Beyond Our Reach

Typically I listen to music while running data at work. Every now and then though I find something more engaging that I can learn from. There was a solid two weeks where I plowed through Brandon Sanderson’s writing class. Which I think is great for an aspiring author to watch and learn form. I’m a huge fan of Sanderson. I think he provides a lot for the community and Mistborn is near the top of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m I’ll go on about it in the future because I’m getting off track right now.


Today I was watching/listening to this ->  and really wanted to share it.

It’s a video of Stephen Colbert interviewing Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s really great stuff. Completely mind blowing what’s out there and makes you think.  It’s a long interview but definitely worth the watch. At least I thought it was. I guess it speaks to the engineer part of me.

At one point Tyson explains how people interpret things beyond their comprehension as Magic. This seems to prove true throughout history aif you think about it. And actually brought me to thinking about Magic in writing. Tyson describes the effect that if you can’t understand it you’re naturally weary of it and think it’s dangerous. Where as if it’s clearly defined and you can see how it works, you want to use it.

I instantly compared these thoughts to two fictional examples that are at the forefront of my mind. First would be the magic used by Dresden in the Dresden files. I’m only on book two but the extent of what can and can’t be done and how is loosely defined and thus ‘beyond comprehension’. I’m not saying this is bad, but it gives it an ‘ok he’s a Wizard, I can deal with that’ feel. By no means does it make me want to be him, or fantasize about what I could do with his powers.

On the other hand is the magic systems in the Mistborn universe. Defined to a t, very comprehendable. I find myself yearning to use the system. I want to test it’s boundries. I want to be a mistborn.


At anyrate, it’s food for thought. I’d love to hear othe rpeoples thoughts on the matter and I hope you can all appreciate the interview as much as me.

-Your Work Procrastinating Word Spitter



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2 thoughts on “Beyond Our Reach

  1. Alan says:

    So I reread this because I couldn’t remember the reason you gave me, that made you stop reading The Dresden Files. It’s definitely hard to read any fantasy with a more loosely based magical system right after reading Mistborn. Aside from that though, the fact that you don’t want to be him or fantasize about what you could do with his powers is exactly how you’re supposed to feel. The stories are from Harry’s perspective and it’s a pretty common theme that he believes most people are better off living their normal lives and having nothing to do with the supernatural. You almost feel bad that Harry has the power to help people, because it always gets him into such trouble.

    Aside from that though maybe the magic doesn’t get more defined as the series goes on but you’re given more information and you start to “get a feel for it.” Things will start to follow along after each other and even when new things are introduced they’ll fit pretty well into the general picture.

    • Yea that makes sense. The whole guy being a Wizard is hard work. I didn’t really mean that the magic turns me off from it, just that I like having a well defined system better. It seems more solid. Of course its not really fair to compare the two series. They are completely different and have their own strengths.

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