Young Wizards: Lifeboats

Now at Ebooks Direct and Amazon!

When the renowned saurian Species Archivist to the Powers that Be summons young wizard Kit Rodriguez to participate in an urgent off-planet intervention intended to save many millions of lives, Kit’s hardly going to say “no.”

He soon discovers that not only he, but his wizardly partner Nita Callahan and her sister Dairine, his friend Ronan Nolan, and tens of thousands of other wizards from Earth have also been drafted in to intervene on the distant world called Tevaral. There the planet’s single huge moon Thesba has become tectonically unstable and will very soon break up, its massive fragments raining down onto the surface of Tevaral and completely destroying it. The wizards’ mission: to extract Tevaral’s hominid population and “raft” them off-planet to new homeworlds before the apocalyptic disaster begins.

There’s only one problem: millions of the people of Tevaral don’t want to go.

Kit, Nita and their thousands of fellow Earth wizards must now race against time to find a way to save the Tevaralti despite their near-symbiotic relationship with their beloved world and its unique life forms. As doomsday inexorably draws nearer, hope is fading fast, and it seems like it’s going to take a miracle to keep the people of Tevaral from being wiped out. True, wizardry is all about miracles. But will one turn up in time?…

Young Wizards: Lifeboats is a 90,000+ word canonical work in the Young Wizards universe, and is set in February 2011, shortly after the events of the YW novelette Not On My Patch and YW novella How Lovely Are Thy Branches. These three works together constitute a “transitional trilogy” following the events of A Wizard of Mars and preceding the events of the forthcoming Games Wizards Play.

Young Wizards: Lifeboats is now available as a standalone ebook at Ebooks Direct in all the major ebook formats, DRM-free, and also at Amazon in Kindle format. A compendium volume, Young Wizards: Interim Errantry, will contain this new novel as well as its companion novelette and novella, and will be published in both ebook and print formats at Amazon.com in mid-October 2015.

DD Q&A: Creation,self-esteem, and running your own work down

(via anartificialaspidistra on Tumblr:)

Hi Diane, I’ve been a fan for a long time. Read the YW books, Wounded Sky, and eventually the Door Into… books staring when I was a kid back in the 80s. Someday I’ll take a picture of the Hello Kitty notebook I owned circa 1984 where I wrote both Ed the shark’s name and Sherlock Holmes’ name surrounded by hearts. I was totally willing to marry either one of them. ;D

Anyway, when I started looking for more Sherlock stories after the BBC show premiered I got into reading fanfic, and eventually the amazing art on Tumblr. It was great to see someone whose books I’d always loved was right in there as a fan too.

Reading someone’s tags today, I noticed the latest example of something that makes my heart hurt a little every time I see it. The art (it was a short Sherlock comic strip) was great! Well laid out, engagingly drawn, funny, entertaining, etc. But the artist’s tags were all about how terrible it was. How she couldn’t write, how she couldn’t draw, etc. I know how hard it is to put your work (of any kind) out there and just let it speak for itself, but the prevalence of young girls making something amazing and then sharing it by saying “here’s this thing I did. It’s probably terrible,” just kills me. I can’t count how many posts I’ve seen people tag or comment that their art or they themselves are “trash”. I mean, I get that they’re self deprecating for comic effect, but…

I don’t know. Maybe learning to not put down your work before someone else gets a chance to is just something that has to be grown out of, but I also wonder if more of us older women should be saying something. I’d love to see girls say “here’s this thing I made [full stop]” if it still seems too hard to say “here’s this thing I made; I’m proud of it.” Just not tearing themselves down would make a world of difference, I think.

I guess I’m just curious if you have any thoughts to add. Thanks again for writing such enjoyable stories and building such cool worlds! May you live long and prosper.

First of all: thanks for the nice words. It's always nice to know I'm getting the job done.

Re the self-esteem problem as regards talking about one's work: I see a lot of this from girl creators too. (Yet also from the boys, until they gradually knuckle under or get pushed under the surface of the whole patriarchal never-say-anything-that-might-make-you-seem-weak crap, and get it institutionalized out of them.)

Part of the problem is that the creation of art (or indeed anything else useful) is unnerving business, because you're essentially making the invisible visible: making something out of nothing -- and even that phrase is culturally loaded. ("Don't make something out of nothing!": a classic putdown for overreaction.) Yet making Something out of Nothing is also, as it happens, what Gods do. (The classic western-culture version of this: Deity moves over the surface of the empty void, says, "Hmm. Light..." and bang! Light.)

So creation routinely frightens those who who do it -- because the actual process of mastery of art takes a long time, and in the meanwhile you may frequently feel like you're riding the tiger, only half in control, while your grip on the tiger's ears is always threatening to slip. And creation frightens more badly those who don't do it (not that you'll ever easily get them to admit that), because they see you making Something out of Nothing and that's not normal. Everybody gets a little freaked as a result, and it's probably no surprise that the responses to the act of creation by both creators and spectators can get skewed -- reactions based on fear not routinely being the healthiest ones.

(Adding a cut here, since more discussion and a brief how-to course in auctorial esteem lies below. Also, "pieces of s**t"...)

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