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Secret magic?

Posted by Charles Gray on July 2, 2011

It’s a common story.  Kid finds out magic exists, goes to school/cult/runs for his life, and we are shown an entirely new secret world, a world of magic that mundanes don’t notice.  It’s a winning combination that has been used by everyone from Diane Duane to J.K. Rowling.

But would magic be so secretive?  The reason why it is rare in mysterious in teh real world is a simple fact– it doesn’t work. When you don’t have the real power you claim to, then of course you’ll be subtle– magic rituals of the ancient world tended to be the sort of thing that you could point to, no matter what happened, and argue that it really worked, or perhaps it would have if the commander hadn’t thrown the sacred chickens overboard.

Among the real world, of course, when something gets discovered it spreads. Gunpowder, medicine, movable type– all of these discoveries spread. So why would magic be secret?

The answer is, it likely wouldn’t be, not at all, and that’s the premise for my series of short stories and novels (the first of which should be out soon), in the Mystic Galaxy setting.  Magic isn’t secret, not anywhere.

Save on earth, because it hasn’t worked for the last 20,000 years, but now things have changed, and humanity– and humanity’s technology, is about to come on the scene…

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