[DWJ] Joan Aiken

Jackie E Stallcup jstallcup at juno.com
Mon Jan 7 20:24:36 EST 2008

I seem to remember a sequel to the Serial Garden as well, or perhaps a
sideways mention of it.  However, I was looking through my books to see
if I could find it and I came across this from the postscript to a new
edition of _A Small Pinch of Weather_:

"Favorite stories, like unexpected presents, are things that you can keep
and cherish all your life, carry with you, in memory, in your mind's ear,
and bring out, at any time, when you are feeling lonely, or need cheering
up, or, like friends, just because you are fond of them.  That is the way
I feel about some of the stories in this collection--stories, for
instance, like The Serial Garden.  One day I will write a sequel to that
story, but not just yet..."

And it is dated 2000.  So, if there is a sequel, it would be post-2000.  

_Armitage, Armitage, Fly Away Home_ collects a lot of the Armitage
stories, but not all of them.  "Dolls' House to Let, Mod. Con.", for
example, is not in there. I have it in _Not What You Expected_, but it
probably turns up elsewhere as well.  

I'm not a short story fan at all, but I love Joan Aiken's short stories. 
They are well worth reading.

I believe I started reading Aiken with _Arabel's Raven_, back when I was
maybe 8 or 9 years old--and that's not a bad introduction to her work. 
Very funny and thoroughly enjoyable.  Some of the sequels are ok, but
some are just trying way too hard to be zany without actually managing to
be funny.

My very favorite Dido book is _The Cuckoo Tree_ but it is best to read at
least _Black Hearts in Battersea_ and _Nightbirds on Nantucket_ first. 
And I really would start with the _Wolves of WIlloughby Chase_.  It is
tangential to the action of the following books and not as lighthearted,
but a cracking good read--still one of my favorites.   

For me, the Regencies were ok, but the modern suspense novels were much
more engaging.  She was my introduction to adult literature, actually
(adult as opposed to children's literature, not adult meaning x-rated!). 
I read all of her children's books and wanted more, checked the card
catalog and found that she was in other sections of the library as well,
and off I went!  


On Mon, 7 Jan 2008 17:00:50 +0000 Minnow <minnow at belfry.org.uk> writes:
> >Of Joan Aiken's ouvre, I prefer _Armitage, Armitage, Fly away home_.
> >I'm pretty sure she wrote a sequel to the story about the paper 
> garden,
> >but I can't find it anywhere. Any pointers?
> >
> >-- Jenne/Jadwiga, who slept in this morning because her dream was a 
> movie
> >version of a Diana Wynne Jones book (with Terry Pratchett 
> influences and
> >plot twists from our latest video Game, Dark Cloud 2) in which
> >Chrestomanci appeared as the Emperor of Wittgenstein. The movie was 
> *not*
> >as good as the book, and I kept trying to remember where I had left 
> my
> >copy of the book to re-read it. :)
> There are a lot of Armitage stories in the collected stories books.  
> 'Yes,
> but today is *Tuesday*', for instance...  But I don't remember any 
> specific
> sequel to any of them, except that the  Armitage family is a thread 
> running
> through them all.
> If there is a sequel, I want to know as well!  And if you find that 
> book
> from the dream, please may I borrow it?
> Minnow
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