So You Think You Can DRAGONLANCE
Wizards of the Coast Searches for the Ultimate DRAGONLANCE Fan
You sent them, we read them and were overwhelmed by the touching, funny, and often heartbreaking ways DRAGONLANCE has touched your life. But there can only be one Ultimate Fan, at least for this contest. Read the winning essay here:
A lot of people who enjoy fantasy can point to a certain trilogy taking place in Middle-Earth as the time in their childhood they fell in love with the genre. For me, though, the world I remember fondly is Krynn. I grew up in a small town on the Oregon border called Smith River. It’s on the California side, but its literally the last town on the coast before you get to the next state. We used to drive to Brookings to do our shopping and there was a little bookstore by the Ray’s Market where I used to hang out while my mom picked up the groceries. I was twelve, I think, when I started reading the Meetings Sextet. I remember staying up way too late reading those books and begging my mom for money every time we went to Brookings so I could buy the next one.
This is where it gets really sappy. I was not well-liked in junior high and I think most people know how cruel young teens can be. I’m not exaggerating when I say there were times then I felt my only friends in the world were the Companions. The characters were so beautiful to me and I loved them. I used to dream of living on Krynn and adventuring with Tanis, Flint and Tas. Some days, all that got me through school was knowing I had a new Dragonlance book at home waiting for me.
I remember reading the Chronicles and being heartbroken when Tanis rejected Laurana. I had a bit of a crush on her (at least as much as one can crush on fictional elves), it seemed plainly obvious to me Kitiara was bad news and Tanis really loved Laurana. When she thought Tanis had betrayed her for Kit, I read straight through to the last page praying silently that she’d come to her senses. I remember many moments where the stories elicited a true emotional response, unlike any other book I’d read up to that point or since. It’s cliche to say, but the book made me laugh, made me cry and made me a hopeless romantic.
What makes me different from the millions who love these novels is they were my gateway into a greater world. They were real to me. They affected the rest of my life in ways I can’t list in 500 words or less. When I stop to think about all the hours I spent reading and re-reading those books, I believe this contest was created for me to share this essay with everyone. I think I’ve been waiting my whole life to prove I’m the Ultimate Dragonlance Fan and thank Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for every beautiful word committed to paper. Thank you, Ms. Weis, Mr. Hickman for giving me such wonderful friends when I needed them more than anything in the world.