Seven years ago I started writing a book about dragons. These were not magical or mythical creatures, nor did the story take place on another world. This was science fiction: dragons created after rapid advances in DNA sequencing, genetic engineering, and synthetic biology. I imagined a world where we didn’t just create them, but modified them to play different roles in our society. The story itself started out as a novella about Noah Parker, genetic engineer for hire, who goes to work for the one company in the world that makes custom dragons made-to-order.
The Build-A-Dragon Company.
In a world where dogs have been all but wiped out by a canine epidemic, the Build-A-Dragon Company aims to replace them with dragons. The possibilities are endless. Golden retriever dragons. Seeing-eye dragons. Even junkyard security dragons, because why not? Something has to guard the junk. It’s certainly a cool place to work, but the dragons are not what draws Noah to the Build-A-Dragon Company. They have some advanced and specialized equipment that he hopes to bend to his own purposes.
This story evolved into a full-length novel. I wrote it and rewrote it multiple times. My greatest fear is that I’ve somehow forgotten to thank one of the many wonderful people who critiqued it for me along the way. Today, the book it became — Domesticating Dragons — is being published by Baen Books. I’d pitch it to you myself, but I suspect that this presentation Baen put together will do a much better job.
The Dragon Egg Hunt
As I promised the readers of my twice-monthly e-mail newsletter, today I’m launching a contest to celebrate my book birthday. An egg hunt, if you will. I have shattered a dragon egg into six pieces. They look like this:
The six pieces can be assembled into a puzzle to reveal a hidden message. The first three people who locate the puzzle pieces, assemble them, and convey to me the final message (by e-mail, to author at dankoboldt dot com) will be considered the winners of this contest.
So what do they win?
The second and third winners of this contest win an autographed copy of Domesticating Dragons from yours truly. The first winner of this contest, the grand prize winner, will get an autographed book as well as a dragon of their own. I told you I could get you a dragon, didn’t I? Let no one say that Dan Koboldt does not deliver on his word.
Due to current FDA restrictions, that dragon will have to be this one:
Contest Rules and Tips
But first, meet Rover, the family pet of the future:
- All six puzzle pieces are found on the internet
- Each image, when correctly sized, should be 150×150 pixels
- To win, you must e-mail me the secret message to author at dankoboldt [dot] com
- No cheating
- All decisions about winners and prizes are mine to make and are final
- Bonus points for talking about your egg hunt on the hashtag #DomesticatingDragons
It’s hard for me to gauge whether people will take on this challenge and how successful they will be. In the event that no winners emerge this week, I will drop some hints to my loyal e-mail followers this weekend.
Live Author Events This Week
On Thursday, January 7th, I’m doing a live author event with my friend Michael Mammay of Planetside fame. It’s Thursday evening at 8pm Eastern, and you can watch it on YouTube or Facebook. We’ll discuss books and publishing stuff, and generally just give each other crap. It’ll be a good time.
On Saturday evening I’m doing an interview with Rich at Free Talk Live radio. And I’ll be around Twitter and Facebook this week as well. Hope to see you!
About the Dragon Sketches
The dragon sketches on this page were created by a very skilled artist, Elden Ardiente. If you ever find yourself in need of an artist or illustrator, please consider this my endorsement!
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