As part of my ongoing attempt to figure my way out of my writer’s block, I’ve started looking at prompt generators and hoping the more ridiculous ones would catch on. “Why don’t you write something about… magical… um, uh… cats,” I told myself in desperation. This seemed like a good idea until about three seconds later, when I remembered that a ton of people, even some of my favorite authors, had already done this. At least I got something out of it—I dug up an old book that I hadn’t reread in years. The Book of Night with Moon is about magical cats, but to my surprise, it was a lot more adult than I remembered it being.
Trigger warning for mentions of animal cruelty after the jump.
We’re big fans of both magic and science on this blog, so unsurprisingly, any time they intersect all our heads swivel in unison like prairie dogs. In the era of the Internet, 3D printing, and nanotechnology, never has science felt more like magic than it does now.While it is expected for science fiction writers to be heavily influenced by the latest inventions and the most puzzling enigmas of quantum physics, it seems that for all the incomprehensible wonders science has achieved, rarely do fantasy authors take advantage of the ever-shrinking median between technology and magic. A notable and incredibly well executed exception is Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, which paints magic more as a slightly fanciful elaboration upon known principles of physics than as a nebulous and unexplainable form of power.
The last Harry Potter book was released approximately seven years ago, and as we all know, seven is an important magical number, which is probably why many tributes to and anecdotes about the series started popping up around the web last month. While I loved reading the Harry Potter series, Harry and his magic have both influenced—and been influenced by—other books in the YA genre. Young children discovering their magic and through that, themselves, isn’t a new idea. And many books which deal with children and magic are morediverse and address social problems more directly than does the beloved Harry Potter series. If you’ve grown up with the Harry Potter series and want to read more books like it, continue on to find some magical, diverse recommendations.