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The "Go" date

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  • The "Go" date

    So here's something for you all to chew on: the issue of the Go Date -- that is, the date of the events in the revised version of So You Want to Be a Wizard. All other dates in the revised NM editions will flow from this.

    A strong candidate at present: spring of 2000.

    -- DD

  • #2
    I wonder, since New York is such a large part of the series, does starting a year and a half before the 9/11 mean that the attacks on that day will be given more than a passing allusion in later books?

    I was going to say - appropriate for new millenium editions to be set in 2000, but then a little bird reminded me that our timeline doesn't have a year 0, so technically the new millenium doesn't start till 2001.

    Oh... and then I have to ask: since there were a lot larger variety of SpacePen designs available in 2000 than in the 80's... Does Nita get to have one of the newer versions or is it still the classic?

    So what's the equivalent of not having color tv in the 80's transposed to 2000? only getting broadcast channels? only having dial-up internet? no cell phone?
    Last edited by SpacePen; June 2, 2011, 06:38:51 AM.


    • #3
      Well in the edition the library has of SYWTBAW, it says "wide-screen TV" instead of "color TV".

      Anyway, getting the seasons straight in my brain:

      SYWTBAW: spring
      DW: summer
      HW: fall, winter or spring
      AWAb: summer
      TWD: fall or winter
      AWAl: fall or winter
      TWH: spring
      WAW: spring
      AWoM: summer (beginning)

      So the whole series covers a little under three years. Okay, I can see that happening. Nita's thirteen in SYWTBAW and is a year older than Kit; Kit's fourteen in AWoM - their ages make sense . . . but for Dairine to be eleven in AWoM (and it was pretty heavily emphasized) she'd have to be about/at most 9 in SYWTBAW (since the events in the first book happened in the spring, and Dair's birthday is in the fall.) 'Kay, this is making sense.

      I hadn't thought of 9/11, though. With the new timeline, it would happen around the time of Dilemma or Alone. (Poor Neets. First her mom, now this . . .)


      • #4

        wow... I still don't have a widescreen tv... and compared to the newer flat-screens, mine is huge... I believe my tube actually has... tubes in it...


        • #5
          LifeSong's comment made me wonder about the ages. I like the idea of Nita being 14 and Kit 13 in the first book, Dairine 10 or 11, with the series spanning 3 years so far, making Nita 17, Kit 16, and Dairine 14 or 15. Carmella would be 16 in the first book, Ronan 18/19 in the 4th when we meet him.

          A 2000 go date would mean even AWoM was, at the latest, set in maybe 2004/2005 (unless years go by in between books, which would mean the age differences would have to be greater). Doesn't that mean you might have to bring back the technology in the later books? iPods may have been available, but they weren't at the stage that Darryl's is at in WaW and AWoM. Or the prevelance, considering wizards were waiting for them to become more incongruous before releasing the wizardly version. Seems like a slightly later date, like 2005 or 2006, might be better for the go date so the later books are in 2008/2009.

          Actually, having AWoM match up to the present date and working backwards from there would insure all future books wouldn't have to be instantly dated, even by a few years. I don't know about anyone else, but even a 4 year difference is noticeable to me.

          There, my 2 cents. Now I'm gonna shut up.


          • #6
            it could, i suppose, start in 2000 and either:

            1) we reason that YW is an alternate universe where wizards exist, surreptitiously helping technology progresses faster than it does here (in which case, you could start it in the 80's anyways and just leave it the way it is, minus the age issues)
            2) move the tech "back" as suggested above, or
            3) inflate the timeline so there are more years between books (instead of several books happening in one year), and adjust the ages of the characters accordingly


            • #7


              • #8
                In fact, not only does AWOM seem a natural place to set the timeline for the rest of the series, as Elita and Ace Ryn Knight mentioned, but it has (as far as I can tell) the most definite, difficult to change (without significantly rewriting a very charming scene), strong lower and fairly strong upper limits on the time it takes place, given by the appearance of the [mild AWOM spoiler] Spirit rover in a later portion of its mission. This scene could be rewritten slightly to put it in an earlier portion of the mission, but still has to be at least four or five months after January 4th, 2004 (Spirit's landing date), and preferably after March 9th, 2005 (the first big dust clearing event) to have its fullest effect. It also has to be before May 1st, 2009, when Spirit got stuck for good, to avoid more serious rewriting; placing it after March 22nd, 2010, when Spirit stopped communication, would entail even further rewriting. (See Wikipedia's page for Spirit for a useful timeline. [I'm not giving the link, since it, er, spoils the spoiler-blanking.])

                The Julian dates given in AWOM place it in late June, 2007, which is in good agreement with the scene discussed above. (I'm not counting the various Julian dates given in other later books, as they are easily changed. Also, for anyone who is interested in this, hasn't read AWOM, and doesn't want to read the spoiler, the bounds given by the scene are mid-2004 [strong] to mid-2009 [somewhat weaker; early-to-mid 2010 is a stronger upper bound]; 2007 is a good fit for some of the details.)

                Thus, if DD starts with SYWTBAW in spring 2000, and doesn't change this scene in AWOM too drastically, she'll have to age the characters at least four years (and possibly seven or more) by the time they get to AWOM. This would seem to necessitate introducing gaps into LifeSong's otherwise very appealing continuous timeline.

                I wish DD the very best with this difficult task she has set herself (particularly in maintaining temporal continuity in future books, if she doesn't want to age the characters too much). (I have to say that I've never been particularly bothered by most of the timeline inconsistencies, viewing them as an idiosyncratically charming aspect of the series.)
                Omnia disce, videbis postea nihil esse superfluum.


                • #9
                  Resistant as I am to any change , I like 2000 as a choice, because it'll be close enough to compress the series into a more cohesive timeline and we will still get the pre/post 9/11 feeling that's needed. But I shall miss Spot dressed up as a Mac Cube.
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                  • #10
                    Oh hey, I worked this up over on LJ, it's a little more detailed than LifeSong's one, so it might be useful/of interest ... I referred to Peter's timeline pretty heavily in the making of.

                    - SYWTBAW: spring 2000 (March?) Nita is 13. Kit is 12. Dairine is 11.
                    - DW: early summer, 2000
                    - HW: late summer, 2000
                    - Kit has a summer birthday so at some point here turns 13. (After DW?)
                    - AWAb: late summer, 2001. Nita is 14. Kit is about to turn or has turned 14. Dairine is 12.
                    - Sometime before Dilemma: dinosaurs in Central Park and the events of TBONWM. (Possibly between HW and AWAb.)
                    - Dilemma: very early fall 2001. Nita is 14, Kit is 14, Dairine is 12 but about to turn 13. (Peter has a September date for this which I don't think works because I think if 9/11 happened in the middle Nita and Kit probably would notice, and I think if it was just before they would mention. Which means Nita has just found out her mom is going to die when 9/11 happens. That's really cheery. )
                    - Nita's mom dies around Christmas 2001. Nita is 14, Kit is 14, Dairine is 13. (Wow, they're old.)
                    - AWAl: winter 2002, after Christmas. Nita is 14, Kit is 14, Dairine is 13.
                    - AWH: spring break, 2002. Harry discusses 9/11 with Tom (it seems like it's recent enough that AWAb must be 2001, not 2002). Nita is 14 about to turn 15, Kit is 14, Dairine is 14.
                    - W@W: also spring 2002. Same ages - Nita possibly turns 15 between the books. Darryl has a wizpod that is significantly shinier than iPods of that era. Spot is also a little fancier than might be expected. But that's OK. WIZARD TECHNOLOGY. We still don't have laptops that walk around, it's fine.
                    - WOM: early summer 2002. (Although there's a Julian date in there for 2007). Nita is 15, Kit is 14, Dairine is 13. Peter has a stated intention from DD for Kit to turn 15 in here, but I don't think that quite plays. But 14 and 15 is a pretty respectable dating age IMO.

                    If I was going to fit in an extra couple of years per Nathan's commentary, I would stick a year between Abroad and Dilemma (I think that works quite well? It's been awhile since I re-read Dilemma). This feels good to me because of the quite large gap between the publication of Abroad and Dilemma, but it makes character sense as well, I think - except for the tension between Kit and Nita at the beginning, which I think is derived from some lingering Ronan issues? I'm not sure if I read that into that or if it's canonical, however. This also makes Tom and Harry's discussion about 9/11 a little less timely and still only brings them up to mid-2003; ages in WOM would be 16, 15, and 14, which seems kind of old and kind of not. However, I think Dilemma is one of the only later books that doesn't have a very specific reference to how much time has passed between it and the previous book, so there aren't many options.

                    A couple of other responses to stuff in this thread ...
                    - I don't recall (but I'm sure you're correct) that Dairine's age was given in WOM as 11. I mean, really?! But I suppose it works OK.
                    Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush! Fear death by water!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Birdhead View Post
                      - AWH: spring break, 2002. Harry discusses 9/11 with Tom (it seems like it's recent enough that AWAb must be 2001, not 2002). Nita is 14 about to turn 15, Kit is 14, Dairine is 14.
                      Ages must be wrong here You can't have Nita being two years older than Dairine at the start, and them ending up at the same age. I think you meant Dairine is 13.

                      I could see that working, but I really don't want the details Nathan's discussing from AWoM to be changed, and don't expected them to be, which does mean there has to be expanding time in order for AWoM to occur in 2005.

                      I agree that time between AWAb and AWD makes most sense as to where to put a gap. I could also see it being made to work to have a gap between DW and HW, it would have just taken Dair longer to find the manual, which doesn't seem like a problem to me as long as its not a huge gap. Between HW and AWAb seems like it could also be made to work, because AWAb has a solid difference from the other books in being in Ireland.

                      Most solidly it feels like there can't be more of a gap between SYWTBAW and DW, And that something will have to be done about AWH, but most books it feels like you could separate out some.

                      Though along with the tech, there is the question of the aging of the characters. They're currently written as 15 year olds, not 18 year olds, there are are noticeable differences between those ages. It feels like that's actually most of where things would be lost or changed if swapping to the trying to get from 2000 to 2005 or later by AWOM.

                      I don't know, I feel like something will be lost in aging the characters, but the relevant scene in AWOM is possibly my favorite YW scene period at this point.

                      I'm curious to see what's done.
                      We will remember you PM. And your little GingerBear.


                      • #12
                        this is all really confusing.....see, i never really pictured dates when reading the books.....but here is what my timeline is like (very basic)
                        SYWTBaW- late spring/early summer (in school, but the weather is nice)
                        DW- early summer (at the beach)
                        HW- middle summer (no school)
                        AWaB- late summer (august...)
                        WD- early fall (school starts)
                        AWAl- late fall/early spring
                        WH- spring (they're on break)
                        WAW- spring (RIGHT after WH)
                        AWoM-early summer (school ends)

                        so....i actually pictured the whole series consisting of just over 1 year....but I would place it later, like '08, '09 really...the technology in the first 4 can get a boost, and the tech in the later books wouldn't need much of an update. Laptops, ipods, and the like would exist, and most of the references would be fairly current. the whole 9/11 issue would then be in the past......
                        All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they really happened. And after you are finished reading one you feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse, and the sorrow, the people and the places, and how the weather was.


                        • #13
                          So I got to thinking; maybe it's because it's the summer and I'm stir crazy, or I'm trying to find something YW-related to obsess over in the lead up to GWP, or maybe it's that I can't wait to find out how the timeline's handled in the New Millennium editions so I decided to go into more detail myself. Either way, I haven't been able to get this issue out of my mind since I first posted here, so I thought I might as well take another stab at it.

                          NB: This is based heavily on PM's timeline; I just changed the dates to fit a Go Date in '05 instead of '03 so as to line up with Nathan's notes that strongly suggest AWoM took place in '07. The ages were taken from PM's list of characters with canon birthdays, which is basically everyone except Ronan and Darryl (poor Ronan and Darryl).

                          Go Date
                          May 14th, 2005

                          SYW - Spring, 2005
                          DW - Summer, 2005
                          HW - Summer, 2005
                          AWAb - Summer, 2006
                          TWD - Fall, 2006
                          AWAl - Winter, 2007
                          WH - Spring, 2007
                          WAW - Spring, 2007
                          AWoM - Summer, 2007



                          • #14
                            not on my patch...

                            so here's a little evidence from the newest short story on timeline. In "Not on My Patch" Nita explains to Ronan why they're just getting back into "doing" halloween. She states that:

                            1) at or around age "12 or so" she stopped trick or treating (due to peer pressure)
                            2) the year (i.e. the Halloween) after that, Haloween didn't seem like such a big deal (due to Nita being distracted by becoming a Wizard, going through Ordeal earlier that same year, etc.) So the family "went off it for a while" (no indication of how long "a while" is).
                            3) An unspecified number of years later, at the Halloween "after Mom...", no one in the Callahan house (understandably!) felt like celebrating it
                            4) the very next sentence is "but this year..."

                            So... Nita age 12 Halloween not celebrated - and Nita is NOT yet a wizard

                            Very next spring - SYWTBAW. That summer, DW. Maybe HW too?

                            At Nit'as age 13 Halloween - Nita doesn't celebrate but Dairine does? Nita's now gone through at least SYWTBAW, and probably DW and maybe HW (except that if Dairine had just gone through HW, would she not, like Nita be thinking that Halloween is not that big of a deal?)

                            At Nita's age 14 Halloween - not celebrated, but who knows where we are in the books at this point. This is during the "a while" where the family (except for Dairine) doesn't celebrate Halloween. We could place HW and AWAb in the summer just before this Halloween? Maybe Uptown Local goes here too? And The Book of Night with Moon?

                            After that Halloween - WD. Just for kicks, let's put Theobroma here. And maybe On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service (a.k.a. To Visit The Queen).

                            At Nita's age 15 Halloween - This COULD be part of the "a while" but let's just say it isn't. I"ll say this will be the Halloween "after Mom..." so at this point Nita has gone through all the books up to at least WD and is probably in the midst of AWAl at this point

                            The next spring break - AWH and WaW. Right on the heels of that, AWoM?

                            At Nita's age 16 Halloween - Halloween is celebrated by the whole family. Nita's gone through everything up to AWoM and is soon to be getting into GWP...
                            Last edited by SpacePen; December 19, 2011, 06:07:05 AM. Reason: change timeline


                            • #15
                              Ok, what happened to this?