In the July/August 2012 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, they ran a story entitled "Wearaway and Flambeau" by Matthew Hughes. In it, Hurdevant puts two spells on Raffalon: Ixtlix's Sprightly Wearaway and Chunt's Descending Flambeau. When they are used in combination with a transportation spell, Raffalon is transported to a realm of nothingness - the creation spot of that world, where will creates things. Later, Glabro says that the combination of those two spells is impossible.

Would any combination of so-called 'impossible' spells have the same effect, or is it just those two?

1 Answer 1


I'm the author. Here's my original response:

Damned if I know. I seem to recall something about "coherence of the fluxions," so that would be the research path to go down. Since I'm not entirely sure what fluxions are, other than the "cords that tie together the universe," I can't really comment. You're welcome to speculate.

Here's my answer to the response to that answer.

How does it answer your question? In the only way possible. I'm writing lightweight entertainments, not creating a detailed cosmos. If you want these imaginings to have any more foundation than the froth that I base them on, you'll have to provide it yourself.

And now I'll add this: the universe in which these stories take place does not exist. They're meant to be taken as light entertainments, picaresque adventures of a skilled but largely unlucky thief named Raffalon.

I have a vague notion that magic works, in this unreal universe, because there are hard-to-see integuments that connect parts of phenomenality together. Adepts who have trained in the thaumaturgical arts can identify these connections and influence them by a combination of focused will and particular sounds and gestures called magic.

And that's about as far as I've taken the rationale, and as far as I'm likely to. It's just for fun, not for real.

  • 12
    Hi Matthew, thanks for taking the time to come to this site and answer a question about your story! It's great to get input from professionals, especially "from the horse's mouth" as in this case. Sorry about the deletion of your answers - there was some confusion when we didn't realise you were actually the author. It should all be fixed now :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Feb 6, 2016 at 23:11
  • 11
    Thanks, Rand. I'm happy to answer questions about my novels and stories. It's just that some questions don't have answers, just as the buildings in some movie sets don't have any insides. Feb 8, 2016 at 11:22

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