A quote I like, and a book recommendation.

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I will meet idiots today, went one version of her after-waking meditation, and one of them will probably be me. Iau Hau’hai, Queen of Life and of Making Things Work, grant me of Your courtesy the courage to shred that idiot’s ears when I meet her, and then get on with work… for being right is nothing next to having things be right…

From The Big Meow by Diane Duane.

I strongly recommend reading The Book of Night With Moon and To Visit The Queen (American title)/On Her Majesty’s Wizardly Service (UK title), before reading The Big Meow. In even the first chapter of each book in this series there are (necessarily) spoilers about aspects, sometimes major aspects, of how the previous books turn out.

Here are links to the Kindle Store for both of those other books (you can read Kindle books on most computers and a variety of other devices, you don’t need a Kindle):

The Book of Night with Moon
To Visit The Queen

Those books are also often available used for very little money.

Here is a link to the currently free online edition of The Big Meow (3rd book in the series):

The Big Meow

They’re a series about a bunch of cat wizards, and they’re the only books I’ve ever read that have even half-plausible cat characters. Not that they got it perfect (or anything else perfect), but it’s a hell of a lot better than Tailchaser’s Song and the like. They’re also a very rare type of book that get at aspects of reality most books don’t, if you know what you’re looking for. (Much like Momo or A Wrinkle in Time.) So they’re good even without the cats. Some people have told me there were problems in the plot of some kind… but honestly, I’m not some kind of professional academic literary type who knows what plot “should” and “shouldn’t” be like, I just like certain books, and I loved these books.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods. Crochet or otherwise create constantly and compulsively. Write poetry and paint when I can. Physically and cognitively disabled. Anything you hear in the media or gossip is likely to be oversimplified at best and wildly inaccurate at worst, the only way to get to know me is to actually know me. I'm not really part of any online faction or another, even ones that claim me as a member. The thing in the world most important to me is having love and compassion for other people, although I don't always measure up to my own standards there by a longshot. And individual specific actions and situations and contexts matter a lot more to me than broadly-spoken abstract words and ideas about a topic. My father died a couple years ago and that has changed my life a lot in ways that are still evolving, but I wear a lot of his clothes and hats every day since he died and have shown no sign of stopping soon.

10 responses »

  1. I’ll check them out, too — I like books with believable non-human characters.

    My brother and sister loved Diane Duane’s wizard books when we were kids … I never read them, since we didn’t own them and my brother always hoarded them to himself when we would check them out from the library. We have an anthology of the first 4 or 5 of them now, so I will finally see what all the fuss was about!

    (One of the later books in that series, A Wizard Alone, has an autistic protagonist. I want to read that one, too.)

  2. Be warned that the guy in A Wizard Alone is only autistic in name. It’s very much… like probably whatever the author was told about autism way back when she was a psych nurse instead of an author — in the seventies. (And mind you, I once spotted a psych textbook from the mid-nineties whose only description of autism was a Bettelheim case study. So in the seventies… any information I ever found dating from back then was was very bad.) In fact, I’ve never (or very rarely, maybe) seen her mention developmental disabilities in her writing in a way that wasn’t either inaccurate or offensive or both. (She’s said a few things about fat that had me going o_O as well.) But I take what I can get, and while I don’t love those parts of her books at all, I do love most of her books that I’ve read.

    • Oh, that’s too bad. I’ll still read it if I can find a copy of it, though (it’s not in my anthology!), because I kind of collect fiction with autistic characters.

  3. Thanks for pointing these out. I’ve read some of her wizard books–we have, I think, the same anthology–but had forgotten about the cat wizard series which I’d wanted to check out. Definitely will now, in order!

    I haven’t read Momo, either. A Wrinkle in Time and a couple of L’Engle’s others are going on the pick-up-to-reread list, too.

  4. I sort of remember Tailchaser’s song and Book of Night with Moon. I used to be really big on reading fantasy novels when I was younger and I’m slowly starting to do it some more now when I have the time. But it’s been a while since I looked at either of those. Diane Duane was one of my favorite authors though, I loved her “young wizards” series. I have a big container of mostly nonfiction books that I lug around with me when I move and some her stuff is in there.

    If you don’t mind me asking (and are actually able to get around to answering), what are some things you thought are better than in Tailchaser’s Song? I do seem to remember Tailchaser’s Song having very elaborate cultural stuff going, but I’m not sure if it wasn’t just certain ideas being imposed upon cats.

    Maybe I shouldn’t be talking about this since it’s been a while since I’ve read any of these books.

    I don’t really care about spoilers so I will probably read the thing you linked sometime, thank you for linking it.

  5. I agree on the psychology fail in “A Wizard Alone.” The author totally didn’t do her research on that one. What Darryl has got isn’t anything like autism; it’s more like some kind of weird dissociative thing that doesn’t really have an analogue in actual psychology. If you pretend she’s not trying to write about autism, it’s a good book; but the lack of knowledge about autism is pretty jarring–especially from an author who usually does her research very thoroughly.

    Like you, I’m most fond of the books about the feline wizards–though any books that takes the wizards to alien planets has to be a close second. And Dairine’s computer creatures are so cool!

    Take it easy, get some rest.

  6. not sure what your policy is on off-topic comments…..but i need help with assisted communication stuff if you’re up to it, or at least can point me in direction of where to find help. specifically i am thinking about using proloquo2go……we have an ipod touch that might work for it……

    losing speech has been a problem more often recently. have tried to muddle through it……though using up too many spoons to do so.

    not have time to look up on internet right now because not sure where to start, and we are behind on schoolwork……..

    if you not up to helping we understand…….but hope its okay to at least ask…….

    Athena

  7. this is one of those situations in which having a trusted friend to help field questions might be a good idea.

    Very much agree with Athena…….we need some kind of AAC.

    Ivan

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