I am trying to remember a short story I read back in the mid 1980s.

It's about two wizards whose magic kept humanity from developing technology and science many centuries ago. The two wizards cast spells to protect each other. They also cast spells to repel each other. The spells caused the wizards to repel each other faster and faster until they left Earth in opposite directions. As the wizards gained speed over the decades and centuries, their experience of time slowed down due to Special Relativity. Because of time dilation, their hold on preventing normal humans from learning technology lessened. Many centuries later, humans began to develop science and technology at ever increasing rates.

Can anyone tell me the name of this story, the author, and when it was published?

  • 1
    Why are the wizards casting spells to protect each other? Are they friends? Can't they cast spells to protect themselves? What are they trying to protect each other against?
    – user14111
    Jan 29, 2017 at 5:32
  • @user14111 I don't remember those details. I read the story over 30 years ago.
    – RichS
    Jan 29, 2017 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


This is "The Blink of a Wizard's Eye" by Joel Rosenberg, published in Dragon Magazine #71. The two wizards are both sadistic villains, whose power over objects strangely increases with distance. They amuse themselves with repeated contests, until one suggests that they could make each other effectively immortal if they just use magic to accelerate each other away from the Earth.

At the end, as they have sped far away, the less misanthropic wizard tries to give the people back on Earth a source of almost unlimited power. However, the other perverts this nuclear power into a horrible weapon.

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