Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Duane, Diane E

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(1952-    ) US writer, married to Peter Morwood, with whom she lives in Ireland. She has published considerable sf, much of it for the Star Trek enterprise. She began publishing work of interest with her first fantasy series, the Tale of the FiveThe Door into Fire (1979), The Door into Shadow (1984) and The Door into Sunset (1992), with «The Door into Starlight», projected – the title of which refers to five Companions whose fates interweave in Sword-and-Sorcery fashion against a Fantasyland backdrop. The central Magic is a kind of Talent, a "Fire" of enormous power usually reserved for women (the Creation Myth underlying the series is based on the Goddess); but one of the five finds himself also able to generate the Fire, though he cannot at first control it. After opening a Portal which allows a fire Elemental (named Sunspark) access to his world, he does eventually gain control and tames Sunspark. As the series progresses the five realize their own self-potential, gain power, defend their land, and undertake to rule it.

The Wizardry sequence – So You Want to be a Wizard? (1983), Deep Wizardry (1985) and High Wizardry (1990), all three assembled as Support Your Local Wizard (omni 1990), plus A Wizard Abroad (1993) – more lightly, for a YA audience and in a Technofantasy vein, follows the adventures of several apprentice Wizards who, in their fight against the "Lone Power" who generates deadly entropy, enter (for instance) an Alternate-World Manhattan (> New York) in which machines are inimical. The element of Rite of Passage in the sequence, as the various youths mature, is handled with aplomb.

With Morwood she has written Keeper of the City * (1989), a contribution to the Guardians of the Three Shared-World created by Bill Fawcett, set in a world in which human-like creatures are in conflict with sentient reptilians. [JC]

Diane Elizabeth Duane


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.