Saturday, October 16, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy, Day 67

This is an ongoing series looking at books that influenced me as a author.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight
by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance: Dragonlance Chronicles)Okay, I admit it. Back in junior high school, I was a gaming nerd. But before that, I had been a fan of fantasy literature. So, when the Dragonlance novels came along, it was like manna from heaven, this brand new mixture of Dungeons & Dragons and the fantasy novel.

One of the things my young self enjoyed much about Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first of the Dragonlance novels and one of (if not the) first of the novels based upon a role-playing game, was that explanations for the game rules actual found their way into the story and fit quite naturally.

The story itself was also decent, and the characters were iconic and interesting. Actually, I felt the characters were one of the big strengths of these original Dragonlance books.

But no, this was not great literature. Not even great fantasy literature. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't great. I have read worse over the years, but I've read a lot better, too.

Readers who enjoy media-tie-in novels, especially those based upon roleplaying games, can thank this book for really kicking off the whole trend. Unfortunately for writers, over the years there has grown a stigma about stories based upon role-playing games; it seems a lot of editors are not interested in such stories, especially if those stories are based upon the writers' own gaming experiences. That's fine with me, because I usually don't write directly from my gaming experiences and besides, there are some editors who do enjoy such tales and are willing to buy them.

Up next: The Ruins

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