiring of an old house, palpable only to a young boy who in dreams shares its body and feels its true size and power. But what does it really want?
Mercedes Lackey, prolific author of the Valdemar saga, writes of a slave boy who is chosen to care for a warrior's dragon. Vetch (and the reader) will learn much about dragon behavior . . . and this special dragon's secrets may be the key to his freedom. (Lackey was so taken by young Vetch that she expanded his adventures into a novel with the same name as this story---"Joust.")
Tanith Lee is no stranger to dragons, which appear quite often in her award-winning fantasies. The fable "Love in a Time of Dragons" is imbued with her signature atmosphere---Old World, moody, erotic---as a kitchen maid goes a-questing with a handsome champion to slay the local drakkor. But the tale takes a surprising twist. . . .
Elizabeth Moon, author of the popular Esmay Suiza and Heris Serrano series, takes a break from military science fiction to give us the tale of a young man forced by lies to flee his village . . . into an adventure of dwarfs and dragonspawn, of trust and wisdom, and, ultimately, "Judgment."
Rounding off the collection is Michael Swanwick's "King Dragon," a strange amalgam of twentieth-century technology and faery magic, in which the award-winning author invokes a truly sinister and repellent creature---a being with the soul of a beast and the body of a machine-part metal, part devil . . . all-merciless.
About the Author
Orson Scott Card is the author of the SF classic, "Ender's Game," as well as dozens of other bestselling novels, including "Shadow of the Hegemon." He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and stories, including the bestselling Heralds of Valdemar series. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and collaborator, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots.
Tanith Lee has written 15 children's books, 42 adult novels and nearly 200 short stories. She has won the World Fantasy Award and the August Derleth Award for her work. Tanith Lee lives in England with her husband.
Elizabeth Moon is a native Texan who has a degree in both History and Biology, spent three years in the Marine Corps and has been nominated for a Hugo Award. She live in Florence Texas with her family.
Michael Swanwick has received the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards for his work. "Stations of the Tide" was honored with the Nebula Award and was also nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. "The Edge of the World," was awarded the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1989. It was also nominated for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. "Radio Waves" received the World Fantasy Award in 1996. "The Very Pulse of the Machine" received the Hugo Award in 1999, as did "Scherzo with Tyrannosaur" in 2000.
Editor Marvin Kaye is the author and editor of more than forty books, including "The Game Is Afoot: Parodies, Pastiches, and Ponderings of Sherlock Holmes" and T"he Resurrected Holmes: New Cases from the Notes of John H. Watson, M.D." He lives in New York City.
"None of the stories ever falters, and each puts forth a very different, entirely compelling view of dragons."