In the first half of the sixth chapter ofÂ High Wizardy, THIS IS ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS EVER. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.Â
THIS IS A REAL BOOK. THAT I GET TO READ. AND EXPERIENCE. AND TALK ABOUT WITH ALL OF YOU. ITâ€™S TOTALLY REAL ANDÂ I CAN BARELY BELIEVE IT.
No big deal, Dairine just hops through the solar system in a matter of seconds between jumps. THATâ€™S COOL, NO BIG DEAL. Itâ€™s as if Duane knew the sequence on the Moon inÂ Deep WizardryÂ was intense and magical, and then she thought, â€œHow shall I raise the barÂ on myself?â€ and then THIS HAPPENED.
Dairine traveled from marks to the Moons of Jupiter. She is the first person to, as Duane puts it:
â€¦and the huge differences between the two planetsâ€™ masses, vectors, and velocities caused Dairine to become the first Terran to lose her lunch on Jupiterâ€™s (then) outermost satellite, Ananke.
WHAT A SENTENCE, Yâ€™ALL. It is just one bit of surrealism amidst a sequence full of nothing but images and experiences and feelings and sensations that none of us will likely ever go through ever. Dairine, in her quest to do the impossible, doesnâ€™t look back on her journey. She just keeps pressing forward. Which is realistic, I admit, because Duane makes sure to write her as being naÃ¯ve and short-sighted in her goals. While she jumps from planet to moon in our solar system, thereâ€™s a moment that highlights just how little sheâ€™s thought about the ramifications of what sheâ€™s done:
That brought up the question of food, which needed to be handled. Dairine considered briefly, then used the software to open a storage pocket in otherspace. By means of the transit utility she then removed a loaf of bread, a bottle of mustard, and half a pound of bologna from the refrigerator back home, stuffing them into local otherspace where she could get at them.Â MomÂ â€™nâ€™ Dad wonâ€™t notice,Â she thought,Â and even if they do, whatâ€™re they going to do about it? Ground my copy?
At that point in the text, this was the first real acknowledgement from Dairine that she might get in trouble, yet look at what she focuses on: ingredients for a bologna sandwich. (Which, first of all, I had a visceral reaction to that because bologna is one of the few things in the world that I despise, and my mom constantly tried to push it on me as a child, and THAT HORRID MEAT BY-PRODUCT SHALL NOT ENTER THE TEMPLE THAT IS MY BODY.) She literally references her copy without a single thought as to how messed up it is that she left a soulless copy of herself behind to avoid getting in trouble!
However, once Dairine decides to leave the solar system to find something interesting and â€œspecial,â€ Duane truly demonstrates how poorly thought-out this whole trip is. She doesnâ€™t do so just to be cruel, and I wouldnâ€™t ignore how incredibly powerful this is. Even prior to this, I couldnâ€™t deny what a treat it was to know that Dairine could hear the remnants of theÂ actualÂ Big Bang while in space. But yâ€™all. Yâ€™ALL. Iâ€™m guessing that if Dairine had not cut off her computer, we would have learned that Rirhath B was called a â€œcoreworldâ€ specifically because it was intended to be the Crossings.
And wouldnâ€™t it make sense that wizards would find a way to create a central hub for gateways to the entirety of the universe? Thatâ€™s not to say thatÂ onlyÂ wizards are in the Crossings, but still. I know Iâ€™m jumping ahead, but I canâ€™t help it. I DONâ€™T EVEN KNOW HOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS SCENE. Itâ€™s like Diane Duane sawÂ Star Trek, enjoyed it, but wanted to prove that she could represent interstellar travel a billion times better than that show ever could.
How? By not having every alien be an upright hominid.
I canâ€™t even picture the metallic cube aliens in my head. I have no basis for them. Indeed, much of what we see in the Crossings is so ridiculous and out of the realm of human understanding that I felt overwhelmed by the whole thing, much like Dairine did.Â But that is a good thing. Duane had to show us that Dairineâ€™s decision, made in ignorance, had unbearable side effects. She chose to travel toÂ theÂ hub of the universe without money, without the knowledge of how to translate other languages outside of what her computer can do, and without any preparation. Is it an amazing scene? Of course! I was thrilled to read it! Yet itâ€™s not all joy and sunshine for Dairine, and I appreciate that. I think itâ€™s brilliant of Duane to overstimulate Dairine to the point that she nearly regrets the trip. I donâ€™t think itâ€™s the sole point of her Ordeal, but itâ€™s certainly a part of it. Dairine needs to learn what sheâ€™s getting into, and sheâ€™s learning the hard way that she just jumped into the deep end without swimming lessons.
Sheâ€™s clever and observant, and Iâ€™m sure sheâ€™ll figure a way out. But for nowâ€¦ my gods, what an incredible turn of events. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH.
Diane Duane is still offering a massive discount on the first 9 books in theÂ Young WizardsÂ series just to this community, so please take advantage of this deal while you still can:
Mark Links Stuff
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