[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Time City

Farah Mendlesohn farah.sf at gmail.com
Mon Jan 20 04:10:30 EST 2014

Whereas I was hooked. But then with the exception of DWJ I'm probably more
of an sf reader than a fantasy reader. It was her use of time travel I
loved. She really is awfully clever (compare to Asimov's The End of
Eternity which uses the same notion of Platonic time travel) because most
time travel  slip novels opt either for a single change or the elastic band
theory of time in which everything slides back into place. In Jones's world
(as in Time of the Ghost) the present cannot influence the past so if you
travel in time you can't get back to the same future. The book also pairs
neatly with Hexwood in its use of time.


On 20 January 2014 08:34, Kylie Ding <kylie_ding at hotmail.com> wrote:

> When I first read A Tale of Time City I was horribly disappointed.  It was
> the first DWJ book I'd ever read that I thought was just ordinary, and not
> absolutely brilliant.  Because of this I had not reread it until last
> month.
> This time, I thought it wasn't so bad.  Not up there with the brilliant
> books, but not the let-down I was fearing.
> I'm not much good on analysing books, but I tried to pin down what I was so
> disappointed in the first time I read it.  I think at least partly it's
> because it's more science fiction rather than fantasy.  I don't think DWJ's
> SF was nearly as believable as her fantasy.  Her fantasy universes seem to
> hang together much better than her SF ones.  I wasn't excited by Time City
> as a place and butter pies as a concept.
> Reading it this time, it was quite a nice story, but still not as exciting
> as her fantasies.
> Kylie
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf
> Of
> Carol Carr
> Sent: Tuesday, 7 January 2014 6:19 PM
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Monthly Read-Along
> Time City is a place I want to go; the next best thing is to read and
> re-read the book, and I absolutely love its fun, its mystery, its amazingly
> inventive author, and its diverse characters.
> I wonder if anyone else uses this book as a benchmark for all stories to do
> with time and the history of humankind?
> (sorry, too late for more than a brief comment, saw this on my way to bed)
> Carol
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There is no such thing as a right time or a wrong time. There is only the
now. The future is made up of accumulated nows.

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