The Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea
"Ho!" cried the enchanter. "You two claim to be magicians? How do I know you speak sooth?"

"Work a spell for him, Doc," said Shea. Chalmers, with a look of baffled and apprehensive resignation, began to make a list of the properties needed. After he'd gathered them together he lit a fire and began an incantation. Suddenly the oyster-coloured smoke of the fire thickened and darkened. Chalmers bit off his chant in midstanza and scrambled back. A reptilian head a yard long was poking towards them out of the smoke... then another... and another.

"God bless my soul!" said Chalmers.

"He'd better," replied Shea, as a seemingly endless stream of giant dragons began to lurch forward...
The Compleat Enchanter is a compilation of three books written by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Platt which follow the (mis)adventures of Professor Harold Shea and his friend Reed Chalmers.

Both books in the series, "The Incomplete Enchanter" and "The Castle of Iron," are included in entirety in this publication from 1975. However, the first of the two was published first in 1940 in two seperate issues of "Unknown" magazine, and then published in 1941 along with the second book.
The Mathematics of Magic
The mathematics of magic was the greatest discovery of the ages, at least according to Professor Shea. With the proper equations he could instantly transport himself and others back in time and across realities to all of the wondrous lands of ancient legends. But slips in time are a hazard, and Shea's magic doesn't always work as expected. A dragon spell may yield a hundred dragons, or (perhaps worse) one-tenth of a dragon, depending on miscalculations. The lands he travels to as well, ranging from the land of Odin and Thor to the Castle of Otranto yield countless dangers that can't be accounted for on paper.

The idea seems "simple" enough; by figuring out the basic physics of a dimension or a period of mythical time, you can not only transport yourself to that era, but manipulate the magical energy of the area with equations and incantations. However, the equations are long, complicated and prone to errors, and there is no guarantee that once you arrive at the destination legend, that your equations will follow the same rules as they did in modern day earth...

The book itself is both witty and genuinely engaging, and for a fantasy fan, definitely a required addition to a collection.

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