The Iron Dragon's Daughter
|Media type||Print (Hardback)|
|Pages||x, 424 pp|
The Iron Dragon's Daughter is a 1993 novel by writer Michael Swanwick that combines fantasy and science fiction. The dark and nihilistic tale follows Jane, a changeling girl who slaves at a dragon factory, building part-magical, part-cybernetic monsters that are used as jet fighters; until she crosses paths with an old, rusted dragon named Melanchthon and escapes.
The novel changes fantasy tropes and archetypes, such as elves and dragons, for which critic John Clute labeled the book an "anti-fantasy." Swanwick admits having written it both as a homage to J.R.R. Tolkien and in reaction to a handful of writers he claims exploit Tolkien's milieu and the readers' imaginations with derivative, commercial fantasy:
- [...] The recent slew of interchangeable Fantasy trilogies has hit me in much the same way that discovering that the woods I used to play in as a child have been cut down to make way for shoddy housing developments did.
Swanwick has written another book in the same setting, entitled The Dragons of Babel. Excerpts from it have periodically been published as short stories. They include King Dragon, The Word that Sings the Scythe, An Episode of Stardust, A Small Room in Koboldtown and Lord Weary's Empire. Most of these were originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction.
- "1989 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- Nick Gevers, "The Literary Alchemist: An Interview with Michael Swanwick", Infinity Plus (24 December 1999)
- "Elves, Dragons, and Anarchy: Convention and Subversion in Michael Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter", by Jeff Topham
- Reviews and analysis Scroll down for Swanwick's answers to a number of questions about the novel.
- The Iron Dragon's Daughter at Worlds Without End
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