DWJ in Washington Post

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Fri Apr 12 09:50:48 EDT 2002


Sallyo wrote:
> What one book *would* you all recommend? (Apologies if this has been asked
before, 
> while I was off list.) Um - let's make it One DWJ and One non-DWJ.

(One Book to tempt them all, One Book to find them...) This is a fiendish
question, Sallyo. I was even pondering it on the way home yesterday, instead
of reading! One DWJ isn't *so* hard, in a way- I'd probably say Howl, or
Deep Secret if it was supposed to be an "adult" fantasy. But one, out of the
whole of sf/fantasy, eek! Do I choose what I think is the best book, or a
good introduction to the best author, or a really good neglected work, or
one that would be a good introduction to the genre (and how do I know,
having read the genres since I was a child)? I don't know how those authors
in the article did it- mind you, they'd probably had longer to think, and
may have been asked who their favs were more often than I have!

If I assume the question was, what do I think all *sf/fantasy* readers
should read ... it's still difficult. I'd probably go for somebody who isn't
as well-known as Bujold or McKinley, say, on the grounds that most people
have probably at least tried them, and if they haven't my recommendation
won't get them to! Maybe The Charwoman's Shadow (by Lord Dunsnay [?sp]) or
Bridge of Birds (by Barry Hughart) or Tam Lin, or more recent
not-as-popular-as-they-should-be books, Sabriel*, or A Deepness In The Sky
by Vernor Vinge, or, ooh, Diane Duane's Tale of The Five deserves to be a
bestseller (if the reprints ever come out, two months overdue, mutter
mutter), or one of the Liaden books from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.... and
it ends up with a list as long as my "ten favourite authors" was (about 20
in the end, I think). (Now take a breath). Fiendish, as I said. 
And I couldn't give as articulate a reason for why people should read them
as the authors did- "It's really good, yeah? Like, sensawunder, and
interesting people, and good writing, an' stuff. Read it and you'll see,
y'know?"

Jennifer
*Perhaps Sabriel is really popular in the States- I hope so. I don't think
Nix is big over here.
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