[DWJ] Impress of first book? (was Homeward Bounders)

Ellen Willcox eawil3 at email.wm.edu
Thu Apr 14 11:46:52 EDT 2011

That's a really interesting point about the "always in existence" books
versus the ones waited for.  I spent so long catching up on the delightfully
massive backlog of published books that it wasn't until House of Many Ways
that I was aware of a DWJ book before it came out.  (Since it was related to
Howl's Moving Castle, I was SO psyched that I pre-ordered it and then
wouldn't shut up about my excitement over it until in the end my parents
bought it for me the day it came out, so I had to cancel my order.)

All the ones before that seemed to always exist for me, though I was
extremely pleased when I discovered that Howl's Moving Castle was published
the year I was born - we were meant to be!  (The movie Labyrinth also came
out that year.  It would seem I appeared in the world with my lifelong
entertainment needs all taken care of.)

- Nic

On Thu, Apr 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM, Kyla Mackay-Smith <kyla at keyfitz.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 14 Apr 2011, Jameela Lares wrote:
>  Thanks to everyone who has written in so far on this question.  It would
>> seem that whether the first DWJ makes a lifelong impression depends on which
>> one it is.
> You know, the interesting thing here is that I absolutely cannot remember
> which DWJ I read first. I clearly remember the first DWJ I (my whole family,
> really) was waiting for--Lives of Christopher Chant, in 1988 when I was 9,
> which we then promptly bought in hardcover. Although now that I check
> publication dates, it seems that Tale of Time City came out the year before,
> and I do remember my unfavorable impression of that cover. Hm.
> So for me, the "always in existence" DWJ books are Charmed Life, The Ogre
> Downstairs (these first two are almost certainly what I read first), Witch's
> Business/Wilkin's Tooth, Dogsbody, Witch Week, Magicians of Caprona, Howl's
> Moving Castle, and the first three Dalemark books, and I suppose Tale of
> Time City. And then Fire and Hemlock, although I didn't read that one until
> I was a bit older. And Homeward Bounders, as I said before, I didn't read
> until later, and so it always feels a bit new to me. Time of the Ghost we
> had to hunt down, so even though that's an older book it still feels like a
> discovery.
> Everything else still seems like a "new" book to me, so even though, say,
> Dark Lord of Derkholm came out in 1998 and I've read it multiple times, I
> still have that feeling of "but it existed after I did! It's new!"
>  There ought to be a service for readers like me, somewhere you could write
>> in to say, "I don't want to read past page 106. Are the protagonists going
>> to be all right?"  On the other hand, I've begun talking myself through the
>> text, saying things like, "These are the main characters. They are probably
>> going to be okay in three pages."  And they usually are.
> What's wrong with doing that on this list, with ample spoiler space, of
> course? You'd have to specify the edition, naturally, if you were saying
> page numbers, because there are so many, but I'm sure people would answer
> the question. Although--it's DWJ. The protagonists don't get killed, because
> it's not a horror book. But sometimes "being okay" is not quite how you
> would have thought it.
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