The Dragon Quintet
Edited by Marvin Kaye
n abiding presence in myth and literature from around the world, the
dragon has been reborn in 20th-century fantasy fiction. The classic winged fire-breathing reptile often associated with evil (they do despoil villages, demand
virgin sacrifices and hoard stolen treasure in cavernous lairs, after all) tends
nowadays to be more disposed to humankind, sometimes aloofly offering magical
wisdom, sometimes actively involved in human lives, whether as servants or
friends. For this exclusive SFBC anthology - not available in stores - editor
Marvin Kaye asked five top fantasy authors to contribute original novellas to this
store of dragon lore.
Orson Scott Card - an expert at writing from a child's point of view, as
evidenced in his bestselling Ender's War 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?
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 SF 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."
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 we) 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.")
Rounding off the collection is Michael Swanwick's "King Dragon," a
strange amalgam of 20th-century technology and faery magic, in which the award-winning author invokes a truly sinister and repellant creature - a being with the
soul of a beast and the body of a machine - part metal, part devil . . . all-merciless.
Copyright © 2003
Published by Science Fiction Book Club