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Our Discord community is a place for fans of science fiction and fantasy to hang out together. If you are a reader, join for discussions about your favourite books, reviews by awesome bloggers, and a book club. If you are a writer, join for a community of creative minds who are getting words down onto the page. We discuss worldbuilding, chat about goals, read books on craft together, and cheer each other on!
We are so excited to be beginning our series on magic systems today! The episodes in this series will delve into specific types of magic, but today we’re discussing examples of hard and soft magic. These terms were popularized by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, who is known for his complex magic systems that have a lot of rules and explore how magic works. This is “hard magic.” Think Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles or Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot.
Soft magic, on the other hand, is when magic is a mystical part of the universe and the story doesn’t go into detail about how it works or even why it works. It just does. Think J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
Most books are somewhere in the middle of these two systems. Harry Potter, for example, is near the center point of this continuum, as Rowling’s magic has rules and laws, but, as a whole, you’re still not entirely sure what magic is capable of and the system is expanded throughout the series.
- Emma’s example: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Hard magic)
- Kyle’s example: Heroics for Beginners by John More (Soft magic)
- Allison’s example: The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix (somewhere in between)
- Read Sanderson’s Laws of Magic
- Join our Discord Community
Produced by Mythos & Ink.
Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
The Wayfarer’s Guide to Worldbuilding is a tool to help writers, DMs, and creatives build unique, scientific, and magical worlds. Each episode explores one facet of worldbuilding and gives practical advice on how to design these elements.
Hosted by the Mythos & Ink staff, the podcast explores strong examples of worldbuilding from science fiction and fantasy books, TV shows, and movies, and offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of publishing.