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Several years ago, under the spell of the Harry Potter series, I came up with a role-playing game about a middle school in Chicago for young wizards. There’s no Harry, the boy who lived, and no Voldemort who must not be named, but there are these five 12-year-olds and a bunch of mysteries and unfinished business of the past. As the game wore on, the people playing it wore off—in particular, my wife, one of the main characters, filed for divorce (NOT because I did anything bad to her character). But I did write up the story of their first year as if it were fiction, and we’ll just say it’s as much like Harry Potter as a Raymond Chandler novel is like a Miss Marple.

I have rewritten it for consistency a bit, and rewriting ALWAYS helps, but I was surprised at how well it actually works as fiction. I’ve tried to fictionalize role playing games before and it generally only worked up to a point, the point at which the plotlessness became obvious. This, I think, never reaches that point. There are lots of loose ends—but that’s just because the story is clearly the first of a series.

So, you are warned: tomorrow a new series is coming to the Realm.

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