jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Gods Among Men

Today’s release catch-up is Gods Among Men, an m/m novella published by Forbidden Fiction.

The idea is essentially a reworking of the myth of Perun and Veles, Slavic gods who are kind of related to Thor and Loki respectively. Despite how the cover may look, I was not influenced by the Thor films, nor by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston (the story came to fruition in 2011), but hey, it works quite well in my favour I suppose.

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Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

The Book of Dragons by Roger Lancelyn Green, illustrations by Krystyna Turska, Puffin Paperback (1973)

Book of Dragons - Front Cover

Front cover of the Book of Dragons

Roger Lancelyn Green is more famous for his collections, similar to this one, of Greek myths, stories of Ancient Egypt, Robin Hood legends, and Arthurian tales. His work was not part of my childhood, but from what I have read, many children who grew up in the 60s and 70s recall these books with fondness.

I can see why this one perhaps does not have the same level of fame. Bringing together dragon stories and trying to present them with any cohesion is a difficult task. The very act of defining what a dragon is fiendishly complicated (more so with European dragons) and further difficulties arise deciding what stories to leave out because of the plethora of myths. Where does a collector being? By geographical location? By era? By type of myth i.e. similar thematic elements?

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Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

In Oxford

Jul. 6th, 2013 06:30 pm
jacquelineb: (Default)


Spending weekend in Oxford with friends this weekend. Finally injecting some dragons onto the blog with the Dragon School above, and perhaps some blood with Inspector Morse below. :)



Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (stark raving sane!)

Erotica Apocrypha Cover

Well folks, here is is, Erotica Apocrypha, an anthology of erotic interpretations of myth and the divine from Freaky Fountain Press. It includes my short story, “Storms of Ancient Gods”, and I feel very privileged to be part of it. Catherine and Robin at Freaky Fountain have a clear commitment to pushing the boundaries of erotic fiction, something that I fully support.

“Storms of Ancient Gods” is based on the myths of Perun and Veles, pagan Slavic gods of thunder and the underworld respectively. If you’re more knowledgeable about Norse mythology (as many people are) the rough equivalents are Thor and Loki. I came across the story while doing my dragon research, for Veles (sometimes Volos) regularly is depicted as a dragon, and Perun his slayer/pursuer.

How have I managed to extract the erotic from that, you may ask? Well, that will be for another post. In the meantime, you can read an extract of the story on the site here, and if it intrigues you enough, purchase an e-book copy or purchase a print copy from Freaky Fountain Press. As always, do note the content notes at the top of the page before reading the extract.

Mirrored from jacquelinebrocker.esquinx.net.

jacquelineb: (Default)

I was tempted to begin this blog post series with ‘what is a dragon?’ but was very quickly stopped when I realised that that question is worthy of a book all of it’s own.

So I decided to go for something a bit simpler; why do I have an interest in dragons?

Unlike many people, I didn’t start the Dragon Novel from a prior love of them. Even now I don’t have what one might call a ‘fannish’ attitude towards them. That I didn’t have one before may be because of the sheer ubiquity of the dragon image. In fantasy art, in everyday symbolism, in designs on old buildings, or, to take an Australian, the image of the bank St George, dragons are everywhere, and, seeming to be something that everyone was into, well, that was necessarily off-putting, but not really something I wanted to pursue.

Diverging from a moment, I think that it is this very proflicacy of the dragon image that renders my initial question ‘what is a dragon’ extremely difficult. When something is so widespread, its meaning becomea highly fractured. The European/Western dragon has had a long association with evil, a beast to combat for a righteous cause, but that has been upset in most interesting ways in modern times. From the late 19th century with humourous accounts such as Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon, whose presence terrifies the locals but who personally prefers poetry, to the dragons of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea books who, while intimidating, are ancient and wise rather than agents of terror. I wonder sometimes if it is this particular interpretation that tends to dominate, at least amongst readers of speculative fiction, who respond to the potential power and awesomeness in the most literal sense of the word, who imagine themselves not so much as dragon-slayer, but as either a rider of a dragon or perhaps the dragon themselves. There are people to better answer these questions out there, I think, and I would be most curious to hear from them.

But for me, the interest came at a very precise and identifiable moment. In a bout of procrastination during my honours year, I found myself on Wikipedia (as you do). I’m not sure precisely how I found myself on a the page about dragons, but there I was, reading away, when I came across the story of Smok Wawelski, the dragon of Krakow. It wasn’t the story itself that intrigued me, though, but rather, how people have remembered it. The article had just two lines on the fact that a statue of the dragon had been built and place at the mouth of the cave it once dwelt in, and that it was constructed to breath fire. Furthermore, tourists to Krakow could buy a whole host of dragon related paraphernalia if they wanted.

My thought on this: hmm, that’s interesting, but imagine how you’d feel if you were the dragon, being reduced to tourist kitsch?

And that was it. The spark of an interest. In many ways it’s an academic one, seeking out meaning and reason rather than basking in the pure joy of them, but I suppose that’s not a bad thing. It’s led me into interesting places. Let’s hope that it long continues.

Mirrored from Edge of Genre.

jacquelineb: (Amalia de Llano's Hand)
Have thus far had a pretty lazy time in Madrid. Spent a lot of time in my sister's apartment, just hanging about, reading, talking, etc. I haven't seen her since October though so this has been rather lovely. I think I left the house once on Friday in the evening, sister showing me around the area she lives in, which is about 15 minutes walk from Sol, what's considered the city centre.

We did plan to go to Toledo on Saturday, but the weather turned out not to be so great, so we stayed in again till the afternoon when we went for another walk down towards the river. I joked that she'd taken me the scenic route - the first part of the walk, shall we say, did not show the prettiest parts of Madrid. The river, Manzanares, was nothing much to comment on, but there was some work around the bridge we went to which looked like it might be rather nice when it's finished.

The rain then caught up with us and we trundled up past the palace, me under my broken brolly, which was soon replaced by a bloke selling them on the street, taking advantage of the weather change. Then we had some tasty churros in exceedingly busy place where the wait staff piled the cups of chocolate and plates up so high that you worried they might topple over if the customers hadn't moved out of the way in time.

We met up that evening with M, who is doing the dancing exam with me, and her sisters (we all just happened to be in Madrid for this weekend) for a very nice paella and sangria (sister and I will be having the leftovers of this for food later tonight). An early night intended, sister and I attended up chatting till after 2 and crawling out of bed around 12.30 today. Very well rested, we trotted over to the Museo del Prado to take advantage of the free entry from 5-8pm on a Sunday. We had a good look at the first floor, before deciding to come back another evening to see the second floor (again, free entry 6-8pm on weekdays). My user icon is from this painting by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, which we saw at the gallery and featured in a lot of the gallery products.

I managed to find a magnet of a painting of St Michael (San Miguel here); naturally, he's slaying a dragon. ;)

Now off for drinks with a friend of my sisters.

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