dianeduane: (New DD Av)

***With thanks to Ursula Vernon for a most magic moment: see under the cut***

Once upon a time (or indeed once upon another time, if that suits you better: there’s always more time lying around), in the lounge bar of a pub in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, a redheaded woman is kissing a pig.

Not just any woman, granted. And definitely not just any Pig.

In any case, none of this is as difficult as it might sound on first hearing, as the Pig is both graceful and light on his feet, and good at displacing his  own mass in such a way as not to wreck the barstool on which he’s perched. Nor (from the redhead’s side of things) is this particularly an unpleasant experience, as the Pig’s facial bristles are on the soft side, and due to being fairly silvery to start with, almost invisible anyway — as if he’s wearing a very subtle and discreet version of designer stubble, with a slight glitter about it.

“Chao, bello.” It is of course a pun, a terrible one. “Mwah. Mwah.”

The redhead gets a third “Mwah” from the pig, then straightens up and looks at him quizzically. “Three? What, are we in Switzerland all of a sudden? Or no, of course you are. By definition.”

“And why not? Besides, a three for one deal, I’d think you’d be in favor. Value for money. Very Swiss. Anyway, I hear you’re planning to be crying on the bar up there shortly…” He grins.

“Oh, don’t you start tormenting me now! I can get that at home.” She rolls her eyes. “Yet another way for the BBC to break my heart, who needed that…? Come on, get yourself settled.”

No one in the bar shows the slightest sign of having noticed a redhead kissing the Pig hello a la Suisse, or the two of them settling in their respective seats. This is partly because all this is happening in the woman’s head, but also partly because this is one of her locals. And even if they could see what was going on, the neighbors (who’re by now well used to seeing this particular redhead with a red wine and a mineral water and a netbook and an iPad and a notebook on the bar in front of her, working on them all at once) would never be caught actually remarking on whatever she’s up to this time. At least not until she’s left.

“You comfortable?”

“Entirely.”

“What’s your pleasure? They’ve got Ballygowan if you’re on the clock.”

“You kidding? I’ve been on the clock since the local Big Bang, and no one cares when I punch out. Or is qualified to judge what I’m doing, whether I have or not. If you’re buying I’ll have a Remy, thankyouverymuch.”

The dark-haired assistant manager, Louise, comes around and takes their orders without batting an eye. (And why would this be a surprise when you think how many jokes start with “A(n) [x] walks into a bar…”? They get all kinds around here; any place that routinely deals with Wicklow bachelor farmers has no problems with the occasional Yank-Irish woman or silvery-pink Pig.) Shortly the redhead has a fresh glass of a Spanish-bred Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Pig has an oversized snifter of XO, and they are clinking glasses.

“Mud in your eye.”

“Like there’s any on you. Ne’gakh emeirsith.”

They sip and settle back into the calm atmosphere. Halloween isn’t for another two weeks and change, but the decorations are up already: people here like Halloween, and in any case there’s not the inevitable groaning that comes with the appurtenances of Christmas (especially the TV ads) starting too fecking soon. The place is calmly busy, half-full with a subset of the place’s normal afternoon clientele — in the recently-redone front bar, guys who have bets on races or the football are escaping home life till teatime; here in the lounge to the rear, ladies and gents are cozied away in the U-shaped banquette booths, having tea or drinks and taking a break from the shopping with the kids in tow. Some of the smallest of the tinies are thundering up and down past the far wall in the enclosed play area.

The most important thing the pub has, besides a comfortable atmosphere and genial staff who know the redhead and her husband of old, and a good restaurant and lunch buffet, is working wi-fi—which the redhead has been exploiting for some time now to turn this general area into one of several Away Offices. Now, though, she shuts down the laptop and the Pad and silences the phone and takes a few other precautions against being interrupted. “Thought we’d have been having this conversation a bit earlier,” the Pig remarks, gazing around.

“Nope, we’re right on time.” She finishes putting the last of the various devices to sleep. “You know the guidelines. If you’re going to self-insert, don’t be shy about it, don’t let yourself off easy, and pay attention to the symmetry. Right at the beginning, right at the end, or smack dab in the middle.”

“Or all three.”

“Can’t have a resonance with just one thing, can you? You need two, minimum. But three’s a chord.”

“So tell me something I don’t know.”

She chuckles. “Bit of a stretch, that…”

“Well, I may be omnipresent, but that doesn’t necessarily make me omniscient.”

On the face of it, this is true, but the redhead suspects that the Transcendent Pig—due to his unique uncreated status—has certain positional advantages he doesn’t routinely reveal or discuss. Fine: so does she. “Let’s not play semantics games just now,” she said. “Got other business.”

“I assumed so. What’s on your mind?”

“Well… You know what I’ve been up to.”

“It’s more or less unavoidable. You mean the OTP thing.”

“Yes.”

“So?”

“Well… The spooning.”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
The Games Wizards Play website splash page

 

It's  February 2, 2016.

The book has its own website, as well as its own Tumblr and Twitter: you can follow its progress there.

dianeduane: (New DD Av)
image

Sometimes Nita wishes she could just open her eyes in the morning and be ready to leap right out of the bed and get on with stuff. Unfortunately, life doesn’t seem to have arranged itself for her that way.

She lies there this morning, staring at the ceiling, and wishes it again. What I need is something like in that Wallace and Gromit movie, she thinks. Where somebody pulls a lever and dumps you into your clothes and automates your putting-yourself-together and your breakfast.

She yawns and rubs the early-morning gunk out of her eyes (why is there always so much of this gunk?). She knew it had to do with eye fatigue.  Hilary the optometrist had told her so once, back in the ancient day—back when her folks were concerned enough to  take her to an eye specialist because all of a sudden she didn’t need her glasses any more.  Though it had always been a given that Nita’s astigmatism was of the kind that would clear up eventually by itself, having it happen so quickly—and take the nearsightedness with it—had freaked her mom and dad out. And unfortunately Nita wasn’t yet out to her parents as a wizard, and so couldn’t explain that she had slowly and carefully been talking her own eyeballs into changing their shape so that her eyes’ inner focus points would fall on the right place on her retinas.

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
It's not scientists who find the first signs of life on Mars. It's wizards... Young wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan become part of an elite team investigating the mysterious, long-sought "message in a bottle" that holds the first clues to the secrets of the long-lost inhabitants of Mars. But not even wizardry is enough to cope with the strange events that start to unfold when the "bottle" is uncorked and life emerges once more to shake the Red Planet with its own perilous and baffling brand of magic.

The good news is that the Martians seem friendly. The bad news is that now they're free to pick up where they left off on a long-dormant plan that could change the shape of more than one world… and they don't mind using their well-intentioned rescuers to achieve their goals. Kit’s long-standing fascination with all things Martian unexpectedly enmeshes him in a terrible, age-old conflict -- turning him into both a possible key to its solution, and a tool that in the wrong hands shortly threatens the whole human race.

Only Kit has a shot at defusing the threat. But when he vanishes unexpectedly from the Mars of here and now, his fellow wizards are left uncertain of where his true loyalties lie. Nita’s determination to find the truth – and Kit – soon sends her into battle against an implacable enemy who may not be conquerable except by violating wizardry’s most basic tenets. As the shadow of interplanetary war stretches ever more darkly over both worlds, Kit and Nita must fight to understand and master the strange and ancient synergy binding them to Mars and its last inhabitants… or the history that left Mars lifeless will repeat itself on Earth... Now at the online store at Ebooks Direct
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
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The staging room is two flights up from where something like three hundred people are crammed wall to wall into the downstairs space of the Liberty Bounds pub on Trinity Square at the City’s edge, drinking strange liquids with names like Old Speckled Hen and Waggle Dance and Theakston’s Old Peculier out of pint glasses, while pausing occasionally to roar in annoyance or cheer in wild approval at something happening on the big-screen TVs. The third-floor upstairs room, however, contains nothing but a scatter of hardwood tables and chairs, and its mostly bare walls are ornamented with nothing more interesting than a selection of framed eighteenth-century cartoon prints and various posters advertising guest beers, upcoming karaoke nights, curry days and eighties revival-band dates, and other locations in the UK’s big Wetherspoon pub chain.

In the middle of the room, some of the the tables and chairs have been pushed out of the way to make an empty area about twenty feet wide. In that space stand three people unusually dressed for the early twenty-first century: two men in their very early forties, and a tall young man of sixteen or so. In the middle of the room with them, a rectangular slice of air about three feet wide and seven feet high has been talked into solidity and coaxed into the perfect reflectivity of a mirror.

The youngest of the group in the middle of the room is standing in front of the wizardly mirror and muttering under his breath, more or less constantly, as he fiddles with his clothes. At last he says loudly enough to be heard, “You think they had a higher than usual percentage of wizards in the late eighteen hundreds?”

A pause. “Haven’t seen any numbers on that recently,” says Carl under his breath as he buttons up his dark close-fitting vest over a full-sleeved white shirt with high collar and strangely-knotted dark tie. “Can’t think why the stats would be above the planetary half-millennial median, though. Why?”

“Because it has to have taken wizardry to deal with all… these… fastenings!”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
A Wizard Abroad New Millennium Edition cover

Teenage wizards Nita Callahan and Kit Rodriguez have been working the New York suburbs for nearly thirty years now, through nine novels' worth of adventures. As the dawn of their fourth decade in print draws near, the long-planned updating of the Young Wizards series continues with the Ebooks Direct release of the fourth novel in the series: A Wizard Abroad.

Abroad, like So You Want to Be a Wizard (book 1 of the Young Wizards series), Deep Wizardry (book 2), and High Wizardry (book 3), now appears in a New Millennium Edition that's been extensively edited and updated for the present century.

You can find out more about the update project as a whole here. All nine books will be updated by the end of 1Q of 2013, and all brought into alignment with the new (2008-2011-based) timeline.

If you've already picked up copies of the first two New Millennium Editions, you can grab A Wizard Abroad here. Alternately, if you haven't yet acquired any of the new editions, we're offering a four-volume "box set" of the first New Millennium Editions at a slightly lower price than buying all four separately.
New Millennium Edition Four-book set

(For those interested: book 5 of the series, The Wizard's Dilemma, is now in edit and will be available around mid-February of 2013.)

A little about the story:


There's magic across the Atlantic...

NitaCallahan's mom and dad are beginning to get the idea that she and her fellow wizard Kit are "spending a little too much time together". So -- explaining that they want to give their daughter a little vacation from wizardry -- they pack Nita off for a month-long stay with her eccentric aunt at her farm in Ireland. But this turns out to have been a bad move on Nita's parents' part, since Ireland is even more steeped in magical doings than the United States.

Nita, initially certain that she's going to be bored out of her mind, soon finds that the serene beauty of the Irish landscape is deceptive. The ghosts of men and beasts and other beings -- including what seem to be heroes, ancient gods, and even the Powers that Be -- confront her at every turn. And her attention to strictly wizardly business during this crisis is somewhat distracted by the dark and edgy Ronan Nolan, a local teen wizard with uncomfortable secrets... and an agenda that might possibly include Nita.

 
Along with a group of Irish wizards both young and old, Nita and Kit (who joins her in Ireland) are drafted into an increasingly desperate battle with the Lone Power in yet another of Its many forms. The fight is a personal one, as always -- but this time there's more at stake than usual, as the ancient Enemy of life attempts to submerge the everyday Ireland in an older, more dangerous one: a place where human beings are fairy tales, and the legends and monsters of Celtic myth are a deadly reality....

Reviewers say:



"Duane seamlessly interweaves encounters with creatures from legend with glimpses of modern Irish life and teen culture... So clever and well reasoned that readers will have no trouble suspending disbelief." (School Library Journal)




"An engaging fantastical tale... Definitely worth reading." (Book Trust)




"Suitable for a wide range of readers. The colourful descriptions and imaginative characters create an exciting read... found it difficult to put the book down." (Platform)





To sign up for our shop's mailing list and be informed of new releases in the New Millennnium series (and other offerings), click here.
dianeduane: (New DD Av)

ETA: Offer extended for one more day because the damn conjunctivitis GOT THE OTHER DAMN EYE. More details at the original Tumblr posting here. Also (over there) a link to a horrid, horrid pic of the first eye. Peter, I am so going to get you for this.

Preamble: I HATE THIS SO MUCH.

I hate being sick generally. (It's all true about [even former] nurses being terrible patients. Even more terrible than doctors, probably.) I've had a cold for the last few days (it's Peter's: I mutated it a bit -- what else would I do with a disease but tinker with it). I've been drinking tea and feeling my lymph nodes and sulking and doing all the things one does at such a time, when they feel their medical knowledge should by rights protect them from the smaller indignities of life.

Around eight last night I started feeling like I had something in my left eye. That there's-an-eyelash-stuck-in-there feeling: you know the one. I had just had some ramen with wasabi in it and I kind of laughed and thought "Right, maybe I got some wasabi up there." Funny.

By about midnight it was becoming plain that wasabi was not the issue. The upper eyelid was swelling.

4 AM I woke up and asked Peter (in his office working, he's the Owl in the Owl Springs Partnership) if he'd wander downstairs and make me a hot pack with a washcloth and a Zip-Loc bag. I was thinking maybe I had an inflamed tear duct or something. Got some relief from the pack, turned over and tried to sleep a bit.

8 AM ... went to take care of things and look in the mirror...

This was definitely nothing to do with wasabi. NOT AT ALL. (sigh)

(Normally the understanding is "Pictures or it didn't happen." Forgive me for not posting something here that would, as Hawkeye once said, "put you right off your french fried lobster." Peter took one look at me and said (torn between awe and pity, since when I look awful I look really awful), "I don't think I want to go to the pub with you tonight. The neighbors might think I punched you.") ...So what have we got? Sudden-onset eye irritation, swollen upper or lower lid (both in this case, we do nothing by halves around here), incredibly bloodshot sclera, at the same time as a cold? Snap diagnoses: Viral conjunctivitis. OH JOY.

(BTW: What you can't see here is me stopping every five minutes to put a cold pack on my eye, or wipe the constant tearing out of the bad one so I can see to type. I HATE THIS I HATE THIS I HATE THIS SO MUCH.)

So. Measures taken: In-house hygeine alert, as this this is incredibly contagious. I become a pariah in my own home. All towels, facecloths, and other impedimenta in contact with me become untouchable. Mild saline solution prepared to cleanse eye. Aspirin taken. Cold packs prepared. Sticky note on monitor says (in large letters easily visible to nearsighted woman without glasses) DO NOT TOUCH YOUR OTHER EYE STUPID, NO NO NO. (ETA: Resistance was Futile.) Husband warned to treat me like a walking case of Ebola (because, though he is a mirror of all virtues and a wonderful person, he is also, if at all possible, even worse as a patient than I am.) (But oh God, no cuddling, no, argh, no anything really until I cease to be infectious. This sucks unusually hard. DAMN YOU ADENOVIRUSES!)

And: to cheer me up, because I could really use it: I hereby declare a sale at the Ebooks Direct store. 50% off everything, today only. Use the discount code BUMEYE. Go on in and get yourself a 3-book set of the Young Wizards New Millennium editions or the full original-YW-series 9-book set or a copy of CSI Alfheim or some fairy tales or something. Do.

If you saw this pitiable rant on Twitter, please do RT it if you can see your way clear. (OUCH, inadvertent optical pun, sorry.) If you saw it on Tumblr, reblog it if you like, it'll be much appreciated. (OW OW OW this damn eye cold pack again). Knock yourselves out. I'm going to sit here with this squishy plastic dishtowel-wrapped thing against my face making me functionally useless, and practice cursing in Rihannsu or something.

...End of strop. Thank you for your continued support.  :)

(Dammit, what's the point in being sick in such a way that you can't even lie in bed and watch Sherlock DVDs successfully? Gaaaaah. ...And this cold pack's not even cold any more. What, did somebody leave entropy running again? Feck.)

dianeduane: (New DD Av)
image

Previously, somewhere in the main city of the Khe’tek continent on Rirhath B, just outside the Crossings:

“It’s not like it’s a bad look…”

“Mmmm… I don’t know. It’s—”

“Unsettling.”

“No, not like that. It’s just that—”

“Just what?”

“I could kind of get used to it.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“I mean, really really?”

“Well—”

“Take a leak first and then tell me that.”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
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The woman in the black jeans walks down a country road, in conversation with people only she can hear. Since she’s not using a mobile phone, anywhere else this would be seen as a dubious sign. Fortunately no one’s around to see except the people she’s talking to.

“There are only two kinds of people,” Nita says.

“Mmm?” Kit says. His mouth is full at the moment.

“Those who bite the ends off their ice cream cones when the ice cream starts melting,” Nita says, “and those who don’t.”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
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(Manual transcription, JD REDACTED XXXXXXXX.xxx - XXXXXXXX.xxx inclusive)

recording state: static | DYNAMIC
editing: locked | UNLOCKED
live context: off | ON
location: Sol IIIa
Illumination: 26%
Phase from primary: waning crescent
Coordinates: IAU: LQ11: 22.5° N / 18° W

regional designation: IAU: Montes Carpatus (old style: Lunar Carpathians)
microregion: no formal designation, no colloquial designation, reference coordinates; bookmark “Kit’s Rock”
Playback: flat text | CONTEXTUAL POV TEXT | audio | audio + view | audio + view + interior cognitive [more]
POV selection: static | dynamic | CONTEXT-DRIVEN | [more]
POV style: omnicient (total) | omniscient (need to know) | BLIND ITEM NARRATIVE | normal narrative | stream of consciousness [more]
POV narration: 3P | 2P | 1P | P-NEUTRAL [more]
POV depth: EXTERIOR | int. conscious | int. subconscious | int. preconscious [more]

(record begins)

CKR: You keep fiddling with that.

JLC: Yeah… the record settings are way more involved than I thought. Way more involved than they used to be, anyway. I messed something up the other day.

CKR: Anything serious?

JLC: Not really… got lucky that time.

CKR: ...Up here again.

JLC: Yeah, seems smartest. We’ll have some warning in case Certain People start looking for us.

CKR: Like we have the slightest chance of escaping notice—

JLC: Didn’t say that. Some warning, though.

CKR: Fair enough.

(break in record)
(record resumes)

JLC: It wasn’t, though.

CKR: It kinda was.

JLC: Uh, not really.

CKR: Look, it’s not like you were trying to hide anything about it. You told me you two were kissing. It’s okay.

JLC: But it wasn’t making out.

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)
Gili Motang is quite a beautiful island. Hot white sun, hot blue sky, warm blue water, beautiful scrub-forested hills over fascinating volcanic terrain: there’s a lot to recommend the place. Most of the beaches there aren’t great—way too rocky and North Shore-ish for the tastes of wizards raised closer to the pale smooth sand of Jones Beach. But there’s more to life than beaches, and Gili Motang has a lot going for it even where the beach is rocky and there’s driftwood and such lying around.

“So the Lone Power, the Michael Power and the Hesper walk into a bar…”

“Wait. No. Why would they even do that?”

“What, go into a bar?”

“No, walk into one.”

“Yeah, they’d just sort of appear, wouldn’t they? — ”

…Also lying around are five or six bored-looking komodo dragons, sprawled in the sun or hunched up in the shade of various boulders and gazing longingly about them at apparently unprotected creatures that they consider might be nice as prey. But the apparent lack of protection (as one or two of the dragons have discovered over the course of the afternoon) is deceptive. Now they sit about looking vaguely cranky at being disrespected, as no one’s paying them any attention any more.

This would be because the dragons have had their chance for the day with the one person here who is really interested in them. This is someone who looks very much like a dinosaur of the low-slung, heavy saurian type, and she’s finally finished having her regularly-scheduled temper tantrum over the stupid, stupid creatures who can’t see the advantages of being moved wholesale to another really lovely planet where all kinds of sentient beings who give a damn are just waiting to dance attendance on them twenty-six hours a day, the dimwitted, infuriating little—

“Ahem. Mamvish?”

“Yeah, Mamvish?”

“Projecting again!”

“Sorry. Sorry…”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)

You’d have trouble getting a definitive estimate of how many people pass through the Crossings on any given day. For one thing, the management has some reason to obfuscate the stats, specifically for security purposes. But regardless of the exact transit numbers being hidden, no one would argue the concept that a lot of people don’t go to the Crossings just to go somewhere else. Many go there just to go, because it truly is a stunning tourist destination..

Others, however, go to shop. Some go there to help others shop. And some… are less open about their motives.

***

Two young women, one almost a head taller than the other, materialize together on one of the blue-glowing hexes of the Gate 330 area. This forcewalled region of the wide white-shining Main Concourse floor is a “hard” target set aside for legacy gates like the oldest ones on Earth, which is where these travelers have come from; a routing via a dedicated catenary system in the New York suburbs, linking (for energy-saving purposes) through the old high-powered gate at Chur, and popping out here.

Reflexively the young women, seasoned travellers both, glance around them for a second after they manifest to make sure that none of the adjoining hexes are live: a smart move, as even in a facility this sophisticated, it only takes one software glitch combined with one careless moment to leave a person literally and physically bridging two different worlds. Once they’re sure the neighboring hexes are dark, they stroll off and out into the Concourse: a girl in blue jeans and a couple of layered tops in rose and green, under a short denim jacket; her companion in layered skirts and a force-braced camisole with red chase-light embroidery, keyed to her pulse.

“So, the emmfozing….”

“Yeah? What about it?”

“You were going to tell me how you got into it.”

“Yeah, well, you know how it is. Once you start grenfelzing, one thing just kind of leads to another…”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)

It’s a sufficiently unusual occurrence that you have to dig around in the Wizard's Manual a fair bit to find it.

Most potential practitioners of the Art make the acquaintance of wizardry through the direct and usually rather obscure action of the Powers that Be. The probationary-wizard-to-be comes across something unusual: an odd book or a peculiar computer or tablet, a voice that speaks to him or her alone, an object that somehow holds knowledge inside it and whispers it into the heart. Sooner or later the finder progresses through this initial discovery to the personal Choice offered by the presentation of the Wizard’s Oath, and (if it’s accepted) to the Ordeal that follows.

But sometimes matters go differently. Sometimes—for reasons best known to Themselves, normally having to do with something private but important in the potential wizard’s makeup, some situation making a personal touch the most effective—the Powers call in presently-practicing wizards to assist in the delivery of the Manual or “induction instrument”. These so-called assisted inductions can be (seemingly) very simple, or sometimes fairly complex.

The one presently in progress would probably qualify as the latter.

“Are you ready?”

“No, because I can not keep this hair under control!”

“Stop fussing. And hold still or the stealth spell’ll slip. No no, not that way!”

“I told you, the hair…! It’s all over the place, it’s trying to strangle me, I swear, did you forget an inhibitor variable on that routine?”

“Two secs, I’ll have a look — “

Read more... )
dianeduane: (Default)

(Loosely rendered from the Speech: from the [archival] Open Access Intervention Circular section of the Wizard’s Manual, current recension)

Intervention KRNC18663-48293-beta-mawein-9964. Precis (full post-sitrep attached)

JD 2455642.104167: Participants were requested by Stationmaster CICWGF to intervene in ongoing gate transport management-normalization arrangement (finalization of local gate emplacement and positioning agreement with joint authority of civil authorities managing outsystem transport for Mazjerath (AB Can Ven IIa). After brief pre-intervention consultation period with CICWGF staff, participants engaged with Mazjerathint authorities via Manual dialogue and reached initial placement and augmentation agreement.

Participants then transited to CICWGF (1) via SO3GCT (2) to confirm necessary authorizations and complete social elements of agreement implementation...

“Oh, it’s no big deal, he said. Nothing at all difficult involved, he said. Just go there and be really impressive, they’ll fall all over themselves to meet you because they read the news, don’t they? — but even more than that because you’re from Sol III and have this big fat rep because Earth’s so full of legacy gates and you’re a perfect example of how easy Crossings-connected gates are to work with. He said.” A furious pause. “Then just get them to sign off on the agreement, he said. No big deal.”

“I don’t get it. They seemed like such nice people.”

“He tried to pull my head off! Did you see that!”

“It didn’t look like your head he was aiming for.” And Nita finds it hard not to snicker.

Read more... )
dianeduane: (New DD Av)

“Remind me why we’re here again?”

“Privacy.”

A rather prolonged silence. Then: “…Yeah.”

“I mean, you did say…”

“I did.”

“Be hard to get much more private than this.” A point it would have been hard to refute, as they are sitting on a lone nickel-iron asteroid floating in utter darkness, and the nearest other matter was literally millions of lightyears away.

“Uh, yeah. How many universes over?”

“I didn’t ask. I mean, the transport subsidy is unlimited until the Invitational’s over…”

“A lot of energy to be spending…”

“Yeah. But all the small print said was ‘Don’t waste it.’ I don’t think this is wasted. And it’s the user’s call.”

Another brief silence.

“And anyway, it’s not like we did it in actual distance. We’re right where Earth would be. This is just a much smaller continuum. That’s this whole inhabited universe, up there.”

“No wonder it’s a little on the dim side.”

“Yeah, well, these are the cheap seats.”

Read more... )
dianeduane: (Default)

Next Monday is Cyber Monday, and starting at 0800 UK/Irish time that day, our Ebooks Direct store will be launching the New Millennium Edition of Book 2 of the Young Wizards series, Deep Wizardry.

Like the NME of So You Want to Be a Wizard, this is a revised and updated version of Deep Wizardry, brought up to date for its new generation of 21st-century readers. Besides undergoing some general polishing and tidying, the novel has been revised to include modern technology more appropriate to the here and now than the original 1980s edition, and also continues the process of establishing a new, corrected timeline for the characters and events to carry the Young Wizards series forward into its new century.

There will also be a new cover for this edition by the magnificent Niko Geyer (who did the new cover for So You Want to Be a Wizard). Please note, however, that due to some temporary logistical problems at our Irish production end, that cover will not be available for the Cyber Monday launch. As soon as it is ready, purchasers will be notified so they can download copies of the book with the new cover.

The other two of the first four NMEs (High Wizardry and A Wizard Abroad) will be ready before Christmas: subscribers to the Ebooks Direct general notifications mailing list will be notified as soon as they're ready. If you'd like to be notified when they'll be available, please feel free to use the form below to sign up. All nine books in the Young Wizards series will be available in the New Millennium Editions by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Also: before Cyber Monday comes Black Friday, and the Ebooks Direct store will be celebrating that weekend as well. Subscribers to our store's general notification mailing list will be offered special discounts for the Black Friday weekend. If you're interested in availing yourself of these, you can use the form below to sign up: a mailing with the pertinent information will be going out within the next 48 hours. (Just a general note about our list, by the way: we normally only send out a mailing once a month or so unless there's a significant release. Naturally you can opt out of the list at any time. And equally naturally, we'll never share your email address with anyone else. The very thought.)

Thanks in advance for your interest!


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dianeduane: (Default)
If (as some characters at the heart of other fandoms have been heard to suggest) a date is when two people who like each other go out together to have fun, then Nita and Kit have probably been dating for years. In fact, you could make a case that quite a lot of the elective type of wizardry could fall into this category. Human wizards have been getting together to do paired and grouped wizardly interventions for as long as humans have practiced the Art, and they haven’t always done it simply because a group would produce the best results in an intervention. They do it because (like so many other things) wizardry gains in value when it’s shared: or because they like the people they do it with, and want to do more of the same kind of thing.

But normally the concept of the date suggests something besides just going out to have fun. About the word, in English anyway, there hovers a sense that the fun itself is almost secondary. The real business of the evening is seeing the other person (or people) involved in the equation having that fun in company with you, and being in a position to share some of the overspill of their pleasure — but also, most importantly, to have the other person know that their happiness is making you happy too. And in the truly perfect date, this whole set of conditions is duplicated in the other person (or people), so that the exterior delight in the event itself, and the interior delight in the other person’s enjoyment of what’s going on, reflect back and forth as in a hall of virtual mirrors — seemingly increasing one another the way light, so remirrored, seems to increase light even when there’s been no net addition to the energy input. No one who’s ever been on such a date is likely to forget it...whether they're a wizard or not.
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dianeduane: (Default)

One couch. Two wizards. One bowl of popcorn (at the moment). One cranky and difficult entertainment system.

“Why this one?”

A shrug. “Everybody says it’s this classic, but I’ve never seen it all the way through.”

“Don’t think I’ve ever seen any of it at all.”

“Good. …God, was there ever a time when titles were so short?”

“Was that it? You’re kidding me.”

“…Wow, that is the cheapest looking globe ever. Look how the clouds are covering up the bottom so you can’t see what it’s spinning on.”

“Look at that poor guy juggling. How long do you think he had to do that while they were shooting? ‘Can I please stop juggling now? Please?!’”

“Look! Picchus on a stick!”

“It’s a basket, actually.”

“Basket on a stick!”

“Hey, there’s the monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark!”

A snicker. “’Round up all suspicious characters!’ Well, that’s everybody we know.”

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dianeduane: (New DD Av)
For those of you who don't know what this is all about: It's a challenge to draw or write a piece of fanfic about your One True Pairing every day for thirty days. It started with this August 2012 posting at "One Hundred Suns" and started spreading around Tumblr after that. (You can use this link to see what other people are doing with the concept: at least the ones who've remembered to tag their posts.)


My interest was casually piqued by this some time back. But not until the other morning, when I saw what the very talented Reapersun had just done with Day 1 -- raising the bar quite high -- did I realize this might be something I wanted to do too. So: I'm in it for the 30 days. And here are the links to them:


1: Holding hands | 2: Cuddling somewhere | 3: Gaming / watching a movie | 4: On a date | 5: Kissing | 6: Wearing each other's clothes | 7: Cosplaying | 8: Shopping | 9: Hanging out with friends | 10: With animal ears | 11: Wearing kigurumis | 12: Making out | 13: Eating ice cream | 14: Genderswapped | 15: In a different clothing style | 16: Doing morning rituals | 17: Spooning | 18: Doing something together |  19: In formal wear | 20: Dancing | 21: Cooking / baking | 22: In battle, side by side | 23: Arguing | 24: Making up afterwards | 25: Gazing into each other's eyes | 26: Getting married | 27: On one of their birthdays | 28: Doing something ridiculous | 29: Doing something sweet | 30: Doing something hot

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