DWJ short stories

jessie shelton at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Tue Aug 31 20:42:37 EDT 1999

On Wed, 1 Sep 1999, PREISIG, Kylie wrote:

> What to people think of her short stories?
> After my slamming short story writers in general in a previous post, I
> started thinking about DWJ's short stories.
> She doesn't try to be clever/arty/depressing, but most of her short stories
> don't grab me.  They have some interesting ideas, but I think she needs more
> time to expand them, and more time to expand her characters as well.

It strikes me that much of what I like about DWJ is her complexity, and it
is just inherently easier to be complex in a novel than a short story.  I
enjoy her shorts, but I like her novels much better.

I love her novellas -- The True State of Affairs and Everard's Ride.
Where I'd characterize Everard's Ride as 'typical' very strong DWJ -- that
is, it has a headfeel that is recognizably DWJish -- TTSoA is unlike
anything else of hers to me.  I love those.  They're both really good.

As far as shorts are concerned, I like No One, and Plague of Peacocks is
just plain cute.  The Sage of Theare is fun because it's twisted and
because it has Chrestomanci in a dressing gown, but it hasn't got the heft
I like in her novels.

> There are some exceptions.  I just love "The True State of Affairs".  "The
> Sage of Theare" wasn't bad, but I suspect everyone likes that because it has
> Chrestomanci in it :)

heh.  (:

> In general, I think her short stories range from very averge to quite good,
> and her novels are a cut above them.

Agree.  I think her strengths lend themselves to novel form more so than
to short form.

(boy, once you get behind on this list it's hard to catch up... )

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