11-21-2011: Never to be forgotten! Today is the day that Ian Somerhalder responded to me on facebook! Hey, that may not be a big deal for you, but for me.. HUGE. *swoon*
Conversation copied from FB:
ME: Finally! After an hour of searching facebook, I find the REAL you. Hi Ian!
Ian Somerhalder: Thank you.Nice to meet you
ME: My pleasure! Thank you for taking the time to notice. :)
Ian Somerhalder: you're welcome
Ian Somerhalder: I try not to disappoint my fans!
ME: Well, you're doing a wonderful job. :) It's nice (and a bit scary) to talk to someone like you!
ME: lol... (I'm secretly freaking out cuz I got to talk to Ian! *sigh*)
Ian Somerhalder: Thank you Theresa!
ME: lol... you're welcome! Just do me a favor and don't knock when you invade my dreams tonight. The husband probably wouldn't like that. hehe!
Ian Somerhalder: well I will not:)
ME: Perfect! Thanks. LOL
Guest Post: Max Gladstone, author of THREE PARTS DEAD
by Max Gladstone
A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.
Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.
Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.
When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.
The Guest Post…
Magic, if you think about it, would be big business.
If there were a Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fantasyland, it would note that wizards comprehend the secret nature of reality, yet are horrible with money. By which I mean, why does someone who can create food and water from nothing have to try to raise an army of dragons to enslave a kingdom? Start a restaurant. Create food for free. Sell it for one copper piece less than the other guy. Realize infinite profits. Hire more wizards. Repeat. Use your infinite profits to buy the kingdom.
Boring? Yes. But lucrative.
There are a few easy objections to such a thought experiment. Maybe magic Just Doesn’t Work That Way. Maybe magic has to obey the law of conservation of mass. Fair enough, but just bringing water to the surface in a place that didn’t have water before saves a heck of a lot of time with pipes and drills. Maybe magic is so expensive (or hard to perform, or rare) to distort the economy much. Also fair, but contrived. If there’s nothing magic can do more easily than conventional physics, why does anyone do anything with magic at all? Maybe wizards don’t like profit—maybe they’re allergic to gold, or too lazy to do an honest day’s work, or whenever they do anything useful they have a nasty tendency to be set on fire by suspicious natives with pitchforks, torches, and other accoutrements of revolt.
More interesting, though, to throw out the excuses and wonder what would happen in a world where magic was real. Where it developed over time, a technology growing, maturing, alongside civilization. Certainly, magicians would come together for mutual benefit. They’d work for their advantage, and sell their services (even if those services were useful for nothing other than pure entertainment). Wizards should realize before long that it’s easier to sell services as a group than individually; corporations emerge, staffed by magic users and people comfortable running day-to-day office operations. Wizards specialize in response to demand for specialized services. With specialization comes the need for specialized knowledge. Schools, first. Then graduate schools. Someone, somewhere, would produce the first Masters of Magic Administration.
Fanciful? Sure. Maybe magic would remain the province of an elite for a few hundred years, but elites don’t last forever. Any group with a grip on power ultimately loses their grip, and in the end, there would be wizards for hire—firms of them, complete with boards and shareholders, org charts and maybe even a cubicle or two (though I doubt magic works well in cubes).
In Three Parts Dead, I wanted to investigate professional magic. My main character, Tara, is a young woman who grew up in a rural community wanting out; for her, the study of the wizard’s Craft was a ticket to fortune, power, success beyond the farm. She sees the promise of a world of suits and lighting bolts, of dark secrets and powers humankind was not meant to comprehend.
She’s met setbacks in her career, including an unfortunate incident that led to her being thrown (literally) out of the Hidden Schools, that renowned academy of Craft and higher learning. Tara, though, is determined, and jumps at the opportunity to work the necromancy case of a lifetime.
Tara’s caught between her vision of the life the thought she was preparing for, and the life she’s living; she wrestles with demonic, inhuman powers that shape the destiny of men. She wants power, and she wants to remain herself despite seizing it. Basically, she faces the same issues as any recent grad in today’s economy.
Which, ultimately, is the point. Because if business can tell us a lot about how magic works, magic can also tell us something about how business works—and how we work, and live, within it.