off to be the wizard
Amazon started adding animations to selected books (Kindle in Motion, they call it). I figured I’d give it a try and read Off to Be the Wizard, by Scott Meyer of Basic Instructions fame. There’s not really much to animate here, only about one illustration per chapter, but now they dance back and forth.
Now, as as for the book. One day Martin is poking about on somebody else’s server and discovers a giant file with all the information about the world. As in, it’s a backdoor into the state of the giant simulation behind reality. Best of all, the file can be edited. Martin edits his height, he gets taller. Edits his bank account, gets richer. Edits his phone to always have 73% battery, his phone always has 73% battery. Edits his location, teleports. Very quickly he gets into trouble and needs to escape, so he naturally sends himself back in time and becomes a wizard with magic powers. And thus begins his adventure.
Overall, there’s a great many similarities to Magicians by Lev Grossman. Smart, but often foolish hero discovers magic and makes mistakes. There’s a lot of humor and pop culture references. Meyer and Grossman have very different voices, but both are fun to read.
A few samples.
Yes sir, he thought, I'll just lie low. First step: find a bunch of people and convince them I have magic powers. Gary had adorned his staff with large dolls of the band KISS, tied to the staff so they faced outward. If one of the locals asked what they were he would just say "The Demon, The Space Man, The Star Man, and the Peter Criss on Drums!" They dined on burritos from Phillip's magic burrito hat. Phillip had many other food choices he could produce, but a selection of specialized burritos is all the variety most men need.
Martin’s fellow wizards come from a variety decades, setting up a number of jokes as they accidentally age themselves. Of course, this dates the book itself.
Phillip shook his head. "I understand all of these specs, but the numbers are all so large, I don't know what any of it means. What on earth can a person do with four gigabytes of RAM?" "Upgrade it immediately," Martin answered.
Hahaha. Who gets a computer with only 4GB?