Clockwork Dragons is Now Available!

dragons

Promotional image for the Zombie Pirates Publishing anthology “Clockwork Dragons”

Today’s the day. My short story “The Mechanical Dragon” is featured in this Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology.

I have a hard time not offending anyone. When I write horror, some of my friends are unhappy with me, and while I consider my “Dragon” story to be pretty benign, I know that anything to do with magic and dragons rubs some folks the wrong way.

I’m not sure what I could write that would be acceptable to 100% of everyone I know, am acquainted with, or who just happens to find my blog posts. Probably nothing.

I guess I’m going to have to follow where my muse leads. I’ll keep you posted as to what comes up next. Hopefully, someone will like what I write.

7 thoughts on “Clockwork Dragons is Now Available!

  1. As for me, it’s a sure thing that I’ve said before: I see dragons as different from magic. We know that stories with dragons often also contain magic. But, nevertheless, they are not equivalent. Similarly, a unicorn could be a real thing. And that wouldn’t have to involve magic. Then, there’s the topic of witches; this is different from imagined animals. I wonder if you have contemplated what the Bible says about magic and witches (together or each on its own). I only ask because you have made considerations of believing the Bible and of faith to be a major topic area for you (in that you have a whole blog on such matters), and you have insisted on absolutes to an extensive degree.

    I don’t have this fully “figured out” — as I enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia (e.g.) in my youth. But when I evaluated that my upbringing wasn’t always on the nose* as far as truth is concerned, even if it was strict (which turned out to be an over expression and hypocrisy on my mother’s part), I did not encourage my own children to get caught up with magic (when we see so many people stuck on such matters for any kind of “fun” in childhood as per Disney and so much else). I separated this from wonder. So their experience wasn’t dry, as it might sound. And theirs was far less strict (while still very conservative). I ponder why uptight persons seem not to even think such through.

    As to horror, there is a wide variety of what individuals think can fit into the category. I wouldn’t say it’s completely off limits. As I’ve mentioned, even a favorite movie of mine was originally put into the genre by someone’s calculation. It was in that space at Blockbuster rental stores; I would never have found it, but appreciated the metaphoric element when I viewed it. That is even though I had never enjoyed any kind of horror in my life (unless the scary parts of Narnia or The Witch of Blackbird Pond count). I have a much higher tolerance for scary moments on ”film” than I did when I was younger. But I’m still always evaluating the… well… value. And the draw or appeal to others.

    * No-one’s is, but we have to sort out some balance (probably not the right word) or equation or narrative — or ought to try. I would say it’s not about making folks or the readers of your blogs or everyone happy.

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    • C.S. Lewis, the author of the “Narnia” series, was, of course, a Christian, and he wrote other fantasy books as well as some science fiction, if I recall correctly. He was good friends with J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” novels. In fact, according to this article, Lewis encouraged Tolkien in the writing of “LOTR.” Tolkien was also a Christian and Lewis credited him for bringing him back to the faith. I guess fantasy, including magic, wizards, orcs, and so forth aren’t completely off limits for believers, at least for those two.

      Horror is a different story and I realize this. I generally steer away from the extreme blood, guts, and gore type, first of all because I don’t like it, and secondly, because I’m no good at writing it. I prefer the more psychological horror tales where the reader has to imagine what’s going on “off screen,” so to speak. Most of my horror watching are the old Universal Studios movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and so on. By today’s standards, they’re pretty tame, and generally there’s a “happy” ending (the monster dies or is presumed to die leaving our heroes intact). My take on writing horror is to send proverbial chills up the reader’s spine. Two of my three “Dark Valentine” microfiction stories have a “justice” type ending and my Christmas horror drabbles are too short (exactly 100 words per story to qualify for a drabble) to do more than be suggestive.

      I’m actually surprised that my most recent publications have been horror, since I prefer writing science fiction and fantasy. My “Clockwork” tale is a sort of combination of magic and steampunk, the latter being a sub-genre of SciFi. In fact, I hit upon the idea that what makes steampunk technology work (because it never would in a million years – the attraction of the tales is stylistic) is magic.

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  2. Yes. We’ve discussed (or, at least, I’ve typed in words) about Lewis and Tolkien before. I’ve read probably more of Lewis’ nonfiction than his fiction. I’m aware of “who” he is and his famous relationships. Is that the full extent of thinking something through — someone else did it (even great people did it before us)?

    I value your sharing of perspective and attitude on horror. I’m mostly attempting to think out loud and consider, together or with others, what makes sense to read or write or put into production… and why.

    As to your final use of the word “magic,” I think that’s a very loose use for the meaning — you don’t know how it works, but that doesn’t mean it’s magic; some people just prefer a different word, I guess? So then what about the fact the word is in the Bible (and ruled out)? Perhaps we just say, “Oh it meant something else there.”

    The fella you wrote of in one of your latest topics spoke (in a video I watched) of writing science fiction that doesn’t follow all the rules of science. There would be no way to make a story if only because of time issues. Still, not magic.

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