Discussion:
Has Diane Duane Ever Finished a Series?
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Joe Bernstein
2019-07-05 21:31:29 UTC
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I recently came upon a copy of Duane's <Omnitopia Dawn> and read it.
I'd assumed it would be an incomplete story because the ISFDB said it
had a sequel. It wasn't particularly incomplete, though the ending
clearly did mean to set up that sequel. But the sequel, <East Wind>,
seems never to have appeared, ISFDB notwithstanding.

This of course is something Duane has done before; <The Door into
Starlight> is up there with <The Splendor, the Misery of Bodies,
of Cities> and <The Last Dangerous Visions> as a famous lost book. [1]

Anyway, I got curious, and I'm asking because I'm in no position to
go find out for myself.

1. To what extent can either the Young Wizards series (begun 1983,
latest book 2016) or the Feline Wizards offshoot (begun 1997,
latest book 2011) be regarded as finished?

2. To what extent do the following books - what the Clute books call
"ties" - represent the conclusions of series?
a. <The Octopus Agenda>, 1996 (latest of three "Spider-Man: The
Venom Factor" titles, all by Duane)
b. <High Moon> with Peter Morwood, 1992 (latest of three "Space
Cops" titles, all by the pair)
c. <The Empty Chair>, 2006 (latest of five "Star Trek: The
Original Series: Rihannsu" titles, all by Duane)
d. <Nightfall at Algemron>, 2000 (latest of three "Star*Drive:
Harbinger" titles, all by Duane)
e. <Deathmatch>, 2003 (latest of, the ISFDB says, nineteen "Tom
Clancy's Net Force Explorers" titles, seven by Duane; English
Wikipedia sv Duane opines that this was the eighteenth volume,
however, and Duane's entry in the online SFE gives her a co-
author for several; perhaps these are quantum books, different
for each bibliographic observer?)

3. Is <A Wind from the South>, 2011, really a book in a series called
"Raetian Tales", and if so, is the series finished with that one
book?

In other words, my naive impression is that Duane really doesn't have
it in her to finish a series, but there seems to be a strong chance
that I'm wrong. In particular, it *looks* like she's more likely to
finish a series if she *doesn't* have complete ownership of it. (On
the other hand, series 2c, "Rihannsu", seems to be longer than it was
when it was collected as an omnibus, so maybe she never sees *any*
series *as* finished? That could even be part of why announced
completions don't seem to matter to her.)

Comments? Answers?

Thanks

Joe Bernstein

[1] Less famous, but still aggravating to me, anyway, are unfinished
series by Scott Westerfeld ("Succession") and Alaya Dawn Johnson
("Spirit Binders"). I don't remember that either had the added pain
of an announced title for the missing book, but I could just have
forgotten. In Johnson's case the reason was the publisher's loss of
interest - it didn't make economic sense to her to go the Kickstarter
route or such, as opposed to a more lucrative move into YA. I don't
know what happened with Westerfeld, but he did in fact move into YA,
so I suspect it was something similar. For that matter, one could
read Duane's career, decades earlier, as including the same move.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Garrett Wollman
2019-07-05 21:59:54 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
This of course is something Duane has done before; <The Door into
Starlight> is up there with <The Splendor, the Misery of Bodies,
of Cities> and <The Last Dangerous Visions> as a famous lost book. [1]
Not so much "lost" as "left unfinished because the publishers showed
no interest in buying it". Duane is a methodical, professional writer
and does not tend to put effort into writing things for which the
market seems to be absent. However, there have been two shorter works
(I think they fall officially into the "novelette" or "novella"
category) published out of three planned that are supposed to set up
STARLIGHT. There exists an outline, in other words, that defines
where STARLIGHT is supposed to go. She did announce last year that
she was going to go forward with the writing, which was more than she
had been willing to do for a decade, so presumably she either has the
book under contract or has determined that she can make enough money
through self-publishing it to justify the time investment.

Hopefully she will talk a bit more about this at Worldcon next month
(where she is GoH).
Post by Joe Bernstein
1. To what extent can either the Young Wizards series (begun 1983,
latest book 2016) or the Feline Wizards offshoot (begun 1997,
latest book 2011) be regarded as finished?
I think this series is in some sense intended to be open-ended,
insofar as there isn't a complete outline that says what happens when
Kit and Nita go off to college, etc., nor is it clear that the current
publisher will be interested in continuing it that far. There is a
lot of additional writing in this series, some of it canonical, which
is only self-published. All of the Young Wizards books except the
most recent one were substantially revised and edited to make them
more appealing to modern-day audiences. The previously published
editions had suffered from a rubber timeline, where each book was
written in the "present day" in terms of cultural and technological
references but the characters aged only in story time (twenty years
later, Nita and Kit were still in high school).

-GAWollman
--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
***@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)
Quadibloc
2019-07-06 18:53:36 UTC
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Post by Garrett Wollman
Not so much "lost" as "left unfinished because the publishers showed
no interest in buying it". Duane is a methodical, professional writer
and does not tend to put effort into writing things for which the
market seems to be absent. However, there have been two shorter works
(I think they fall officially into the "novelette" or "novella"
category) published out of three planned that are supposed to set up
STARLIGHT. There exists an outline, in other words, that defines
where STARLIGHT is supposed to go. She did announce last year that
she was going to go forward with the writing, which was more than she
had been willing to do for a decade, so presumably she either has the
book under contract or has determined that she can make enough money
through self-publishing it to justify the time investment.
Thank you for the information. I recall having read some of the books in that
series. I was unaware of the status of the series as a whole, but from what you
have told us, it is clear that the situation is no fault of hers.

John Savard
Ahasuerus
2019-07-05 22:04:57 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
I recently came upon a copy of Duane's <Omnitopia Dawn> and read it.
I'd assumed it would be an incomplete story because the ISFDB said it
had a sequel. It wasn't particularly incomplete, though the ending
clearly did mean to set up that sequel. But the sequel, <East Wind>,
seems never to have appeared, ISFDB notwithstanding. [snip]
Updated, thanks. It looks like the book was cancelled prior to
publication; I don't know whether anything may remain in her archives.
As per a 2010 interview
(https://io9.gizmodo.com/diane-duane-says-all-fiction-even-science-fiction-is-a-5700553):

"Right now, I'm in the midst of work on the second book, Omnitopia:
East Wind".
Post by Joe Bernstein
In other words, my naive impression is that Duane really doesn't have
it in her to finish a series, but there seems to be a strong chance
that I'm wrong. In particular, it *looks* like she's more likely to
finish a series if she *doesn't* have complete ownership of it.
[snip-snip]

It may be useful to try to distinguish between three different types
of series:

1. Traditional series with an overarching plot
2. Episodic series whose books have loosely related plots
3. Works or sub-series set in some other author's or entity's
universe

I wouldn't necessarily expect an author to be able or willing to wrap
up the last two types of series.
Joe Bernstein
2019-07-05 22:31:03 UTC
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Post by Ahasuerus
Post by Joe Bernstein
In other words, my naive impression is that Duane really doesn't have
it in her to finish a series, but there seems to be a strong chance
that I'm wrong. In particular, it *looks* like she's more likely to
finish a series if she *doesn't* have complete ownership of it.
[snip-snip]
It may be useful to try to distinguish between three different types
1. Traditional series with an overarching plot
2. Episodic series whose books have loosely related plots
3. Works or sub-series set in some other author's or entity's
universe
I wouldn't necessarily expect an author to be able or willing to wrap
up the last two types of series.
Obviously, but part of my point in the original post is that, counter-
intuitively, Duane *appears* to have finished series of type 3, but
not of type 1.

Granted it's sorta silly to expect a writer to "finish" a series of
type 2. Since the "Young Wizards" books - at least as far as I've
read them - amount to mythopoetic fantasy, the naive expectation is
that they *should* be type 1, but even in the books I've read it
grows increasingly obvious that they aren't, and the mere existence
of all the books I haven't read makes this pretty clear. At least,
AFAIK, Duane isn't doing the 1950s thing and aiming them towards the
approved ending of the protagonists marrying.

"Omnitopia" would appear to be type 1, but, well, cf "Young Wizards".
I don't think I've even seen <A Wind from the South>; the short plot
summaries I have access to imply that it's mythopoesy too, so in
principle ...

The "Door" series, however, is blatantly type 1. I'm glad to hear
that the last book may after all appear.

Joe Bernstein

PS One part of my education in the differences among these types of
series has been the career of Lawrence Watt-Evans. I first
encountered him through a volume in his "Lords of Dus" series, which
seems to be type 1, and later got increasingly irritated as he
focused on Ethshar, because when I was younger I thought there was
something immoral about series of type 2. Anyway, I recentishly
acquired all four volumes of the "Lords of Dus" for the first time -
but somehow can only ever find, in my storage, *either* the book I
read as a teenager, *or* the other three - never all four at once.
Argh.
--
Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
David Goldfarb
2019-07-06 03:27:38 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
3. Is <A Wind from the South>, 2011, really a book in a series called
"Raetian Tales", and if so, is the series finished with that one
book?
I've read _A Wind from the South_ and yes, it really is part of a
series called "Raetian Tales" that isn't directly connected with
any of her other fictional worlds (except insofar as they may all
be parts of a larger omniverse [even the Star Trek tie-ins]).
Unfortunately, I read it long enough ago that I don't remember
how complete it is. I don't *think* it ends on a cliffhanger.
--
David Goldfarb |"We were walking backwards because if we walked
***@gmail.com | forwards our eyeballs would freeze."
***@ocf.berkeley.edu | -- Graydon
David DeLaney
2019-07-08 05:53:42 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
1. To what extent can either the Young Wizards series (begun 1983,
latest book 2016) or the Feline Wizards offshoot (begun 1997,
latest book 2011) be regarded as finished?
Neither as such has a really definable endpoint; there'll probably alays be
more stories to tell about either Kit and Nita as they continue maturing and
maybe go their separate ways, and about the sorcerous cats of the Station and
their nonhuman take on the whole thing. It's open-ended, in other words.
Post by Joe Bernstein
c. <The Empty Chair>, 2006 (latest of five "Star Trek: The
Original Series: Rihannsu" titles, all by Duane)
I'm pretty sure by now she's said all she wanted to say there?
I don't recall them as a tight series, more as a set of 'story develops in
each one and knowing about the previous one(s) lets you get references' thing.

She also has about four other Star Trek books, all good; you HAVE to read _The
Wounded Sky_ if you haven't already.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Harbinger" titles, all by Duane)
I have these, have read them, and have absolutely no memory of them, sorry.
Post by Joe Bernstein
3. Is <A Wind from the South>, 2011, really a book in a series called
"Raetian Tales", and if so, is the series finished with that one book?
It may be, and I don't think so but it works as a standalone; there's clearly
more world out there to explore.
Post by Joe Bernstein
Comments? Answers?
I am of course waiting for _The Door Into Starlight_, but am also waiting for
_The Big Meow_, a Feline Wizards novel serialized on her website, to become
available at least as an ebook somewhere. I've been waiting A While Now.

Dave, another thing I'm waiting for is the third Thomas Covenant series to
come out in paperback; it showed up in trade paperback and stalled there ...
15 years ago. It's still in stores in that size. Quite not the Done Thing,
you know.
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
David DeLaney
2019-07-08 20:43:50 UTC
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Post by David DeLaney
Post by Joe Bernstein
Harbinger" titles, all by Duane)
I have these, have read them, and have absolutely no memory of them, sorry.
Wikipedia has it as a Trilogy, which resonates with the faint echoes I have of
the covers.

Dave, following up
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Michael Ikeda
2019-07-08 22:07:58 UTC
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Post by David DeLaney
Post by Joe Bernstein
Comments? Answers?
I am of course waiting for _The Door Into Starlight_, but am
also waiting for _The Big Meow_, a Feline Wizards novel
serialized on her website, to become available at least as an
ebook somewhere. I've been waiting A While Now.
"The Big Meow" is currently available (and has been for at least
several months). One can find a link to purchase the ebook by going
to ebooksdirect.co and clicking on "Our Inventory" or by going to
dianeduane.com and clicking on "Ebook Store".
Moriarty
2019-07-08 22:17:39 UTC
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On Monday, July 8, 2019 at 3:53:49 PM UTC+10, David DeLaney wrote:

<snip>
Post by David DeLaney
Dave, another thing I'm waiting for is the third Thomas Covenant series to
come out in paperback; it showed up in trade paperback and stalled there ...
15 years ago. It's still in stores in that size. Quite not the Done Thing,
you know.
I suspect you'll be waiting some time for that. I've seen several paperbacks I've waited for never materialise.

At what point will you give up and read it (Covenant 3)? I read it on my kindle and enjoyed it in a most puissant, coruscating, bedizened and inchoate manner.

-Moriarty
t***@gmail.com
2019-07-09 11:04:14 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
<snip>
Post by David DeLaney
Dave, another thing I'm waiting for is the third Thomas Covenant series to
come out in paperback; it showed up in trade paperback and stalled there ...
15 years ago. It's still in stores in that size. Quite not the Done Thing,
you know.
I suspect you'll be waiting some time for that. I've seen several paperbacks I've waited for never materialise.
At what point will you give up and read it (Covenant 3)? I read it on my kindle and enjoyed it in a most puissant, coruscating, bedizened and inchoate manner.
Oh, well done. <applause>
David DeLaney
2019-07-10 01:31:33 UTC
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Post by Moriarty
At what point will you give up and read it (Covenant 3)?
Oh, I _have_ read it, from the library. And was startled to find out that
a) there's four books in the third trilogy
and
b) I had little or no recollection of the plot of the first couple, despite
remembering that I had read at least the first one around the time I came
out. Also, the recollection of how I disliked it turned out to have little
basis in reality.

I just don't OWN them.

Dave, similarly, Ilona Andrews' final book in the Magic series, Magic Triumphs,
just came out ... in very-small-trade-paperback format. Unlike the rest of the
series, which are ALL in MMP. Only other author I know that's pulled this is
Jim Butcher, partway through the Alera Chronicles. It is frustrating. The
library had the hardback, so I've read it, but in my experience this means it
will never EVER come out in MMP, so I won't ever be able to buy it in a format
matching th erest of the series...

Dave
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
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