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Thread: Aerial dogfights in Fantasy?
February 3rd, 2009, 03:01 AM #1
Aerial dogfights in Fantasy?
So I was just thinking about this the other day, and a question occured to me: is there any fantasy with WW2/Star Wars-style aerial battles and dogfights? Not with people riding dragons or other animals, but with actual aircraft of some sort, magically powered or otherwise. I was thinking perhaps some quirky steampunk fantasy, but I've never come across anything. Anyone ever encountered this?
February 3rd, 2009, 03:21 AM #2
No books come to mind but there is the wonderful Porco Rosso, a film by Hayao Miyazaki. It's about a former Italian World War I fighter pilot turned freelance bounty hunter battling air pirates in the Adriatic Sea. He has been cursed and has the head of a pig. Great stuff.
February 3rd, 2009, 04:39 AM #3
Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy has airships and a couple of air battles.
February 3rd, 2009, 05:47 AM #4
Jim Butcher's Codex Alera doesn't have airships, but it does have plenty of people able to fly and great dogfights.
February 3rd, 2009, 06:51 AM #5
John Marco's new Skylords series involves flying machines, and I think there is heavy emphasis on aerial travel/combat. Got an ARC on my reading pile...
Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series involves flying machines and other such technology. The first novel, Empire in Black and Gold, involves several sequences on an airship.
February 3rd, 2009, 01:55 PM #6
Well Sarah Hoyt has a steampunk comic spy stuff with flying carpets.
But Thunderer might be something for you, and I know there was a YA series that was well received. I forget the authors off the top of my head. I'm sure there's been some, though.
February 4th, 2009, 08:26 AM #7
Kat's comment reminds me that there were plenty of flying carpets in Glen Cook's Black Company series, often used as tools of war.
February 4th, 2009, 01:22 PM #8
Yes, there are flying carpets in Bad Company. Also flying manta ray like creatures and top notch battle sequences concerning them, but the guy was asking for more steampunk machines, so I guess we should stick to airships and such.
February 4th, 2009, 01:33 PM #9
There's some dirigibles around in China Mieville's Bas-Lag novels, more used as troop transports than dogfighters.
February 4th, 2009, 02:33 PM #10
February 4th, 2009, 02:57 PM #11
Interesting variety of replies; thanks! Adrian Tchaikovsky's work in particular is one I was looking for excuses to start :P. I suppose it's not particularly common in fantasy, though. It was the space fights in Star Wars that, as a child, first got me into SFF at all; as a 7 year-old, there wasn't much cooler than that. SW being science fantasy, I had wondered if that kind of thing existed on both sides of the genre, and not just the science fiction side. Perhaps I'll go write my own series .
February 4th, 2009, 03:46 PM #12
Wasn't there a book about mechanical dragons published toward the end of 2008? The title of the book was that of the most famous of these dragons. I imagine lots of aerial combat there.
February 4th, 2009, 08:00 PM #13
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Are the dragons in Michael Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter and The Dragons of Babel mechanical? Haven't read them yet, but the flap makes it sound as if they are.
February 4th, 2009, 09:28 PM #14
No, it was actually Kenneth Oppel's Airborn and sequel Skybreaker I was thinking of, which again are a YA duology. (He also has a bestselling series about bats, but they are not mechanical.)
And Felix Gilman is the author of Thunderer.
The dragons of Swanwick's Iron Dragon's Daughter and I presume its sequel are indeed mechanical -- magically mechanical, but there's not a lot of aerial combat in the first. A little, but mostly not. Steampunk would definitely be the way to go.
February 5th, 2009, 06:11 AM #15