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ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature

in protest against this post (has this guy actually ever read a book with a dragon in it?!) i give you (in no particular order) ten of the ACTUAL best dragons in literature:

1. Smaug, THE HOBBIT (Tolkien) (and the only one The Guardian got right): the grand-daddy of all bad-ass dragons in fantasy for all time. ’nuff said.

2. Temeraire, of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire Series: this dragon manages to be FUSSY and PRIM, in addition to giant and deadly. what’s not to love?!

3. Kalessin, THE OTHER WIND (Le Guin): if you haven’t read Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, i am sad for you. the original trilogy is wonderful, but the Tehanu books (TEHANU and OTHER WIND) are far and above my favorites. go forth and read them.

4. Eustace, VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER (Lewis): poor kid. if you leave out all the lit-crit that usually accompanies talk of the Chronicles of Narnia, Eustace’s misadventure is something straight out of an honest-to-god fairy-tale — vaguely lesson-ee, but mostly just creepy as all get out.

5. Snow Tiger, NAAMAH’S KISS (Carey): i love me some Jacqueline Carey, and i feel safe in declaring that i like the Moirin books better than the Phedre books. like Eustace, Snow Tiger is an unfortunate human caught in the grips of the supernatural — but way sexier, not to mention bad-ass.

6. Falkor, NEVER-ENDING STORY (Ende): seriously? i have to explain this one? i think not.

7. Mayland Long, TEA WITH THE BLACK DRAGON (MacAvoy): no one else, as far as i know, has ever read this book. and yet, it is one of my all-time favorites. short, intense, well-written, a fantastic present-day fantasy that i cannot even compare to anything else in the genre. pure unadulterated story-telling. READ IT.

8. Norbert, HARRY POTTER & THE SORCEROR’S STONE (Rowling): see Falkor.

9. Alamarana, ELVENBANE (Lackey): not only is she a dragon with an excellent internal life, but she is a shaman who can call LIGHTNING. how cool is that?

10. Heart’s Blood, Jane Yolen’s The Pit Dragon Trilogy: this whole series is ridiculously good. and the tear-jerker of the second book, HEART’S BLOOD? oh my.

alright, let’s hear it. who did i miss?

what i’m reading now

an open letter to facebook: why i deleted my account

dear Facebook,

this morning, i did it. i deleted the personal Facebook account i’ve had since 2004, back when you could only get in with a .edu email address. i said goodbye to all those college and highschool friends and acquaintances (and didn’t bother to try to pull the info out either). i left, without preparation or planning. i hit that button, and i hit it good.

let me say right now that i DO have a public persona; or maybe several. i’m on Twitter and LinkedIn, and umm, obviously, this blog. i have a Flickr page too. so it’s not that i mind sharing, or sharing publicly.

i deleted my Facebook account for the same reasons i turned off Google Buzz: i was tired of playing the “public or private?” game. if i say this and tag them, who can see it? if i post this and keyword that, who can find it? if i turn this switch on and that switch off, what does that mean?! i have neither the time nor the inclination to try and figure this out.

and Facebook (and, i thought, Buzz to a certain extent) lend themselves to different kinds of communication. it’s a super-flexy platform — you can have some things private, some things public, some things somewhere in between. and that’s exactly the problem. the more options you have, and the more ways there are to share, the more opaque the controls become. and no matter how many ways you reformat the Privacy controls, it stays opaque. and then newspapers write about how you are killing privacy and permission marketing and you say “BUT THEY CAN TURN IT OFF!” but it’s too late.

whereas twitter is either public OR private. Flickr is either public OR private. my blog is BY NATURE public. no gray areas, no confusion, no muss, no fuss.

will i miss being able to contact that guy i had freshman English class with who i haven’t talked to in ten years? unlikely. will i miss being able to see all the pics of my BFF’s new baby? maybe, but then again i email her and talk to her on the phone, and, ahem, because of Facebook’s controls, i can probably look at those without having an account. or, she could just email me them. in other words, there are way around this sh*t. AAAAND i never have to decline another Farmville invite again.

in other words? totally worth it.

sincerely,

jenn

addendum: i do, in fact, have an entirely public facebook account that is PURELY a placeholder, and that i use to Admin my store’s Facebook Page. so if you search for me, you will find it. that being said, i don’t actually use it to POST anything, it’s just there as a courtesy measure and a unfortunate necessity, since, you know, EVERYONE is on facebook, and people like to be friendly. which is fine with me.


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