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JOdel at aol.com
JOdel at aol.com
Wed Mar 28 11:23:45 EST 2001
One of the things that struck me when I went to the page and read the Q & A
with DWJ was how many people only discovered her with Charmed Life.
Now, I know that Charmed Life was quite some time ago, but she had been
getting books published for at least a decade previously. Was there some sort
of "critical mass" built up by then before the publishers started giving her
an extra "push" or was there something else going on? I do recall that
Charmed Life was about the first of her books that I actually saw in
bookstores in hardback. (Was it her first that was by Greenwillow? Was a
change of imprint the deciding factor?)
I was also interested in her explanation of what she was exploring when she
wrote Homeward Bounders. (Possibly the most unhappy of her stories, although
the setting is not anywhere so ugly as Time of the Ghost.) It turns out that
her direction seems to have been on the double-edged nature of hope. Yes that
is certainly the point all right, but at the time, there were cultural
connections which gave it an additional spin, and tended to cast a long
shadow of their own. Or at least on this side of the pond, anyway.
Anybody else remember that particular time? Dungeons & Dragons and general
role-playing wargames had just surfaced big from wherever suchlike cultural
phenomena incubate and were all over the news. And as might be predicted, the
same crowd which is now trying to get Harry Potter exorcised from the school
library was carrying on, absolutely bound and determined to have D&D
classified as demonic possession. It seemed somehow wonderfully appropriate
that right at that particular moment DWJ should drop into the middle of all
this a book about demon wargamners.
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