Sources (was Re Subject: Various things to do with books (strangely enough))

Ven vendersleighc at
Wed Mar 2 19:47:40 EST 2005

I wrote about Tanya Huff

>The magic works by the musical invocation of the
>Kigh, flocks of elemental spirits. They are 
>Dwj got the inspiration for the spirits in
>the....... Oh dammit that's a spoiler 
>um some spirits in certain of her books.>

Minnow replied

<Is that her Official Explanation so that she 
be regarded as a nutcase by the mee-juh?>

No idea Minnow. My ultimate source as regards the
use of elementals in the first book I mentioned,
Year of the Griffin, was Diana herself, in
conversation at the Bristol  meet. 

What I meant by "inspiration" was not intended to
convey any notion of unoriginality, "lifting" or
indeed plagiarism, merely that authors in related
genres are influenced by each others writing on
occasion. In fact I don't know where the genres
of fantasy or science fiction would be if writers
didn't share ideas with their contemporaries as
well as the long dead authors of myth, legend and
folktale. I rather enjoy tracing the links where
I can find them, which is how I knew about this

<Hasn't the idea of small spirits of the earth,
air, fire and water been around since before
1994 anyhow?  I think they're called "elementals"
- -- I used them myself back in 1988 when I was
writing a comic -- and I don't think Tanya Huff's
work need be seen as DWJ's source material for
those either, any more than mine was. Like trolls
or elves, they're probably rather older than the
written word as an idea.>

Sigh. Haven't we both been on this list long
enough for this kind of tone to be unneccessary?
The inspiration/influence I was talking about
were the particular attributes of these
elementals: transparent, even to those who can
see them, small size, flocking, playfullness.
Nothing that a person couldn't have come up with
quite independantly of course.  However, knowing
that Diana does admire Tanya Huff's books (going
on the references in entries she  wrote for the
Encyclopedia of Fantasy), I mentioned them in
conversation in 2003. I  know I'd already noticed
some apparent points of resemblance between
Huff's Kigh and the elementals in YoG,  and was
interested in knowing if there was a connection,
but wasn't quite sure how to ask. Diana relieved
me of my uncertainty by volunteering that there
was indeed a link, she had liked the Kigh and
found a place for something like them in one of
her books (or words to that effect). Just another
example of authors sharing ideas I suppose. I was
pleased to have my intuition confirmed, it was a
happy conversation and I'm sorry to have to
recall it under such circumstances. When I wrote
my original comments I had forgotten that my
source wasn't something in the public domain.
(I've forgotten how to search posts, I may have
mentioned it on list at the time with more
accurate recall.)
That the elementals in the regalia were of a
similar kind to those in YoG and hence similarly
linked was all my idea I'm afraid. I wasn't
referring to how they were bound, or released,
nor any other aspect of TMC of course. 


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