dreams of a new DWJ

Kyla Tornheim kyla at merlin.sccs.swarthmore.edu
Tue Feb 25 14:07:23 EST 2003

I had really weird, detailed dreams last night/this morning, mostly
involving a Diana Wynne Jones book that does not, in fact, exist, but
appears to include bits related to many of her actual books, and I thought
people might be interested.

I believe the whole thing started when I remembered (in my dream) a line
that was something like "she laughed in surprise and delight that he was
alive." I have no idea if this is actually from _A Sudden Wild Magic_, but
it feels rather Zillah/Herrel-like, and I reread the book a couple of
weeks ago, so that would make sense. However, in my dream, I immediately
went and got the book the line was from, so I could find it. Then I found
myself reading the book from that point on, and it was told in the first
person, by a girl, and she was talking about her brother, who was the new
commander of Earth (only it wasn't Earth, although it was *called*
Earth--this was definitely a sci-fi book), and it was weird for him
because their mother was the high commander of the multiple-planet
government. The girl and her brother felt rather like Mig and her brother
from _Black Maria_, although I've only read that one once and that was
right when it came out.

The brother was described as having blond, very curly hair (shades of _The
Spellcoats_), which contrasted with most other people (and I remember
thinking in my dream, "of course, blond hair and pale skin are rather
uncommon if you look at the entire world population").

Then at some point I realized that I had no idea a) what the first part of
the book had been about, or b) what it was called, although I'd clearly
read the book multiple times, since it was a very worn paperback (and I
thought "hey, it's like my copy of _Fire and Hemlock_--but it's *not*
_Fire and Hemlock_. What is it?"), and then I looked at the cover to see
what it was actually called. And of course now I can't remember it. It was
something like _The Transformation Identity_--the name was clearly modeled
after _The Merlin Conspiracy_, and the second word started with T and the
third with I and ended with y, but, again, it's gone now.

After I read the title, I turned the book to look at the back, and the
information there had clearly been written by Diana Wynne Jones. It was a
numbered list, and number 2 was something like "This book takes place
after the events of the Dalemark Quartet" (and I thought, "Oh, it's a
Dalemark book!") "and if you will look, you will clearly see that my book
[called something like Rhys's Journal, but not that] is a map of the
events in this quartet" (and I understood that by "map," she meant the
horseshoe-shaped time map in _A Tale of Time City_, and there was a
suggestion of backward travel there too). Then while I was thinking, "Oh,
damn, this means I have to go reread all the Dalemark books and I only
have one of them," I looked at numbers 1, 3, and 4. Number 1 was something
about a prequel which I'd never heard of, and 3 and 4 were talking about
how there was *another* book that was a map of a set of later books, only
some of them hadn't been written and if we were very clever we could
figure out what the final book or two was about. This, again, felt like _A
Tale of Time City_, figuring out where the lead casket was.

So it was all very weird, and that book doesn't exist, but I now want to
go reread at least _Time City_, _Black Maria_ and _Deep Secret_ (that last
mostly because I'd been wanting to read it anyway, not because something
in my dream specifically reminded me of it).

There's a hell of a distance between wisecracking and wit. Wit
has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.
       --Dorothy Parker

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