GGG#017: Dragons! Fan Fiction! Copyright Law! (Guest: Naomi Novik)


Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, joins us to talk about dragons, fan fiction, and copyright law. Dave and John discuss dragons in books, games, and film.



0:00 Introduction by

0:38 Dave and John introduce the show

Interview: Naomi Novik

03:14 Interview begins

03:28 Being raised on Polish fairy tales, and some of Naomi’s favorite books as a kid

04:40 Naomi’s experience studying English at Brown University

05:58 Why Naomi wanted to be Lois Lane

07:07 Fanfiction in context: what it’s good for and what it’s not

10:14 Programming for Neverwinter Nights, and what it taught her about writing fiction

14:09 Current favorite video games: Dragon Age: Origins and Oblivion

15:05 The process of writing her first book and getting it published

17:20 On living with another writer

18:27 Temeraire series optioned by Peter Jackson

20:27 Temeraire is sometimes referred to as “Master and Commander with dragons”—what Naomi thought of Master and Commander and the comparison

22:07 Naomi’s approach to research: writers, listen up! Some resources: Military Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars; Nelson’s Navy; Life in the Georgian City; Every Man Will Do His Duty

24:09 Travel experiences during research: elephants, horns, and Ethiopian dragons

27:06 The process of creating a dragon

28:22 The Organization for Transformative Works, Naomi’s work as an advocate for fan fiction, and the Archive of Our Own project

33:00 The myth of originality

33:33 Some problems with current Copyright law and the DMCA

36:01 How to support the OTW

36:14 Upcoming projects: Tongues of Servants, due out in July; an appearance at San Diego Comicon; new manga Liberty Vocational

37:25 End of interview

Dave and John talk about dragons

37:25 Here Be Dragons: Dave and John discuss the Strange Horizons article on ancient maps, and the real dragons. Also apparently John is extremely virulent

39:53 Dave Kirtley: Dragon Slayer

40:31 Tolkien’s Smaug, and the challenge of figuring out how to kill him

41:25 The now-customary King’s Quest segment, and taking a dragon down via missile

42:27 D&D’s Dragonlance, and Dave asks you to please get off his lawn again. (Behold the horror of CGA graphics, if you dare!)

44:24 Dragon Warrior

44:48 John discusses Neverwinter Nights and fan-created modules

45:58 More D&D: Pool of Radiance, and Curse of the Azure Bonds

48:36 The problem with dragons in video games

50:27 Loom from Lucas Arts

51:55 What does a Brass Dragon breathe? John undergoes the D&D Dragon Color test

55:10 The existing canon of Hollywood dragon films, and the mixed messages we get from the film How to Train Your Dragon

01:10:02 The future of dragon films, including George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire coming soon from HBO

01:11:56 The Wings of Fire anthology from Night Shade Books

01:13:09 Dave’s dragon story “Blood of Virgins” (also available on Escape Pod)

01:14:02 Other unusual treatments of dragons: Michael Stackpole’s At the Queen’s Command; A Time for Dragons: A Phillipine Anthology of Draconic Fiction; The Dragon and the Stars

01:16:39 Show wrap-up

Next week: Eric Garcia, author of Repo Men

Thanks for listening!

John Joseph Adams ( is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. He is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientistís Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and is currently the fiction editor of Lightspeed Magazine, which launches in June 2010.

David Barr Kirtley ( is a writer living in New York who has been called “one of the newest and freshest voices in sf.” His short fiction appears in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and in anthologies such as The Living Dead, New Voices in Science Fiction, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition.

Show notes compiled by podtern Christie Yant. Friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


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