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Диана Дуэйн «A Wizard of Mars»

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Young Wizards

New Millennium Editions

Book 9:

A Wizard of Mars

Diane Duane

Errantry Press

A department of

The Owl Springs Partnership

County Wicklow

Republic of Ireland

Copyright page

A Wizard of Mars

New Millennium Edition

Errantry Press

County Wicklow, Ireland

Original edition copyright © 2010 by Diane Duane

Revised edition copyright © 2012 by Diane Duane

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be mailed to the following address:

Donald Maass Literary Agency

Suite 801, 121 West 27th Street

New York, NY 10001

USA

Publication history:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt North American hardcover edition, April 2010

Magic Carpet Books paperback edition, August 2011

Errantry Press International ebook edition, 2012

This Young Wizards New Millennium Edition of A Wizard of Mars follows the text of the 2012 Errantry Press International Edition, and has been revised and updated to reflect the new timeline that begins in the New Millennium Edition of So You Want to Be a Wizard.

Dedication

For Kim and Ben and Greg

and Jules and ERB,

and, most affectionately, for Ray and Robert:

…because (one way or another)

we are all Martians:

— and for Peter Murray,

much-missed moderator of

the Young Wizards Discussion Forums,

something he’d really have liked:

that pesky timeline, sorted at last

Rubrics

…Mars, why art thou bent

On kindling thus the Scorpion, his tail

Portending evil and his claws aflame?…

Why planets leave their paths and through the void

Thus journey on obscure? ’Tis war that comes,

Fierce rabid war: the sword shall bear the rule…

(Pharsalia, Marcus Annaeus Lucanus: Book 1)

The one departed | is the one who returns

From the straitened circle | and the shortened night,

When the blue star rises | and the water burns:

Then the word long-lost | comes again to light

To be spoke by the watcher | who silent yearns

For the lost one found. Yet to wreak aright,

She must slay her rival | and the First World spurn

Lest the one departed | no more return.

(The Red Rede, 1-8)

Truth is always late, always last to arrive, limping along with Time.

(The Art of Worldly Wisdom, Baltasar Gracián, §146)

Time fix

Late June, 2010

1: Terra Cognita

The problem, Kit thought, scowling at the paper, isn’t the basic shape, so much. It’s what to do with the legs…

He briefly glanced up from the pencil sketch he’d been doing in the margin of his notebook and looked wearily up at Mr. Machiavelli, his history teacher, as if he’d actually been paying attention to anything the Mack was saying. It was hard enough to care, this time of year. One more week till school’s out. One more week!— and especially late on a Friday afternoon, when the air-conditioning was broken.

Again! Kit thought. He was sweltering, along with everyone else in the place. Only little, balding Mr. Mack, strolling back and forth in front of the blackboard and holding forth on Asian politics of the 50s, seemed untouched by the heat and humidity. He paused to write the word “Pyongyang” on the board, pausing in the middle of the process to stare at the word as if not sure of the spelling.

Oh, come on, Mack, give us a break: who cares about this stuff right now?! But the Mack, as the whole class knew too well by now, was unstoppable; the heat slowed him down no more than cold or rain or dark of night probably would have. People names and place names and endless dates just kept on rolling out of him, and now he turned to the blackboard and started writing again…

Kit let out a sigh and glanced at the air vents at the back of the room. Cold air should have been coming out of them, but right now they were emitting nothing but an occasional faint clunking noise as somewhere in the system a feeder vent kept trying and failing to open. The school system was having budget troubles, which meant that some equipment that needed to be completely replaced wasn’t even getting maintenance. But knowing this didn’t make the heat any easier to bear.

People in the back of the room were fanning themselves with paperwork and notebooks. Kids sitting by the open windows were leaning toward them, courting any passing breath of air, and (when Mr. Machiavelli wasn’t looking) panting obviously, as if that would help. Without stopping what he was saying, Mr. Mack had paused to flip open a book on his desk and peer down at it: he shoved a bookmark into it and turned back to the blackboard, starting to write something else.

. How can this not be bothering him when he’s got a whole suit on? Kit thought. Doesn’t he have sweat glands??

The cooling system clunked several times more, to no effect. Kit made a face, glanced at the clock. It seemed hopelessly stuck at twenty past two, and the class wasn’t going to let out until quarter of three…which from where Kit was sitting felt like at least a year away. I can’t stand it anymore. And anyway, none of them’ll notice—

Very quietly Kit reached down into the book bag beside his desk and pulled out his wizard’s manual. At the moment, the manual looked like his history textbook— which was perfectly normal, since earlier this year Kit had stuck a chameleon spell on the manual’s exterior, causing it to imitate the proper textbook for whatever class he happened to be in.

Kit turned idly through the manual’s pages to the one that held the spell he’d first crafted to do repairs on the school’s cooling system, back when it broke down during the unseasonal heat wave back in April. He’d had to use the spell several times since, and he’d had to rework it every time, because engineers from other schools kept coming over to work on the system— and every time they did, they disrupted whatever quick fix Kit had managed to implement the last time he’d done the fix-it spell. Gotta get in here sometime during vacation and do a real fix on the whole system, Kit thought. Otherwise things’ll get even worse when the cold weather comes around…

The words of the spell, in the long, curved strokes and curlicue hooks-and-crooks of the wizardly Speech, laid themselves out before him on the manual page. Hovering above them, faint and hardly to be seen, was the shadow of the camouflage page that any casual, nonwizardly observer would see if he or she looked at the book.

There was of course no question of saying the spell out loud in a situation like this. Gonna be kind of a strain doing it on the quiet, Kit thought. But this heat’s just too much. And what’s it like on the other side of the building, where the Sun’s hitting? The kids over there must be dying. Let’s just call this my good deed for the day.

He closed his eyes for a moment, working to make the requisite “quiet zone” inside his mind, and then opened his eyes again and started silently reading the words of the wizardry in the Speech. Slowly the wizardry started to work: a silence started to fall around Kit as the universe seemed to lean in around him, listening to the spell.

In the growing silence, Kit watched the room around him seem to fade, while the normally invisible layout of the cooling system now started to become visible, glowing like a wireframe diagram stretching out and away from the history classroom. Kit didn’t need to go hunting through the system to find the source of the problem. He knew where it was, and anyway, the locator functions of the spell would have shown him the duct near the heart of the building, just this side of the heat pump in the school’s engineering center.

Kit peered at the duct in his mind, concentrating on the source of the problem— a vent shutter that looked something like a small, boxy Venetian blind ...

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