I still get visits from Google searches for some variant of “C.J. Cherryh e-books,” which reminds me that one of the reasons I started this blog was to collect links to authors’ e-books. So for my second post in the series I am going to discuss science-fiction and fantasy novelist Diane Duane.
I first discovered Diane Duane through the Thieves’ World series (much the same as how I found Ms. Cherryh!). The first two books of the Thieves’ World series are collected into one e-book, Thieves’ World: First Blood, but Ms. Duane did not contribute to the series until the sixth book and I will probably do a whole post on Thieves’ World at some point, so… moving on!
At some point I got a Science Fiction Book Club omnibus edition of the first three books in Ms. Duane’s Young Wizards series: So You Want to Be a Wizard, Deep Wizardry, and High Wizardry. The first book is about a young girl named Nita who lives on Long Island, is frequently bullied, and who ends up becoming a wizard along with new friend Kit. As a young boy who lived on Long Island, was frequently bullied, and who wouldn’t have minded becoming a wizard, So You Want to Be a Wizard quickly became one of my favorite books. I have owned it in that original SFBC version, a 5-in-1 SFBC version, a paperback, and now an e-book version.
I re-read So You Want to Be a Wizard this week and although I am not that child anymore who discovered the book for the first time, I still enjoyed reading the book. These books are about magic and wizards, but it is a very science-fiction-based magic system, and the wizards are more like computer programmers who have access to the code that the universe runs on (known as the Speech in the books). Change the code, change the universe. Their job as wizards is to keep the universe running and slow down its eventual heat-death. It is a neat concept and a little different from what you would expect in a book about wizards.
The Young Wizards series is available from Diane Duane’s website, where you can buy it direct from the site or from links to the major e-book sellers out there. What’s interesting is that there are separate links for buyers from the U.S.A., from Canada, and for international (non-North American) buyers. I actually purchased the international versions even though I reside in the U.S.A. because you can purchase those directly from Ms. Duane’s site and because they are DRM-free. So when I opened So You Want to Be a Wizard and saw that it didn’t have chapter breaks (the lack of which is a pet peeve of mine), I was able to open it up in Calibre, convert it to an epub, add the chapter breaks in Sigil, and convert it back to a mobi for my Kindle. I know not everyone wants or needs this freedom, but for me it is nice.
Ms. Duane’s website also has links to her Middle Kingdoms series (The Door into Fire, The Door into Shadow, The Door into Sunset), Feline Wizards series (The Book of Night with Moon, To Visit the Queen), the stand-alone novel Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses, and the short story collection Uptown Local and Other Interventions. There is also one book, A Wind from the South, that is advertised in a sidebar only and so might be-overlooked; according to Ms. Duane’s Wikipedia entry, this book is previously unpublished and was released as an e-book only.
Amazon has more of Ms. Duane’s books available than she lists on her web site, mostly in the Star Trek universe and in a series of Young Adult books called Tom Clancy’s Net Force of which I am wholly unfamiliar. The full list of her available books on Amazon is here; just select Kindle Edition to see e-books only.
Looking over all the e-books that are available, I can only think, “Why haven’t I read so many of these books?” I think I fell out of touch with Ms. Duane’s books somewhere along the way. Maybe once I left young-adulthood, I was less inclined to read these tales. I recently purchased all nine Young Wizards books from her site and I am looking forward to re-reading the first five or six (I can’t remember if I read the sixth book yet) and reading the rest for the first time. I have a feeling that after that I will be returning to Ms. Duane’s site to check out her other books. It’s never too late to be a kid (or young adult) again.
(Note: In researching authors’ e-book availability, I focus on what books, if any, the author has available for download on their own site or their site of choice, and what Amazon has available. Since I don’t own a Nook or a Sony Reader, I don’t check the availability on those sites anymore, although it is usually a mirror of what is available on Amazon.)