Do we live in world XII B (was:Re: New article)

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Mon Jun 12 13:43:56 EDT 2000

I think we do!

Lizzie wrote:

> Just reading various articles. . . so was Janet really from our reality?  It
> always seemed like she did, but I was always sort of bemused by the ending
> of Witch Week.  When the splinter world combines with our world, wouldn't
> our world become at least partly magical again?  There's one point in WW
> where Chrestomanci says that he's always wondered why his ward's world has
> so little magic; if they fix the problem, wouldn't you think that the world
> would end up with more magic after all?  It doesn't seem to, though, because
> at the end of the book they have a sort of scoffing attitude towards

The way I see it is that the magic has been put back into our world.  Perceptive
people in the world have some sort of inkling about what's happened.  But the
variant world - the one where the witches were all burned and things - is not
weighty enough to have much of an immediate effect on attitudes.  We just have
to wait for some of the magic to make itself felt.

Also confusing is the comment that while Charles had had a talent for magic in
his native world, when he merges with his analogue in this world, he would lose
it, but his analogue would have an equally strong talent for something else.
This suggests that we have to wait for people born since the reunification (1981
wasn't it?) to develop talents before we will observe any magic going on.
Possibly our world now has magic, but our abilities in that respect still have
to appear by a slow process of evolution...

> witches.  Another thing: if that world and Chrestomanci's world are part of
> the nine linked ones, and related to the nine lives bit, wouldn't the
> splinter world give him another life or half life, and wouldn't getting rid
> of it take one of his lives away?  Or did, by changing it, Nan et al keep it
> all from ever happening and make all of this totally moot?  Um.  Looking

No, I don't think so in either case.  I don't think the number of worlds in a
series is fixed at 9; nor do I think that it has a direct bearing on the number
of lives an enchanter has, save that unless _all_ the other worlds in a series
lack an analogue for him he won't be nine-lived (or even multi-lived at all -
can anyone expand on this?).  I think the enchanter must lack analogues at birth
- one of Cat's analogues (Janet's bro.) died in birth complications, and this
counted as no analogue; but you don't hear of old folk suddenly becoming
multi-lived when all their analogues die of old age!  On the contrary, their
analogues have used up the extra lives.  (NB Cat also died of the birth
complications, but presumably long enough after birth for his multi-lived nature
to have become established)

So I think that even if the number of lives was related to the number of worlds
in a series, changing worlds late in life wouldn't affect his lives.

> back at this, I think I've taken too many lit classes.  Nothing like higher
> education to teach you to overanalyze the life right out of a book.

Well, I've not taken any lit classes since I was 16, and I enjoy speculating on
the worlds created in books, too!


PS (Mixed Magics spoiler) the one I pity is Gabriel de Witt.  Most of his lives
seemed only to prolong the agony of his old age.

PPS Counting C, Chant's lives.  He had only two left at the end of "Lives".
They were going to retrieve the one Milly - why on Earth did she go back to
spelling her name Millie, btw? - had left in the Asheth temple, but he still
only has two lives by the start of Charmed Life.  What became of it?

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