I've got a story in the Editor's Corner this issue, "The Dragon and the Shepherd." I thought I'd share a little bit about how this story came about.
First and foremost, this is a tribute to Luna:
My wife and I had the good fortune to be Luna's companions for about 12 years, before she moved on to her next adventure last year. We still miss her terribly.
I took almost no liberties with Luna's behavior and personality in the story... what you see is pretty much how she was (especially in her youthful, wildly athletic phase of life). If I wanted a companion on hand to help me break the ice with a dragon, I'd choose Luna anytime.
As for the rest of the story, it falls into some of the themes I like to explore in fiction. My dragons tend to be a mixture between the classic Western type (in physical appearance) and the Eastern dragons (as embodiments of natural forces). Mostly, I like my dragons to be fundamentally inscrutable. You can never really know all there is to know about them... and just when you think you've got them figured out, they show you something you'd never imagined.
The humans in the story are mostly so wrapped up in their own stuff that they can barely notice what's really going on around them, though our narrator is favored with one of those rare glimpses we are all afforded once in a while.
Another theme I find interesting is the danger of self-righteousness... perhaps because it's a tendency to which I am susceptible. David, the dragon's handler, exemplifies this trait. Even though his cause is sympathetic, his prickly attitude makes it hard to be on his side. Being right doesn't really give us a blank check to be righteous... though it's tempting to think it does.
Hope you enjoy the story!
-Grayson Towler, Editor