Thoughtful Thursday: Name the FanLit Dragon

There were shouts of glee resounding through the FanLit offices last year when we heard that Janny Wurts’ Wars of Light and Shadow series was going to be re-released in the US. Beyond just being a great author, we here at FanLit have another reason why Ms. Wurts holds a special place in our hearts and on our bookshelves. Have you ever noticed our beautiful dragon logo?  That dragon was created by the multi-talented Janny Wurts.fantasy and science fiction book reviews

A few weeks ago, our fearless leader, Kat, went in to get the original artwork framed, and the person doing the framing asked what the dragon’s name was.  That’s when we realized that we have never named the dragon.  And that’s where we turn to you, dear readers.

What shall we name the FanLit dragon?

Janny Wurts has generously donated two hardback copies of To Ride Hell’s Chasm, which has garnered four different five star reviews on FanLit, to donate to the winners of this week’s competition. You’ll be pleased not only with this rollicking story, but the book features Ms. Wurts’ art, too. Ms. Wurts has been in print since the 1980s, with stand-alone novels, two trilogies (one a collaboration with Raymond Feist), a collection of short stories, and her greatest work, the massively complex and critically-acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Wars of Light and Shadow.  Recently re-released in North America, the series’ eight novels have new covers and artwork, all of which were done by Ms. Wurts herself.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThere will be two winners this week.  We will give one copy to the person who suggests the best name for our dragon, as judged by the FanLit reviewers. A second copy will be awarded to the person who comes up with the best (but not necessarily true) excuse for why they don’t already have their own copy of To Ride Hell’s Chasm.

And if you haven’t already started reading the epic Wars of Light and Shadow series, I recommend starting now.  I just picked up the first book, Curse of the Mistwraith, and it’s very good. The ninth book of the series, Initiate’s Trial, was just finished in manuscript earlier this month, and is expected out before the end of 2010, so that gives me (and you) most of the year to read the rest of the series in time for its release.

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RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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  1. Well, since it’s clearly a female dragon, I think it should be named Fantasia.

  2. Dark blues and greens make me think of names starting with T or V so I am going to go with Vlatos. I can just see frightened villagers running away screaming, “We are all doomed, Vlatos will kill us all”

    I immensely enjoyed Wurts’ and Feist’s Empire Trilogy. As for why I don’t own To Ride Hell’s Chasm, I got out of grad school two years ago and couldn’t afford to buy any books as a poor grad student. Luckily, my brother got a great paying job and has a extensive fantasy/sci-fi library (over 700 books!) which I am mooching off of. I am still working through his books and paying off student loans, so very few new books for me :no: Wurts is definitely on my to read list.

  3. Trogdor! Ok that’s already been taken.

    How bout…Halibaster the Horrible (or Humble, or Humane).

  4. I name her Mettlestorm.

    I have no excuse for not owning To Ride Hell’s Chasm because, forsooth, I do, indeed, already own a copy and gave it a five star review at GoodReads.


    Jon Moss

  5. Viksebla because she reminds me of a viking ship’s bow, she is blue and my grandmother was full norwegian… I love all things viking.

    My excuse for not owning To Ride Hell’s Chasm is that I have been living in a cave on the high desert and surviving on only the books brought with me after the Apocalypse. Or was it the last move over the cascades… I cannot remember which.

  6. The reason I do not have a copy of To Ride Hell’s Chasm is because I had to sacrifice much time and money during the great Turtle Blight of 1986. I also lost several of my precious volumes (did you know that turtles really like Tolkien? I guess they back his environmental vision). Somehow I think that the other reason, apart from the lack of my being alive, was that my mother never gave me a copy. What makes that worse is that she is on this site, as it my aunt.

  7. Melathieor.

  8. Oh, how about Fanny?

    “Have you seen FanLit’s fanny?”

    There I said it..let the groans commence.

  9. I was going to say Katmandruthkelli… anyway then I figured that concatenating all of the female reviewer names was not going to be the right strategy.

    what about JJ for Janny Junior.


  10. If we are going to name her after Janny Wurts, I would recommend Janus, after the Latin god of creations of new worlds, doors and gates, which sounds like a good description of what fantasy literature does in general.


  11. Hmmm. What about Seshkrozchiel? Right. That’s already taken too, as are Smaug, Alacar the Black, Glaurung.

    Any left over names in the Withered Heath?

    Mary Sue and Fanny, like the number 5, are right out (sorry for the Holy Grail reference for those of you who are not Monty Python fans).:butt: Silly English canniggets!

  12. I blow my nose at you Angus

  13. @ Angus.. I’m so confused.. Right out¿¡¿¡

  14. Nevermind.. my dementia is at it again.. Carry on.

  15. Jon’s entry gets my vote!

    All of this is making me want to re-read To Ride Hell’s Chasm again. If only I had the time…

  16. Anonymous /

    I like Jon’s suggestion. Janus would be good too.

    I blame my lack of a copy on the black hole in my garage which has apparently eaten my books…

  17. Anonymous /

    The black hole comment was from Sarah. The forces of darkness that ate my books also have erased my log in.

    Name suggestion Janiver or Janivur

  18. Anonymous /

    A name for the dragon…

    Maybe try Chogan, it is a Native American name for blackbird.

    Or Agondrox, which is a name I have on my list of made names.

    Best of luck picking the names. :)

  19. About the name….Yuran (the Untamed!)

    I don’t have a copy, because it’s the first time I read about it (it is not published in Italy, unfortunately).

    If this giveaway is international, please enter me.

    Thank you!

    Giada M.

    fabgiada @

  20. You know I just realized going back through a few posts that my comment didn’t have my name on it. I don’t know why my computer at home was doing this to me. It had me signed in but not attaching my name. That is a bummer! Gggrrrr.

    I did the post with the names: Chogan – Native American name for blackbird, and Agondrox which is from my list of made names.

    Thanks! Sorry!


  21. So who won the contest?

  22. The reviewers are voting. We should announce a winner shortly.

  23. Ok, after much debating and gnashing of teeth we have picked some winners, and thank God Stephen’s broadsword is dull….eeesh. Who would have thought to bring a broadsword? Where did he keep it?… never mind. On to the winners!

    The best excuse prize goes to tc! We all know how tough cave living has been since the apocalypse. Those stupid eyeless crickets do not taste good no matter how much guano butter you use. tc, just send me your address via the contact form and we’ll get you your prize ASAP.

    The next winner was rather difficult to choose. We hold the FanLit dragon dear to our hearts. Naming it “Wilbur” or “Doodyhead” would be funny, but we are way above that kind of humor here. So….with my choices being unacceptable, we turned to our readers. We did eventually decide on a name from our readers, but added a title/last name to give it some nice flare, and to make it easier for the dragon to get a driver’s license. So with out further ado……

    Meet Mettlestorm the BookWyrm!

    Congrats to Jon Moss for coming up with the winning name.

    Please contact Justin within 5 days after contest ends.

  24. And awarded on Jedi day. How sweet.

    I’m flattered and honored.


  25. I wish I had more time to read, I would love to pick this one up. I’m really impressed by the artwork too!

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