… and one of them is that sometimes they turn me on to cool stuff. The latest case of this was when one of my frosh wrote a research paper on Naomi Novik‘s Temeraire series, the first two of which I read this weekend, and the third of which I plan to start when I finish this post.
The series is historical fantasy, set during the Napoleonic Wars, but in a world where in addition to the armies and navies we remember, there are air forces — composed of intelligent dragons and the humans who train, pilot, and befriend them. The heroes of the series are former naval Captain William Laurence and his very unusual dragon, the Temeraire for whom the series is named. The first two books are crosses between the Aubrey-Maturin series and Anne McCaffrey‘s work, but most importantly, they’re simply what folks in a bygone day would have called “ripping yarns” — that is, they’re exciting and a great deal of fun. My dad would have enjoyed them greatly, and I’m lobbying the Spawn to give them a look.
Folks in my racket talk about learning from our students so often it becomes a cliche, but that learning can take a variety of forms, and this is one of the most fun examples I’ve had in a while.