In the ninth chapter ofÂ High Wizardry, I have yet again reached a point where I donâ€™t know how I would ever describe this sequence to a total stranger. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Young Wizards.Â
This series is truly going to be an experience for me, isnâ€™t it?
How? How do you begin to evenÂ conceiveÂ of a character visiting a silicon planet, plugging their computer into it, causing the planet to freak out, and then offering themselves as a conduit so that said silicon planet can EXPERIENCE SOMETHING OTHER THAN ITSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME? I donâ€™t even know, yâ€™all. And itâ€™s just so rare (at least in my reading/watching experience) to see science fiction that tackles silicon lifeforms! I admit that this made this section a bit challenging to read because itâ€™s been YEARS since I last took a class relating to biology or chemistry, so some of the science went right over my head.
But thatâ€™s okay because it didnâ€™t distract from the story itself. I understood what was happening even if some of the details escaped me. THe planet wasÂ alive, possibly roiling with a monocellular organism embedded into the surface of the earth. Thus, thatâ€™s why Dairineâ€™s computer nearly burst once it was connected to a local source of power. Up to that point, it was highly likely that these life forms had NEVER INTERACTED WITH ANYTHING EVER. Ever! And then a computer connects to it, and itâ€™s got information of galaxies and universes and species and cultures and art forms and the entirety of wizardry, and itâ€™s just too much for this silicon planet to handle.
And I canâ€™t ignore how adorable that very concept is. The planet is overjoyed to justÂ talkÂ with something, even if itâ€™s just basic binary or in series. Yet I didnâ€™t realize just how much joy the planet felt until Dairine offered herself up to it. Dairine gave up her body so that the planet could haveÂ senses. CAN WE JUST REMIND OURSELVES WHAT A HUGE THING THIS IS. She gave aÂ planetÂ FEELINGS.
Joy, it was simplyÂ joy, joy at discovering meaning: joy so intense that all Dairineâ€™s muscles jumped in reaction to it, breaking her out of the connection and flinging her face down on the glazed ground.
This makes perfect sense to me. I get it, and I felt a wave of happiness wash over me when I read it. But how the hell could you possibly explain this without context? I love that Duaneâ€™s books reward you for the journey by including things that are strange and ethereal and otherworldly, yet they still fit perfectly within the story. Itâ€™s beautiful, simply put, and while I have no idea where this is leading and why this planet is part of her Ordeal, Iâ€™m thankful that she ended up there.
At the same timeâ€¦ whatâ€™s going to happen once the planet knows everything the computer does? We get a preview of that here, and I sensed from the computerâ€™s reaction to Dairineâ€™s request that it was probably a bad, bad idea. Yet thereâ€™s that moment of calm where Dairine watches the sun rise, and itâ€™s so awesome, and I was tricked into thinking everything was fine until:
And then the crust cracked upward in jagged pieces, and theÂ somethingÂ underneath pushed through and up and out.
As far as I can tell, the silicon earth gives â€œbirthâ€ toâ€¦ a computer. With fourteen legs. A computer. A COMPUTER. In a way, that makes a lot of sense! The planet interacted with a machine made of a lot of silicon, so it probably tried to emulate it. But that doesnâ€™t make the sight of this thing any less difficult to cope with. Yâ€™all, Dairine literally is all, â€œIâ€™M OUT, PEACE, GONNA SLEEP THE SHOCK AWAY.â€ I donâ€™t blame her! Her day has been so ridiculous that the word â€œridiculousâ€ doesnâ€™t even fit anymore. Itâ€™s beyond absurd. And unfortunately, this is just the start: the Lone Power snuffs out most of the sun over the silicon planet.
THE LONE POWER IS COMING.Â NO.
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:
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