Tuesday, October 31, 2006


CSSF Blog Tour

OK, we know that Dragons, Knights and Angels is just a name, and that stories appearing in it don't have to feature dragons, knights, or angels. After all, as Johne Cook says in the DKA vision, that would be silly. Which really is tempting for someone like me who happens rather to like silly.

But that's another post. Or perhaps a DKA submission. Or a NaNo project, even.

This is the blog tour, and an opportunity for me to take the subject and ramble off on a tangent. If you want to know about DKA, go off and read Mirathon. You want intelligent discussion sparked by the subject, Becky's got it. You want to try and cram dragons, knights and angels into sensible science fiction, well, I'll give that a go. But bear in mind, I do like silly.

So, dragons.

At first glimpse the exclusive domain of the fantasy tale, how do we get these mythical creatures to play a sensible role in science fiction?

This would be one of those areas where sf and fantasy overlap, as in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern sequence. Here a world which wouldn't look out of place in a fantasy novel is created by colonists from Earth, who create a race of dragons by genetic manipulation. Sounds like science fiction to me.

As a child, I was briefly fascinated by the 'science' of dragons. The biology of how such a thing could actually exist. That was before I knew anything about biology, of course, like how boring the lessons were. But it is science, and if someone were to dig up a dragon's remains somewhere, you could have fun exploring the science of dragons. You could always dig up a live dragon, in a Reign of Fire sort of way.

So how do we bully all this into a Christian story? There's plenty of Biblical monsters to choose from - the Leviathon from Job, Jonah's big fish (well, have you ever seen a dragon?), and dragons (be they physical or metaphorical) in Revelation. You could throw Christians to the dragons like a Roman Emperor. And the 'dragon as a representation of general nastiness' theme was donw by Frank Peretti a while ago in The Oath.

'Here be dragons' they wrote on maps in days of yore, and who knows, maybe those early spacefarers will use the same phrase, harking back to their ancestors, to denote areas of as yet unexplained danger. The dragons could be anything. And that (he says, miraculously returning to the point) is the way DKA see them. Johne Cook says:

To my way of thinking, dragons represent the mystical, the unknown world, dangerous and magical and huge beyond reckoning.

And in science fiction, that leaves a lot for the imagination to play with.


Mirtika said...

And this is where I make Stevie's eyeballs roll, because I have to mention that Mir's favorite acting hunky, Gerard Butler, is in Reign of Fire (even though he gets roasted to death...pity that).

Dragonriders of Pern is what came to mind re: Dragons in Sci-Fi.

Wasn't there some kind of fire-breathing Behemoth in B-movie Japanese sci-fi?


Anonymous said...

I love it when Sci-fi and fantasy merge. Someone needs to write a dragon story for RGR. :)

Elliot said...

'miraculously returning to the point' - HA!

Someone's already written a great dragon SF story -

The Game of Rat and Dragon, by Cordwainer Smith.

UKSteve said...

There is a space monster element in the 'stuck in development hell' sequel to Countless as the Stars. Maybe I'll pilfer those bits for short story instead.