Diane Duane

Laurel lalamme at gru.net
Wed Apr 24 16:16:10 EDT 2002

Robyn Starkey wrote:
> I know some people on the list like Duane. I just read a Wizard Abroad, and
> I wanted to say that while I think her story ideas are interesting, I found
> the book really hard going. This was for two reasons, but the second is
> dependant on the first, I think. That is, she seems to have a real struggle
> with language. I know that's an odd thing to say about a writer, but her
> use of language is so clunky at times it is just painful. Almost every
> sentence has a phrase or word that sticks out to me, making me think, 'that
> could be better expressed'. The other problem is that I really can't like
> Nita. She comes off as kind of dumb and annoying, which is not how I think
> a character with her wizardly powers should be. I was thinking about why
> this is, and it is partly that there is a lot of Nita's internal thought
> processes in the book, and this tends to be even more badly expressed than
> the rest of the writing. I also really hate the names Nita and Dairine,
> which for some reason makes it harder for me to like the characters.
> On the plus side, I really liked her ideas about Ireland, and how she fit
> existing mythology into her magic world view.

Well, I don't think Duane is to everyone's taste, but I've always
liked her.  I'm not sure that _A Wizard Abroad_ is the best book
to start with, if you're just investigating her.  I was rather
disappointed with that and _High Wizardry_, the previous book in
that series, but the first two, _So You Want To Be A Wizard_ and
_Deep Wizardry_, are old favorites to be reread often.  Duane's
alternate New York and undersea locations are carefully described
with such detail that one almost feels  Also, it's quite possible
that the young wizards were easier for me to identify with when I
was younger myself, and that's why I haven't enjoyed the more
recent books as much.  Does anyone else feel that the series has
gone downhill a bit?  (I know there's a more recent book in the
series, too, which I haven't read yet, and would be greatly
interested in opinions if I should or not.)  Also, I feel that
her Star Trek novels are the absolute best of that genre, which I
know is not highly regarded.

ObDWJ: Nothing to do with Duane, but _Hexwood_ just got me
through a very boring day of jury selection (I particularly
empathized with Ann, caught in a paratypical field that was
playing tricks with time.)  I was rather chagrined, actually, to
find _Hexwood_, _Mixed Magics_, _Believing is Seeing_, and _Year
of the Griffin_ in my mother's classroom library the other day,
where, presumably, I could have borrowed them long ago, had I but
known.  I'd still like copies of my own some day, of course,
being a collection completist and for easy rereading access
(which, I can see, would definitely help with _Hexwood_

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