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Archive for April, 2018

Back in my days with Pern fandom, we had endless discussions of dragon size. There was a set hierarchy, with green dragons the smallest, blue and brown dragons getting bigger, and bronze and golds being largest of all. With this progression in mind, fans tried to determine how big the dragons actually were so our stories would be consistent.

In the Pern novels, their dragons were genetically created from a smaller species, the fire-lizard. They were engineered to become progressively larger until they stopped at a pre-determined size. However, due to circumstances in the novels, the dragons of Benden Weyr became genetically isolated and grew to significantly greater sizes.

Just what was that optimal size? Sources in the books stated that several Benden dragons, including Ramoth, Mnementh and Canth, were larger than the expected size. At 45 meters, Ramoth was the largest Pernese dragon ever known. Other dragons would have scaled progressively smaller.

The debate among fans arose because 45 meters translates to 147.6 feet — the size of a passenger jet! This size seems extreme, even for a fantasy creature. How much would such a dragon eat? What space would it need for its personal weyr, and what would be the required area for a Weyr of 300 or more dragons? How could even a well-intentioned dragon avoid harming the relatively tiny humans around it?

Oddly enough, this issue may have sprung from an editing mishap. Pernese dragon measurements are sometimes given in meters, as common in Europe, but sometimes given in feet, as common in the U. S. However, the number wasn’t changed during editing. So a 45-foot-long Ramoth suddenly ballooned to 147 feet when converted to metric!

Just for fun, here’s a post from the blog Dragon Calling, which estimated the size of various dragons in video games and movies. The author used media dragons because still images give a good idea of comparative sizes between the human and dragon characters.


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I’m getting the cover together for Wyrmflight: Six Years of Dragon Lore, and I need your help. After playing with various possibilities, I’ve narrowed it down to three finalists.

Wyrmflight-A

B    Wyrmflight -C

CWyrmflight-G

I’d love to know what you think! The artwork is the same, obviously, but the titles and fonts are different. Would one of these entice you to buy the book more than the others?

Any comments at all would help helpful.


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Hindu lore brings us these water-monsters, which are hybrids combining the heads of land animals with the tails of sea creatures. Within this general type, each makara is unique. Some have heads of powerful beasts like crocodiles and elephants. Some have tails of seals or fish. Individual artists seem free to create the combinations they like best.

Although makaras seem like fanciful hybids, some scholars have tried to guess whether they are based on some animal from the real world. Suggestions include river dolphins, dugongs, and two types of crocodile, the mugger and gharial. Mugger crocodiles are the most common kind in India.

As mythical beings, makaras have two primary functions. They act as guardian beasts for temples, gates and doors, and the thrones of rulers. They also serve as steeds for various deities, including the sea god Varuna and Ganga, goddess of the Ganges River. It doesn’t seem that makaras themselves are the prime actors in many tales, but rather serve as fierce protectors for the gods and goddesses.

As time went on, makaras became associated with Buddhist lore as well as Hindu. They are now widespread in art and architecture as far away as Japan and Indonesia. Many temples, especially, have makaras carved as decorative finials, railings, lintels, and so on. They’re a common design for the spouts on fountains and springs, and for vessels such as pitchers. Makaras can also appear in jewelry such as earrings and bracelets.


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I’m happy to share another dragon tale today. Dragonboy is a short film, recently featured by author J. Keller Ford on her blog, YA Chit Chat. It just might be the cutest thing you’ll see today. Check it out here!

This animated short was made by a group of film students. Like “The Optometrist and the Dragon,” a short story I shared last week, it takes a fresh and engaging look at that age-old triangle between dragon, princess, and knight.


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One of America’s most famous roads is dubbed The Tail of the Dragon. It’s said to be the single most beautiful, thrilling and dangerous drive in the country.

Officially named Blount Gap, The Tail of the Dragon is a section of U. S. Highway 129 that runs between Blount County, TN and Swain County, NC. Though just eleven miles long, it boasts 318 sharp curves. There are no side streets or driveways, only the rugged Great Smoky Mountains and national forest land.

Many of the road’s features have been given interesting names like Gravity Cavity, Copperhead Corner, and Wheelie Hell. Others are blind corners where unexpected hazards may appear. For safety reasons, the speed limit on this highway has been reduced to 30 mph and it is strictly patrolled. Still, some sources state that at least one death occurs on this stretch of road each year.

Nevertheless, motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts flock to the route during the spring and summer months. All long to experience the challenge of the Tail of the Dragon. Tourists can stop at a few scenic overlooks, and stay at a number of hotels near each end of the route. Perhaps the best known is Deals Gap. This rustic lodge includes an impressive metal statue of a dragon.

The Tail of the Dragon has also been popular with Hollywood, and a number of movies have been filmed on the dramatic twists and turns. These include Thunder Road (1958), Two Lane Blacktop (1971) and The Fugitive (1993). If you aren’t into the Tail of the Dragon’s driving challenge, it sounds like you could enjoy the Hollywood trivia or just relish the beautiful mountain scenery.


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Today I have a dragon story to share. This fun fantasy short is borrowed from Myths of the Mirror, the blog of fantasy author D. Wallace Peach. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

The Optometrist and the Dragon


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A Swedish prince could not get married until his older brother, a lindworm, found a bride who could love him as he was. After many failures, the human prince despaired. 

In the villages of that land, a young woman heard the lindworm prince was looking for a bride. She was wise enough to seek a soothsayer’s advice before doing anything. It happened this was the very same soothsayer who the queen had once consulted. He told her that if she was brave at heart there was a way to break the lindworm’s curse.

After hearing his advice, the young woman volunteered to be the lindworm’s bride. She came to the forest dressed in many layers of clothing. It seemed odd, but the lindworm was pleased she didn’t scream or faint, so he agreed to the marriage.

What a strange wedding night it was! The groom ordered to the bride to take off her clothes, but she told him he must shed one layer of skin for every garment she removed. With nervous anticipation, they played this game. Over and over, she took off one dress and he shed a layer of skin.

Finally she wore only a shift, while the lindworm had one translucent layer of scales. With a silent prayer, she removed her shift and stood naked. The lindworm coiled around her, slowly and gently.As it rubbed against her, the final layer of scales peeled away. Suddenly she felt not the cold strength of a serpent but a man’s warm arms. By her cleverness and trust, the curse had been broken!


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