I’m too late for a Valentine’s Day post and too early for a Leap Year post. Daniela covered Freedom to Read Week, and Family Day already happened. I’m left to my own devices for a post, and when that happens, you know you’re in for something nerdy. However, I still feel like I want to get in on the holiday posting, so I’m extending Family Day a bit because it doesn’t have to be a provincial holiday to be a family day.
And, of course, family day for me means gaming! My bio mentions no space for my board games, and even though that’s been true for a while, I continue to buy new ones. I may have a problem. VPL is here to help, though! We have a robust board game collection available to our customers. It’s well-used, too! So, some of you already know the value of not having a game take up permanent space on your shelves, or maybe just the value of trying before buying. I’m absolutely guilty of that.
Now that we have well and truly been submersed in the lukewarm media bath that is awards season, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight an award show that often goes unnoticed in all the excitement this time of year. We’re probably all aware of The Oscars and The Golden Globes, but there are many other awards that commemorate the artists, craftspeople, skilled technicians, composers, and other workers who collaborate to do this impossible thing of creating short-form or full-length screen content. I’m focusing on The Dorians this time around, but I will include links to other lesser-known award shows at the end of this post. As always, items that are available in our catalogue are linked throughout, so feel free to “check out” what these more obscure but just as valid awards have highlighted as the best of the best from 2023.
The Dorian Awards are nominated and selected by GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics. The name was coined as an homage to poet, playwright, and author Oscar Wilde, the famed writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray and now something of a queer icon. Dorian Award categories include standards like Film of the Year, Director of the Year, and Film Performance of the Year, but they also spotlight LGBTQ storylines, characters, and creators.
According to the Chinese Lunar calendar, 2024 is the Year of the Dragon, and I am a huge fan of dragons. They’re just very cool, and I find it fascinating and mysterious that almost every culture in the world has a dragon or dragon-esque creature in their legends, mythologies, and hagiography. I wonder if they came about in response to dinosaurs…
Funnily enough, I just finished reading The Book of Dragons, an anthology of short stories all about dragons by some of my favourite authors, and so I thought I’d combine those two coincidences into a fun, dragon-themed post! (You can read my response to this book on my own site, if you like!)
Before we get into the media recommendations, you might be wondering what’s with the title. I’d always thought ‘here be dragons’ was a phrase used by ancient mapmakers to mark unknown regions of the world. Apparently, this isn’t quite true! According to a National Geographic article, “apart from an inscription on a single, 16th-century globe, this claim is unfounded.” However, “mapmakers would often place monsters and other imagined creatures to marked unexplored areas” which might be why ‘here be dragons’ can often be found in fictional maps.