Magic as advanced technology

minnow at minnow at
Wed Sep 15 18:59:01 EDT 2004

Beck wrote:

>Oh dear, now I've put a toe in the water I suddenly want to dive right in!

And that is a problem why exactly?  :-)  Hello!

>And I was embarrassed to see just how *very* long my first post looked in
>the digest, too.

A mere 7K.

>Now, doesn't DWJ illustrate this very nicely in 'Power of Three'? All three
>races have things they can do they take for granted that look like magic to
>the other two. The scene I'm thinking of is when everyone's in [oh bugger
>what is the name of the human boy character?]'s kitchen.

Gerald Masterfield.  She does rather, particularly the "but the radio isn't
magic!" feeling that might come over the reader first time round, before
one has thought about it a little and realised that yes it is.

>(Do you guys say 'obDWJ' when you say things like that? What are the o and
>the b for, please?)

When I asked that I was told it stood for "ob...ligatory mention of, to
drag the thread back round on-topic a little".  I don't entirely see how
all that fits into two letters, but that's what I was told.

>It reminds me, circuitously, of something I saw recently saying that people
>with disabled social skills, such as autistics, regard the degree of
>perceptiveness that other people show in normal conversations as something
>akin to magical. This makes me wonder whether it wouldn't be feasible for
>some people to have extra sensitivity at the other end of the spectrum -

An awful lot of people in fiction have a wonderful way of being able to
read not just facial expressions but the *eyes* of those with whom they are
conversing.  Does that really happen all that much in real life, short of
the person being "read" bursting into tears?  There's also the amazing way
that people in fiction seem unable to conceal their emotions unless they
are described as having a completely poker face: heck, even having
someone's face go blank speaks volumes to some characters.  The depths of
insight the viewpoint characters often have are startling.  I'm thinking in
particular of an Elizabeth Goudge I read recently, in which everyone's
emotions seemed to be laid out to be read -- which in Real Life (OMT) I
don't generally feel that they are unless they are fairly obvious ones.

(maybe I'm borderline autistic at that)


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