The Ultimate Dragon

by Byron Preiss | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0743458680 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingkatayounwing of Tehran, Tehran Iran on 3/6/2004
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Saturday, March 6, 2004
from Book Description

In this wondrous collection, some of the world's best-known authors of the fantastic explore the legends and lore of the fire-breathing creatures that have captured the imagination of adventure lovers everywhere-dragons. From S.P. Somtow's dramatic tale of an ancient dragon owned by a family in modern Thailand to Ursula K. Le Guin's classic story of the power of a dragon's naming, from Tanith Lee's portrait of a dying dragon on to Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg's look at a dragon whose love for a human woman could spell doom for the whole Earth -- here are spectacular dragon stories transcending time and place.

Journal Entry 2 by wingkatayounwing from Tehran, Tehran Iran on Tuesday, March 9, 2004
on it's way to a friend, hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 3 by Hero from Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Monday, March 22, 2004
Just received this in the post a few minutes ago (decided to put a message in the 'let's make people blush' thread before making this entry!), much to my surprise and delight. Thank you SO much, katayoun. I'd never heard of this book before, and it looks fantastic. I'll tell you who will be very keen to read it after me, and that's PDB11. But me first. ;)

Journal Entry 4 by Hero from Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Saturday, April 17, 2004
Finally got to finish this (by staying up way too late last night!). The time it took me was only a reflection of how little time I've had to read these days, however. :) Really an interesting and widely diverse collection of stories - from Arthurian to modern-day US SouthWest and Bangkok and all sorts in-between.

My favourite without question was Ursula Le Guin's 'The Rule of Names'. Can't say anything in case I spoil it for anyone reading after me, but this was great. Another one with a twist I really ought to have spotted was Jane Yolen's 'Dream Reader'. Fun. Dragonlord's Revenge was another I especially enjoyed, even though the 'twist' was obviously meant to be spotted. Despite loving Tanith Lee's wonderful introduction though, I really didn't like her story much - a bit too grim for my taste. What a range that woman writes!

Thanks again so much for this, Katayoun! It's going off to PDB11, who leapt on my suggestion that he'd like to read it with great alacrity. I believe he has already promised his mother a loan as well. :)

Journal Entry 5 by PDB11 from Oakhill, Somerset United Kingdom on Monday, April 26, 2004
Thanks to Hero and Katayoun for this. This is near the top of my "to be read" pile - the only reason I haven't started it already is that I just re-read Drinking Sapphire Wine and am sated with Tanith Lee at the moment.

Journal Entry 6 by PDB11 from Oakhill, Somerset United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 11, 2004
I enjoyed this book very much, but not as much as I had hoped. Some stories I found really wonderful, but most of them didn't really move me.

A few stories are worth singling out for special mention:

Age by Tanith Lee

I didn't really get on with this, but I mention it as a good example of Lee's ability to create monsters with thought processes totally alien to us, but which nonetheless feel quite natural.

The Rule of Names by Ursula K Le Guin

This must be Le Guin's most anthologised story, and you can see why. It really stands out among the other stories in this volume: traditional high fantasy, set in the world that would later become Earthsea, and a no-frills dragon story. Wonderful!

The Shedding and the Song by Ian Hunter

I laughed and laughed. Again, nothing new or different in this story - just excellent spoof fantasy. I've not encountered Ian Hunter before, but I mean to do so again!

Dragonlord's Justice by Joanne Bertin

Traditional high fantasy again. The ending was (to put it mildly) predictable, and the moral plain enough almost to convict the author of preaching, but the characters all really come alive, and the story was very gripping. Another new author to look out for.

Dragon's Fin Soup by Somtow Sucharitkul

I've never read Thai fantasy before. Interesting, with good musical bits, although I didn't much like the importance given to sex.

But, for the record, I don't think dragons are really common in Thailand. I saw only one in Bangkok, and that was a western one. Elephants, though...

Oh, what the heck! I've uploaded a photo of the dragon I saw in Bangkok as a journal entry picture.

Thanks again to Hero and Katayoun for giving me the opportunity to read this.

Journal Entry 7 by PDB11 from Oakhill, Somerset United Kingdom on Friday, July 30, 2004
On loan to an obvious enthusiast, WistfulDragon

Journal Entry 8 by WistfulDragon from Streatham, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, July 31, 2004
Oh, what do you call a gathering of dragons? A flame? Anyway, thank you PDB11 for sending me all of these fantastic books to read!

Journal Entry 9 by WistfulDragon from Streatham, Greater London United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I finally got round to reading this book! Many apologies for the length of time it has lingered on Mt Toobie - although some of its predecessors are still there....
I loved the book, not least because the stories are so different, one from another. And the quality of the writing felt more like you were reading a book of books, rather than a book of short stories. I don't know if you know what I mean by that, so I'll try to explain.
Quite often a short story has an idea. Or a character. Or an outcome. Or a problem. It is rare that it has all of these, or that they are expressed fully, so it often feels as though the 'story' is actually a chapter. But with these stories they are complete in themselves; sure they could be expanded and added to, but there is no need to do so.
So thank you for the opportunity to read this book!
I have already passed it on. Not quite according to directions, I'm afraid. Instead of passing it to a bookcrosser, I handed it (in person) to a bookcrosser's other half, with strict instructions that they had to join bookcrossing in order to qualify for reading it. Here's hoping...

Journal Entry 10 by BC-Widow from Northampton, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Monday, June 13, 2005
Caught at my first BC meet, need to get a move on and read it!

Journal Entry 11 by BC-Widow from Northampton, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 29, 2005
This book was a fun read, with some great and a few so so stories. The most weird and a little out of keeping with the rest of the book was "Dragon's Fin Soup". Overall, well worth a read if you are into fantasy or want some different light reading.

Have fun.

Journal Entry 12 by celticstar from Denbighshire, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, July 4, 2005
Caught at the Unconvetion :)

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