Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What Is Magic?

(i) For the answer given in Poul Anderson's Operation... series, see Magic And Goetics. (Sometimes, all the work has already been done in an earlier post.)

How many other meanings are there?

(ii) In one popular meaning and in the Harry Potter series, waving a wand and uttering incantations creates matter and breaks the conservation laws.

(iii) In SM Stirling's Dies The Fire and somtimes on Earth Real, "magic" means Wiccan rituals.

(iv) In James Blish's Black Easter/The Day After Judgment, magic is control of demons which are fallen angels.

(v) The DC universe includes magicians like Zatara, Zatanna, Arion of Atlantis, Merlin, Tim Hunter and John Constantine. The theory is that belief alone is enough to generate supernatural beings and realms and working magic. Kryptonians are vulnerable to magic as to Kryptonite. Many fictions coexist as in Poul Anderson's and Michael Moorcock's multiverses.

An evening of alternative reading usually generates material for a comparative blog post.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Sometimes I'm puzzled by the Wiccan rituals seen in DIES THE FIRE and its sequels. Most times they seem to be merely PRAYERS as Christians understand the word (other times actual "magic" seems to come into play). I used to know online a Wiccan or neo-pagan woman and we came to agree that she MEANT her "magic" to be simply prayers. With no idea of using a magic that compels supernatural beings to do what the Wiccan using that "magic" wanted them to do.