Since you were asking: The Door into Starlight

by Diane Duane
The Tale of the Five, and a gauntlet
eries

ETA, 6 November 2016: The social-media initiative originally mentioned in the body of this post is long over. However, the STARLIGHTGUILT discount at Ebooks Direct has been reinstated for those desiring to continue inflicting guilt: read the post for more details. Thank you for your interest!

First thing this morning, as usual, I fumbled around on the bedside table and grabbed for the smartphone to see what interesting things had happened while I was asleep. And there in the shiny new Google+ app (thank you Colm!) what do I see, in reaction to the notification about the upload of the new edition of the Middle Kingdoms omnibus yesterday, but:

Were there any more books in the series planned? I remember reading these three several years ago and thinking the last one felt a little incomplete.”

“Now that someone else started it (cough) A Door into Starlight please?(cough)”

And on Twitter:

Speaking of which, is The Door into Starlight still under construction or did it get abandoned?”

The Door Into Starlight is the book I’ve been anticipating most for the longest. Every time you mention Middle Kingdoms I get giddy!”

…And I lay there in bed for a while (assisted by the excellent Cat Goodman, who came to help with my cogitations by lying on my chest and digging his claws in just above my collarbones… I swear, I think sometimes that cat distrusts gravity…) and started composing possible responses, each one of which I immediately virtually tore up on the grounds that I hadn’t yet had any caffeine.

I’ve had the caffeine now (and am also considering some Malt-O-Meal, as it’s a July morning afternoon in Ireland and the local temperature’s about what it would be in the Alps in April).  So I’m in a better place to deal with the question. It is, after all, one I get occasionally at US conventions (and in the past, at some of the UK ones). Somebody will corner me in the bar, or after a panel, and say:

“What about The Door into Starlight? It’s been more than twenty years since the series started.”

“Yes indeed, it has. In fact, it’s been more than thirty, but who’s counting?”

“So where is it already?”

“It’s in progress, and I work on it now and then.  I have a lot of scattered bits and pieces of it, with a lot of huge empty gaps between them that need to be filled in so that the whole thing works. As I’ve said before: I know how it starts, and I know how it ends – I have done since I finished The Door into Fire. But oy, the middle! …In the meantime, since my family would not appreciate starving for my art, I do other work as well. Other books, the occasional movie. Starlight I’ll get around to again when I have the inclination and the leisure.” And there has been an additional reason for the non-completion lurking in the background, but mostly I don’t introduce that into these conversations.

Most of the time the questioning stops here, and people change the subject and go off to do something else, like abuse George R.R. Martin about A Dance with Dragons.  (And here I pause to wave at George, who I’ve known for a long time, and grin. How satisfying this week must be for him [setting aside the way Amazon.de did a whoopsie with the book’s shipment embargo]. Yet at the same time,  the fans will be screaming at George for the next one within hours, if not minutes. Such is the writer’s life.)

Yet as regards Starlight, the questions have been getting a little more persistent lately. Could it possibly be because I’ll be turning 60 shortly?  🙂   (And to the person who Tweeted me a month or so back in the wake of the European  E. coli outbreak, telling me to please write Starlight before I died, and then hastily erased the message? Whoops, I saw it first! And no, you weren’t just kidding: I know the signs. You think I didn’t have such thoughts about George McDonald Fraser and the specific Flashman books I wished to God he would get on with before he expired? But under no circumstances whatsoever would I ever had said as much to the man. Tsk, tsk! Anyway,  I forgive you.)

Let me assure everybody that it is my intention to write The Door into Starlight before I die. Mostly for the good and sufficient reason that I said I would. But I’ve been in no particular hurry about it, as there has been a dirty secret in the way, one that’s kept me from making more of an effort to find the time to finish the last book in this series. And it’s this:

These books have never sold all that well, suggesting that not that many people are interested in reading the last one.

If there’s a more painful admission for a professional writer to make, I’m not sure what it would be. Deep down I suspect most of us wish that everything we write could be a vast worldwide hit and that people would climb over one another’s bodies to get at them. But it doesn’t usually work out that way. And although the Middle Kingdoms universe was my first one, and a place I love dearly, the numbers suggest that those who share the love are (in the publishing sense) relatively few. This truth doesn’t cripple me. A series set in a quasi-medieval alternate Earth with a kinda-pansexual culture was always going to be aimed at a rather niche market.

And another aspect of this truth is that the series has never done all that well in sales in any of its editions.  Fire earned out, but paid royalties (in its various US editions) for only a couple/few years, then went out of print when Dell SF went under.  Shadow came into print, earned out and paid maybe a couple of years’ worth of royalties, then went OOP as well. And if I remember correctly,  Sunset never earned out on either side of the Atlantic. (All the books came into print at one time in the UK as part of a deal with Transworld/Corgi in the 90’s, but they didn’t fare well there either. All went OOP in short order, though there were complicating factors in that the books lost their Corgi editors early on — said editors leaving the publisher to go freelance. A book without an in-house editor to shepherd it through the pre-sales process tends not to do well, and these, unfortunately, were no exception.)

…Anyway, you see how this is going? If this trend was to continue, then if I did write Starlight, I’d probably have to pay people to read it.

🙂  …Okay, maybe that was facetious. But the sales record cannot be ignored.  The last publisher to be interested in the series was Meisha Merlin: we did indeed have an agreement to publish Starlight, for a very small advance, and I restarted work on it. But then MM sadly went under.  And when I next discussed the question of Starlight with my agent, a year or so after the fact, he told me gently that after inquiries, no other publisher had any interest whatsoever in the fourth book (because publishing the last book of an OOP series is almost never done). So I should set the idea aside and turn my attention to other things.

So the only other way for this book to see the light of day is through self-publication. Yes, certainly the self-pub model has changed very significantly in the last couple years. (And to this I say HURRAY for the new options it offers both the beginning writer and the established one.) But it nonetheless brings with it a new set of unknowns. And though those who contact me about The Door into Starlight without a shadow of a doubt really want to see it, I have to consider the situation with a cold eye, because it’s possible that their message, however heartfelt, nonetheless translates at this end as,  “We want you to sit down and spend hundreds of hours of your (theoretically) paying writing time on something that will make us very happy but may never pay you even minimum wage.”

Am I wrong about this?

If I am, give me a sign.

(ETA 6 Nov 2016: As mentioned above, the social-media-sourced interest-gauging effort that previously followed the above request is long over, and has been removed.  However: Part of it involved a 15%-off discount at Ebooks Direct, using the discount code STARLIGHTGUILT, which those interested could use to (a) get a price break on ebooks and (b) while doing so, send the author a fairly concrete message conveying their interest in TDIStarlight.  This code has been reinstated and can now again be used by those interested for all purchases in the store, even in conjunction with other sale offers ([as long as those don’t also involve codes: the store can’t handle two codes in a transaction.] So knock yourselves out.) 🙂

…So let’s see what happens. Meanwhile, I’m going to go off and see about that Malt-O-Meal.

Five years later, in 2016: Time to make a choice, I’d say. 

Having had a good many months to consider the (fairly positive) response to the above post, and (finally) being at a point in my general work schedule where it’s become realistic to start moving forward, I’ve moved The Door Into Starlight onto my work schedule for 2017-18. Please note that I will from this point on be making only general statements about progress — don’t expect word counts or bar graphs. I will not discuss any dates until I have a completed first draft in hand and have had time to talk to my agent about where to go next. So wish me luck… if there is any such thing. 🙂

Meanwhile, this is the page at MiddleKingdoms.com to watch for further news on this subject. (It also contains links for various mailing lists you can sign up to if you’re interested in receiving periodic newsletters on progress,)

The Door Into Starlight

…Thanks, all.

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178 comments

R.K. Charron July 15, 2011 - 2:36 pm

Excellent post & thank you for the 15% discount!
Love to you & yours Diane,
Rob K. Charron

R.K. Charron July 15, 2011 - 2:36 pm

Excellent post & thank you for the 15% discount!
Love to you & yours Diane,
Rob K. Charron

Kate July 15, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Shared all ’round, and purchased. I’ve been spreading the word about these books for years. Maybe someday it’ll add up enough?

Kate July 15, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Shared all ’round, and purchased. I’ve been spreading the word about these books for years. Maybe someday it’ll add up enough?

Anthony Magnia July 15, 2011 - 3:13 pm

YAY! I hope this can work out really well! I’ve always wondered if the sexual/queer aspects of the series would deter readers, and I guess that it really has been a factor. (Even though I’d love to say that it hasn’t) I’ve always touted this series to my LGBT/etc. friends as one of the best queer fantasy series they’ll come across. (I’ve also tried to use it as a segway into the Young Wizards’ series, but they can’t past the “kid” idea despite my telling them that time progresses… ARGH) Also, I almost bought Reatian Tales 1 earlier in the year, but I was broke. I’m glad I can buy it with a discount AND put some guilt on your mind. Two birds with one stone! 😉 LOL Just kidding. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this really pans out!

Anthony Magnia July 15, 2011 - 3:13 pm

YAY! I hope this can work out really well! I’ve always wondered if the sexual/queer aspects of the series would deter readers, and I guess that it really has been a factor. (Even though I’d love to say that it hasn’t) I’ve always touted this series to my LGBT/etc. friends as one of the best queer fantasy series they’ll come across. (I’ve also tried to use it as a segway into the Young Wizards’ series, but they can’t past the “kid” idea despite my telling them that time progresses… ARGH) Also, I almost bought Reatian Tales 1 earlier in the year, but I was broke. I’m glad I can buy it with a discount AND put some guilt on your mind. Two birds with one stone! 😉 LOL Just kidding. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this really pans out!

Redwood Rhiadra July 15, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Having accidentally started the discussion on Google+ (honestly, I didn’t remember anything beyond the series feeling unfinished, I wasn’t aware of an actual planned book with a name and everything), I’m glad to hear this!

I’m honestly not surprised that the series didn’t do well, especially in the U.S. The homophobia in the book (and television, and movie) industries makes finding works like the Door series a pleasant but sadly rare find. (Note I’m not speaking of the authors and artists, who in my experience are far more open, but the industry which decides what gets published and marketed and what is forced into the self-publication/indie studio route). Things do seem to be getting better though.

Redwood Rhiadra July 15, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Having accidentally started the discussion on Google+ (honestly, I didn’t remember anything beyond the series feeling unfinished, I wasn’t aware of an actual planned book with a name and everything), I’m glad to hear this!

I’m honestly not surprised that the series didn’t do well, especially in the U.S. The homophobia in the book (and television, and movie) industries makes finding works like the Door series a pleasant but sadly rare find. (Note I’m not speaking of the authors and artists, who in my experience are far more open, but the industry which decides what gets published and marketed and what is forced into the self-publication/indie studio route). Things do seem to be getting better though.

Redwood Rhiadra July 15, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Having accidentally started the discussion on Google+ (honestly, I didn’t remember anything beyond the series feeling unfinished, I wasn’t aware of an actual planned book with a name and everything), I’m glad to hear this!

I’m honestly not surprised that the series didn’t do well, especially in the U.S. The homophobia in the book (and television, and movie) industries makes finding works like the Door series a pleasant but sadly rare find. (Note I’m not speaking of the authors and artists, who in my experience are far more open, but the industry which decides what gets published and marketed and what is forced into the self-publication/indie studio route). Things do seem to be getting better though.

Raven Corvid July 15, 2011 - 4:02 pm

If you brought this out as an ebook, I would probably get an ebook reader to

Raven Corvid July 15, 2011 - 4:02 pm

If you brought this out as an ebook, I would probably get an ebook reader to

James Beal July 15, 2011 - 4:03 pm

I would buy it, however I generally buy most of your work however I enjoy other work more 🙂

James Beal July 15, 2011 - 4:03 pm

I would buy it, however I generally buy most of your work however I enjoy other work more 🙂

Anonymous July 15, 2011 - 4:06 pm

If you brought Starlight out in ebook form I would probably buy an ebook reader to read it.

Randolph July 15, 2011 - 4:06 pm

If you brought Starlight out in ebook form I would probably buy an ebook reader to read it.

Anonymous July 15, 2011 - 4:09 pm

Oh, and hi, Redwood!

Randolph July 15, 2011 - 4:09 pm

Oh, and hi, Redwood!

Victor Jason Raymond July 15, 2011 - 4:43 pm

Dear Diane – The Door Into Fire made a huge difference to me when I was younger, so count me in as a supporter.  If Mike were still here, he would probably want to see it, too.

Victor Jason Raymond July 15, 2011 - 4:43 pm

Dear Diane – The Door Into Fire made a huge difference to me when I was younger, so count me in as a supporter.  If Mike were still here, he would probably want to see it, too.

Jen W July 15, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Love the series, buy all of your books and would definitely buy this one. That said all of your points are make a ton of sense. And it’s mainly curiosity to know more about the world and characters that drives my desire for the next book. I thought the first three tie things up reasonably well. Its kind of like the Expendables series by James Alan Gardner – loved them all, would love more, but he can’t get a publisher to pick up additional stories – and i don’t need any of my favorite authors to struggle financially on novels that they can’t sell – even if _I’d_ love to read it.

Jen W July 15, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Love the series, buy all of your books and would definitely buy this one. That said all of your points are make a ton of sense. And it’s mainly curiosity to know more about the world and characters that drives my desire for the next book. I thought the first three tie things up reasonably well. Its kind of like the Expendables series by James Alan Gardner – loved them all, would love more, but he can’t get a publisher to pick up additional stories – and i don’t need any of my favorite authors to struggle financially on novels that they can’t sell – even if _I’d_ love to read it.

Jennigma July 15, 2011 - 5:03 pm

I read Door Into Fire in high school.  I’ve read many sf books over the years as my groaning bookcases will attest, but this one has stuck with me.  Just bought the whole series for my ereader, along with the one you recommended. 

Jennigma July 15, 2011 - 5:03 pm

I read Door Into Fire in high school.  I’ve read many sf books over the years as my groaning bookcases will attest, but this one has stuck with me.  Just bought the whole series for my ereader, along with the one you recommended. 

Barbara diJeannene July 15, 2011 - 5:25 pm

ok – I’ve gone to the website and picked up both the Door Omnibus and the new book – the ball is in your court now…

Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South
The “Tale of the Five” Omnibus

Barbara diJeannene July 20, 2011 - 10:02 pm

I can’t put them down – finished one and two and well started with three.  I sure hope you finish Starlight sometime soon.

Barbara diJeannene July 15, 2011 - 5:25 pm

ok – I’ve gone to the website and picked up both the Door Omnibus and the new book – the ball is in your court now…

Raetian Tales 1: A Wind from the South
The “Tale of the Five” Omnibus

Barbara diJeannene July 20, 2011 - 10:02 pm

I can’t put them down – finished one and two and well started with three.  I sure hope you finish Starlight sometime soon.

Cat Sittingstill July 15, 2011 - 5:37 pm

I loved the books, from the first one.  I think it says something that after all this time I haven’t forgotten about, or lost interest in, the final book.  I understand why you need to work on stuff that will pay you, though.

I shared this in my Google+ feed; I hope I have Done Right.

Cat Sittingstill July 15, 2011 - 5:37 pm

I loved the books, from the first one.  I think it says something that after all this time I haven’t forgotten about, or lost interest in, the final book.  I understand why you need to work on stuff that will pay you, though.

I shared this in my Google+ feed; I hope I have Done Right.

Kristin July 15, 2011 - 6:37 pm

I shall RT and repost on FB! I love the series, and have since I read them in high school. I also gave them to a friend of mine who was a fantasy fan and struggling with his sexuality, and we both loved the way you wrote all the many and varied relationships–real relationships, between real people, who are imperfect and can make mistakes, but love each other anyway–and are heroic on their own, too, not just because of each other. ~Sunset~ was actually my favorite because of all the character growth, though I put ~Fire~ on my PhD exam list, and of course my advisor likes ~Shadow~ best, so… 🙂

By the way, academics like the series–it gets a mention in Mendelsohn’s Short History of Fantasy, as I recall. And of course the Encyclopedia of Fantasy begins your entry with “she began publishing work of interest with her first fantasy series, The Tale of the Five…”

Kristin July 15, 2011 - 6:37 pm

I shall RT and repost on FB! I love the series, and have since I read them in high school. I also gave them to a friend of mine who was a fantasy fan and struggling with his sexuality, and we both loved the way you wrote all the many and varied relationships–real relationships, between real people, who are imperfect and can make mistakes, but love each other anyway–and are heroic on their own, too, not just because of each other. ~Sunset~ was actually my favorite because of all the character growth, though I put ~Fire~ on my PhD exam list, and of course my advisor likes ~Shadow~ best, so… 🙂

By the way, academics like the series–it gets a mention in Mendelsohn’s Short History of Fantasy, as I recall. And of course the Encyclopedia of Fantasy begins your entry with “she began publishing work of interest with her first fantasy series, The Tale of the Five…”

Jack July 15, 2011 - 6:56 pm

Like someone above, these books made a huge difference to me when I was a teen.  Thank you so much for writing them.

Jack July 15, 2011 - 6:56 pm

Like someone above, these books made a huge difference to me when I was a teen.  Thank you so much for writing them.

xengar July 15, 2011 - 7:18 pm

I did not feel that The Door Into Shadow felt incomplete. It left room for further adventures, certainly, and it left me interested in what would happen to and with these characters and this setting, but it resolved those issues brought up within it’s scope to my satisfaction.

However, I would certainly buy Door Into Starlight if it were to come out, even though I would currently have to read it on my PC. I’m going to get an e-reader before the next time I move, if only to cut down on the boxes of books, and I’ve already picked up duplicates of a number of books that I already have paper copies of, including The Tale of the Five.

xengar July 15, 2011 - 7:18 pm

I did not feel that The Door Into Shadow felt incomplete. It left room for further adventures, certainly, and it left me interested in what would happen to and with these characters and this setting, but it resolved those issues brought up within it’s scope to my satisfaction.

However, I would certainly buy Door Into Starlight if it were to come out, even though I would currently have to read it on my PC. I’m going to get an e-reader before the next time I move, if only to cut down on the boxes of books, and I’ve already picked up duplicates of a number of books that I already have paper copies of, including The Tale of the Five.

xengar July 15, 2011 - 7:18 pm

I did not feel that The Door Into Shadow felt incomplete. It left room for further adventures, certainly, and it left me interested in what would happen to and with these characters and this setting, but it resolved those issues brought up within it’s scope to my satisfaction.

However, I would certainly buy Door Into Starlight if it were to come out, even though I would currently have to read it on my PC. I’m going to get an e-reader before the next time I move, if only to cut down on the boxes of books, and I’ve already picked up duplicates of a number of books that I already have paper copies of, including The Tale of the Five.

Mallory R. <3 July 15, 2011 - 7:27 pm

Can I just “like” this for the Malt-O-Meal? <3

Mallory R. <3 July 15, 2011 - 7:27 pm

Can I just “like” this for the Malt-O-Meal? <3

Nick Upson July 15, 2011 - 7:51 pm

these are some of my favorite books, I’ve been waiting ages for startlight, I seem to remember seeing something about it around 2000 on your website. Please write it soon

Nick Upson July 15, 2011 - 7:51 pm

these are some of my favorite books, I’ve been waiting ages for startlight, I seem to remember seeing something about it around 2000 on your website. Please write it soon

Audrey Falconer July 15, 2011 - 8:20 pm

Can’t buy an ebook – I’ve already bought them all! And I have them all on paper as well…..

Definitely interested in Starlight.

Audrey

Audrey Falconer July 15, 2011 - 8:20 pm

Can’t buy an ebook – I’ve already bought them all! And I have them all on paper as well…..

Definitely interested in Starlight.

Audrey

Andybrown_uk July 15, 2011 - 8:41 pm

I loved all three of the books, and am one of those who has been hoping that the fourth would eventually be published.
I have a much-thumbed copy of one of the earliest paperback editions of The Door Into Fire, imported from the US (signed by your good self many years ago at a book signing in Manchester UK), and bought the next two as soon as they came out. I’ve read all three many times over the many years since I bought the first.
I would love to see how you complete the series with Starlight, but do understand the economics of the situation.

Andybrown_uk July 15, 2011 - 8:41 pm

I loved all three of the books, and am one of those who has been hoping that the fourth would eventually be published.
I have a much-thumbed copy of one of the earliest paperback editions of The Door Into Fire, imported from the US (signed by your good self many years ago at a book signing in Manchester UK), and bought the next two as soon as they came out. I’ve read all three many times over the many years since I bought the first.
I would love to see how you complete the series with Starlight, but do understand the economics of the situation.

Kevin Reid July 15, 2011 - 9:28 pm

FYI: I’d like to Google +1 this, but I don’t see a +1 button anywhere on this page, nor do I see any posts on your G+ profile.

Kevin Reid July 15, 2011 - 9:28 pm

FYI: I’d like to Google +1 this, but I don’t see a +1 button anywhere on this page, nor do I see any posts on your G+ profile.

James Harris July 15, 2011 - 9:48 pm

I am a relatively new Diane Duane fan–been collecting your stuff for a couple years now.  I love your Star Trek books, the Young Wizards series, and Omnitopia Dawn, but I’ve always avoided the “Door Into” series because I knew it was unfinished. If its completion is a real possibility, then this sale is an excellent opportunity for me to pick up the first volume as an ebook!

James Harris July 15, 2011 - 9:48 pm

I am a relatively new Diane Duane fan–been collecting your stuff for a couple years now.  I love your Star Trek books, the Young Wizards series, and Omnitopia Dawn, but I’ve always avoided the “Door Into” series because I knew it was unfinished. If its completion is a real possibility, then this sale is an excellent opportunity for me to pick up the first volume as an ebook!

Stephen Hutchison July 15, 2011 - 10:21 pm

If you put it on your site in a subscription (pay per episode or chapter) format, how much would you need to get per chapter?

Can you do that without negative impact on your other work?

You’re becoming aware of your mortality. This is both good and bad. Don’t let us guilt-trip you (for free. I see that you have added guilt-for-fee as an option! Brava!)

On the other hand… My wife died in Jan. of 2006, and one of her regrets was not being able to read the last Harry Potter novel.  If you expect an afterlife of some reasonably coherent and consistent form, beware of the queue of fans waiting to ask you about Door Into Starlight. (insert evil grinning Cheshire Cat face here.)

Stephen Hutchison July 15, 2011 - 10:21 pm

If you put it on your site in a subscription (pay per episode or chapter) format, how much would you need to get per chapter?

Can you do that without negative impact on your other work?

You’re becoming aware of your mortality. This is both good and bad. Don’t let us guilt-trip you (for free. I see that you have added guilt-for-fee as an option! Brava!)

On the other hand… My wife died in Jan. of 2006, and one of her regrets was not being able to read the last Harry Potter novel.  If you expect an afterlife of some reasonably coherent and consistent form, beware of the queue of fans waiting to ask you about Door Into Starlight. (insert evil grinning Cheshire Cat face here.)

Andrew Timson July 15, 2011 - 10:25 pm

Well, hopefully you won’t use “purchase stuff with a coupon code” as a future indicator of interest, ’cause I just bought the only item of yours that I don’t have. Unless you’re going to let me buy the YW International Editions here in the US. 😉

Andrew Timson July 15, 2011 - 10:25 pm

Well, hopefully you won’t use “purchase stuff with a coupon code” as a future indicator of interest, ’cause I just bought the only item of yours that I don’t have. Unless you’re going to let me buy the YW International Editions here in the US. 😉

Dawn July 15, 2011 - 10:36 pm

I have loved the middle kingdom books for years. I have been eagerly anticipating Starlight ver since I finished Sunset and I got that the day it was published. Please write this book. Have all the young wizard and middle kingdom books in print and ebooks.

Dawn July 15, 2011 - 10:36 pm

I have loved the middle kingdom books for years. I have been eagerly anticipating Starlight ver since I finished Sunset and I got that the day it was published. Please write this book. Have all the young wizard and middle kingdom books in print and ebooks.

Targaid July 15, 2011 - 11:09 pm

I shall be adding to the guilt/gilt pile later then 😉

Targaid July 15, 2011 - 11:09 pm

I shall be adding to the guilt/gilt pile later then 😉

glinda July 15, 2011 - 11:39 pm

Want it. Will (despite limited income) pay in advance for it. Bought first three Middle Kingoms books new. (Would buy something else in an e-book, but this has been a bad bad year for me. No Social Security cost of living increases for two years now, despite groceries and fuel and medication copays climbing rapidly. I haven’t even got next season’s opera tickets, and that’s the One Big THing for me. And Porgy and Bess is next month. (Yeah, I know, first world problems… Oh, hey! I think I’ll forward this to the friend who gave me a Kindle a bit over a month ago…)

glinda July 15, 2011 - 11:39 pm

Want it. Will (despite limited income) pay in advance for it. Bought first three Middle Kingoms books new. (Would buy something else in an e-book, but this has been a bad bad year for me. No Social Security cost of living increases for two years now, despite groceries and fuel and medication copays climbing rapidly. I haven’t even got next season’s opera tickets, and that’s the One Big THing for me. And Porgy and Bess is next month. (Yeah, I know, first world problems… Oh, hey! I think I’ll forward this to the friend who gave me a Kindle a bit over a month ago…)

Tina B July 16, 2011 - 12:18 am

Perhaps Eric Reynolds at Hadley Rille Books would take you on.

Tina B July 16, 2011 - 12:18 am

Perhaps Eric Reynolds at Hadley Rille Books would take you on.

Shaun Duke July 16, 2011 - 2:27 am

Honestly, while I’ve not read books in that particular series (I like your young wizards stuff, which is how I got introduced to you), I would still be interested in seeing all your works finished out.  So if you SP it (professionally, with good editing, design, etc.), I’ll buy it based solely on the fact that it’s you, and I trust you to write a bloody good story.

Shaun Duke July 16, 2011 - 2:27 am

Honestly, while I’ve not read books in that particular series (I like your young wizards stuff, which is how I got introduced to you), I would still be interested in seeing all your works finished out.  So if you SP it (professionally, with good editing, design, etc.), I’ll buy it based solely on the fact that it’s you, and I trust you to write a bloody good story.

Patricia Hawkins July 16, 2011 - 3:59 am

I didn’t find any of them until they were long out of print.  Never paid you a red nickle for ’em — but I gladly would, especially for this one.  I like Lawrence Watt-Evans’ model of posting works-in-progress to the web as paid for by donors — the patronage model.  The draft gets posted; the work later gets rewritten for publication.  Works for him:  http://www.watt-evans.com/WorksinProgress.html

Patricia Hawkins July 16, 2011 - 3:59 am

I didn’t find any of them until they were long out of print.  Never paid you a red nickle for ’em — but I gladly would, especially for this one.  I like Lawrence Watt-Evans’ model of posting works-in-progress to the web as paid for by donors — the patronage model.  The draft gets posted; the work later gets rewritten for publication.  Works for him:  http://www.watt-evans.com/WorksinProgress.html

Spiffikins July 16, 2011 - 4:02 am

count me in as one who has been hoping and hoping that Starlight would someday exist!  

Spiffikins July 16, 2011 - 4:02 am

count me in as one who has been hoping and hoping that Starlight would someday exist!  

Jennifer McGaffey July 16, 2011 - 5:25 am

Hah, I just checked Smashwords and I _haven’t_ bought Door into Sunset…oh rats. I haven’t bought it _through_them_. Does the new store have any accounts? I can’t find an order history. I’ve got ebooks on three computers – no, four, counting the NAS. Which is a PAIN!

Anyway. I will retweet and G+ this; I would definitely buy Starlight, in at least two formats (e and mmpb – I don’t do hardbacks, and dislike trade paperbacks). I have the first three in both formats. (Aw heck, I’ll just buy the omnibus – that’s better anyway, it’s just been reformatted and prettied up.) I agree that Sunset ties up most of the loose ends…but I love the universe and would be delighted to get back there (and maybe get a few nagging questions answered – not that I can think of any at the moment).

Jennifer McGaffey July 16, 2011 - 5:25 am

Hah, I just checked Smashwords and I _haven’t_ bought Door into Sunset…oh rats. I haven’t bought it _through_them_. Does the new store have any accounts? I can’t find an order history. I’ve got ebooks on three computers – no, four, counting the NAS. Which is a PAIN!

Anyway. I will retweet and G+ this; I would definitely buy Starlight, in at least two formats (e and mmpb – I don’t do hardbacks, and dislike trade paperbacks). I have the first three in both formats. (Aw heck, I’ll just buy the omnibus – that’s better anyway, it’s just been reformatted and prettied up.) I agree that Sunset ties up most of the loose ends…but I love the universe and would be delighted to get back there (and maybe get a few nagging questions answered – not that I can think of any at the moment).

BEG July 16, 2011 - 6:05 am

I read the first Door books at a fairly impressionable age (early high school) and have *always* wondered where the series led. I finally shed my paperbacks after having to move a few too many times (and the book load getting heavier and heavier the older I got).  Was thrilled to see all your books in ebook format (and *ahem* purchased them all), so obviously I hope there’s enough interest in Starlight to see that published, even if “just” as a self pub ebook.

Although, I didn’t see your 15% offer till after I got my books!  Ha!  Ah well.

BEG July 16, 2011 - 6:05 am

I read the first Door books at a fairly impressionable age (early high school) and have *always* wondered where the series led. I finally shed my paperbacks after having to move a few too many times (and the book load getting heavier and heavier the older I got).  Was thrilled to see all your books in ebook format (and *ahem* purchased them all), so obviously I hope there’s enough interest in Starlight to see that published, even if “just” as a self pub ebook.

Although, I didn’t see your 15% offer till after I got my books!  Ha!  Ah well.

Jennifer McGaffey July 16, 2011 - 6:25 am

Um. Can’t G+ it (as somebody else also said) because it’s not on your G+ page nor is there a +1 link on here. Tweeted, though.

Anonymous July 16, 2011 - 8:37 am

I screwed up yesterday and didn’t make the posting public. A dupe is here now:

https://plus.google.com/101086882349363163093/posts/RnDwrnDRQzW#101086882349363163093/posts/RnDwrnDRQzW

Let me know if it still doesn’t show up and I’ll try to figure out what to do. Will also see about applying a +1 button if poss.

Jennifer McGaffey July 16, 2011 - 6:25 am

Um. Can’t G+ it (as somebody else also said) because it’s not on your G+ page nor is there a +1 link on here. Tweeted, though.

dianeduane July 16, 2011 - 8:37 am

I screwed up yesterday and didn’t make the posting public. A dupe is here now:

https://plus.google.com/101086882349363163093/posts/RnDwrnDRQzW#101086882349363163093/posts/RnDwrnDRQzW

Let me know if it still doesn’t show up and I’ll try to figure out what to do. Will also see about applying a +1 button if poss.

Anonymous July 16, 2011 - 7:39 am

“These books have never sold all that well, suggesting that not that many people are interested in reading the last one”Problem with that reasoning is that often books don’t sell that well at first. *Lord of the Rings* “never” sold all that well…until it did. One simply cannot know. It has been years since the publication of the first three volumes, and we live in a different world. Perhaps the book would find its audience now. Trends are sometimes illusions. If Worldcat is not deceiving me, “Fire” was published in 1979, “Shadow” in 1983, “Sunset” in 1992. That’s a long time between volumes of a continuous story; readers in 1992 might not remember the “Fire” at all.  There are no guarantees…but it might do well, especially since the first three volumes are available. Or it might only become a cult classic–the sort of book that makes an authors reputation for generations. I don’t think it would end as anything less than that. I don’t know how hard-up you are, and money is now more a factor than it has been in our lifetimes, but if you can see your way to doing the book, I think it would be worth doing.

Randolph July 16, 2011 - 7:39 am

“These books have never sold all that well, suggesting that not that many people are interested in reading the last one”Problem with that reasoning is that often books don’t sell that well at first. *Lord of the Rings* “never” sold all that well…until it did. One simply cannot know. It has been years since the publication of the first three volumes, and we live in a different world. Perhaps the book would find its audience now. Trends are sometimes illusions. If Worldcat is not deceiving me, “Fire” was published in 1979, “Shadow” in 1983, “Sunset” in 1992. That’s a long time between volumes of a continuous story; readers in 1992 might not remember the “Fire” at all.  There are no guarantees…but it might do well, especially since the first three volumes are available. Or it might only become a cult classic–the sort of book that makes an authors reputation for generations. I don’t think it would end as anything less than that. I don’t know how hard-up you are, and money is now more a factor than it has been in our lifetimes, but if you can see your way to doing the book, I think it would be worth doing.

Chloe July 16, 2011 - 10:38 am

I mostly want to see this series finished to avoid Author Existence Failure. Even if the series I’m most invested in is Young Wizards. That in mind, I don’t particularly if it comes out in five years or fifteen. Just that it will, someday, and that I can read it.

Chloe July 16, 2011 - 10:38 am

I mostly want to see this series finished to avoid Author Existence Failure. Even if the series I’m most invested in is Young Wizards. That in mind, I don’t particularly if it comes out in five years or fifteen. Just that it will, someday, and that I can read it.

Chloe July 16, 2011 - 10:38 am

I mostly want to see this series finished to avoid Author Existence Failure. Even if the series I’m most invested in is Young Wizards. That in mind, I don’t particularly if it comes out in five years or fifteen. Just that it will, someday, and that I can read it.

Turner Morgan July 16, 2011 - 1:38 pm

I do hope you find a publisher who will give you a solid advance for the book, and will publish it to extravagant acclaim.  There are obviously a group of folks who’d like to read the fourth. 

For me, I come to this post as someone who’s never been a fan of your fiction- but who totally gets that hey, maybe it doesn’t flip up MY skirt, but I know a lot of folks for whom it does.  And all the non-fiction of yours I’ve read (including this post) makes me think you’re a terrifically clever person who I’d gleefully enjoy encountering as a fan.

The friend who linked me to this post is telling me that in his estimation, the initial trilogy had a life-changing impact on his world- and continues to have it, on re-reads.  My thanks for writing them simply because I’d’ve never met him without their intervention– and I really ought to give them another go, simply because if they matter that strongly to someone I value, then I obviously should have a look at them.  Regardless if I find them terrific or not, though, I’m going to say that he’d LOVE to see the fourth book, and is hoping to get his hands on it sooner rather than later.

Diane, you’ve always made me grin in your commentary in fandom.  I hope you have the chance to polish off a work-in-progress of so many many years. 

And I promise to give the series a long steady look… and if it’s constructed such that it’s waiting for the fourth book, please write the fourth book soon.

May life be good to you!

Turner Morgan July 16, 2011 - 1:38 pm

I do hope you find a publisher who will give you a solid advance for the book, and will publish it to extravagant acclaim.  There are obviously a group of folks who’d like to read the fourth. 

For me, I come to this post as someone who’s never been a fan of your fiction- but who totally gets that hey, maybe it doesn’t flip up MY skirt, but I know a lot of folks for whom it does.  And all the non-fiction of yours I’ve read (including this post) makes me think you’re a terrifically clever person who I’d gleefully enjoy encountering as a fan.

The friend who linked me to this post is telling me that in his estimation, the initial trilogy had a life-changing impact on his world- and continues to have it, on re-reads.  My thanks for writing them simply because I’d’ve never met him without their intervention– and I really ought to give them another go, simply because if they matter that strongly to someone I value, then I obviously should have a look at them.  Regardless if I find them terrific or not, though, I’m going to say that he’d LOVE to see the fourth book, and is hoping to get his hands on it sooner rather than later.

Diane, you’ve always made me grin in your commentary in fandom.  I hope you have the chance to polish off a work-in-progress of so many many years. 

And I promise to give the series a long steady look… and if it’s constructed such that it’s waiting for the fourth book, please write the fourth book soon.

May life be good to you!

Genie Hilton July 16, 2011 - 3:00 pm

I had actually thought the issue with Door Into Starlight was due to the fact that, since each book was written from a different character’s POV, you were stuck on how to write from ‘Spark’s POV.   😉

Genie Hilton July 16, 2011 - 3:00 pm

I had actually thought the issue with Door Into Starlight was due to the fact that, since each book was written from a different character’s POV, you were stuck on how to write from ‘Spark’s POV.   😉

HR Mitchell July 16, 2011 - 5:19 pm

Thanks for the response, Diane; honestly, I fully understand the realities of publishing and whether it’s fiscally responsible for such projects. It makes me sad, but those are realities, and as much as we do love our fantasies … 

So, waiting is. That’s cool, too. I had noticed it listed in your Wikipedia entry some time back, and the series had come up in discussion this past week with another long-term fan, which is what had sparked my query. Sometimes a book or series just grabs hold of you, and won’t let go. The Middle Kingdom books were like that for both my friend and me (and apparently many others).

In the meantime, keep writing what pays the bills, we’ll keep buying them.

Thanks.

HRM July 16, 2011 - 5:19 pm

Thanks for the response, Diane; honestly, I fully understand the realities of publishing and whether it’s fiscally responsible for such projects. It makes me sad, but those are realities, and as much as we do love our fantasies … 

So, waiting is. That’s cool, too. I had noticed it listed in your Wikipedia entry some time back, and the series had come up in discussion this past week with another long-term fan, which is what had sparked my query. Sometimes a book or series just grabs hold of you, and won’t let go. The Middle Kingdom books were like that for both my friend and me (and apparently many others).

In the meantime, keep writing what pays the bills, we’ll keep buying them.

Thanks.

P J Evans July 16, 2011 - 9:14 pm

Waiting for years is okay, as long as I know there will be an end to it. (You might live another thirty or forty years – I have an aunt who’s going to be 97 next month.)

P J Evans July 16, 2011 - 9:14 pm

Waiting for years is okay, as long as I know there will be an end to it. (You might live another thirty or forty years – I have an aunt who’s going to be 97 next month.)

Mary July 17, 2011 - 9:51 pm

yes please,I still have the first 3 which are now falling to bits so whould have to buy them again;)
have  passed them on to my daughter so 2 generations will be waiting…

Mary July 17, 2011 - 9:51 pm

yes please,I still have the first 3 which are now falling to bits so whould have to buy them again;)
have  passed them on to my daughter so 2 generations will be waiting…

Amanda July 17, 2011 - 10:56 pm

I’d absolutely go buy it.  So would my husband. So would some significant chunk of my immediate circle of friends.  I discovered the Starlight books years after they were OOP and loved them.  

Amanda July 17, 2011 - 10:56 pm

I’d absolutely go buy it.  So would my husband. So would some significant chunk of my immediate circle of friends.  I discovered the Starlight books years after they were OOP and loved them.  

Scott Raun July 17, 2011 - 11:45 pm

Just bought the omnibus e-book, will cheerfully buy Starlight in paper and e-book as soon as it’s available, shared your Google+ post, and posted a pointer in my LJ.

Scott Raun July 17, 2011 - 11:45 pm

Just bought the omnibus e-book, will cheerfully buy Starlight in paper and e-book as soon as it’s available, shared your Google+ post, and posted a pointer in my LJ.

Diane Duane will write The Door into Starlight if fans can prove interest | Ebooks on Crack July 18, 2011 - 12:18 am

[…] The release of updated e-book versions of the first three books in the series a few days ago has prompted another wave of inquiries into when Duane will write the last one. And now she’s replied publicly, on her blog. […]

Anonymous July 18, 2011 - 9:16 am

I have over 400 ebooks in my ‘to-be-read’ folder. I’ve managed to resist buying any more ebooks for the past 42 days. And now I’ve gone and bought all the Young Wizard ebooks, and the Middle Kingdom Novels and Novella.

I haven’t starting to read the Middle Kingdom novels before, because I’d often heard that the series was incomplete. Here’s hoping I can start reading them soon!

This is a promise to buy the ebook of the fourth novel as soon as it’s available. I’ll also mention this blog post on a few forums I frequent.

pdurrant July 18, 2011 - 9:16 am

I have over 400 ebooks in my ‘to-be-read’ folder. I’ve managed to resist buying any more ebooks for the past 42 days. And now I’ve gone and bought all the Young Wizard ebooks, and the Middle Kingdom Novels and Novella.

I haven’t starting to read the Middle Kingdom novels before, because I’d often heard that the series was incomplete. Here’s hoping I can start reading them soon!

This is a promise to buy the ebook of the fourth novel as soon as it’s available. I’ll also mention this blog post on a few forums I frequent.

Anonymous July 18, 2011 - 11:06 am

Have you cosidered a Kickstarter thing? I bet being a Major Published Author wanting to finish a life-long series like this would get lots of press on it!

I have had my copies of the books for, oh, 30 odd years now. I’ve moved across the US twice (One in each direction!) and then to Australia, and when precious few other books got to make the ocean voyage (And please take a moment to mourn the poor box of K authors, who sadly never reached the other end. My partner is STILL trying to get all the Katherine Kurtz and Katherine Kurr books again!) they were the first ones I picked. I can honestly say they were huge books to me in my formative years, back before being queer or poly or trans were really something I could consider. AndI am all of those! So thank you!

I promise if Audible DOES do an audiobook, I will buy it! I also will nab the ebooks, because ebooks are one thing I /can/ read. I love print books, but you can’t make the font any bigger, can you? 😉

This post amuses me a bit also because there was a post on one of your books on io9 recently and I think I was one of the people who responded with ‘will this ever happen?’. 😉

mistwolf July 18, 2011 - 11:06 am

Have you cosidered a Kickstarter thing? I bet being a Major Published Author wanting to finish a life-long series like this would get lots of press on it!

I have had my copies of the books for, oh, 30 odd years now. I’ve moved across the US twice (One in each direction!) and then to Australia, and when precious few other books got to make the ocean voyage (And please take a moment to mourn the poor box of K authors, who sadly never reached the other end. My partner is STILL trying to get all the Katherine Kurtz and Katherine Kurr books again!) they were the first ones I picked. I can honestly say they were huge books to me in my formative years, back before being queer or poly or trans were really something I could consider. AndI am all of those! So thank you!

I promise if Audible DOES do an audiobook, I will buy it! I also will nab the ebooks, because ebooks are one thing I /can/ read. I love print books, but you can’t make the font any bigger, can you? 😉

This post amuses me a bit also because there was a post on one of your books on io9 recently and I think I was one of the people who responded with ‘will this ever happen?’. 😉

David DeLaney July 18, 2011 - 8:37 pm

I’ve been waiting a good many years for this myself; I bought Fire used, Shadow in trade paperback, and Sunset in hardback, and will happily buy Starlight in hardback the moment it gets to the store. (What I’m not gonna do is buy it in e-form – they still haven’t gotten an e-reader that has the form factor and feel of a paperback book AND can turn pages quickly enough to keep up with me. I’m even typing faster than this comment box can handle…) And I’ll definitely let other people know it’s out … once it is. So add me to the list of “will buy”.

–Dave

David DeLaney July 18, 2011 - 8:37 pm

I’ve been waiting a good many years for this myself; I bought Fire used, Shadow in trade paperback, and Sunset in hardback, and will happily buy Starlight in hardback the moment it gets to the store. (What I’m not gonna do is buy it in e-form – they still haven’t gotten an e-reader that has the form factor and feel of a paperback book AND can turn pages quickly enough to keep up with me. I’m even typing faster than this comment box can handle…) And I’ll definitely let other people know it’s out … once it is. So add me to the list of “will buy”.

–Dave

Jeremy Harton July 18, 2011 - 9:44 pm

Never actually read any of these, maybe I should so I can get on the complaining bandwagon of people wanting to read the next one…  May I ask, pray tell, whether you plan on converting everything to ebooks and if so why? I really like paper, although it admittedly stacks up quickly……

Jeremy Harton July 18, 2011 - 9:44 pm

Never actually read any of these, maybe I should so I can get on the complaining bandwagon of people wanting to read the next one…  May I ask, pray tell, whether you plan on converting everything to ebooks and if so why? I really like paper, although it admittedly stacks up quickly……

Cynthia Armistead July 18, 2011 - 10:40 pm

I don’t doubt you about the sales figures on the Door series – I just have to think that word didn’t ever get out to people, or when it did, they couldn’t find the books to buy them (I’ve certainly recommended them to many, many people over the years). They’re just such marvelous books!

After reading a friend’s copies of the first three books many, many years ago, I tried in vain to find my own copies. Every time I spotted a used bookstore anywhere, I HAD to check to see if it had a copy of one of the books!When Meisha Merlin announced that they were publishing them, I was SO HAPPY! And as soon as the first volume was available, my partner bought a copy for me (it’s so lonesome now, the little orphan). When I found out that you were selling the first three volumes as ebooks, again, I bought copies right away. So believe me, I have absolutely no qualms about doing anything to show my readiness to buy The Door Into Starlight!

I notice that in addition to the three separate books, there’s an Omnibus edition. Are the contents the same in each? Also, do you have any idea when Sirronde’s World 2 might be released? How do the other Middle Kingdoms Tales (Lior and the Sea and the Sirronde’s World novellas) fit chronologically with the Tales of the Five?

Thank you!
Cynthia Armistead

Cynthia Armistead July 18, 2011 - 10:40 pm

I don’t doubt you about the sales figures on the Door series – I just have to think that word didn’t ever get out to people, or when it did, they couldn’t find the books to buy them (I’ve certainly recommended them to many, many people over the years). They’re just such marvelous books!

After reading a friend’s copies of the first three books many, many years ago, I tried in vain to find my own copies. Every time I spotted a used bookstore anywhere, I HAD to check to see if it had a copy of one of the books!When Meisha Merlin announced that they were publishing them, I was SO HAPPY! And as soon as the first volume was available, my partner bought a copy for me (it’s so lonesome now, the little orphan). When I found out that you were selling the first three volumes as ebooks, again, I bought copies right away. So believe me, I have absolutely no qualms about doing anything to show my readiness to buy The Door Into Starlight!

I notice that in addition to the three separate books, there’s an Omnibus edition. Are the contents the same in each? Also, do you have any idea when Sirronde’s World 2 might be released? How do the other Middle Kingdoms Tales (Lior and the Sea and the Sirronde’s World novellas) fit chronologically with the Tales of the Five?

Thank you!
Cynthia Armistead

sambearpoet July 18, 2011 - 11:19 pm

Diane, I have heard so many good things about this series, but I have a hard time committing to a series that isn’t complete…however, I KNOW it will be awesome because I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve read that you’ve authored.

So, please do the Door into Starlight. I’ve already thoroughly blabbed about it on the interwebs!

sambearpoet July 18, 2011 - 11:19 pm

Diane, I have heard so many good things about this series, but I have a hard time committing to a series that isn’t complete…however, I KNOW it will be awesome because I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve read that you’ve authored.

So, please do the Door into Starlight. I’ve already thoroughly blabbed about it on the interwebs!

I’ve only been waiting for this book for what, 20 years? « St. Bob’s Basilica July 19, 2011 - 2:48 am

[…] Duane has blogged about the concluding volume to the Tale of the Five, ‘The Door Into Starlight’. Do let her know that you want to see this book (assuming […]

The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester July 19, 2011 - 2:50 am

I’m not on Facebook or Google+ … but I promise to spread the word in more mundane ways!  This is a book I’ve been waiting for since first reading ‘…Fire’ back in nineteen hundred and typing error.

The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester July 19, 2011 - 2:50 am

I’m not on Facebook or Google+ … but I promise to spread the word in more mundane ways!  This is a book I’ve been waiting for since first reading ‘…Fire’ back in nineteen hundred and typing error.

The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester July 19, 2011 - 2:50 am

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ … but I promise to spread the word in more mundane ways!  This is a book I’ve been waiting for since first reading ‘…Fire’ back in nineteen hundred and typing error.

P J Evans July 19, 2011 - 3:33 am

Speaking of something else … I wonder, every so often, what Joss and Evan are getting into. Or out of.

P J Evans July 19, 2011 - 3:33 am

Speaking of something else … I wonder, every so often, what Joss and Evan are getting into. Or out of.

Roger Pettibone July 19, 2011 - 4:49 am

Go thou and read Kris Rusch at Kriswrites.com.  And then realize that you can write what you want to write, and sell it yourself, in both e and p versions.  Especially pay attention to Kris’s later posts in her BusinessRusch series about publishers and what they consider acceptable sales.

While I don’t read your media tie-in stuff, I’ve had the middle Kingdom books for years, and I *did* buy them new. The fourth book would be welcome.  Even more welcome if you don’t sell the e-rights to one of the agency publishers….

Roger Pettibone July 19, 2011 - 4:49 am

Go thou and read Kris Rusch at Kriswrites.com.  And then realize that you can write what you want to write, and sell it yourself, in both e and p versions.  Especially pay attention to Kris’s later posts in her BusinessRusch series about publishers and what they consider acceptable sales.

While I don’t read your media tie-in stuff, I’ve had the middle Kingdom books for years, and I *did* buy them new. The fourth book would be welcome.  Even more welcome if you don’t sell the e-rights to one of the agency publishers….

Tibs July 19, 2011 - 7:46 pm

So, bought the new collection (which I only just found out about today), and updated copies of the first 3 books (previously bought one through Smashwords, one through what I guess is the old ebookshop, and one I can’t remember. I didn’t get any notifications, but for the ebook price it’s easier just to buy again), with the GUILT code. So no pressure then.

I’m trying hard not to buy the Wizard ebooks as well, as we already have at least one hardback of each… (and got A Wind From the South in paper and electrons)

Now what I *really* want is a matched hardcover edition of all four Door Into books.

Tibs July 19, 2011 - 7:46 pm

So, bought the new collection (which I only just found out about today), and updated copies of the first 3 books (previously bought one through Smashwords, one through what I guess is the old ebookshop, and one I can’t remember. I didn’t get any notifications, but for the ebook price it’s easier just to buy again), with the GUILT code. So no pressure then.

I’m trying hard not to buy the Wizard ebooks as well, as we already have at least one hardback of each… (and got A Wind From the South in paper and electrons)

Now what I *really* want is a matched hardcover edition of all four Door Into books.

grgreene March 31, 2013 - 4:07 pm

>> Now what I *really* want is a matched hardcover edition of all four Door Into books. <<

Actually, literally MILLIONS of people want THAT. The problem is, they just don't KNOW it yet because they haven't been exposed!

Cchang July 19, 2011 - 7:48 pm

Hello,

I feel weird typing words to a total stranger, but I’ve long enjoyed your books.

 I’m not facebooked, and I have no idea how to +1 anything (I even logged in to google, but didn’t see how to do it), but here I am sitting at my desk with my ancient paperback of “The Door into Sunset” wondering “did she ever finish that series…?” and through the wonders of Google, found this post!

But yeah, definitely interested in reading if you ever wrote it!  (Although if they ever hired you to write a Doctor Who episode, I’d secretly be even more thrilled, heh heh heh).

Cchang July 19, 2011 - 7:48 pm

Hello,

I feel weird typing words to a total stranger, but I’ve long enjoyed your books.

 I’m not facebooked, and I have no idea how to +1 anything (I even logged in to google, but didn’t see how to do it), but here I am sitting at my desk with my ancient paperback of “The Door into Sunset” wondering “did she ever finish that series…?” and through the wonders of Google, found this post!

But yeah, definitely interested in reading if you ever wrote it!  (Although if they ever hired you to write a Doctor Who episode, I’d secretly be even more thrilled, heh heh heh).

Sarah Morehouse July 20, 2011 - 8:00 pm

Those were the novels I got in my first solo trip to the adult section of the library. I wrote poems and fanfic and made fanart, and this was before the Internet came to my house, and I didn’t know other people even did that sort of thing. I was OBSESSED. That was when I was 11. Now I’m 32 and I still reread them every couple of years. 

I will read the hell out of book 4, and I will shill it to everyone I know.

Sarah Morehouse July 20, 2011 - 8:00 pm

Those were the novels I got in my first solo trip to the adult section of the library. I wrote poems and fanfic and made fanart, and this was before the Internet came to my house, and I didn’t know other people even did that sort of thing. I was OBSESSED. That was when I was 11. Now I’m 32 and I still reread them every couple of years. 

I will read the hell out of book 4, and I will shill it to everyone I know.

Susan Mellinger July 20, 2011 - 8:24 pm

The Middle Kingdoms books were in many ways my first love, as far as non-children’s fantasy goes. I had read others but this one so completely swept me away. I still thumb through them for the chapter quotes, and now I feel the need to go read them again… it’s been at least a year, hasn’t it?

Susan Mellinger July 20, 2011 - 8:24 pm

The Middle Kingdoms books were in many ways my first love, as far as non-children’s fantasy goes. I had read others but this one so completely swept me away. I still thumb through them for the chapter quotes, and now I feel the need to go read them again… it’s been at least a year, hasn’t it?

Jon Wolf July 21, 2011 - 1:15 am

Yes, please write a fourth book.

Jon Wolf July 21, 2011 - 1:15 am

Yes, please write a fourth book.

Rick Brooks July 21, 2011 - 1:55 am

I have wanted to read The Door into Starlight for many years.  I am over 70 and have had arthritiis for over 46 years.  I am not worried about you going before me. Be glad to see The Big Meow.  My sister and I have 9 cats.  We live on what is left of the family farm.  All of our cats are strays or the children of strays.  I do not like people who dump cats.

Rick Brooks 

Rick Brooks July 21, 2011 - 1:55 am

I have wanted to read The Door into Starlight for many years.  I am over 70 and have had arthritiis for over 46 years.  I am not worried about you going before me. Be glad to see The Big Meow.  My sister and I have 9 cats.  We live on what is left of the family farm.  All of our cats are strays or the children of strays.  I do not like people who dump cats.

Rick Brooks 

Pmrabble July 21, 2011 - 2:53 am

“Yes please, may I have some more?”

I’ll be picking up the starlightguilt offer next paycheck as well.  Thanks!

Pmrabble July 21, 2011 - 2:53 am

“Yes please, may I have some more?”

I’ll be picking up the starlightguilt offer next paycheck as well.  Thanks!

Cynthia Armistead July 21, 2011 - 4:22 am

I nearly forgot! My daughter has not yet read the Middle Kingdoms books, which is a crime. She has not yet been converted to ebooks, so I cannot but hope that the whole series (including Starlight) will see print again, so I can get copies for her too. Thank you!

Cynthia Armistead July 21, 2011 - 4:22 am

I nearly forgot! My daughter has not yet read the Middle Kingdoms books, which is a crime. She has not yet been converted to ebooks, so I cannot but hope that the whole series (including Starlight) will see print again, so I can get copies for her too. Thank you!

Gramina July 21, 2011 - 5:25 pm

Done — https://plus.google.com/111021964904124847994/posts

Gramina July 21, 2011 - 5:25 pm

Done — https://plus.google.com/111021964904124847994/posts

Meg July 21, 2011 - 6:08 pm

Don’t do ‘social media’ but I’ll pass to word to all my friends who have long loved these books, as it was sent to me. Have several sets of the three, but I still love the first edition of ‘Door into Fire’ best and I used to read it (and the others) once a year, it has been a while but if Starlight was coming I’d have to read them again before reading it, naturally 🙂 I will go over and have a look at what is available on the GUILT and maybe get into ebooks too. If it get you to write Starlight…  😉  Back when Fire first came out I named two kittens Dusty and Lorn.

Meg July 21, 2011 - 6:08 pm

Don’t do ‘social media’ but I’ll pass to word to all my friends who have long loved these books, as it was sent to me. Have several sets of the three, but I still love the first edition of ‘Door into Fire’ best and I used to read it (and the others) once a year, it has been a while but if Starlight was coming I’d have to read them again before reading it, naturally 🙂 I will go over and have a look at what is available on the GUILT and maybe get into ebooks too. If it get you to write Starlight…  😉  Back when Fire first came out I named two kittens Dusty and Lorn.

Joy Schulenburg July 21, 2011 - 11:21 pm

I’ve had this experience. “Why don’t you write a sequel?” “Um, because I have rent to pay.” Yeah, I do understand. I would definitely buy it/download it, but you need a whole big old bunch of us to do so to make it worth your time. I hope a whole big bunch replies to this, but I will understand your decision if they don’t.

Joy Schulenburg July 21, 2011 - 11:21 pm

I’ve had this experience. “Why don’t you write a sequel?” “Um, because I have rent to pay.” Yeah, I do understand. I would definitely buy it/download it, but you need a whole big old bunch of us to do so to make it worth your time. I hope a whole big bunch replies to this, but I will understand your decision if they don’t.

Susan Davis July 22, 2011 - 3:32 pm

I did buy an ebook (the Door omnibus), but I never received the download link.  Help?

Anonymous July 22, 2011 - 4:01 pm

If you’ll email our web lady at lee.enfield.burke@googlemail.com, Lee will get you sorted out. Please make sure to include your order number and the date on which you ordered. 

Susan Davis July 22, 2011 - 3:32 pm

I did buy an ebook (the Door omnibus), but I never received the download link.  Help?

dianeduane July 22, 2011 - 4:01 pm

If you’ll email our web lady at lee.enfield.burke@googlemail.com, Lee will get you sorted out. Please make sure to include your order number and the date on which you ordered. 

Sherri C July 23, 2011 - 7:49 am

I have bought every edition of the Middle Kingdoms books that have been published, hoping (patiently) that you would finish the series before *I* die… (I think I’m about your age…)  I remember being bitterly disappointed that the third book in a Lin Carter trilogy was never published because (I’m guessing) the sales weren’t there… So I for one, would reallllllly like it if you did complete this series.  They are (imho) some of the best fantasy I’ve ever read.

Sherri C July 23, 2011 - 7:49 am

I have bought every edition of the Middle Kingdoms books that have been published, hoping (patiently) that you would finish the series before *I* die… (I think I’m about your age…)  I remember being bitterly disappointed that the third book in a Lin Carter trilogy was never published because (I’m guessing) the sales weren’t there… So I for one, would reallllllly like it if you did complete this series.  They are (imho) some of the best fantasy I’ve ever read.

Mct July 23, 2011 - 11:45 pm

An emphatic “Yes!” to completing “The Door into Starlight”. I have wanted to know how the whole story line finishes since I bought the original 1979 paperback edition of “The Door into Fire”.

M.C. Thomson

Mct July 23, 2011 - 11:45 pm

An emphatic “Yes!” to completing “The Door into Starlight”. I have wanted to know how the whole story line finishes since I bought the original 1979 paperback edition of “The Door into Fire”.

M.C. Thomson

Just a few things in passing | Out of Ambit July 26, 2011 - 10:07 am

[…] finally: the Door into Starlight issue — bumping this a bit so that I can be sure everybody interested has had a chance to respond. […]

Anonymous July 26, 2011 - 1:31 pm

This is how much I want to read Door into Starlight: I would buy an e-book version if it were the only one available. And I loathe and despite e-books. (Which is not a commentary on those of you who prefer them, of course! They just don’t work for me. I have tried.) And of course it follows that I would buy a hardcopy in a heartbeat, probably up to the $40 pricepoint.

ambyr July 26, 2011 - 1:31 pm

This is how much I want to read Door into Starlight: I would buy an e-book version if it were the only one available. And I loathe and despite e-books. (Which is not a commentary on those of you who prefer them, of course! They just don’t work for me. I have tried.) And of course it follows that I would buy a hardcopy in a heartbeat, probably up to the $40 pricepoint.

Rushthatspeaks July 26, 2011 - 4:24 pm

I would definitely buy this. I have been looking forward to it for more than a decade.

Rushthatspeaks July 26, 2011 - 4:24 pm

I would definitely buy this. I have been looking forward to it for more than a decade.

J Baughman July 26, 2011 - 5:50 pm

I’m a huge fan; I actually started out on the Young Wizards and your Star Trek books, and was delighted to find Door Into Fire as a college student, and slowly found the other two. I would love to see Door into Starlight, it’s true, but I’m certainly not going to tell you what to write — you’re the one who knows what books are marketable, and what your publishers are willing to purchase. I will be purchasing the ebooks, as soon as I can make room in my budget for them, and I’ll use the code for your data-mining, but seriously, Ms. Duane, don’t take that as pressure. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, you are not my personal story-writing monkey. (I have one of those already. In my head. Waking me up at odd hours demanding to use my fingers.)

J Baughman July 26, 2011 - 5:50 pm

I’m a huge fan; I actually started out on the Young Wizards and your Star Trek books, and was delighted to find Door Into Fire as a college student, and slowly found the other two. I would love to see Door into Starlight, it’s true, but I’m certainly not going to tell you what to write — you’re the one who knows what books are marketable, and what your publishers are willing to purchase. I will be purchasing the ebooks, as soon as I can make room in my budget for them, and I’ll use the code for your data-mining, but seriously, Ms. Duane, don’t take that as pressure. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, you are not my personal story-writing monkey. (I have one of those already. In my head. Waking me up at odd hours demanding to use my fingers.)

Jaguar K. July 26, 2011 - 7:48 pm

So, I have a confession to make. I haven’t actually read the Middle Kingdoms series, although I definitely will be buying the ebooks now. I’ve loved every single other thing of yours I’ve read. I still cry like a baby over Book of Night with Moon and To Visit the Queen, so I’m looking forward to laughing, crying, or running up and down my living room like a mad thing over this series. And there will definitely be pushing this on all, um, two? Of my friends that I can think of offhand who haven’t read Middle Kingdoms yet. I may be a bit late to the party. 

Jaguar K. July 26, 2011 - 7:48 pm

So, I have a confession to make. I haven’t actually read the Middle Kingdoms series, although I definitely will be buying the ebooks now. I’ve loved every single other thing of yours I’ve read. I still cry like a baby over Book of Night with Moon and To Visit the Queen, so I’m looking forward to laughing, crying, or running up and down my living room like a mad thing over this series. And there will definitely be pushing this on all, um, two? Of my friends that I can think of offhand who haven’t read Middle Kingdoms yet. I may be a bit late to the party. 

kikibug13 July 26, 2011 - 7:51 pm

Write, Ms. Duane, Write!

kikibug13 July 26, 2011 - 7:51 pm

Write, Ms. Duane, Write!

Phil Boswell July 26, 2011 - 10:03 pm

I could have sworn that I already replied here…go figure…

Regardless, I have been awaiting “…Starlight” for many years. I subscribed to “The Big Meow” and was ecstatic to finally receive a copy. I would be more than happy to repeat the process for “…Starlight”.

Phil Boswell July 26, 2011 - 10:03 pm

I could have sworn that I already replied here…go figure…

Regardless, I have been awaiting “…Starlight” for many years. I subscribed to “The Big Meow” and was ecstatic to finally receive a copy. I would be more than happy to repeat the process for “…Starlight”.

Kath July 26, 2011 - 10:33 pm

Please.

Kath July 26, 2011 - 10:33 pm

Please.

Magenta July 27, 2011 - 1:03 pm

I bought all three books when they were in print. I would like to be able to read the fourth one.

Magenta July 27, 2011 - 1:03 pm

I bought all three books when they were in print. I would like to be able to read the fourth one.

L.S. Taylor July 27, 2011 - 5:39 pm

I’m interested.

L.S. Taylor July 27, 2011 - 5:39 pm

I would buy a copy.

L.S. Taylor July 27, 2011 - 5:39 pm

I’m interested.

L.S. Taylor July 27, 2011 - 5:39 pm

I would buy a copy.

Simran Khalsa July 27, 2011 - 7:03 pm

I would LOVE to see (and purchase) A door into starlight. I am a huge ebook convert (allergies + space), but have been keeping my Meisha Merlin hardback omnibus of the first two books in the series (which was a nice upgrade to the paperback editions I had already owned), still lamenting their closure and all the sequels that haven’t yet been because of it… As more people adopt to the online market, your legions of fans ready and able to purchase a self-published title will just continue to grow, with print on demand options available for those who love the feel of a book…

Simran Khalsa July 27, 2011 - 7:03 pm

I would LOVE to see (and purchase) A door into starlight. I am a huge ebook convert (allergies + space), but have been keeping my Meisha Merlin hardback omnibus of the first two books in the series (which was a nice upgrade to the paperback editions I had already owned), still lamenting their closure and all the sequels that haven’t yet been because of it… As more people adopt to the online market, your legions of fans ready and able to purchase a self-published title will just continue to grow, with print on demand options available for those who love the feel of a book…

Ello July 29, 2011 - 4:22 am

Usually going with the lowest common denominator will appeal to the masses.  So maybe including more from your old TUPPERWARE manuscript would goose sales.  The bits in David Gerrold’s overture in The Door into Fire certainly had all the standard tropes for a fantasy blockbuster. 

But seriously, folks. I first read the Door into Fire way back when and have been keeping my eye out for sequels since then.  It’s boosted your sale of other books since even if there were no new Door books out, I’d find something else of yours to pick up.  If you wanted to promise signed first editions to people who pre-order, a la Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, I’ll get the checkbook out.  Or I’d definitely get it in whatever form it came out in.

Ello July 29, 2011 - 4:22 am

Usually going with the lowest common denominator will appeal to the masses.  So maybe including more from your old TUPPERWARE manuscript would goose sales.  The bits in David Gerrold’s overture in The Door into Fire certainly had all the standard tropes for a fantasy blockbuster. 

But seriously, folks. I first read the Door into Fire way back when and have been keeping my eye out for sequels since then.  It’s boosted your sale of other books since even if there were no new Door books out, I’d find something else of yours to pick up.  If you wanted to promise signed first editions to people who pre-order, a la Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, I’ll get the checkbook out.  Or I’d definitely get it in whatever form it came out in.

grgreene March 31, 2013 - 4:06 pm

I know absolutely nothing about publishing but I honestly don’t see why you don’t just CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN. Why do you EVEN NEED some big corporation to be involved in distributing and demanding its pound of flesh? If anything is out of print, then can’t it somebody ELSE acquire the right to print it?

I am 53 now and encountered The Door Into Fire on the recommendation of a gay member of an SF club at my university. So I guess I was very much in the target audience. I had no idea the series wasn’t doing as well with other people. I was the right age to be able to identify with protagonists’ quest.

If the series didn’t do as well as time went on then I would have to say that is at least partly due to PROGRESS. There is a lot more “slash” and a lot more gay-oriented reading available now — back
then, DiF was precious because the supply was smaller. And its whole take on religion was arguably
even more important than its take on love. I am sincerely incredulous that most people never knew!
I think a revival is in order!

Sandra May 8, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Please, please, please write The Door into Starlight! I’ve been waiting since your original series was started. In fact, I just started rereading the first 3 (again!) and wondered if you had ever finished the last one. I suspect that the reason the others didn’t sell well is that they didn’t get a lot of publicity. I would be more than happy to buy the entire series in a matched set if you published them. However, I would prefer hardcopy over ebook, because (a) I like the feel of a real book in my hands, and (b) I have the others in hardcopy already and would prefer them all to be hardcopy. However you do it, though, please write Starlight!

Shaunna Schultz June 10, 2013 - 10:55 pm

I am so glad you have a strong online presence! As an eleven year old in 1996, I once tried to send you fan mail, c.o. whoever the publisher was in the back of the book, and of course it was ‘returned to sender.’ I was very sad I couldn’t tell you personally what your books meant to me. I found Deep Wizardry at the local thrift store and it got me through elementary and middle school. I still reread the series every couple of years. Then I found your Middle Kingdoms books and they got me through a dramatic adolescence, and helped me enjoy and feel comfortable with my bisexuality. Those series helped me become the contented adult I am today. I’ll buy an e-book when I get home, but I wanted to drop you a little note here telling you how much your work has meant to me.

al July 26, 2013 - 4:11 am

You know….I would love to see Starlight. I have an original copy of each of the first three books in the series and love them. so much so that whenever I move, I keep those copies with me. I have a 45 year accumulation of various sf&f books, but only a select few stay in my bedroom to be perused like the old friends they are. so a bit of guilt here for you….I would love to see that last book before I die.
BTW, I have most of your other books as well.
Be well and blessings.

Jacky April 14, 2014 - 1:09 am

Thank you for explaining your reasoning. I have just reread the first 3 books, and I would love to be able to read the 4th one.

galleymac April 26, 2014 - 11:59 pm

I would like to see this happen very much.

Johanna October 24, 2014 - 7:20 pm

I think I read the first book almost 40 years ago. I picked up a plain-paper bound copy of a Door into Fire in a Berkeley CA bookstore sometime in the early eighties. I was immediately enthralled. I found the updated versions over the years as they came out. Every so often I google ,”The Door into Starlight” in now-faint hope of finding it. That’s how I found this page. I do hope someday to read it.

Stewart Dean February 11, 2015 - 3:17 pm

How can I send you $100 as a deposit for my copy of Door Into Starlight

Comments are closed.