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Follow-up and news
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cleolinda
1) Update on the Wicked Pretty Things anthology: Brenna Yovanoff is the fifth writer to drop out in protest.

ETA: Seanan McGuire is #6, and Ann Aguirre is dropping out of a separate anthology.

2) Diana Wynne Jones has passed away. She was one of those writers I knew was amazing but had never read any of her work. Please tell me about your favorite books of hers.



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So devestated about Diana Wynne Jones. I reread at least two or three of her books every year. She was very good at pacing, which I have this insane admiration for.

My favorites DWJ books are the Dalemark Quartet, the Chrestomanci series (especially The Lives of Christopher Chant), and even though this is apparently a ~controversial~ answer, my very favorite of her books is The Merlin Conspiracy.

Out of curiosity, how is the Merlin Conspiracy controversial? I enjoyed that series, even if I wanted to slap a few of the characters now and then.

Howl's Moving Castle, definitely. Though my first introduction to her was The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, which is hilarious and awesome.

I loved both of those books too. I feel like I have to go and reread them now.

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That's funny about Beatrix Potter! I once went to a talk by Roald Dahl. As a boy he went to see Beatrix Potter. He was very excited about meeting her. He walked up to her house and garden, and was standing nervously by the garden gate. He saw a woman gardening, but didn't dare to approach because he was shy. After a while, she looked up and saw him and asked what he wanted. He said he was here to see Beatrix Potter. She said: "Well now you've seen her, so get lost!"

Charming, eh? ;^)

Oh, I'm really sad to hear about Diana Wynne Jones! I enjoyed her books as a child, and still sometimes read her as an adult.

I love her Chrestomanci series. If you want a good standalone though, another of my favourites of her books was Dogsbody, about Sirius, the Dog Star, being forced to live on earth as a dog. The book makes me cry, because of the relationships which the different characters develop with each other.

And also, if you like dogs, I think it's hard not to like it! :^)

OMG DOGSBODY IS MY FAVORITEST. Well, maybe Howl's Moving Castle is my favoritest, but Dogsbody is amazing. I recently reread it and I was like "dude, this had all sorts of subtext about discrimination against the Irish in England that I completely missed as a kid."

Dogsbody. I read the hell out of it as a kid and I wish I knew where my copy was now.

My absolute favorite DWJ book is HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, but I also love THE DARK LORD OF DERKHOLM and any of the Chrestomanci books. FIRE AND HEMLOCK is also quite popular.

I read Fire and Hemlock in college and loved the hell out of it.

Hexwood- clever female characters and like The Dark Lord of Derkholm an excellent skewering of fantasy tropes.

Fire and Hemlock- atypical female heroines and the art of storytelling, plus fairies how they should be done.

Howl's Moving Castle- elderly woman saves the world, whilst Welsh, rugby loving wizard mopes and is vain.

Plus, her sister and friend got smacked by Beatrix Potter as young children for swinging on her garden gate :D

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The Chrestomanci books are lovely and some of my favourites.

DWJ - 'The Homeward Bounders' is my all-time favourite I think. The saddest last few lines I've ever read in a children's book.

The Homeward Bounders. It was one of the few books I had available one year at summer camp (I would have been 9, 10, or 11, going by which summer camp it was). It was mind-expanding! I re-read it a few months ago - still awesome. And I have a kind of obsession with Tam Lin, so I have a special fondness for Fire and Hemlock.

"And I have a kind of obsession with Tam Lin, so I have a special fondness for Fire and Hemlock."

I'll have to read this one, now. ;)

Howl's Moving Castle was one of my inspirations to write. When I saw the world that she had created, I knew then that there was something special about magic in the ordinary, about capable characters that had heart, humor, and depth. I don't know, but something about heroines that went on adventures just drew my own characters, positives and peeves alike, out of the woodwork and onto their own roads.

That aside, I recall in senior year of high school, finding her novella The Game. The story is rather plain, but what hooked me into it was the idea of stories as alive and tangible- shining strands that stretch across infinite universes-- a place to explore and adventure in. It's hard to think about without feeling warmer and brighter and have new ideas to write about.

I can't summarize my feelings at this event. Her writing has just meant so much to me.

:( :( :(. Diana.

I haven't read as many of her books as I've wanted to, but I loved Dogsbody as a kid. She was, by all accounts I've seen, a lovely person in addition to being a talented author.

Howl's Moving Castle was one of those rare books where the movie version changed a lot, but both the book and movie stood on their own as really great stories. I haven't read any of her other works; now I definitely feel I should. :(

I agree - the movie kind of meandered off in its own direction after the beginning, but both book and movie were excellent, each in its own way.

I'm so sorry to hear about Diana Wynne Jones. The Chrestomanci stories made me laugh so much, and still do. More love for Howl'd Moving Castle, but also for Dogsbody (humanity seen from an alien and a dog's point of view, and very touching), The Spellcoats (takes the idea of weaving spells literally) and Power of Three, in which people who might be fairies see human science as impossible magic. Many of her books are about storytelling, how stories are told, how people tell the stories of their own lives. She has a recurring theme where her young heroes and heroines realise they've got extraordinary powers, have had them all along. It doesn't feel like a getout clause: it's about self-knowledge and growing up, realising you can do things you assumed were beyond you.

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