But when the wizard is onstage as the main character, you have to adopt what I call the Jack Vance Rule. I call it this because Jack Vance is the first author successfully and adroitly to have applied this rule in his The Dying Earth. The Jack Vance Rule is: (1) The wizard has to be able to do something unusual, or else he is not a wizard, (2) he cannot do everything, or else there is no drama; therefore (3) the story teller has to communicate to the reader whatever the dividing line is that separates what the wizard can do from what he cannot do, so that the reader can have a reasonable expectation of knowing what the wizard can and cannot do.
John C. Wright
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under "Wizards." Believe it or not, I'm the only one there. My ad looks like this: HARRY DRESDEN "" WIZARD Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment You'd be surprised how many people call just to ask me if I'm serious.
He talks pretty big for a gutter wizard," he muttered. "You don't understand at all," said the wizard wearily. "I'm so scared of you my spine has turned to jelly, it's just that I'm suffering from an overdose of terror right now. I mean, when I've got over that then I'll have time to be decently frightened of you.
But you know, a wizard with black hair and a thick mustache put a curse on Moscow, and Petrograd, too, so that no one would be able to tell the truth without lying. If a novelist wrote a true story about how things really happened, no one would believe him, and he might even be punished for spreading propaganda. But if he wrote a book full of lies about things that could never really happen, with only a few true things hidden in it, well, he would be hailed as a hero of the People, given a seat at a writers' cafe, served wine and ukha, and not have to pay for any of it. He'd get a salaried summer on the dacha, and be feted. Even given a medal by the wizard with the thick mustache." The waiter whistled. "That's a good curse. I should like to shake that wizard's hand and buy him a vodka or two.
Catherynne M. Valente
Tell me about this Wizard Howl of yours." "He's the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he'd only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he's sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly, and you can't pin him down to anything." "Indeed? Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies." "What do you mean, vices? I was just describing Howl. He comes from another world entirely, you know, called Wales, and I refuse to believe he's dead!
Diana Wynne Jones
It may merely be apocryphal that when the Wizard saw the glass bottle he gasped, and clutched his heart. The story is told in so many ways, depending on who is doing the telling, and what needs to be heard at the time. It is a matter of history, however, that shortly thereafter, the Wizard absconded from the Palace. He left in the way he had first arrived-- a hot-air balloon-- just a few hours before seditious ministers were to lead a Palace revolt and to hold an execution without trial.
Anyway, my office is small - one room, but on the corner, with a couple of windows. The sign on the door reads, simply, HARRY DRESDEN, WIZARD. Just inside the door is a table, covered with pamphlets with titles like: Magic and You, and Why Witches Don't Sink Any Faster Than Anyone Else - a Wizard's Perspective. I wrote most of them. I think it's important for we practitioners of the Art to keep up a good public image. Anything to avoid another Inquisition.
Who am I? is the only question worth asking and the only one never answered. It is your destiny to play an infinity of roles, but these roles are not yourself. The spirit is non-local, but it leaves behind a fingerprint, which we call a body. A wizard does not believe himself to be a local event dreaming of a larger world. A wizard is a world dreaming of local events.
Children being children, however, the grotesque Hopping Pot had taken hold of their imaginations. The solution was to jettison the pro-Muggle moral but keep the warty cauldron, so by the middle of the sixteenth century a different version of the tale was in wide circulation among wizarding families. In the revised story, the Hopping Pot protects an innocent wizard from his torch-bearing, pitchfork-toting neighbours by chasing them away from the wizard's cottage, catching them and swallowing them whole.
Once upon a time there was a king, and the king commissioned his favorite wizard to create a magic mirror. This mirror didn't show you your reflection. It showed you your soul-it showed you who you really were. The wizard couldn't look at it without turning away. The king couldn't look at it. The courtiers couldn't look at it. A chestful of treasure was offered to anyone who could look at it for sixty seconds without turning away. And no one could.
For they were alone, and he was one of the seven persons in the world who knew the Archmage's name. The others were the Master Namer of Roke; and Ogion the Silent, the wizard of Re Albi, who long ago on the mountain of Gont had given Ged that name; and the White Lady of Gont, Tenar of the Ring; and a village wizard in Iffish called Vetch; and in Iffish again, a house-carpenter's wife, mother of three girls, ignorant of all sorcery but wise in other things, who was called Yarrow; and finally, on the other side of Earthsea, in the farthest west, two dragons: Orm Embar and Kalessin.
Ursula K. Le Guin
No matter what danger you might face, " the wizard resumed, "within this book is a magical solution." I did as Ebenzum bade, opening to a page titled "EZ Wizard's Index." I scanned quickly down the righthand column: Demons, who are about to eat you, 206, 211 Demons, who are about to tear you limb from limb, 207 Demons, who are about thrash you soundly, 206-7 Demons, who have already begun to eat you, 208 "As you can see, " my master continued, "quick reference to this index can prepare you for virtually any eventuality.
Craig Shaw Gardner
In the words of Mr Thierry Coup of Warner Bros: 'We are taking the most iconic and powerful moments of the stories and putting them in an immersive environment. It is taking the theme park experience to a new level.' And of course I wish Thierry and his colleagues every possible luck, and I am sure it will be wonderful. But I cannot conceal my feelings; and the more I think of those millions of beaming kids waving their wands and scampering the Styrofoam turrets of Hogwartse_STmk, and the more I think of those millions of poor put-upon parents who must now pay to fly to Orlando and pay to buy wizard hats and wizard cloaks and wizard burgers washed down with wizard meade_STmk, the more I grind my teeth in jealous irritation. Because the fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America. Hogwarts is a place where children occasionally get cross with each other-not 'mad'-and where the situation is usually saved by a good old British sense of HUMOUR. WITH A U. RIGHT? NOT HUMOR. GOTTIT?
As a boy, Ogion like all boys had thought it would be a very pleasant game to take by art-magic whatever shape one liked, man or beast, tree or cloud, and so to play at a thousand beings. But as a wizard he had learned the price of the game, which is the peril of losing one's self, playing away the truth. The longer a man stays in a form not his own, the greater this peril. Every prentice-sorcerer learns the tale of the wizard Bordger of Way, who delighted in taking bear's shape, and did so more and more often until the bear grew in him and the man died away, and he became a bear, and killed his own little son in the forests, and was hunted down and slain. And no one knows how many of the dolphins that leap in the waters of the Inmost Sea were men once, wise men, who forgot their wisdom and their name in the joy of the restless sea.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ow! That's my leg, you know.' She rubbed the sore spot. 'I'm gonna have a big bruise there now. Thanks a lot.' 'Just tell everyone you had to fend off a pack of unicorns with your bare hands. 'Cause you were just walking around, minding your own business, cavorting with nature, when a bunch of unicorns descended upon you unexpectedly, and wanted to practice their horn- fighting with a human, just in case they happened upon a wizard and they had to battle to stay free. A wizard would use his wand, so you grabbed a stick, but the stick broke, so you only had your hands. And one of the unicorns' horns went through your leg, and 'cause their horns have healing qualities or whatever, the hole healed, but he was just a young unicorn, so his powers hadn't developed fully yet, and so you were left with this battle scar that'll mark you as a hero for the rest of your life.' There was a brief silence. 'You're full of crap, you know that, right?' 'Yup. But I feel better for it.