Following the sad death of Diana Wynne Jones last Saturday, the internet has been slowly filling up with tributes and obituaries. Here are a few of the ones that caught my eye. My thoughts are with her husband, sons, grandchildren and friends.
First, we have the newspaper obituaries:
Bruce Weber at The New York Times:
Her parents were distant, chilly people, miserly and neglectful, and perhaps that is where the self-reliance and sense that life must proceed in spite of obstacles manifested in her characters was born.
Christopher Priest at The Guardian :
Disguises and deceptions abound. Though avoiding criminally dysfunctional families or unwanted pregnancies, her cleverly plotted and amusing adventures deal frankly with emotional clumsiness, parental neglect, jealousy between siblings and a general sense of being an outcast.
Alison Flood, also at The Guardian:
Diana Wynne Jones stands out from the crowd, for her humour, her originality and her touching, clever, rollickingly good stories – she's 10 times the writer JK Rowling or Stephenie Meyer ever will be.
Then we have the torrent of love, admiration and regret that is the genre blogosphere in the wake of Diana's death::
Neil Gaiman on his blog:
She's a wonderful author to read aloud, by the way, as I discovered when reading her books to my kids. Not only does she read aloud beautifully, but denouments which seemed baffling read alone are obvious and elegantly set up and constructed when read aloud. "Children are much more careful readers than adults," she'd say. "You don't have to repeat everything for children. You do with adults, because they aren't paying full attention."
Andrew Wheeler remembers her work.
Sarah Monette on her LJ:
I just loved her books, whole-heartedly, as a child, and I love them now. I love Chrestomanci and his dressing gowns, I love Howl and Sophie, I love Vivian saving the world almost despite herself. I love Howard in Archer's Goon and his relationships with his siblings, epitomized and concentrated in his little sister Awful (and Awful is awful, and I love her for it)
John Scalzi on a book passed on:
I still own the book; it’s in my daughter’s library now
Farah Mendlesohn on Tor.com:
Diana, like any sensible fiction writer, regarded this rush of academic activity with a complex mixture of interest, embarrassment and perhaps a little ridicule. Actually, make that a lot of ridicule.
Emma Bull remembers Diana Wynne Jones also at Tor.com:
The drawback of associating with Diana Wynne Jones is that she seemed to carry her story-generating equipment with her, hidden somewhere on her person. If you spent any time at all with her, you had Adventures, of the sort that made you wonder if you would appear someday, in disguise, in a book full of absurd and powerful people and events.
Locus Magazine pays its respects.
The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction affords us an opportunity to look back over her entire career.
Monica Edinger appreciates Diana Wynne Jones at The Huffington Post.
Rachel M. Brown writes of her love for Jones's writing and looks back at some of her books:
I can't read Fire and Hemlock without breaking my heart, but in the good kind of way (if you like that kind of thing); I can't read the "worms in custard" or "Simon Says" or "MY SPIRIT IS BEING DRAGGED TO UTTAR PRADESH TO UTTER DESTRUCTION I MEAN" scenes in Witch Week without weeping with laughter.
J. L. Bell remembers the author.
Mary Ann Mohanraj simply remembers.
She was growing roses when I was still living in Maine with two granite boulders nearly as large as the house occupying what would have been the back garden if there hadn’t been boulders instead, and thinking of roses as annuals. Diana liked my boulders—most people liked my boulders: they were pretty spectacular
Charles Butler remembers a picnic with balloons.
Delia Sherman remembers that Diana Wynne Jones taught her to write.
And yet, it isn't the only truth. She loves him, too. He loves her.