Best 1983 Adventures (6)

By: Joshua Glenn
November 10, 2018

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1983 adventure novels. Happy 35th anniversary!

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Diane Duane’s Young Wizards YA fantasy adventure So You Want to Be a Wizard.

Before J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, there was Diane Duane’s popular Young Wizards series — a darker, more urban version of Fantasy’s now-popular adolescent-wizard-in-training sub-genre. Nita Callahan, a 13-year-old girl seeking to avoid middle-school bullies, takes refuge at the library — where she discovers a book titled So You Want to Be a Wizard. She takes the Wizard’s Oath, and begins experimenting with spellcraft — at which point she meets Kit Rodriguez, a fellow would-be wizard. Attempting to retrieve a special pen that bullies stole from her, Nita and Kit accidentally summon an intelligent, wise-cracking “white hole” from outer space — the book’s third, most charming protagonist. Soon, the three must embark on a quest to retrieve The Naming of Lights, a book that describes the true nature of everything that has or will exist, and which has gone missing. When Nita and Kit wind up in a lifeless, alternate-dimension version of New York (hello, Stranger Things), populated by bat-like skinwings, dragon-like fireworms, and the ancient Lone Power, will their wizarding abilities suffice?

Fun facts: Subsequent installments in the series include: Deep Wizardry (1985), High Wizardry (1990), and A Wizard Abroad (1993). Duane is a prolific genre author whose oeuvre features Star Trek and Spider-Man novels.

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JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.

Categories

Adventure, Lit Lists

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