Derk makes me uneasy

minnow at minnow at
Fri May 30 15:14:32 EDT 2003

Sallyo replied to Philip

>> Has anyone else had this feeling?  I seem to remember someone being uneasy
>> the griffins, for a start...
>My thoughts are that DL and YotG are games DWJ is playing with stereotypes,
>and so she has deliberately trailed this coat at us... by making a good guy
>into a Mad Scientist. I can't/don't take these books as seriously as I do
>some of the others.

Seeing that both DL and YotG sprang from the Tough Guide, and that was
written as a response to some of the more po-faced potential entries in the
Encyclopedia of Fantasy (ed Clute and Grant), it does seem likely that they
are somewhat more frivolous than others of DWJ's work  :-)  You could just
be right not to take them too seriously!

I do wish the entry for the Encyclopedia that DWJ mooted, called
'Humpty-Dumpty" and intended to explain all the words Clute had thrown in
but that required one to rush to the dictionary, had been written.  I
suspect it would have been hilarious.  Still, in the long run we all
benefit, because when she wasn't allowed to do that, she did the TG

DWJ's involvement in the FE was for her entertainment at a time when she
was recovering from really major back-surgery and couldn't write original
stuff, and was going mad with boredom; it was discovered she could make
suggestions and consult her memory of books she'd read, without it being
exhausting.  The whole thing was for fun, really, and the books that came
out of it are more lightweight than the ones that followed them.

So no, I don't worry about Derk, or any of his creations.  They are a
sniping at the tropes and cliches just as much as the TG was; the whole
*world* in those books is a sideswipe at what ended up being politely (and
very tactfully and kindly -- John Grant at his best!) referred to as 'genre
fantasy' instead of the less-kind 'rotefant' of the workers on the FE.

I can't remember whether the Leathery-Winged Avians made it into DL or
YotG, but I have a vague memory of geese being suggested as a substitute
for them, at one point.


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