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)
Fire and Hemlock (this was great!)
Aunt Maria. Dark. Feminist. Subversive.
There are many more besides these books. We will enjoy them for years to come.