Diana Wynne Jones 1934-2011

This post is bumping what was originally scheduled in order to pay tribute to one of the finest fantasy authors in all of creation.

Diana Wynne Jones died far too young, at the age of 76, of cancer.  A brilliant writer, my favorite of her books are what I call “mind-flip” books.  The ones that make you think, that expand your horizons.  She didn’t write formulaic pablum (except in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, in which she lampoons it.  There is also lampooning in Dark Lord of Derkholm).  She introduced physics and unexpected plot twists and delicious prose and magic and all sorts of wonderfulness. Things are often not what they seem in these books, yet everything always comes together stunningly in the end.  Her books invite rereading.

What follows are our favorites, with brief descriptions. If you haven’t read Diana Wynne Jones’ books and stories, you have a world of happiness and delight ahead of you.  We only wish she’d been able to stay around another 10 or 20 years or more to delight us with more of her work. Look for two more books forthcoming posthumously, a short novel and a collection of odds and ends.

Here is a sweet remembrance from Neil Gaiman (to whom she dedicated a book, much to his delight). He talks about her death and her life.

The Chrestomanci series.

Every single one of these is an amazing mind-blowing delight.  (Click on book covers for first of each series)

The Dark Lord of Derkholm duet.  (#2 likes the second one better actually)

A Tale of Time City.  Straight science fiction and brilliant.

Fire and Hemlock (this was great!)

I love the stories in Unexpected Magic, and so did my MIL!

Howl’s Moving Castle series (excellent)  The movie was awesome too, but I missed some of the sub-plots.  The book, as always, is better!

Aunt Maria.  Dark.  Feminist.  Subversive.

Her sexier adult fiction: Deep SecretSudden Wild Magic. (Ok, not all that sexy, but very good!)

There are many more besides these books.  We will enjoy them for years to come.

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8 Responses to “Diana Wynne Jones 1934-2011”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    my husband is a big neil gamain fan. This is more his genre of reading. He wrote a beautiful tribute. I’ll have to ask him if he has any books by diana..I usually ignore the sci-fi section of our bookcases. Sounds like I should give it a chance.

  2. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    This is a lovely tribute post. Thank you.

  3. julier Says:

    I have really liked the few books I’ve read by, Diana Wynne Jones. I think Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite. Thanks for suggesting other titles. I plan to add them to my “to read” list.

  4. darchole Says:

    I kept checking on news on her every so often after I heard she had cancer. Will miss having new books by her.

  5. Rumpus Says:

    I liked Archer’s Goon.


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