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Wizard's Bane Paperback – 25 Aug 1994


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Paperback, 25 Aug 1994
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (25 Aug 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555940528
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555940522
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,088,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kurt A. Johnson on 31 Jan 2003
Format: Paperback
When William Irving "Wiz" Zumwalt, computer programmer extraordinaire, steps out his front door, and into an entirely different world, he realizes he's in trouble. In this other world, magic exists but computers don't. He feels useless here, but the great wizard who summoned him must have had a purpose for him, and, as he is an unknown factor, the evil Dark League are determined to capture him. It's a dangerous world for Wiz...But, when he discovers that working magic *can* be handled like writing a program, it becomes a dangerous world for the bad guys!
This is quite an exciting book. I must admit that when I first saw the book, I did not take it seriously. But, once I began reading, I was hooked. The author spins a fascinating story, people by interesting characters. Plus, I must admit that the author's unique take on magic was quite refreshing. If you like good, light-hearted swords-and-sorcery fantasy, then you will love this book!
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Format: Paperback
This is the first in a series of books in which computer programmer "Wiz" Zumwalt finds himself in a world of magic.

Rick Cook often writes books which poke fun at the fantasy genre, usually by combining it with another type of writing and exploiting the incongruities by having, say Gods and private detectives in the same story. Here the incongruity is between the worlds of computer nerds and "Lord of the Rings" style high fantasy.

Although the five books in the series can all stand on their own, there is some ongoing development of characters and situations through the series, and a lot of scene-setting is done in this initial book. So the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and if you are going to read them, read "Wizard's Bane" first.

The full series is:

Wizard's Bane (Published 1989, set in 1988)

The Wizardry Compiled (1990)

The Wizardy Cursed (1991)

The Wizardry Consulted (1995)

The Wizardy Quested (1996)

The subsequent books are all hysterically funny: this first book concentrated less on the humour and more on introducing the fantasy world in which 'Wiz' finds himself and showing how his programming skills enable him to save the world. But it still has some good flashes of humour and is quite exciting at times.

Don't bother with this if you like to take your fantasy too seriously, but otherwise it's very good fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Loved this series, just wish Rick Cook had written more. Combines the worlds of epic fantasy and computer geekdom brilliantly. A fresh approach to the genre, with a lot of tongue in cheek puns. Found the computer jargon a bit too technical at times, but still enjoyed the series. Fab!
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By I. Fenton on 29 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
I really liked the elements of this story. The use of computer programming to control magic was inspired and the characters are well rounded and interesting. I think anyone into computers and fantasy will enjoy this book (maybe not as much as I did but somewhat at least).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good mix of fantasy and computers 3 Dec 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the Wizard's Bane, the first of his currently 5 book series, Rick Cook starts an amazing and interesting fantasy story with a mix of computers. With a good fantasy and adventure story line he throughs in a computer programmer. This is a mix that should have been done a long time ago. Although the computer programs don't come into play much in this first novel as they do in the other it is a great building block for an excellant all around series
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wizard's Bane is Wiz Biz 13 Dec 1999
By C. Gunther - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book under the title "Wiz Biz" and enjoyed it thoroughly. Treating magic as a science is not a new idea, but treating magic spells as if they were computer programs is a new twist to the idea. This book will appeal to the large number of computer geeks out there who also love fantasy roleplaying. I can't wait to read the other books in the series!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
great yarn 18 Feb 2002
By Richard McCormack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i got this book based on a friends recommendation.
lots of computer (esp. unix) in jokes and a fun read.
the series got better and better.
it's an easy read (i read most on two flights from SFO to ATL) so do not expect to work hard at it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good, light-hearted swords-and-sorcery fantasy 1 Nov 2014
By Kurt A. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When William Irving “Wiz” Zumwalt, computer programmer extraordinaire, steps out his front door, and into an entirely different world, he realizes he’s in trouble. In this other world, magic exists but computers don’t. He feels useless here, but the great wizard who summoned him must have had a purpose for him, and, as he is an unknown factor, the evil Dark League are determined to capture him. It’s a dangerous world for Wiz...But, when he discovers that working magic *can* be handled like writing a program, it becomes a dangerous world for the bad guys!

This is quite an exciting book. I must admit that when I first saw the book, I did not take it seriously. But, once I began reading, I was hooked. The author spins a fascinating story, people by interesting characters. Plus, I must admit that the author’s unique take on magic was quite refreshing. If you like good, light-hearted swords-and-sorcery fantasy, then you will love this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Too bad it's not out anymore 24 Sep 2006
By Brian S. Pratt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a stand alone book about a man brought to a world of magic by one of the strongest 'good' wizards in an attempt to counter the 'evil' wizards who are gradually winning the war.

He's a computer programmer who calls himself the 'Wiz' as that's a play on his name. When he arrives, he has no magic capabilities whatsoever, which confuses the wizard who summoned him.

One thing leads to another and he begins to learn the fundamental rules of magic and starts to correlate them with what he knows best. Computer programming. So he sets out to write a language for magic with which he can manipulate magic to help out the good wizards. When a woman he cares for gets kidnapped, Wiz decides to 'Hack the system'. It just gets good from there.

If you can find it, it's pretty good.
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