conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly

Which I haven't actually had a chance to read yet, despite telling everybody else to read them. (Because after receiving complaints from autistic readers, Diane Duane dramatically re-did A Wizard Alone in order to be less out-of-touch. Which never happens, so yes, I've been telling everybody to read the newer versions.)

Just got through High Wizardry, which was definitely the original trilogy book in most need of revision - it all has to do with Dairine and her new computer, and omg it was so dated. Which wouldn't be so bad except that the next book took place in comic book time - several years later in terms of tech and culture, but only a few months later in terms of everybody's age. And young readers couldn't relate to the primitive computer talk at all, which makes sense.

So it was updated in 2013 to take place in the year 2008, and it's... already slightly dated again, though not so badly. Nita goes up to the moon to listen to music on her new MP3 player. (Originally it was a Walkman) Given her family's income it wouldn't be reasonable for her to have gotten a brand new iPhone, but we were clearly headed that way. I think it would've made more sense for Diane Duane to reset the entire beginning of the series a little later and then have her get a coveted hand-me-down iPhone rather than a brand-new MP3 player. (No explanation is given for the fact that Nita still is very fond of Journey songs from the 1980s. Well, she's not the first teen to have amazingly retro tastes.)

But what I thought was interesting was the cultural update, and the lack thereof. There's one scene where in the original, Dairine snarks that her parents can't punish her copy (sorta a clone) - what're they gonna do, spank it? She considers whether or not she'd feel it. That's been edited to a grounding. Makes sense.

A short time later, Kit (13 years) has a headache and when an adult goes to give him aspirin he says he's allergic, so they get him Tylenol. This hasn't been updated, which makes me think that Diane Duane must not spend much time around parents of middle schoolers and younger, all of whom seem to me to be terrified of the idea of Reyes syndrome striking their kids. Consequently, they'd sooner give their children arsenic than aspirin. There's no reason for Kit to even know he's allergic to the stuff. And his mother's supposed to be a nurse! (Well, maybe nurses take a different view?)

Date: 2017-08-05 02:05 am (UTC)
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
From: [personal profile] alasse_irena
I've been hearing that an update has happened, and while I think updating for better treatment of autism is a good thing, updating for technological advances just seems fraught. I mean, where do you stop? In another five or ten years the computer talk is going to seem impenetrable and arcane to new readers again...

Re aspirin, is that the reason why I never saw aspirin in real life but heard about it in books all the time? I always wondered about this: in fiction (and even in online articles talking about health) it seems to be a super common over-the-counter painkiller, but in my entire 25 years I have never encountered aspirin irl. Googling Reyes Syndrome now...

Date: 2017-08-05 03:00 am (UTC)
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
From: [personal profile] alasse_irena
Australia. I expect you can get it in pharmacies, but everyone seems to go for ibuprofen or paracetamol when they're taking painkillers.

I'm aware it has uses for stroke patients, heart patients, etc. so it's likely there are a lot of people I'm not interacting with taking it. But as a painkiller it doesn't really seem to be in use? (I may be wrong; I may just be unobservant...)

Date: 2017-08-05 07:00 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
You can still get it in supermarkets here.

Date: 2017-08-05 08:07 pm (UTC)
jack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jack
My impression is that ibuprofin is very similar to asprin, but better for some reasons. And I know many people use the terms semi-interchangeably. So maybe, people grew up with asprin, but now shops mostly only sell ibuprofin, and some countries still common say asprin and some don't?

I had the idea of "only some painkillers are safe for children" without much detail. Checking the NHS website, it says ibuprofin is ok (in a child-appropriate form) and asprin isn't because of a rare but serious condition, Reyes syndrome. However, I literally never heard of that before, I heard, "check the recommendations for which painkillers are safe" but not a massive hysteria over asprin, even though the advice to avoid it seems sound.

NHS are usually fairly reliable in their advice (and several other mainstream health sites agree), so I guess that's the official advice? I don't know ibuprofin is actually safer, or if asprin happened to be the only thing tested, but I assume following the advice is the safest thing to do.

Date: 2017-08-06 04:25 am (UTC)
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
From: [personal profile] alasse_irena
This has been very educational. I hadn't heard of Reyes Syndrome until this thread started either. =P I went and read about it on Wikipedia.

Ah, okay, people use the words interchangeably. So maybe when people in books are talking about aspirin, they're actually just using it as a generic term for painkillers, and that use hasn't really stuck where I live?

Date: 2017-08-05 02:26 am (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
I remember, back in the 80s, when I was in high school, having a substitute teacher who spent an entire class period warning us about the dangers of Reyes syndrome which had killed one of her children. It stuck with me because she talked about it in pretty thorough detail.

She wanted to be sure that none of us, when we had children (or if we babysat which many of the girls did), ever gave a child aspirin.

Aren't there warnings on aspirin bottles now in the US saying that one shouldn't give it to children? If I recall correctly, Duane doesn't live in the US, so she may not have seen those, either.

I read, many years back, that if aspirin hadn't been grandfathered in by the FDA, it would never have been approved as safe for treating pain.

Date: 2017-08-05 02:30 am (UTC)
silver_chipmunk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silver_chipmunk
That's interesting news, I loved those books when they came out and I'm glad they're still going strong.

Date: 2017-08-05 06:12 am (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
My kid, autistic, says that the revised edition of A Wizard Alone is very good. So there's a stamp of approval!

Date: 2017-08-06 05:18 am (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
Amen. (My kid researched the original and won't touch it with a ten foot barge pole...)

Date: 2017-08-07 02:54 am (UTC)
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
From: [personal profile] archangelbeth
Probably had some people beta-read, too, I would wager. Yay for improvements!

Date: 2017-08-05 02:20 pm (UTC)
smile_n_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] smile_n_cuddle
I just finished another book and am in need of a new series! I'll check this one out :D

Date: 2017-08-05 04:30 pm (UTC)
smile_n_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] smile_n_cuddle

Ahhh, ok. I usually go to the library - so probably not there?

Date: 2017-08-05 07:14 pm (UTC)
atalantapendrag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] atalantapendrag
Mark Oshiro's been going through the Young Wizard series (on alternate days with Discworld) on Mark Reads Stuff. If you go to his YouTube channel he reads them aloud on video. If seeing someone utterly discover things for the first time is your jam, it's a real delight.


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