The Dragon and the George
Dust-jacket from the first edition
|Author||Gordon R. Dickson|
|Cover artist||Boris Vallejo|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Followed by||The Dragon Knight|
The Dragon and the George is a 1976 fantasy novel by Gordon R. Dickson, the first in his "Dragon Knight" series. A shorter form of the story was previously published as the short story, "St. Dragon and the George" in the September 1957 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
The book tells the story of Jim Eckert, who is whisked from this world into an alternate world where magic is real and deadly. There he finds himself in the body of the dragon Gorbash, and must learn to deal with a dragon's-eye view of the world. He must also deal with both the friends and foes that Gorbash has already made. In this world, dragons universally refer to humans as "georges," based upon the past experience of St. George with one of their kind; hence the title.
Jim is on a quest to rescue his fiancee, Angie, who had preceded him in transportation to the magical world, but is being held hostage by Dark Powers. On the way, Jim and his companions must fight a band of "georges" and the rogue dragon Bryagh, who have sold their services to the Dark Powers and their creatures. The Dark Powers are ultimately planning an attack upon England (and eventually the entire world). Jim must also realize that the world to which he has been transported is real, not simply a game, and that what he does may have major effects, for good or ill, on the people of that world. At the end of the book, Jim (or Sir James, as he has come to be called in the alternate world) regains his human form and must decide whether to remain in the alternate world or return to our world and the life of an underpaid junior academic.
The book takes place in a sort of vague never-never version of England, with little or no connection to real geography or history. In the subsequent books (all written many years after the first) many places from real geography and people and places from real history appear, albeit in altered, fantastic form.
- Barron, Neil, ed. (1999). Fantasy and Horror: A Critical Guide to Literature, Illustration, Film, TV, Radio and the Internet. Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. p. 368. ISBN 0-8108-3596-7.
- Budrys, Algis (April 1977). "Books". The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Mercury Publications. 52 (4): 35.
- Clute, John; Grant, John (1997). The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 270. ISBN 0-88184-708-9.
- Clute, John; Nicholls, Peter (1995). The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 331. ISBN 0-312-13486-X.
- The Dragon and the George (1976) publication contents at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database