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Month in review

Reviews:
The Art of the Dragon by Sean McMullen
Baby Dance by Ann Taylor and Marjorie van Heerden
The Case of the Climbing Cat by Cynthia Rylant
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones by Terrance Dicks
Fruits Basket Volume 1 by Katsuki Takaya
Girl on a Bar Stool by Tim Roux
The Great American Marble Book by Fred Ferretti
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Kampung Boy by Lat
The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea by Leigh W. Rutledge
Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison
Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars by Ellen MacGreggor
Myths, Magic and Legends of Sand Art by Suzanne Lord
On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss
Outside the Lavender Closet by Martha A. Taylor
Secrets Unveiled by Sheshena Pledger
Simulacron-3 by Daniel F. Galouye
Spaceman by Mike O'Driscoll
Testimony by Anita Shreve
A Token of a Better Age by Melinda M. Snodgrass
Tom and Pippo Read a Story by Helen Oxenbury
Thump Quack Moo by Doreen Cronin
Violent Cases by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
The Water Hole by Graeme Base
Wet Cats by Mario Garza
You Are Such a One by Nancy Springer


Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Art of the Dragon

FSFThe Art of the Dragon: 09/12/09

I like to savor my short story collections. I need time between each short story to think about what I've read and to internalize the story. So here it is the second week of September and I am just now cracking the spine (not literally!) on the August / September issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Dragons in modern day settings seem to be popular plot devices. First on my radar was Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley, then the Dragons of Spratt Ohio by Linda Zinnen (review coming) and now "The Art of the Dragon" by Sean McMullen.

The opening line sucked me into this 30 page story: "I was there when the dragon first appeared — and ate the Eiffel Tower." (p. 7) Enter Dr. Carr, the last art history PhD who pays the bills by driving a garbage truck. Really it should be a dustcart since he lives in London but it says "garbage truck" in the story. Nonetheless, he's highly educated on the finest achievements of humankind and he makes his living driving away human generated trash.

On the science fiction front, "The Art of the Dragon" most reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 but for art, artists and art historians instead of books, writers and librarians. If the dragon wants to eat art, the best way to protect the world is to ban art. Not only ban it, but destroy it before the dragon can. As social commentary, it's an interesting look at what art is or might be. Why do we create art? Why do we need it? Where would we be without it?

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