Saturday, 16 August 2014

Diana Wynne Jones

A Google Doodle marks what would have been the 80th birthday of an author best known for children’s fantasy, influenced by studying under J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis at Oxford, and influencing the likes of Neil Gaiman in turn.

On complaints about her work being complex:
This is ridiculous, I mean, wholly ridiculous. It never did any child any harm to have something that was a tiny bit above them anyway, and I claim that anyone who can follow Doctor Who can follow absolutely anything.
She also wrote The Tough Guide To Fantasyland, a satirical sourcebook for bog-standard fantasy.

Some of her work and its adaptations are also distinctly relevant here:

Archer’s Goon concerns a small town where a strange family rules in secret through a variety of powers... including time, as one of them lives in the past and commutes to the present. It was adapted by Children’s BBC during the Who-less years in 1992.

Howl’s Moving Castle (also adapted, fairly loosely, by Studio Ghibli) has an ordinary young woman swept up in the wake of a mysterious man who lives in a castle with a door that opens sometimes in one place and sometimes another...

The Homeward Bounders sets a child adrift across a variety of universes which are, in fact, games played by higher beings.

A Tale Of Time City has its young hero kidnapped because certain individuals think she is... The Time Lady...

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