Off to be a Wizard

Have you ever thought that computers were magic? Like, you have almost no idea as to how they work, what causes them to break, the I.T technicians might as well be wizards for all you understand them. They also appear precisely when they mean to, never early and, if you ask them at least, never late. The evidence is stacking up I think. And so, apparently, does Scott Meyer.

Now Off to be a Wizard is the first installment of the Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer, which follows the misadventures of a group of computer programmers who have, quite literally, stumbled upon the source code of the universe. Yeah. Really.

Now this code allows them to do certain things. Things such as finding their ‘character sheet’ for lack of a better term and play with their stats. Stats like their bank account for example. Why not add a few dozen zeros to that number? What could be the harm?

Turns out, quite a bit.

“He had spent a lot of time thinking about himself, and had come to the conclusion that he was definitely not self-absorbed.”

I’m not going to get into specifics because hopefully you’ll read it yourself, but suffice it to say they all end up in Medieval Britain. Masquerading as wizards. Oh, don’t judge them. I can tell you as a card-carrying member of the nerd herd that we all dream of being wizards. And most of us also have so little self-control that are being wizards would be slightly detrimental to the continued existence of anything.

So, this book is hilarious, if you know what to look for. It parodies fantasy media and geek culture throughout, and should you know any of the common tropes associated with these then you’re in for a great time, with one little proviso. You’re going to need to know some programming.

No, I’m not kidding.

“They’re algorithms, created automatically by another algorithm to accomplish who knows what for we don’t know who!”

You’ll need some basic awareness of coding principles, macros, directories, and a few other similar topics to get the most out of this book. For a comic-fantasy book those are rather extreme requirements of entry, but then again, I don’t think I can fault it too much for knowing which audience it’s aiming for. If your part of that audience, then I can’t recommend it enough. If not, then give it a miss; there’s plenty more books to try.

“So, if you’re fully satisfied, may I please give you magical powers?”

Amazon Link: Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0)


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