Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Review: The Dragon Book edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Ace (TRD) (Nov 3 2009)
From the Publisher:
The Dragon Book is an anthology of completely original stories that readers of all ages can appreciate. With never before printed fantasy stories about dragons, everyone can enjoy a selection of tales from today's top writers including New York Times bestsellers Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon and Tamora Pierce.
Whether portrayed as fire breathing reptilian beasts at war with humanity or as noble creatures capable of speech and mystically bonded to the warriors who ride them, dragons have been found in nearly every culture's mythology. In modern times, they can be found far from their medieval settings in locales as mundane as suburbia or as barren as post-apocalyptic landscapes - and in The Dragon Book, today's greatest fantasists reignite the fire with legendary tales that will consume your imagination.
This was my second foray into short stories this year, well really my second time ever. I would have to say that this time was more successful for me. The topic of the stories I read (and I will admit to not having read all of the stories in the book -yet), held my interest much more readily than my previous attempt, so I feel more well-rounded in my reading experiences.
I have previously shied away from short stories before because I felt there was no meat to the stories, nothing to hold my attention or things would end all too soon. That being said, I find it was partly true here also but only because these stories were so good I wanted more from them, particularly the story by Gregory Maguire. It felt to me like the first chapter in a very intriguing novel. But, alas, it isn't.
The great part of this format is that in times where you are between books or finding your current book is lacking, it is easy to pick up The Dragon Book, find a topic of interest - be it the traditional dragon/fantasy setting or a modern day tale with a CSI style dragon hunter - and feed your need to read something good.
For dragon fans everywhere, this is an excellent book that shakes things up a little, giving the reader a taste of things that may have been, things that might be now or may still be yet to come - all involving firing breathing reptiles.