Mark Reads ‘The Wizard’s Dilemma’: Chapter 14

In the fourteenth chapter of The Wizard’s Dilemma, WHAT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards

I just… what do I even say about this? WHAT DID I JUST READ?

What If?

It honestly never crossed my mind until the second chapter of this chapter, but I may have gotten this wrong.

Nonetheless she tried to contact Kit before she left. She couldn’t find him; the manual gave her the same subject-is-not-in-ambit message as before. He never did get a chance to tell me just where he was, or how he’s doing that, she thought, dropping her transit circle to the floor and watching it flare with the brief shiver of life and light that meant the spell was ready. Gotta find out

Because in my mind, the practice universes were the the same thing as the universe-creating universe that Kit was visiting. But they’re not, are they? They’re completely separate entities, one set up by other wizards/the Powers, and the other is… well, one giant mystery. Oh my god, this isn’t even a “What if?” scenario, is it? I’ve had this wrong the whole time!

GODDAMN IT.

Test #2

You know, I got real nervous once Nita’s second test revealed that OTHER WIZARDS were there to reach the universe’s kernal, too. But hey, alternate Manhattans have historically been terrifying in this series, so I WAS JUST TRYING TO PROTECT MYSELF. I expected the worst! But I don’t think They would put Nita in a world that would kill her, you know? Challenge her, sure! I am expecting that each test will not only get harder, but will be more dangerous, too. If she’s going to attempt a universe-changing wizardry, these tests are going to have to be ridiculous so that Nita can prove herself to her fellow wizard community.

Let’s talk about that community because I, once again, must praise Duane for eschewing the Star Trek-esque trope of having non-human aliens appear humanoid. No, she goes so much weirder than I’m used to, and IT’S INCREDIBLE. If a silicon-based lifeform wasn’t weird enough (or sentient cars, for that matter), then HERE’S AS MUCH WEIRDNESS AS YOU COULD EVER ASK FOR: a lifeform made up entirely of blue spheres that speaks in the plural because it literally cannot conceive of individual life forms. They’re like a nicer and cuter version of the Borg, y’all. (You’re welcome for that, by the way.) They can exist as five single spheres that make up one person, OR they can join up with one another, and they’re part of an even bigger community. The way they see worlds is utterly unique, so much so that I don’t even know how to summarize the long section in which Duane describes it.

I admire that because it’s both a huge challenge to pull off and because it’s not terribly comforting, at least in terms of what a reader might be used to for science fiction, you know? I can’t think of another book or series that addressed spherical life forms like this, or had a golden otter with tons of legs, or had a species like that mammoth… thing? IT’S ALL SO STRANGE, Y’ALL! But that’s why this ends up feeling so rewarding. I allowed myself to go on this journey, to follow Nita as she ran around this bizarre version of Manhattan with five blue spheres, and in doing so, I got a better sense of how huge the wizard community and how diverse it is. Wizards spread all about the universe use these practice universe, and I had never even considered that!

What I love about this is that Nita meets a community of people with a basic shared interest and understanding while she’s on this task. When she reveals why she’s in the practice universe, they don’t treat her terribly. Instead, Pont suggests that they take Nita under their wing and show her the ropes. At the perfect time, Nita finds other wizards to help her. That’s a really awesome thing to have, so I’m very eager to learn more about Pralaya, Mmemyn, and Dazel. Where did they come from? What project are each of them working on? What is wizardry like in their worlds?

THIS IS SO EXCITING.

Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
– Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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