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A thing I'm thinking about fantasy genre.

I don't like pomp with my magic. Not how I like to read or write it.

I don't like mystical plans laid down by gods into a crystal-cut universe tainted. That's what Sunday school is for.

Prophecies and destinies leave me cold. So do all the accoutrements of the Golden Dawn, Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, and all those great old frauds of Empirica Britannica Romantica.

Magic creeps in. It steps in between the space between apprehension and reality, with the touch of a feather and the promise of a seven-foot prybar.

It's the crack you can feel like a missing tooth but can't find.

It takes you out of yourself, and tinkers with your packaging so that you don't fit into your box anymore.

It cleans your clock, laying all your gears out in neat lines, puts you back together, but always somehow forgets that one critical bit that keeps the cuckoo door closed.

I like my magic like that.

You?

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
wendigomountain
Jan. 5th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
I like my magic to come without a rule book. I think it should be messy, arcane, and comprised of bits and pieces that don't make sense to anyone but the witch or sorcerer. When it happens, it starts off small, and subtle, but when the magic is done, it is obviously not of this world.
barry_king
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
That's really it, I think. I suppose my gut understanding of magic is two sides of a leap. There's the willing suspension of disbelief followed by the completion of the unreal becoming real. It's something akin to madness, and perhaps a kind of madness is needed to begin magic. The kind of madness you find in people pushing around shopping carts and building bowers out of personal scraps of memorabilia.

Or perhaps if you fail to complete the leap, you fall into a kind of Abyss of yourself?
wendigomountain
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
That's very cool! A perfect way to look at it too.

I'm reminded of the Baba Yagga and the absurdity/madness of having a house which stands on chicken legs. If that's not pure magic, I don't know what is.
barry_king
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
It's funny. When I read your reply, I was thinking of why witches live outside the village. Is it because they can't be trusted, or because they just can't stand the tedium of the regular life.

And don't they just sometimes get tempted to stick one of those rotten kids into an oven. Just for a while? To teach them a lesson. One that will be with them for the rest of their lives?

History has ignored ogresses at its peril.
(Deleted comment)
barry_king
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
There's something to that. I am thinking by "rulebook" that the magic itself is bound by clear, definable rules that anyone with the aptitude can learn. There's a lot of fiction that is a take on the RPG attitude, where specific, known spells can be learned by mages of a certain degree of experience. Levels and "gommetry" (per Pratchett) and all that, which fits in with all that Masonic arcana about degrees and circles of initiation.

Which is really no different a pattern from Science as it's practiced in academe, is it? It's a useful trope, and gets the fun going quickly and unambiguously. I'm thinking of the Mistborn series as a good example.

But at heart, it's a rational vision of magic. It's a little like looking at genre to view the history of alchemy breaking off into science, secret societies, and Deist politicians at about the same time.
moon_custafer
Jan. 9th, 2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Exactly: "Any overly-codified magic is indistinguishable from technology."
barry_king
Jan. 9th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
And, like technology, lends itself to replication and mass-production. Magic loses its magic if it's too quantifiable.
slave2tehtink
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
The magic I liked best was in the Cold fire trilogy by...Friedman, I think. Wild and as likely to bite you on the ass as not.
barry_king
Jan. 6th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
Not familiar; but yes. Ass-bitery is an important component.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )