Friday, September 6, 2019

Fiction Friday: The Original Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy

Just a quick post today as I wrap up a busy work week. I cribbed this off of my Facebook feed in response to a Tor Books post about the original "Chronicles" Dragonlance tie-in novels, and how formative those novels were to a generation of role-playing gamers and fantasy enthusiasts. For many folks (myself included) we read these books before Conan or Lord of the Rings.

You can read the article here.

No joke, I think the author stole the memories of my early teenage years and used them to write this piece. Until maybe my sophomore year of high school, I'd always eschewed fantasy and science fiction in favor of shoot 'em up men's adventure and espionage thrillers, until one day a classmate of mine loaned me these three books. This was at least a year before I first played Dungeons & Dragons, and long before I tried reading The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. I still have my original three paperbacks, bought after reading this for the first time almost 30 years ago.

After getting into D&D, I did buy the second edition "Tales of the Lance" boxed set, although I never did play it. Frankly, I feel like it isn't really superior to the Dragonlance Adventures hardcover for 1E that came out in the '80s. I remember seeing this advertised in the back of comic books, before I got into D&D or really understood what it was or how it played. I remember staring at this all the time, thinking it seemed like the most badass thing I could imagine. When I got into D&D later on, I did buy the 2nd edition Tales of the Lance boxed set, but just didn't appreciate it as much as the 1E Dragonlance Adventures hardcover, which I acquired in a used book store my freshman year of college.

It has been years since I re-read the original trilogy. I started re-reading Kindle editions, and while it didn't disappoint, I had read them so many times, knowing what was about to happen meant I eventually started reading something else and didn't get back to it, but yeah, I do want to give 'em another go, although I am a little nervous as to whether they'll hold up or not. It is simply a matter of remembering that they represent fantasy and RPGs at a certain particular point in time, and appreciate them for what they are, instead of criticizing them for what they are not.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

I never read any of the Dragonlance books but I remember them on the shelves of Barnes and Noble.

You mention rereading books. I find that if I reread a book to many times it becomes dull. For example, I used to reread Fritz Leiber's horror novel Our Lady of Darkness every Halloween, but after awhile it got dull. So I have to find other things to read.