If you’ve been with me here for any length of time or given the place a cursory look-around, you’re no doubt aware that my Nerdhunger is insatiable and demands a wide variety of flavors and textures. While my proclivity for older, more gilded materials grows, I embrace the works of all decades and eras.
I believe I’ve once or twice mentioned that I’m a fan of many of the old Rankin/Bass animations. While they’re probably best known for their Christmas specials, they also put out animated versions of the Hobbit, the Last Unicorn, and a number of other fantasy works. One of my favorites is Flight of Dragons. Here’s the intro with its snazzy song; you may recognize some of the voice actors in the opening credits:
A number of years back I picked up the book that Flight is chiefly based on – The Dragon and the George. It turns out that the film is more inspired by the book than based on it; some of the characters have the same names and general roles (like Bryagh being an antagonistic dragon and Carolinus being a good wizard). Both stories involve a protagonist being sucked from a mundane, modern reality into a fantasy world of knights and magic, and in both tales said hero winds up initially inhabiting the body of a dragon. An imaginative premise!
I recently spotted the Dragon Knight, the sequel to the Dragon and the George, at a secondhand bookstore. I hadn’t been aware that this was a series, so I decided to pick it up and reread the first one, which I’m now doing. So far as I recall, I enjoyed it the first time through and thus far am liking it once again.
Incidentally, although Gordon R. Dickson doesn’t appear on Appendix N or any of the other evil SFF lists I’ve mentioned, he was a contemporary of many of those who did make the cut and in 2000 he made it into the SFF Hall of Fame. He’s apparently been compared stylistically in some ways to Poul Anderson and the two actually collaborated on a series of short stories.
I’ll check back in on this at some point, when I’ve had a chance to read and digest his stuff more thoroughly. But for the time being I can at least recommend the film and the Dragon and the George. If you’re unfamiliar with either, check’em out!