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Magic in fiction

Related: fantastic literature - magic - magic realism - fiction - literatuer - supernatural


In considering magic as tradition, a related category concerns magic in fiction, where it serves as a plot device, the source of magical artifacts and their quests. Magic has long been a subject of fictional tales, especially in fantasy fiction, where it has been a mainstay from the days of Homer and Apuleius, down through the tales of the Holy Grail, Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and to more contemporary authors from J. R. R. Tolkien to Mercedes Lackey and J. K. Rowling.

In science fiction plots (especially the "hard" variety), while magic tends to be avoided, often extraordinary facts are portrayed that do not have a scientific basis and are not explained in that fashion. In these cases the reader might find it useful to remember Arthur C. Clarke's "Third Law": Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Magic has been portrayed in numerous games, in which magic is a characteristic available to players in certain circumstances or to certain types of player characters. Magic in such games, especially in the latter variety of games, is usually classified according to some system (for example, elemental magic, nature magic, or "red magic").

There may be a well-developed system in fictional magic, or not. It is by no means impossible, moreover, for fictional magic to leap from the pages of fantasy to actual magical practice; such was the fate of the Necronomicon, invented as fiction by H. P. Lovecraft, who sold it so well that there have been several attempts by modern authors to produce it as a grimoire.

Sorcerors and sorcery are a staple of Chinese wu xia fiction and are dramatically featured in many martial arts movies.

Many mythological, legendary or historical magicians have appeared in fictional accounts as well. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_(paranormal)#Magic_in_fiction [Dec 2005]

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