I am trying to remember the title of novel I read in the late 90's in which a man's wife is kidnapped and taken to medieval times. He follows to rescue her and finds himself to be a powerful wizard in the past because advanced knowledge directly creates magic. He eventually was able to master a spell to turn into a dragon.

  • Does it have to be time travel? Could it be an alternate world? Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 6:49
  • "Modern person becomes a powerful wizard in a fantasy world because they know science/technology/programming", in its various permutations, is a rather popular trope or maybe even a subgenre nowadays, and kind of was even in the 90s (see e.g. the Wiz Biz series). The kidnapped wife and turning into a dragon might be enough detail to identify this, though. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 10:16

2 Answers 2


This sounds like "The Dragon and the George" by Gordon Dickson, except that he finds himself in the body of a dragon straight away-he doesn't have to master a spell to become one.

The Dragon and the George

Jim Eckert was a dragon. He hadn't planned it that way, but that's what happened when he set out to rescue his betrothed. Following her through an erratic astral-projection machine, Jim suddenly found himself in a cockeyed world - locked in the body of a talking dragon named Gorbash.

That wouldn't have been so bad if his beloved Angie were also a dragon. But in this magical land, that was not the case. Angie had somehow remained a very female human - or a george, as the dragons called any human. And Jim, no matter what anyone called him, was a dragon.

To make matters worse, Angie had been taken prisoner by an evil dragon and was held captive in the impenetrable Loathly Tower. So in this land where georges were edible and beasts were magical - where spells worked and logic didn't - Jim Eckert had a problem.

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    Nor does he become a wizard, IIRC, he end becoming a very human knight with no magical abilities. Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 13:21
  • The movie "Flight of Dragon" is loosely based on this book. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 6:40

Might it be the The Warlock in Spite of Himself or more probably one of its sequels (as the first one mostly ends with the wedding or at least engagement of the hero and the woman he met). The hero, Rod Gallowglass, is an agent of some sort of interplanetary government who is deployed to an anachronistic planet where some of the people posses telepathic and telekinetic abilities. In the first book he is mistaken for a powerful warlock because of his technology, but in some later books he finds out he actually has some PSI abilities too. But I don't remember and cannot find anything about him turning into a dragon.

  • "Some" PSI abilities is a gross understatement. And Rodney d'Armandy does meet a magical version of himself from a parallel universe. Commented Jan 22, 2023 at 6:43

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