Thursday, November 14, 2019

"Dragon Slayer"


Good news! Jonathan Strahan's new anthology, The Book of Dragons has just been announced. That's the cover up above.

The collection will be published this summer by Harper Voyager and has been years in the making. More so in my case, I suspect, than most of the others. Somewhere between several and many  years ago, I began writing my own contribution, "Dragon Slayer," with the words:

Every road and open doorway is a constant danger to a man of wandering disposition. Olav had stood on the threshold of his cottage one spring morning and the road had looked so fine that he couldn’t resist setting foot on it, and the next thing he knew it had carried him to the sea. There he chanced upon a merchant ship in need of a new hand. He learned the sailoring trade, fought pirates, killed a kraken, grew a beard, pierced an ear, and one memorable night won a handful of rubies at a single turn of the cards and lost them all to a barmaid who doped his ale. Two years later, he was shipwrecked off Thule and briefly married to a witch-woman who had blackwork tattoos on her face and had filed her teeth to points. 

Even the skeptical among us will have to admit that I didn't skimp on plot!

I made a strong beginning, moved Olav through several lands and pages and... came up against a wall. I had a dragon by then, but didn't know why it wanted what it did and what that meant. So onto the back lot of my hard drive it went, to languish with a hundred other partially-written stories, waiting for the day when inspiration would strike.

Then one day inspiration struck, in the form of Jonathan Strahan inviting me to submit a story to his dragon anthology. The attractive thing about the invitation was that he had a llong deadline--over a year. Surely, I thought, given that much time, I could figure out exactly what was going on.

And as it turned out, I could. It was a close thing, though. There is something lounging deep within my brain, looking like a cross between a gigantic lizard and Orson Wells, which says, "We shall write no story before its time."

And . . . 

I can't tell you what's in the collection because they haven't yet released the table of contents, but I can tell you who:

Daniel Abraham
Kelly Barnhill
Peter S. Beagle
Brooke Bolander
Beth Cato
Zen Cho
C. S. E Cooney
Aliette de Bodard
Kate Elliott
Sarah Gailey
heodora Goss
Ellen Klages
R.F. Kuang
Ann Leckie & Rachel Swirski
Ken Liu
Scott Lynch
Patricia A McKillip
Garth Nix
K. J. Parker
Kelly Robson
Michael Swanwick
Jo Walton
Elle Katharine White
Jane Yolen
J. Y. Yang

Which I think you'll agree is a pretty great lineup.

More info here.


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