Reviews for Magic are people too
Dragon made me do it chapter 2 . 9/25/2011
I was a little confused at the end of chapter 2 and had to reread it.

Was the idea that the 'operation' you referred to in the first chapter was actually something that the mage did to make the spell forget that they had once been human? And the reason that there was a bit of a feeling of mistrust towards the mage because they had actually fought to destroy the mage like had just occurred? And that this had happened over and over again, but each time the spell was made to forget? But that there was some lingering feeling that the mage could not quite wipe out with the memory?

If so, I think this is a clever idea, well told.

I think part of my confusion was because towards the end of the chapter you do not say which character is speaking and sometimes I got the wrong one and had to reread it.

But then part of the confusion was also just that you have worked with complex ideas and added many layers and tricks of revelation in the story that make it all the more interesting. I quite enjoyed piecing it all together in my mind.

Anyway, fantastic story, and am glad you came back to finish it!
Dragon made me do it chapter 1 . 9/25/2011
I enjoyed your opening 'I am magic! And I mean that literally ...' and the idea of a land where magic goes when it's not in use.

I like the kind of philosophical humour that you use in this story: 'I am not completely sure what to do when I come out to the world of people, but then I seem to be a bit forgetful sometimes.'

By setting your story in another world and then having a creature from this world look back at ours, it gives you a chance to look at human society from a more objective perspective. this is one of the aspects of science fiction that I am most attracted to, the ability to use fantasy and other worlds to make a commentary on our own society.

And yet you also managed to use this perspective of looking upon the world from theirs, as a device to also give a description of their own world, for example 'it does not have the same shade of red all over it, and when you are in it, you cannot simply think of things for yourself, or think yourself someplace different ...' by using this device, it makes our world the alien one which we can then question.

When we think of the phenomena in our town/country/planet/universe, we don't think of it as qualities that exist in this locality, we think of them as the only possible way that things can be. We don't even think of things that other societies do as possible, let alone dream of what imaginary creatures might be able to do. in this way the anthropologist and the fantasy writer have the same task - to open people's minds to what else might be possible.

'(you'll notice I've decided that he's a he, but this has more to do with linguistic convenience than any gender differences I can attribute to us)' - wouldn't the spell creature be talking in a language which was established around their own concepts of gender?, Or do they actually speak in English or some other human language?

I love the way you describe the spell with eight tentacles. Very scary!

This concept of trying to turn the spell creature to be more good is very interesting, and the description of it as a kind of painful operation leaving the creature in fear makes it even more so.

I quite enjoyed the way you established the basis for how the spell is manifested, by describing the way in which the creature fashions butterflies. In the human realm it appears as instantaneous magic, but actually there is a painstaking, detailed process requiring a great deal of preparation which happens behind the scenes.

Oh wow, and then you add a whole other dimension by explaining that the spells were once mages themselves but didn't know this. This would explain the language/gender issue, and add a whole new dimension to your describing the human realm in comparison to the realm of spells.

I particularly liked your descriptions here:

'Seriously, something must be bugging him. I create some bugs to crawl by him to underline my train of thought. They disperse into nothingness after they crawl far enough to be uninteresting to me.'

'I start to leak tears from all over my cold, hard body. The ice melts away, and as fury seeps into me I turn into molten metal until I cool down and stiffen again.'

I also liked the idea of the spell Nightmare being one of his friends from the human realm who tried to save him but he actually pushed them away because he didn't realise. This Nightmare character is an interesting one.

Your writing is really about ideas, new ideas that nobody else has thought of before. I find this sort of thing very exciting to read.


'I told you, you were Someone'- is there any reason you have put a capital for someone?

Really great, I enjoyed this and look forward to reading the next chapter :-)
Anehalia chapter 2 . 1/18/2011
Wow, each chapter gets more interesting and draws me in more. I can't wait to read your next chapter in this story. This story is facinating.
In a Quandary chapter 1 . 11/17/2010
Nice little one-shot you've got there.

Overall, this is decently-written. The ideas usually come across clearly, and the narration flows. The vocabulary choice suits the mainstream - neither overly simple nor esoteric. The formatting is clean and presentable (save for a few instances where the upload screwed up; you should check the supporting document). However, the text can use some minor edits here and there to improve sentence clarity and streamlining. Here's an example that particularly stood out to me:

'you'll notice I've decided that he's a he, but this is more from a -linguistic convenience- point of view than -any- particular gender attributes I have discovered on -any of- us'

'Point of view' is the noun being described, but you've preceded it with another noun (convenience) rather than an adjective. It should be 'convenient', which also means that the 'linguistic' preceding it would have to be changed to 'linguistically'. Hence: linguistically convenient.

'Any' has been already used once and isn't necessary in the later part of the sentence.

this is more from a linguistically convenient point of view than any particular gender attributes I have discovered on us

Now, this is fine except that the whole thing's a bit of a mouthful. If you were to recycle 'linguistically convenient' while rephrasing the rest of the sentence, though:

this has more to do with linguistic convenience than any gender differences I can attribute to us

This gets across the same message with greater clarity and without the extra syllables.

Now onto other things. Concept-wise, this story is quite interesting, though I've heard of something like it before. A mage has defeated various other people (presumably his fellow mages) and bound their souls to his mind. They believe they are his spells (or at least the narrator believes them to be), so he must have obliterated or suppressed their memories at some point (save the exception of Black). Their experience of the outside world is limited to the few instances he channels their magical powers in combat. The story gradually builds up to the climax where the narrator/protagonist learns of her true nature and decides to challenge her enslaver. Cliffhanger follows.

...You really shouldn't have left it like that, considering that this is a one-shot. It gives us readers the sensation of having the ground suddenly disappear from beneath our feet. Even if the protagonist lost and faded away into oblivion, it would have been a more satisfying ending...
Anehalia chapter 1 . 11/2/2010
I like it, and will add it to my community, but I do think you should finish it. The cliff hanger is exactly that, a cliff hanger, and readers don't like cliff hangers, especially on a good story like this...