Recommended DWJ books?

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Mon Jan 10 12:46:06 EST 2000

> So, Philip enjoys A SUDDEN WILD MAGIC too? I thought it was pretty good the
> first time I read it, but in the two readings since it's improved to become
> one of my 5 favourites. It has quite strong links with DEEP SECRET and I
> can't really see how you can like one without the other... The dance
> towards the end is pure joy...

Thanks, Sally, for some support.  I have read Hallie's comments as to why she
thinks Deep Secret is better, and I see her point, but other things are more
important to me.



I like SWM because it has a _wonderfully_ complex plot.  There are so many
things that happen, but don't have a significance until much later.

I like it because, while sex is important to the plot, there are _no_ sex scenes
as such.  The very "adult" nature of the narrative comes through more in things
like the rather nasty piece of black magic that Marceny wants to perform on

I like it because there are loose ends that, if tied up, would generate
anticlimax - so she leaves them loose.  The high head doesn't discover why he
seemed to know Zillah.  What becomes of Joe and Maureen?  Of Paulie?  Of Antorin
and other stranded spies?

But I especially like it because of the detail it goes into on some of the
problems of multiverses.  In particular, TIME.  I think the chaotic relationship
between time in the two or three universes is a little bit of a cheat, but Todd
getting jetlag from too much world hopping, and the time of sunset being used as
a reference for getting to Marceny's grove, are lovely little details that I

TIME in particular is one thing badly glossed over in Deep Secret.  Why should
dinner time on whatever world (or bit of world) Dakros is on at the moment
necessarily correspond with supper time or lunch time in Wantchester?  If Rupert
gets jetlagged going to America and back, why doesn't he encounter the same
problems going to Iforion or Thule or Thalangia?

I also think that Mark's computerised magic is more credible than Rupert's.
Although I like the adaptation of the disk drive - and I wish I could modify
computers like that! - I fail to see the relevance of the power supply to
software considerations...  Perhaps there is magic involved that I don't grasp

Not to say that I don't like Deep Secret - but to me, SWM is the masterpiece

(Also, one thing that bugs me in Deep Secret - what is the order in which Simon,
Will, Zinka and Rupert became magids?)


PS Some of Melissa and Jacob's exchanges on this list remind me of Deep Secret -
and Will and Carina having a row in front of Nick and Maree...

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