The Windrose Chronicles
is a fantasy series by Barbara Hambly
in which Joanna Sheraton, a computer programmer from California, gets tangled up in the affairs of wizards from another world, including an eccentric wizard named Antryg Windrose.
It consists of the novels The Silent Tower
, The Silicon Mage
, and Dog Wizard
, and several short stories.
This series provides examples of:
- The Archmage: The Archmage is the leader of all wizards in Ferryth. His authority magically moves to another wizard on his death.
- Brain Uploading: How the Silicon Mage intends to cheat death.
- The Cassandra: Antryg Windrose uses Holmes-ish deductive reasoning to figure out things that everyone else then assumes only the villain could know. Between that and his checkered past, he's never believed by anyone in a position of authority — and on the rare occasions when this is not true, he winds up being banned, banished and locked up anyway for telling truths people don't want to hear.
- Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Antryg Windrose is basically the Fourth Doctor as a wizard. Reportedly, Hambly even said she mentally cast him as played by Tom Baker. Certainly she describes him to a 'T'.
- Corrupt Church: The Empire of Ferryth has a generic "The Church" that has no discernible reason for existing other than to make Our Heroes miserable, as it has no connection with the real life of the rest of the population, and no visible theology other than "wizards are evil". (It gets a more nuanced depiction in Stranger at the Wedding, at least.)
- First Contact Math: In The Silicon Mage, Antryg and Joanna communicate with an extra-dimensional via pi and Planck's Constant.
- Functional Magic: Mages possess an inherent gift, which must then be developed with training in Rule Magic.
- Low Fantasy
- The Mad Hatter: Antryg Windrose is very charismatically eccentric, has a reputation for being "dangerously insane", and in deep characterization confesses that he really is mad, from long years of having to sustain beliefs contrary to the reality of others around him.
- Sarcastic Confession: When, in Dog Wizard, a wizard from another world is exiled to San Francisco and joins a dojo to keep up his sword fighting skills, he explains that his technique may be a bit unique as he is a wizard in exile from another world.
- Single Precept Religion: The generic "The Church" has no visible theology other than "wizards are evil", and no connection with the real life of the people, and no discernible purpose beyond making people, and especially Our Heroes, miserable.
- Translator Microbes: The "spell of tongues" — which doesn't work over the telephone.
- Trapped in Another World: Joanna.
- Two of Your Earth Minutes: Inverted in Dog Wizard, where a wizard exposits this flaw in the "spell of tongues". Later, when an alien has stated that his equipment can keep everybody safe for only two hours, he's startled when the heroine comments that time is almost up 100 minutes later — it's not even been one "hour" as far as he's concerned.
- Your Universe or Mine?: Joanna eventually faces this question. He settles in California with her.