ALL TECHNOLOGY IS MAGIC — WALDO AND MAGIC, INC.

waldo and magic incI’m astonished how many people have read these two novellas and miss the point. Some readers apparently can’t see any connection between the two stories. They think these novellas are in a single volume by a fluke or “to fill up space.” Either they didn’t really read them or they are conceptually challenged, unable to make a logical leap between two related ideas without a flow chart.

The point is that technology is a based on our belief it will work. As long as we believe in it, it functions. If or when we stop believing, it won’t. It’s all magic.

When we lose faith in technology, magic jumps in and becomes the new technology. The difference between one and the other is functionally negligible. The stories’ plots are irrelevant. It’s the concept that counts.

I read these books about 50 years ago. I haven’t read them since, but remember them. Meanwhile, I can’t remember the plot of whatever book I read last week. These were original concepts when first introduced in the 1940s, was still original 25 years later when I read it. Probably still original today, more than 60 years after the stories were first published.

The best science fiction is concept-driven rather than character or plot-driven. These two have stuck with me for a lifetime. Both novellas are based on a unified concept: We believe in what works — and what works is what we believe.

Nothing is certain anymore. Nothing. Chaos is king and magic is loose in the world.

Available on Kindle, in paperback and from Audible.com.



Categories: Book Review, Books, Fiction, Literature, Magic, Reviews, Sci Fi - Fantasy - Time Travel, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. Love Heinlein. Best is Starship Troopers (not the movie though!) and Tunnel in the Sky. There are others that are good but those were my top two for him. Visionary. Controversial. Entertaining. If you want to understand where The Mazerunner, Hunger Games, etc. got their start then read Tunnel in the Sky. It was only 40-years or so ahead of it’s time.

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    • I think I’ve read just about everything Heinlein ever wrote, though some of it so long ago it blurs together with other things he wrote. He was ahead of his times …. the whole group of sci fi writers with whom he worked were way far in front of the crowd. They blazed a trail for the genre and took it from “unpublishable” to mainstream. Especially Heinlein who was the first to break into hardcover print. Periodically, I reread my favorites to remind myself how very good they were and why they have become classics.

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      • I rarely read books twice. Not because they are not worthy but because there are so many wonderful things to read, both new and old, that I have’t conquered yet. I have however read both Starship Toopers and Tunnel in the Sky several times each. They are worth it. Starship was the first book I ever read that was written in 1st person…it was eye-opening for me. I didn’t know you could do that! And Tunnel in the Sky was one of the first books I read that I actually wanted to be a part of. The ultimate camping trip! Yes. Trailblazing he was. If my writing is even a 10th of the likes of Heinlein I’d consider myself lucky and fulfilled as a human being.

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  2. My wife had to call Comcast the other day because the shows recorded on the DVR weren’t showing up on the listing of recorded shows. The Comcast guy reset the DVR remotely from wherever he was — most likely India — and then all of the recorded shows showed up on the listing of shows that had been recorded. My wife commented to me, “I don’t understand how they can do that. I don’t understand the technology. It’s like magic.”

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  3. Years ago I was on a Heinlein kick and tried to read anything and everything with his name on it. Somehow I missed this book. I might have to search it out.

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