Mark Reads ‘High Wizardry’: Chapter 11, Part II

In the second half of the eleventh chapter of High Wizardry, Dairine realizes her predicament. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

I can’t believe how that snuck up on me. IT WAS RIGHT THERE THE WHOLE TIME. But I adore how atypical this feels. The big conflict between the Lone Power and Diarine is going to be an argument. That’s such a weird thing to type, but it’s true! It’s what this book has turned into, and yet again, I’m left blown away by how each Young Wizards book takes me on such an unexpected journey.

Let me back up a bit, though. This is a philosophically dense section of the book, but I was able to follow it a whole lot closer than the science in the first half. First of all, the very idea of “Data transfer” as “I am asking a question” is the most downright adorable thing in the history of literature, I don’t care. IT IS TECHNICALLY 100% ACCURATE SINCE ASKING A QUESTION MEANS YOU ARE REQUESTING THAT SOMEONE TRANSFER THEIR “DATA” TO YOU, SO THERE YOU GO. IT’S PERFECT. It’s also a fantastic way for Duane to show us how these creatures think differently than humans do. And isn’t that difference the point? Throughout this part of the chapter, that’s what Dairine struggles with: getting the silicon creatures to understand that “slowlifes” like humans are completely different than they are.

At the heart of this is a beautiful message: Dairine is trying to show these creatures how to have empathy, to understand others not like them and accept them as they are. Not only are they still trying to understand themselves, but Dairine’s presence complicates matters for them. She plays a very specific role, one that’s almost motherly or God-like. And she takes it very seriously! She really did try to think of giving the silicon creatures variety and diversity of existence. They can’t understand that at the moment, of course. There’s that great moment where Gigo utterly rejects the notion that he can exist without Dairine around. It makes sense, you know? Even with all the knowledge Dairine gave them, even with the power of wizardry, these beings still have a lot to learn.

“Will there be pain? Like the Dark that Pulls?”

WOW, THANKS FOR THAT HEART PUNCH. Christ, it’s so hard to read that because I’m realizing it’s like a child coming to understand that existence is not all a good thing, you know? There’s pain and misery and suffering that’s part of the package, too. So… why are there so few wizards? Why not increase the odds of making the universe a better place? Now I’m wondering – given the ending of this chapter – if that was always how it was meant to be. What if that is the way this was all designed? I say that because of how the conversation goes. Once Logo begins to talk about slowlife and how inefficient they are, I got uncomfortable. But initially, it seemed like a necessary thing to talk about. These creatures don’t understand how others live, so Dairine has to explain it to them. Fair enough, right?

But the conversation takes a frightening turn once Dairine realizes how serious these creatures are when they state that they’re going to stop entropy. BY STOPPING TIME FROM PASSING IN THE UNIVERSE UNTIL THEY FIGURE OUT HOW TO ELIMINATE ENTROPY. No, I’m not even exaggerating:

They’re talking about shutting the universe down for a thousand years at a time and letting it have a second’s growth every now and then in between!

I DID NOT DO THIS JUSTICE. So Dairine (bless her heart) refuses to back down, and it’s one of my very favorite things about her. Again, she’s perfectly suited for this because she’s willing to stand behind the fate of the entire universe. She does it without hesitation, despite that she’s young, despite that she might not be fully prepared, and despite that she’s dealing with one of the scariest things she’ll ever face: the Lone Power, who managed to quietly slip into this world and now sits inside Logo.

Their big fight is going to be about the fate of all living things. Dairine has to fight for entropy, y’all, and I cannot wait to see it.

Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in the Young Wizards series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards.
– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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