Monday, April 06, 2009

Why I should have done more physics

Last night I spent some time going around the house with a large hand mirror, bouncing light reflections off the walls.

Sort of practical physics.

I did do a year of physics in high school. I was fourteen, couldn't make head nor tail of it and very nearly failed. I decided it wasn't for me, and continued with Biology instead. Now I discover that that was a bad idea; you need physics to write good fantasy. As I don't have the knowledge, I turn to the wonderful Phill Berrie instead (doesn't he just look like a physicist?) - or bounce light off walls and wonder if my hero and heroine can really do the same thing without a mirror and on a very large scale. Hmm.

And wonder, too, why I had that knowledgeable teacher fellow in Book One say that you couldn't do the impossible using magic... Darn. Confounded rules of magic.

Let me play with that mirror some more.


Jo said...

But you invent your rules of magic, so can't you have someone else prove the first character wrong?

Shaanti said...

Trudi Canavan and Richard Morgan discussed the need to obey the laws of physics on Radio National recently. Trudi also made a reference to Glenda in that show. The link is here:

I'm with Richard - bugger the laws of physics. It's a story, make it up.

Joanna said...

It IS magic...after all!!! As long as you are consistent within your own universe, the majority of your readers will understand about the same level of physics as you do and will never know the difference *grin*.

Glenda Larke said...

I am safe as long as not too many physicists buy the book, eh? You are subversives, all!

It's weird though, As Richard Morgan said, if you dissect a sf/f book, it's all nonsense; the trick is in making it seem possible. Suspension of belief.

Anyway, if I can find a way not to upset the physicists, I will. If not, go with the magic...