dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #334

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Aug 1 12:33:39 EDT 2001

>> Ooh.  That's a very confident "Certainly", Sally - and I don't think
>> you're right!
> Really? Hmm, I'll have to reread. However, I still think the differences can
> be explained by the fact that DWJ wrote Deep Secret later, and had refined
> her ideas... Also, it could be the same universe, but just a slightly
> different version of Earth.

Well, I seem to be in a minority on this list, but I think a lot of ideas in SWM
are worked out better than their equivalents in DS.  So I don't think a process
of refinement could account for that - to me she has to have been working on a
new set of ideas.

As for the "different version of Earth" I claim that is cheating.  As far as I
am concerned the version of Earth in each novel is the one that is meant to "be"
our world, insofar as any fictional world can "be" ours.  To postulate two
"versions" of our world, without any explanation for there being two, not one or
infinitely many, and without any evidence from either book (in each of which
Earth is simply called Earth, as if the name uniquely defines a world) is out of
order: in either of those two multiverses, "different version of Earth" means
"different universe" to me at least.

A couple more differences have occured to me, BTW.

First, the Pentarchy appears to have properties that would put it a long way
ayewards from Earth.  But it is clearly stated by Colny Ventoran as being "next
door", and by Brother Lawrence as part of the same "cluster of worlds".  I agree
the ayewards-naywards concept is something she introduced for DS, and could come
under the heading of refinements - but again that means it's not the same

Secondly I don't think that the "cluster of worlds" concept fits the DS
multiverse at all well anyway.

> Sallyo... I really ought to unsub for the next week, but you'll all say
> interesting stuff while I'm away! (Wail) -

Well, since I'm replying to your message, I've copied it to you personally.


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