Fictional Dragons in the Modern World

August 6th, 2013

Many people remember 1977 as the year Star Wars was born.  Disney also released The Rescuers, one of the first animated films in the ’70s to gain considerable acclaim.  That same year, Disney slipped in an oft-forgotten but charming entry to the world of dragons in fictionPete’s Dragon. The film’s plot is a now-familiar take on how a child (unsurprisingly an orphan) retreats into imagination to deal with his difficult surroundings.  Even Alice in Wonderland featured a similar premise, so it’s not hard to believe that the film was based on a short story written at least twenty years before the release.  What makes Pete’s Dragon so fun to watch is the interaction between the real-life child star Sean Marshall (Pete) and his animated dragon, Elliot (voiced by Charlie Callas). Read the rest of this entry »

Wisdom and Power: The Dragons of China

May 31st, 2013

Dragons have been a powerful symbol in China for many centuries. While in Western stories and myths, dragons are usually portrayed as evil, in China they represent power, grace and wisdom.

In Chinese mysticism and folklore, dragons are considered the most powerful embodiment of the masculine or yang principle. By contrast, the phoenix is often used as the symbol of feminine or yin energy.

Emperors in China were often said to be the descendants of dragons. The dragon is also Read the rest of this entry »

“Real” Dragons: The Historical Accounts and Tales

March 24th, 2013

Every dragon lover has wondered what it would be like if their favorite fantasy animals were real, but once upon a time, people thought of dragons as being as much a part of their world as mountains or rivers.

In China, dragons were seen as powerful spirits and gods. A dragon was a natural feature, and mountains and lakes were thought to have dragons sleeping inside them. It was considered bad luck to disrupt a sleeping dragon or to block its view to the water, meaning that houses had to be built in places that did not obstruct the dragon’s Read the rest of this entry »

Dragonslayers: Great Heroes Who Fought Dragons

June 11th, 2012

The dragonslayer is perhaps the penultimate hero in fiction. Dragons of course represent the primal, the sexual and the bestial wickedness of the world, whereas the slayer is the strength of man to overcome the elements and nature, to rescue the princess from the clutches of the world and to claim the horde of gold as his reward.

There are numerous heroes, both mythical and of modern fiction who are dragonslayers. Beowulf, as well as Sigurd, were both great and powerful heroes in the Viking Sagas who fought and overcame Read the rest of this entry »

2011 Southeast Sci-Fi Conventions

January 10th, 2012

There are over 30 official science fiction conventions on the books already for 2011. Here’s a look at a few of the Southeast’s best offerings for Sci Fi fans this year:
2011 SFI Region One Summit: This annual event is held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and is best suited for sci fi fans of Mirror, Mirror. Don’t forget about the annual Duck Race!
Timegate: Held in Atlanta (local residents need only gas up the car and set their adt security service in georgia alarms!), this event is held primarily for Stargate and Dr. Who fans – a can’t miss for sci-fi geeks and nerds alike!
ConCarolinas 2011: Held in Charlotte, North Carolina this year, ConCarolinas is the premier event for general sci-fi, horror and fantasy fans. A haven for speculative fiction, this event will feature celebrity appearances, booths and even live-action demonstrations.
Mobicon: Mobile, Alabama’s annual tribute to all things sci-fi should go off without a hitch this year. Fantasy, gaming and sci-fi fans will all find something to get excited about this year at Mobicon.
If you live in the Southeast, there are plenty of Science Fiction events close to home for you and your friends to enjoy! Google event names for additional information.

Dragonriders: Human and Dragon Teams in Fiction

August 14th, 2011

Dragons are among the most fascinating fictitious beasts. They have figured in a number of myths, and even in the past century many great fantasy writers have created original works in which they figure. In this brief article I will discuss three of them.

In “the Hobbit,” the title character and twelve dwarfs are on a quest to retrieve their treasure from Smaug, the dragon who stole it. Bilbo goes into his cave as a scout and discovers the dragon’s vulnerable spot, a piece Read the rest of this entry »

Scales on the Silver Screen: Dragons in Movies

July 18th, 2011

Scales on the Silver Screen. Dragons in Movies are a Hollywood tradition

1. How to Train Your Dragon
This 3D animated film is arguably the best dragon movie ever made.

2. Eragon
Using modern computer animation makes for a nice looking beastie.

3. Reign of Fire
My personal tastes would rate this at the top. Plus the dragons sack London town.

4. Beowulf
The dragon is the best part of the modern remake of a remake.

5. The Hobbit
Tolkien’s dragon Smaug deserves to make this list, despite the retro animation style.

6. Dragonheart
Sean Connery can use Read the rest of this entry »

Shapechangers: People Becoming Dragons, Dragons Becoming People

July 5th, 2011

The Mythical Dragon
It’s easy to see the stretch of imagination that evolved from prehistoric dinosaurs to mythical dragons of folklore in many countries of the world. In mythical tales dragons are fire-breathing monsters to be feared. Dragons often represented ultimate power. What if in the genre of shapechangers people became dragons and dragons became people?

Dragon People
With shapechanging, a shy person is reshaped into an assertive dragon of fearsome prominence. This certainly might have a serious effect on family members and co-workers. Read the rest of this entry »

Fire, Frost, or Poison: Dragon’s Breath

April 29th, 2011

It really just depends on how you want to get your critter.

If you choose poison, will it be slow and painful? Or will that pesky thing go quietly in its sleep? Do you -want- them to turn weird shades of green and have everybody around them wonder what in tarnation is going on, or will they go peacefully with nobody the wiser?

Frost, well, that is a little bit more noticable. That there critter will turn a nice, shall we say, healthy shade of blue and be Read the rest of this entry »

The Hoard: Dragons and Their Treasures

April 15th, 2011

The Hoard: Dragons and Their Treasures is a unique gaming experience that as sure to be a hit with players. The Hoard is set in the times of kings, castle, and dragons. In most games set during this time period, players play the part of a hero slaying the dragons and other monsters. If not a hero, the players inevitably play the part of a nation builder and just build buildings in games that sadly resemble SimCity.

Thank goodness Read the rest of this entry »