legacy pages

A "Big Meow" update: freerange date change, ebooks, etc

First: thanks so much to everybody who's written me about the book. The sheer kindness of all of you has been really touching.

Since the announcement went up on the 2nd we've been going through some annoying technical hitches, mostly involving problems with file uploads, which in turn delayed the last chapters going up. These problems have been resolved (not in the way I would have preferred, which involved our hosting provider's servers and a sledgehammer...) and everything is fine now, with all chapters in place in both PDF and html formats, as was done in the ancient day.

However, this delay has thrown a spanner in the works regarding the date on which the book goes online-freerange, as many subscribers have not seen the final text as yet. Additionally, a lot of folks have changed email addresses, and many many availability notifications have bounced back to us. Therefore, while we contiunue tracking people down, I've decided not to let the book go freerange until later in the month: specifically, February 23rd. I hope all the non-subscribing readership will understand that I feel it fair to make every possible effort for the subscribers to be the first to see what they've waited so long for. Meanwhile, if you're reading this and haven't heard from us as we slog our way through the old database, please use the contact form to get in touch so we can mail you your user info and let you get at the end of the book.

Now comes some more technical stuff. The ebook versions of the complete text, for subscribers only, will be going up later today in the protected directory. Right now we have Kindle / .mobi and Nook / iPad / whatever .ePub formats ready to go. If any subscribers reading this have requests for other formats, please use the contact form at the-big-meow.com to let us know, and we'll see if we can accommodate you. Also, as before, if you have misplaced your subscription info or haven't heard from us yet, please use the contact form to message Lee, who will get the username / password info our to you as quickly as possible.

(PS: the cover image on the right is a placeholder. We have a request from an old friend of the project who is also a very gifted (and increasingly well-known) artist who's interested in doing the final cover, which delights me. As soon as she and I hammer out the details, we'll announce it here.)

Mist in Valles Marineris

Mist in Valles Marineris wallpaper

We're starting to put together the book trailer for the paperback edition of A Wizard of Mars (which comes out in May) and I thought I might start putting up some of the prettier separate frames as downloadable wallpapers for anyone who might like them.

These are all generated using the wonderful Terragen terrain generation and modeling software, which has been used in some interesting places (the highest-profile at the moment probably being the gorgeous volumetric-cloud work they did for TRON: LEGACY). The terrain data comes from Martian radar altimetry sent home to us by the Mars Global Surveyor.

This one shows some very atypical weather in the Valles Marineris region -- secondary to some busted-loose wizardry monkeying with the surface conditions, as described in AWoM. The dimensions are 1920x1200.

More of these are available over at the Young Wizards website, at this link. (The biggest resolutions aren't available at the moment, but will be during March. It takes a couple/few days to render some of the more complex files.)

Young Wizards in Canada, part 2: Thank you, Kobo!

Kobo logo

After the posting that went up yesterday on the unavailability of digital versions of the Young Wizards books in Canada, we had a really interesting response in the comments…

 Hi there,

When we saw this blog post we contacted HMH directly to inquire about where Canadian rights for the Young Wizards series stand. They confirmed that the titles do have Canadian rights, so as of a few hours ago they've been available to readers in Canada: (use this link.)

Nathan Maharaj
Manager, Merchandising

You folks are stars.  Thank you, Nathan! We’ll update all the web pages at YoungWizards.com and DianeDuane.com to reflect this.

I also note this response to Nathan from”Jc”:

And are the errors fixed?

I’d say it’s a fair bet that they won’t be, and indeed can’t be, considering that the distributors of ebooks — like Kobo and Smashwords and B&N and Amazon —  are specifically enjoined by the publishers against changing the content of ebooks. Errors or other production issues in an ebook have to be addressed by the publisher in question itself.

Seriously — and it seems I have to keep saying this, since there are a surprising number of people who’ve been writing me in a “tone of voice” that suggests they think the errors in the files were somehow my fault -- believe me, they're not. They seem to have been introduced during the conversion of the books to digital format.  I'm presently working with the publisher to see how this situation can be put right, but everyone needs to be clear that I only have so much influence I can exert in these matters. While I personally supervise the quality of ebooks that come out of Badfort Press and Errantry Press, I presently have no direct quality control over ebooks produced inside Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and I don't know how soon this state of affairs might change. As consumers, however, you can add your leverage to mine. If you find that the presentation of the product you’re being sold falls below your expectations of quality, I urge you to contact the publisher yourselves and making your opinions known. If enough people do this, there’s a chance of something happening.

Anyway, congratulations to Kobo! I didn’t even know you folks existed until very recently. I’m impressed by your proactiveness.  :)  Canadian YW fans, if you would check the Kobo link above and make sure that it produces results for you, I’d appreciate it. (Please leave responses in the comment thread under the Out of Ambit posting.)

25 March, 2011: ETA: After contacting my publisher regarding the unavailability of the YW books to Canadian Amazon.com customers, the problem was fixed yesterday afternoon. Thanks for keeping me in the loop, everybody!

Now available for Young Wizards fans worldwide: Young Wizards International Edition ebooks

It's a pleasure to announce that at last readers outside the US and Canada can acquire all the Young Wizards books in ebook form.


Previously only North American readers had access to the whole series in e-format (and even that took a while, due to some hiccups at the publisher). But all nine books are now available to readers both in North America and the rest of the world.


These ebook editions of the original "classic" YW books are available both at our onsite Ebooks Direct store and at the Kindle store at Amazon.com. Also via Amazon.com, we'll be making printed versions of the whole series available for the international readership.


if you're in the US or Canada and looking for ebook versions of the YW novels, please check the Ebooks page at YoungWizards.com: it has all the links you'll need for access to the books via Amazon.com or Kobo.com.


Cover thumbnail for Deep Wizardry High Wizardry Int'l Edition A Wizard Abroad Int'l Edition
Cover thumbnail for Wizard's Dilemma Intl Edition Cover thumbnail for A Wizard Alone Intl edition Cover thumbnail for Wizard's Holiday Intl edition Cover thumbnail for Wizards at War Cover thumbnail for A Wizard of Mars


Ebook typos and format problems: report them here!

If you've found typos or other errors in one of our ebooks, please leave a note in the comments area below. Either list the errors in the comment -- with a few words of context on either side so that we can track them down in the text -- or point us to a URL where we can find your corrections.

Please don't forget to mention from which source you purchased the book: from the Ebooks Direct store, from Amazon, or by using one of the "buy it now" buttons on one or another of the websites: these do download fulfillment through E-Junkie.


Young Wizards book 9: A Wizard of Mars

A 2010 Cybil Award nominee

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.

Small cover image for 'A Wizard of Mars': click here for larger

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.


   Newsflash: the paperback edition of A Wizard of Mars is now available!

Click here to order. 


Cover of A Wizard of Mars International Edition

Kirkus Reviews says: "One of the finest current writers of speculative fiction pays loving homage to its Golden Age in this ninth title in the Young Wizards series. ...Duane's worldbuilding gleams with crystalline precision, a-glitter with lapidary characterization. Mundane dilemmas integrate smoothly with world-shaking crises, shot through with sparkling humor, and space-opera adventures resolve upon the subtle ethical interplay between right choices for wrong reasons, wrong choices for right reasons and all the shades of gray in between. ...For [the series's] many fans, an eminently satisfying addition. Best of all, unresolved subplots promise number ten is on the way."

Ebook readers outside of North America:
The international ebook edition of A Wizard of Mars is here!
Click here or on the image for more info.

Also available to international buyers at the Kindle Store)


Order in print from Amazon | Order in print from Barnes & Noble

Print Editions Ebook Editions Audio Editions
Hardcover     Paperback(s)
Yes Yes
Kindle                  Other Formats
Yes / Amazon Yes / B&N
iTunes Audible
Yes Yes

The Door Into Fire






Heroic fantasy / sword and sorcery

Series / license:

Middle Kingdoms series / "Tale of the Five"

First publication:

1979, mass-market paperback, Dell Publishing Co.: ISBN 0440118743

Awards / nominations:

Two-time John W. Campbell Award nominee

US editions:

Mass-market paperback, Dell Publishing Co., 1979: ISBN 0-440-11874-3

Trade paperback, Bluejay Books, 1984: ISBN 0-312-94107-2

Mass market paperback, Tor Books, 1985: ISBN 0-812-53671-1

Omnibus trade paperback (with The Door into Shadow, Meisha Merlin Books, 2001

World editions:

UK: mass market trade paperback, Methuen/Magnet Books, Great Britain, 1981: ISBN 0-417-05850-0

Germany: mass market German edition, as DIE TUR INS FEUER: Heyne Verlag, 1988, ISBN 3-453-02352-8

UK: mass-market edition, Corgi Books, January 1991: ISBN 0-552-13661-1

Ebook editions

Errantry Press, 2010: Ebooks Direct | Smashwords | Kobo.com

Covers / graphics:



"Good strong stuff with the right light touch." (Terry Pratchett)

"Expands the limits of the swords and sorcery genre. Exciting, magical, intelligent."
(Publishers Weekly)


Herewiss is the only man in centuries to possess the Power of the blue Flame, but he can't use or control it -- not even to help his dearest friend, Freelorn, exiled prince of Arlen. Herewiss does have a talent for more mundane sorcery, and (aided by the unearthly creature Sunspark) he uses it to rout the armies besieging Freelorn. But now Herewiss faces a devastating choice.

His time to achieve the blue Fire is quickly running out. Should he join Freelorn in his fight to regain his kingdom? Or should he seek out the ancient keep in the Waste where doors lead into other worlds -- perhaps even the door whose use will teach him to control the Power that he must master or die?...

For a complete bibliography please use this link:

(link to follow)