James Owen: Here, There Be Dragons

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James Owen Here, There Be Dragons
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    Here, There Be Dragons
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Here, There Be Dragons: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica -- an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These lands, Bert claims, can be traveled to in his ship the Indigo Dragon, one of only seven vessels that is able to cross the Frontier between worlds into the Archipelago of Dreams. Pursued by strange and terrifying creatures, the companions flee London aboard the Dragonship. Traveling to the very realm of the imagination itself, they must learn to overcome their fears and trust in one another if they are to defeat the dark forces that threaten the destiny of two worlds. And in the process, they will share a great adventure filled with clues that lead readers to the surprise revelation of the legendary storytellers these men will one day become. An extraordinary journey of myth, magic, and mystery, Here, There Be Dragons introduces James A. Owen as a formidable new talent.

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An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2006 by James A. Owen
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Book design by Christopher Grassi and James A. Owen
The text for this book is set in Adobe Jansen Pro.
The illustrations for this book are rendered in pencil, pen and ink, and much good labor.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Owen, James A.
Here, there be dragons / James A. Owen.—1st ed.
p. cm.
Summary: Three young men are entrusted with the Imaginarium Geographica, an atlas of fantastical places to which they travel in hopes of defeating the Winter
King whose bid for power is related to the First World War raging in the Real World.
ISBN: 1-4169-5137-7
note 1 I. Title.
PZ7.O97124He 2006
note 2—dc22
Visit us on the World Wide Web:
For nathaniel


List of Illustrations
Part One: The Imaginarium Geographica
Chapter One:
The Adventure Begins
Chapter Two:
An Unusual Tale
Chapter Three:
Flight to the Harbor
Chapter Four:
Part Two: The Archipelago of Dreams
Chapter Five:
The Corsair
Chapter Six:
The Tick-Tock Parliament
Chapter Seven:
The Forbidden Path
Chapter Eight:
An Invitation to Tea
Part Three: The Children of the Earth
Chapter Nine:
Into the Shadows
Chapter Ten:
Chapter Eleven:
The Shipbuilder
Chapter Twelve:
The White Dragon
Part Four: In the Keep of Time
Chapter Thirteen:
The Tower
Chapter Fourteen:
Night Passage
Chapter Fifteen:
The Cartographer of Lost Places
Chapter Sixteen:
Fire and Flight
Part Five: The Island at the Edge of the World
Chapter Seventeen:
Hope and Despair
Chapter Eighteen:
The Final Battle
Chapter Nineteen:
The Circle of Stones
Chapter Twenty:
The Return of the Dragons
Part Six: The Summer Country
Chapter Twenty-one:
The High King
Chapter Twenty-two:
All Their Roads Before Them
Chapter Twenty-three:
Into the Shadowed Lands
Chapter Twenty-four:
The Return to London
Author’s Note
List of Illustrations
“There’s a very strange man outside,” said Jack.
“I trust you can take it from here, correct?”
“The Indigo Dragon,” Bert said proudly. “My ship.”
The statue was wrapped in vines and overgrowth.
“…it seems I have a battle to fight.”
…the members of the Parliament filed in and took their seats.
“Quickly!” Tummeler shouted. “Master scowlers! Get in, get in!”
“Will you drink with me? Or do you want to plunder, and die?”
“Arm yourselves, and prepare to be boarded.”
“I know all of the Children of the Earth.”
“My sons…came across a small, badly battered boat.”.
“Where’s Magwich?”
“Look,” Artus said, pointing. “On the island. That tower…
“John, my dear boy. Please, come inside.” .
“If you’re here about the annotations, you’re early.”
…the Winter King had been searching for them after all
“I greet you also, my friend the Far Traveler.”
“They will attack within the hour,” Charys said
“That’s the place,” said John “I’m certain of it.”
“John,” said Artus breathlessly, “those aren’t stars”
“I still intend to have my victory here and now.”.
“The dragons have returned whether or not we stay is up to you.”.
…a throng of people—hooded, gray as death…
…twinkling in friendly greeting, the lights of London began to appear
Here, There Be Dragons began its life as an uncompleted ten-page outline, which was my last presentation to the last producer I met on an interminably long trip to Hollywood. It was that producer who worked with me to shape the story over the next few months, and who, in November of 2004, suggested that we begin approaching publishers. The book you are holding would not exist if it were not for the interest, advice, and encouragement of Marc Rosen, and the support of David Heyman.
My home team at the Coppervale Studio, Jeremy, Lon, and Mary, were invaluable in assisting me with layouts, backgrounds, commentary, and various forms of moral and medicinal support as I worked on the illustrations. They’re all better at their jobs than they know they are.
Craig Emanuel, my rock of an attorney, gave me to Ellen, Julie, and Lindsay, my managers at the Gotham Group, who took all of a second to “get” the story, not much longer to sell it, and a great deal much longer holding me up while I finished writing it.
My editors at Simon & Schuster, David and Alexandra, taught me what editors are for, and made me look good, and smarter than I am. My art director, Lizzy, reminded me how fun collaborating can be and made the book look wonderful. And my publisher, Rick, made a publishing deal feel more like an invitation to a family reunion.
Kai Meyer, who as a fan of my comics work was the first to ask if I’d like to write something in prose, along with his colleagues Frank, Hannes, and Sara, are the reasons I had the experience and confidence to write this book. My mother Sharon and wife Cindy are the ones who offered understanding, support, and sympathy when I decided to illustrate it, too.
And finally, in the most unlikely pairing I can think of, I want to thank my daughter Sophie and my friend Dave Sim, the former with drawings and the latter with twenty-year-old essays, for reminding me that I love what I do.
You all have my gratitude and sincere thanks.
It was a very distinct sound, the quiet scraping of steel on stone, that first told him that his visitors had arrived, followed by a strange sort of tapping and the shuffling of feet.
The tapping outside in the alleyway became more pronounced, and he suddenly realized it was less the sound of tapping than it was a soft cacophony of claws, snapping together in anticipation. He set aside his pen and notebook and settled back in his chair. There was no denying it. It was time.
The strained amber light of an English afternoon streamed through the greasy windows of the door as it slowly opened into the study.
He refilled his pipe with his special cinnamon tobacco mix and noted with passing interest that clouds were beginning to gather on the far horizon.
A storm was coming.
It didn’t matter, he thought to himself with some satisfaction. He had said the things he needed to say to the person who needed to hear them. He had protected that precious stewardship that needed protecting, and passed it to those who would use it wisely and well.
There was, he concluded, not much more that could be asked of an old scholar, in this world, in this lifetime.
The silhouette in the doorway gestured to him, and he caught a glimpse of wickedly sharp steel, which curved to a point, as the visitor’s arm rose and fell. The clicking noises in the alley grew louder.
“Greetings, Professor,” the shadowy figure said. “Might I have a word with you?”
“It’s not here,” the professor said, lighting his pipe and drawing deeply on it. “You’re too late.”
His visitor appraised him for a moment before concluding that the professor was speaking the truth. “I’m very sorry to hear that,” he said. “That does not bode well for you.”
The professor shrugged. “What happens to me is no longer important. You may claim my life, but I’ve put an empire forever out of your reach—and when all is said and done, which of the two matters more?”
The visitor gestured again, and the tapping noises outside gave way to snarls and animal howling.
There was a rush of bodies, and in seconds the small study was filled with ancient steel, and pain, and blood.
When the noises again faded to silence, the visitors left the study as they had found it, with one exception.
It would be several hours before the first raindrops from the approaching storm would begin to freckle the paving stones in the street, but the professor would not see them fall.
Part One

The Imagination Geographica

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