Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: Stephen Deas on Dragons

Mailing List

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stephen Deas on Dragons

You may have realized by this point that I spend a lot of time crawling over Fantasy Faction these days. It's a good website, if you're into fantasy.

And today I want to bring you, care of Fantasy Faction, some thoughts about dragons from Stephen Deas, who apparently has been sipping from my cup of tea despite the thousands of miles that separate us geographically.

In his article, Stephen takes the time to break down a few definitions of dragons and ends up with the following:

dragon, n, Something very formidable or dangerous.

That sounds about right to me. He goes on to explain how when fantasists go too far in explaining where their dragons come from, when they humanize them too much, they take the power away from them. I couldn't agree more. Don't get me wrong, I loved How to Train Your Dragon, and I cut my teeth on the shapeshifting, human-loving dragons of Dragonlance, but to me a dragon...a real dragon, one worthy of the word, is one so alien and terrifying that it cannot be understood. The primary purpose of the dragon myth is to put a face on the horrible unknown. And the further your dragons stray from that, the more watered-down they become.

If you've read Soulwoven, you know that's the direction I took with the dragon in the book. But there are people out there who do this even better than I do. One of the authors I edit, John Tristan, has a book coming out that has the most primal, awful (in every sense of that word), alien dragons I've ever seen. If you can imagine what it might be like for a preindustrial civilization to encounter a star destroyer from Star Wars---well, that's more or less what I envisioned when I read his dragons. I'll follow up on this post once we've got a shareable release date on that book, but if you love dragons of the Old Testament sort, keep an eye out for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment