Perhaps a bit metaphysical this post, but magic, and its role within reality, plays a key part in the ongoing mythology of the Auran Chronicles.
When I first started writing Message Bearer (Book 1), I wanted a magic system that could in theory exist in the real world of today. As much as I love the various systems out there (the stored magic of the AD&D, the Will and the Word from the Belgariad and so forth), I wanted something that you could explain away with actual science.
Well, sort of… (this is fantasy after all!)
The origins of the magic system used in the Auran Chronicles can be traced from my layman’s interest in quantum physics, specifically the “observer effect” often referenced in the thought experiment known as “Schrödinger’s Cat”. I won’t go into the full details of this (look here) now, but the key points, as adapted for the Auran Chronicles, can be summarised as thus:
- Reality only exists because we “will” it to be so. Literally, if a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no one around, does it make sound? Answer = No. There is no tree. There is no forest.
- Our minds are the decoders of reality, with our senses being the methods by which we assimilate this information.
- Reality as we know it is basically a consensus of rules, built upon many years of human learning.
- Those who can use magic in the Auran Chronicles are not only aware of this consensus, but also have the ability to challenge it, with variable levels of success.
Which leads us to:
By day I’m an IT consultant, and my magic system built upon quantum physics complimented nicely with a concept known as Object Oriented Programming. Again, I won’t go into this in detail, but basically this allows for an abstraction layer above the underlying machine code that allows programmers to plug in to systems without having to know the complexity underneath. They have access to a library of objects, each serving a different function, and then call them as they see fit.
With the Auran Chronicles quantum physics and object oriented programming work in tandem, without actually being referenced as such. A mage has access to libraries of patterns that can affect reality without having to access the actual “machine code” behind it. The only issue then is challenging the consensus maintained by the subconscious minds of the observers.
But that’s for the magi to worry about…