The first entry in a series on short story recommendations, these tales are taken from the anthology, A Dragon-Lover’s Treasury of the Fantastic. Published in 1994, edited by Margaret Weis and featuring 20 stories by some of the most prolific Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning sci-fi and fantasy authors, this anthology focuses on the only mythical creature recognized around the world: the dragon.
However, as is often the case with anthologies, not all the stories caught my attention. In fact, a majority of the stories didn’t work for me (I’ll confess I’m not big on fantasy). Some made me lose interest after a few pages. Sadly, in some stories the dragon doesn’t appear until the end and the focus is more on the dragonslayer. Some stories even went so far as to make me murmur: “what does this have to do with dragons?” Another complaint I have is that only European dragons get all the attention.
But what I love about short story collections is that, unlike novels, you don’t have to read every chapter. You can skip to the next story and most anthologies always have some good stories. Here are the titles, their authors and a summary:
Weyr Search (Anne McCaffrey): You know her for her uber famous “Dragonriders of Pern” series. This excerpt is from her first novel, Dragonflight. With the help of some dragonriders and her telepathic connection to dragons, a young noblewoman named Lessa fights to reclaim her throne.
The Fellowship of the Dragon (Patricia A. McKillip): Five Warrior women set out to save their queen’s lover from the clutches of a dragon – but only one will make it back.
The George Business (Roger Zelazny): A humorous tale about a business proposition between a knight and a dragon.
The Ice Dragon (George R. R. Martin): An aloof, winter-born little girl forms a bond with a mystical ice dragon.
The Hidden Dragon (Barbara Delaplace): A physically abused wife keeps seeing a dragon in her back yard….
The Trials and Tribulations of Myron Blumberg, Dragon (Mike Resnick): Myron Blumberg has a problem: he’s been turned into a dragon and it’s putting a strain on his marriage.
St. Dragon and the George (Gordon R. Dickson): A college professor and his fiancee have been transported to the past – she into the clutches of an ogre, he into the body of a dragon. He asks a wizard, two intelligent dragons and an errant knight for help.
So if you ever come across these short stories, whether it’s in A Dragon-Lover’s Treasury, or another book all together, give them a try. You might like them.