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The following entry was originally posted at my main blog on January 11 - apparently JournalPress, which is a plugin I use to mirror entries to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal, isn't working with the latest version of WordPress. It's kind of a relief to know why I wasn't getting any comments on those sites - I was beginning to think no one liked me! So I will be posting three past entries here, then I guess I'll just mirror them manually until I can get the plugin fixed.

I got the new computer pretty much set up yesterday - since both old and new are Macs, that was pretty much just a matter of hooking them together, letting them talk to each other, and then gently pointing out, "No, you idiot, I don't want you calling up old versions of software when we now have shiny new versions of the same thing!" However, now I have two profiles on the machine and can't figure out how to combine them. I would use the new one, to make sure I did have the latest version of everything, but then it can't see my iTunes libraries. Oh, well, I replaced the shortcuts to old Office programs with new shortcuts on the profile I transferred and I don't think it's using old versions of much else. And that one's got all my bookmarks, etc, which the new computer has kicked me into streamlining a bit.

I recently finished The Indigo Dragon, which kicked me into a reread of James Owens' first three "Here There Be Dragons" series in order, plus purchase of the fourth (ebook, instant gratification). As a result, I'm thinking that if this computer needs a name it can be Whatsit or Little Whatsit, which is also a nod to one of my first fantasy favorites, A Wrinkle in Time.

Incidentally, on this read-through the dialogue isn't bothering me nearly as much. I still don't think CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Charles Williams would be using first names at their initial meeting, and it does get annoying when Williams says "Bad form, Jack!" every other page, but at least the phrasing that struck me as too modern and casual (like "okay!") is mostly combine to Jack, who's only 18 or so in the first book. And I think it fades a bit as he ages - the second book is nine years later, the third five years after that.

I'd appreciate more clarity about what's happened between books - if they haven't contacted each other between the first two, for instance, as Owens states,, then how does John know someone in the Archipelago has married and had a child? In the beginning of the third book, it's implied John has gone back since the events of the second - it would be nice to know a bit more about what he did. But that's all a minor thing; what's within each book hangs together pretty well.

What I'm really enjoying in this readthrough is seeing how much the series was planned as a whole. The plots of the first three books are each pretty standalone in that they are separate adventures, though you need to read them in order for the character and relationship development. But it's a lot of fun to see little clues in the first book that don't bear fruit until the third. I can definitely see why Owens said the that one was the hardest and the most fun to write; it struck me as the most .... umm... the biggest plot maybe, the most complex and most far-reaching. Also, since the story's taking place at very defined real-world intervals, in this book Owen's had to start dealing with Lewis's conversion to Christianity, fictionalizing and integrating plot elements with perhaps the conversion most thoroughly described from inside since St. Augustine's, and it was fascinating to watch him tackle that, and not in any way I'd have at all expected. The book stakes out threads for later books to tie up, but now I'm very curious to read book four (The Shadow Dragons), because The Indigo Dragon will be a hard act to follow.

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