Magic Librarian Idea

9 Oct

This has probably been done a million times over, but it’s just something that started to run through my head when I was looking at my old university stuff.

There really is a supernatural world out there, hiding in the shadows. Vampires and werewolves, magicians and demons and things that go bump in the night. Most of them have learned caution over the years. They prefer to prey on humans rather than try to take over the world. However, they still pose threats.

The only defence against these creatures is a handful of human magicians – there are actually very few magicians. There’s certainly not enough of them to operate a school! Most human magicians got killed during the witch-burnings and so on.

Anyway, the heroine of the book would be hired to work at their library …

Thoughts?

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38 Responses to “Magic Librarian Idea”

  1. billygotegruff October 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    I’d buy it.

  2. William October 9, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

    That sounds like a cool idea

  3. Ryan October 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    Love it….would definitely bite.

  4. Ian October 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    Sounds interesting. I’m concerned about classifying magician as good defenders of humanity and everything else as evil. Black and white morality concerns me.

    • Tony Costo October 12, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

      I Concur…

  5. Andrea Ungaro October 9, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    The background reminds me of Dresden Files (except the library part). Nice idea though!

  6. moncure@comcast.net October 9, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    Chris,

    Have you read Leiber’s Conjure Wife ? Terrific book. If you’ve read it, I have a suggestion based on it. If not, let me know.

    Dick

  7. Mike October 9, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

    The First thing I thought was “haven’t you already done that with your ‘Bookworm’ series”, But I see you’re assigning a different role to the librarian. Could be interesting especially if there is some grey scale morality on the part of both the “bad guys” and the “librarians”. Like Ian’s concerns about black and white morality, in books and movies, especially series, it gets boring.

  8. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard October 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    On Black And White morality.

    First, I hate the “romantic vampire” or “misunderstood vampires”. Any critters that need to prey on humans can’t be IMO made into Good Guys.

    I could see critters like Werewolves (and other shape shifters) being mixed. IE Some that are more concerned about avoiding situations where innocent humans are killed and others that see humans as prey animals (admittedly dangerous prey animals).

    While the human legends about the supernatural critters may not be completely accurate, there should be some valid reasons for magicless humans to fear them. Some individuals/groups among them may be safe to deal with but others earned their reputations in human legend.

    Of course, as I mentioned with Shape Shifters, each species of the critters may have really nasty individuals/groups along with individuals/groups that are safe to deal with.

    I’d like to see the human magicians as generally good people although being human there can be arrogant SOBs among them.

    Of course, the main thing that I’d want Chris to avoid is the “grey goo” story where there are no good guys and both sides are equally bad.

  9. Michael Blair October 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    They have been gathering up books, scrolls, manuscripts, tablets and whatever for centuries, even millennia as libraries are collected and scattered over time and now it has a new curator who is a bit more in touch with the modern world and he or she decides that cataloguing the thing would be a good idea so he looks to the mundane world for help. All the mundane knows is that this is the collection of a vey rich philanthropist. However something will go awry and the adventure begins.

  10. Michael Misenheimer October 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Well, Buffy the vampire slayer, Giles was sort of a librarian. I’ve always thought that true librarians were sort of magical people anyway. Masters of knowledge and information. Who else would you think to ask, How to get rid of a bogart for instance.

  11. Yanai Siegel October 9, 2016 at 9:24 pm #

    Power of knowledge. The old librarian has passed away… The new on comes in and asks… “Where’s the index?”

    Index cards are old, frail, and not updated for recent acquisitions. Some materials been checked out, not returned… And working magicians tend to update the work directly, on the sole original.

    Computer indexing leads to scanning, internal publishing… Maybe a popular release via Amazon for fundraising?

    After a while, protagonist realized that more than a few threats can be handled through non-magical means… The few active magicians still using the library disapprove….
    Publish or perish?

  12. Vapori October 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    Don’t know kinda don’t like it. but maybe it works. I would buy the first book for sure anyway but like you said something akin to monster hunters demon hunters vapire hunters or generally supernatural hunters is quite popular.. in your case they would have a libary and an index. and maybe some regions that are hot spots or magical activity.

    Hmm.. when i think about it I would love it too read a book, were magic comes back into our world and get’s explored with the scientific method.

    maybe a bit like the royal sorceress in modern time.. and with the magical system of the nameless world or something akin to it.

    I mean who knows why the world of us doesn’t have a magical feld. why shouldn’t it return or form.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard October 9, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

      Check out Chris’s Science and Sorcery novel (in the Kindle store).

    • Druss October 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Nial Teasedales Rheumatology serires is like that

  13. Bruce Johnson October 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm #

    The only reason I not for it is you have too many different stories that need to be completed as is so the idea of you starting another new series is rather annoying to me

  14. Gazza October 10, 2016 at 12:12 am #

    I like this kind of book. A book were you mix a bit of science with magic and explore beyond the normal run of the mill kind of magic most books have.

  15. Chris October 10, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    I like it. Lots of possibilities. Obscurity can make this different than other plots. You are good with bringing different angles to a story.

  16. Billy McCorkle October 10, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    Nope, already had librarian in Bookworm. Too many other books with paranormal (weres, vamps, trolls, fae, etc). I have read everything you published, least favorite are alternative history so I really need to believe things are possible, this is too far. SIM goes to alternate realm, Bookworm, another time, others are future. I would prefer you work on SIM, Falcone, Arc Royal, Empire Corps or anything as brilliant as SIM. You can do better with your time.

    • Fh October 21, 2016 at 3:50 am #

      Agree with preference for existing series, especially SIM

  17. PhilippeO October 10, 2016 at 3:22 am #

    Like you said, it has been done a lot of time. The blurb is a bit too generic. there need to be ‘something’ added to it to differentiate it from any other urban fantasy / paranormal romance out there.

  18. Iume October 10, 2016 at 5:41 am #

    Sounds like The Librarian crossed with MiB. Or maybe crossed with Sanctuary. Would read it!

  19. RonK October 10, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    What about giving it a more scientific twist ? In the spirit of Arthur C. Clarke’s “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    > The only defence against these creatures is a handful of human magicians
    > Anyway, the heroine of the book would be hired to work at their library …

    The library is the public face of a extended underground research library that investigates vampires, werewolves, and demons and the like. Its researchers have found that the scientific reason of they existence, what they plan.

    Our heroine, first of her class, is offered a scholarschip and … well you’re the writer.

  20. Stuart the Viking October 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    It sounds like you are saying the new librarian would be a “non-magical” who is working for the magicians. Basically doing upkeep in their library of magical writings.

    I’m actually already a curious as to how you would handle this and can already see a few interesting possibilities.

    Does she even know it’s a real magical library? Do they ask her to do weird things that, completely unbeknownst to her, end up saving the day. Then she goes home and has a boring existence, never knowing she singlehandedly saved Manhattan from a giant undead space mollusk? (Maybe she only stays at what she sees as a crappy job because she really needs the money. “My boss made me drive all the way across town to bring him a dusty old parchment at 2AM! AGAIN! I’d quit, but then how would I pay my rent?”)

    (secretly, I’ve always wanted to write a story about a normal, ordinary, boring person that, quite accidentally, does heroic things. All while being clueless as to what they’ve done. I have never quite figured out how to make it work though. It wouldn’t be worth writing if I couldn’t make it awesome)

    Or, does she know/learn about magic’s existence through the job as a librarian and, while unable to do magic herself, ends up saving the day again and again because she is a master of the Dewey Decimal System and how to use a card catalog.

    Or or or…. Ah whatever! Just write it!

    • chrishanger October 10, 2016 at 8:34 pm #

      That’s what i had in mind,

      Chris

      • JohnV October 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

        Could it be kindof a “Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers” kind of thing where both goodies and baddies and a few mundanes frequent the library? She could observe, accidentally or reluctantly participate, choose sides, find ambiguity, learn the secrets of the library, etc ? Sure sounds like lots of ways to take it!

  21. gfyork October 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

    This one definitely has some lovely possibilities! G.

  22. denis1968 October 10, 2016 at 11:05 pm #

    Way too Lovecraftian to me: fear of everything out of the ordinary. Instead, how about challenging the concept of the supernatural?
    I mean, before we call something supernatural, we need to know all there is to know about the natural. Do we? 500 years ago, lightning was supernatural: a direct manifestation of God’s power. And volcanoes were the portals to Hell. So what is it that we don’t understand, and therefore fear, now? Something is space? In the quantum world? In the society? In our own mind? I’d think along these lines when looking for fresh ideas.

  23. Katharina I. October 11, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    I really like the idea but I have to agree with Ian, I don’t think it can be completely good versus evil- there have to be gray areas on both sides, good ‘monsters’ and bad humans (or even just corrupt ones). It might even be better if they didn’t know that they weren’t the monsters/heros they themselves thought they were.

  24. Karkanator October 11, 2016 at 4:35 am #

    Think it could be interesting to have the library be a neutral ground for the magicians, some could be in magic for the good of human kind, others purely for their own power, some might even seek(hiddenly) to help the magic creatures, etc.

    Def interested in the idea.

  25. steven house October 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    It sounds even more interesting if it’s parallel with Schooled in Magic and Emily gets involved. crossover anyone?

  26. Gxx October 11, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

    Sorry, but this doesn’t sound very interesting to me.
    Like some others already said before me, there are too many paranormal / urban fantasy books out there.

  27. Big Ben October 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

    Morally confused vegan werewolves …. just a thought.

    Perhaps start the series with the magicians portrayed as the good guys. They hire this enthusiastic, occasionally brilliant librarian who over the course of a book or two learns that the magicians are really the evil villains, keeping assorted magical creatures as slaves and robbing them of their natural powers and abilities. Maybe sacrificing them in demonic rituals to boost their own otherwise mediocre powers … after all, they’re not human, right? Nothing but animals.
    Then our plucky heroine sets out to right these wrongs, secretly pilfering the library to figure out how to foil these dastardly evildoers. In the process she learns of her own previously unknown supernatural abilities, perhaps an interesting immortal ancestor or something, and falls in with the supernatural “bad guys” to halt the “good human magicians” reign of terror.

    Still can’t get vegan werewolf outta my head.

  28. Genevieve Bos October 12, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    love it!

  29. Bman October 14, 2016 at 1:16 am #

    EH, Personally I think you should skip this one. Unfortunately even though the perspective is somewhat unique (though there are stories with a similar premise), Urban fantasy of this type is a dead horse that’s been beaten so many times from so many angles its bones have turned to dust (Hellboy, the Dresden Files, The Librarian etc). No matter what you do it’s virtually impossible to make it unique and your own, though you did do this very well with Schooled in Magic in a genre that was also quite tired. So if you were going to do it I would think long and hard about it as you would also have the to find a way of having a protagonist who is placed in an auxillary role in their struggle function as a genuine hero. Despite how much people bitch about cliche’s they do give people a sense of place but they can still grate if not done carefully.

  30. Ahrakeen October 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I think if you where to go the library route. it may be more interesting to study schools of magic. i know the ree reyes did this with modern schools of magic. It’s sadly been too little explored that is. only marla mason series did this for a while. like you got thantalogy that is death based magic. symphatic magic that has similraity to quantum in a methaporhic sense. Like if you look sucessfull you become succesfull if you got a piece of something you got the whole of something. Vodoo uses alot of symphatic magic is how vodoo dolls would work for instance.

  31. Gabriel Winchester October 21, 2016 at 4:10 am #

    Perhaps you could please remove my email address that’s “NEVER MADE PUBLIC!

  32. Aforandy November 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    Sounds like it could be a spin off from Guardian Glass, with a little bit of Bookworm thrown in.

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