Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Diana Wynne Jones —

Is a name I’m sure everybody recognizes, right?

Right?

Okay, then.

There was an “in memorium” panel on Diana Wynne Jones’ writing and influence at the World Fantasy Convention, which was (I’m happy to say) well attended. The panel was touching and also informative. In particular, I found out two things, one of interest only to myself and one of general interest. In order:

a) My personal library is amazingly lacking in Diana Wynne Jones’ books. Who knew I had only about 2/3 of her titles? In particular (does this surprise you?) the panelists for the memorial panel all choose ARCHER’S GOON as their personal favorite, and I said Really? because I only read that once when I was a kid and it didn’t stand out for me then. But it’s been a long time. So I ordered that, plus most of the rest I don’t have, and thus I just had eight or ten or whatever of her books arrive on my doorstep. Yay! Not that I have time to read them right now because I want to finish this revision before December. But still!

b) Aaaand . . . did you know there’s a sort of autobiography or something coming out next year? Called REFLECTIONS: ON THE MAGIC OF WRITING. It’s supposed to contain essays about her time as a student of Tolkein’s AND CS Lewis’s. Don’t know what else. But I’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

So that is my public service announcement for the day! Because I am sure you will all want to check that out, too, when it hits the shelves!

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6 Comments Diana Wynne Jones —

  1. Michelle

    I don’t think she is as popular in the US as in the UK. It is hard to pick but I think Conrad’s Fate is my favorite. The audioversion is fantastic too. I have gotten many hooked on her Chrestomanci series.

  2. Rachel

    I’d pick the Chrestomanci books as my favorites — probably Charmed Life is my all-time favorite. In fact, my extremely handsome cat is named Chrestomanci. He even used to appear as though by accident when you called his name, but I must confess that as he got older, he got less reliable about that.

  3. Michelle

    I loved the name “Throgmorten” (sp?). One of the most awesome cats. I think I liked The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant a bit better than Charmed Lives. I liked the back story.

  4. Rachel

    Throgmorten is a great name, and it would have suited my cat, who is in fact quite the tough guy. When he has to go to the vet, nobody gets out unscathed. Well, except me, of course. I just hand over his carrier and say cheerfully, “Bring him back when you’re done!” and smile.

  5. Elaine T

    Thanks for the heads up about her autobiography/memoir/whatever. I’ve read an essay (printed in the NESFA book) where she mentioned taking a class from Tolkien and then discussed LOTR. I look forward to seeing more.

    I don’t think I have a favorite DWJ. I like most of them, and am lukewarm about only a few. Off the top of my head: EIGHT DAYS OF LUKE, HOWL’s, HOMEWARD BOUNDERS, DALEMARK, are all infinitely re-readable.

  6. Jillian Rachael

    I am so sad Diana Wynne Jones passed. For my favourite series by her was the Howl series. I loved Howl’s Moving Castle, one of my most favourite books. And I live in the US. And even though I’ve moved around my whole life, every person I’ve talked to knows who she is. :) also, loved the Floating Islands book Rachel.

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