Ask Luna #81

From: Casey

Hi Luna,

I was wondering why Alex gave himself the name Verus. In your response to this same question asked previously, it seems that Alex did a vision quest. What was that process like?

I’m also curious about some of the other mages. I know some mages choose a name based on their mage type. For examples, Cinder and Caldera. Cinder is a fire mage, and his name means partly burned coal or wood. Caldera is an earth mage, and her name means a large volcanic crater. But why did Sonder, Talisid, Landis, Deleo, and Drakh choose their name? Did any of them choose to take the name of a historical mage, or did they just like the way it sounded?

Also, will you and/or Variam choose a new name after passing the journeyman tests? I apologize if you have already answered this somewhere.

Since a mage’s name is supposed to say a lot about them, I’m really curious to why each chose their ‘Mage’ name. Thanks!

Alex has told me a little bit about how he got his name. It sounded fairly weird. There was a castle or something, and some thing that looked like a woman but wasn’t. I had trouble following it, to be honest, but that’s kind of what you expect with Elsewhere. The place doesn’t translate well.

A lot of the mage names are historical ones. Landis was some famous guy back in the 19th century or something, and Talisid is from a myth. Sonder isn’t, funnily enough – he told me once that was actually a word, just an obscure one. Deleo is Latin. Don’t know about Drakh.

And yes, Vari and I both have our new names, though I still prefer going by my birth name with anyone I know.

From: Jeffrey

Is Alex, like okay, hormonally? It seems like he has 0 libido. I know he was on the run, but you’d think the man would have SOME inclinations, if you catch my drift.

A Concerned Fan

Given my own issues, I’m not going to start throwing stones when it comes to other people’s sex lives.

From: Hrok

Hello Luna!
I was wondering how powerful djinn/genie are in comparison to the dragon beneath Arachne’s home. Hypothetically if a mage ever got control over one would they be able to defeat it? How powerful would one be in comparison with the Monkey’s Paw?

I think that’s kind of like asking who’d win in a fight between an eagle and a whale. They’re completely different playing fields. But I have the feeling that if a fight did somehow happen, it’d be extremely one-sided.

From: AcrossThePond

Hey Luna,

Quick Question– just wondering if Light Council political boundaries always line up with mortal nations? Seems like the case in Great Britain, but do they typically cover more or less area than your average country?

They don’t exactly line up in Great Britain – the magical boundary doesn’t include Northern Ireland, so it’s just Britain and Ireland. That’s why mages never say ‘Great Britain’.

In most cases magical nations are a bit bigger than mundane ones. There aren’t many tiny magical nations, because they wouldn’t have enough mages to make enough of a population. So there’s no independent magical government of Luxembourg – they’re grouped up with Belgium. The US and Canada were meant to merge some time in the past, I think, but there was some sort of argument and now they stick to the national borders.

From: Natter Volo

Dear Alex,

I have a few questions regarding the peculiarities of prescience.

Firstly, is it possible to be influenced negatively by the perception of alternate futures? For example, forseeing the paralyzing gaze of a medusa, or the transfixing beauty of a nymph? Can these sorts of “dangerous sensation” pose a risk to the present self?

Secondly, does the world ever retaliate against blatant and egregious changes to the future? For example, winning the lottery by cheating, but then suffering a series of expensive, disastrous coincidences which gradually strip away the ill-gotten gains.

Lastly,can a person ever see past a choice he does not understand?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read these!

With sincere curiosity, your good stranger,
Natter Volo

You probably should be sending these to Alex, not me, but oh well.

First, yes, but not in the way that you’re thinking. You don’t get actually hit with the consequences, but Alex has mentioned more than once that it’s a bit stressful to see yourself getting killed or maimed in possible futures over and over again. The effects add up.

Second one, kind of. There’s no magical balancing mechanism or anything like that, but there are a whole lot of non-magical ones. For one thing, the police and the Inland Revenue start asking awkward questions once they notice that you’re spending ten times as much money as you’re legitimately earning. And if you do stuff too blatantly or visibly, the Keepers tend to come calling, too. The Order of the Cloak can clean that kind of stuff up easily enough, but it annoys them enough that they’re likely to do something about it.

Third one, no idea. Probably not.

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Ask Luna #80

From: DrizztMajere

Hi Luna,
I am sorry I have been on the fate kick recently, but this magic really intrigues me. My question is when Alex was using fate magic, did it feel like a mixture of divination, force, and time magic to him?

Another question is does Arachne ever talk about kids if she has any?

He’s never said anything like that. It could have been like that, I suppose, but given what was happening at the time, it probably wasn’t the uppermost thing on his mind.

And no, she doesn’t talk about it. I could ask, but it seems a bit awkward. It’s not like there are many giant intelligent male spiders around . . .

From: Logan Mayfield

Hey Luna!
I was wondering how many types of magic/mages there are. For example illusion magic wasn’t introduced until book 6. Then there was the light magic that was introduced in the bubble realm of book 7, which wasn’t even given a name. Thanks! (PS, I accidentally commented the same thing on #78, then I realized that was a comment on that one, not a post. Thanks again)

Pretty much as many as you decide you want. The magic types aren’t separate, they blend into one another (Is a storm mage the same thing as a lightning mage? Beats me). There are also lots of rare obscure ones like gravity which you hardly ever run into, but which are definitely out there.

From: West

Hey Luna,
Couldn’t you just pour your curse into a very large inanimate object, like a building? As you said your curse doesn’t effect inanimate objects very well, so pouring all you curse in a huge building would get rid of the effects so therefore you could make physical contact with people till it came back. And in one of the books when your were fighting belthas, you used to much of your curse and you tripped(bad luck) so your curse would have to run out eventually. Thanks!

That would be kind of like sticking a bucket under a waterfall and waiting for the water to be used up. I’d be waiting a really long time. Mages don’t “run out” of magic, and neither do I. You can get too tired to use it, but it doesn’t just turn off or anything.

From: Samuel

what about lightning magic and is there a mage that can control metal?

What about it?

And yes. Sort of.

From: Anneliese

Hi Luna,

Did you select (or were you given) a mage name? Alex says his mage name is Verus and he has commented when other mages don’t use one. Thanks.

Yup. Took me a while, but I found one that felt right.

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Back to Book 9

Well, now that the excitement of the release of Bound is over, it’s back to work on Alex Verus #9.  I’ve had quite a few people ask me when it’s going to be out, and the answer, unfortunately, is not anytime soon.  The book’s around 65% done, and my publishers typically take 10-12 months to turn a first-draft manuscript into a published book, so expect at least a year.  I’ll get it sent off as soon as I can!

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AMA – Finishing Up

My Reddit AMA is now mostly done.  I’ll keep checking back over the next few hours to answer any leftover questions.  Thanks to everyone who participated, I enjoyed it!

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Reddit AMA is live!

My Reddit AMA is live for the next 24 hours!  Come ask me any questions you have about Bound, the Alex Verus series, or pretty much anything else.  

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Reddit AMA tomorrow!

My Reddit Ask Me Anything will be tomorrow, Thursday April 13th.  It’ll be going live at 12 noon GMT, and will stay active for 24 hours.  I’ll try to keep checking back in regularly and answering questions until Friday noon.  

If you don’t know what an AMA is, here’s the link from the one I did last year.  Basically it’s what it sounds like – anyone can come along and ask me questions about Bound, the Alex Verus series or anything else.  You’ll need a Reddit account to post questions, but that’s easy to set up.  Hope to see you there!

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More Reviews & Reddit AMA

Some more nice reviews for Bound, one from I Smell Sheep and a very in-depth one from Whatchamacallit Reviews.  

Also, my Reddit AMA is next week, on April 13th!  It’ll be on Reddit Fantasy and it’ll be your chance to ask me questions about Bound, the Alex Verus series in general, and anything else you feel like.  I’ll post up a direct link when the AMA goes live, and I’ll answer questions for the next 24 hours or so.  See you guys there!

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Bound UK Release

Bound is out and available for sale in the UK!  I enjoyed writing this one – hope you guys like it as well.

Reviews and AMA updates will be posted tomorrow.

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Bound US Release

The eighth Alex Verus novel, Bound, is out in the US as of today!

You can find it on Amazon, or you can read the first chapter here on this site.  For those of you who prefer audiobooks, the Audible version will be coming out in the US a little later, on April 25.

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Bound on Audible

Just a note for those of you who want to get hold of Bound in audio format and are searching for it on Audible:  according to my publisher, the US Audible version of Bound is going to be on sale on April 25.  The UK Audible version is currently available, but for pre-order only.  

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