In the fantasy novel
s of Rick Cook
, a programmer
who finds himself suddenly transported from a peaceful career
at ZetaSoft to a sword-and-sorcery
world where he finds a new purpose to his life and becomes a great wizard
himself. His full name is William Irving Zumwalt, and, in the magical World, he is also known as "Sparrow."
While stepping outside for some fresh air during a late-night hacking run, Wiz is transported to the magical World by a Great Summoning performed by Patrius, with assistance from the hedge witch Moira. Patrius was killed by the Dark League while casting the spell, but not before casting a love charm on Wiz to bind him to Moira. Not even Bal-Simba, leader of the Council of the North, can figure out why Patrius might have summoned him, so Moira leads Wiz on a trek across the Wild Wood to the safety of Heart's Ease, where it is hoped Wiz can remain inconspicuous.
In talking to Shiara the Silver, mistress of Heart's Ease, Wiz becomes fascinated by magic, trying to relate it to the computer programming he knows. He hits upon the idea of a programming language for magic, basing its design on Forth with object-oriented extensions. Since most complex spells are hard to cast properly, Wiz uses very simple, stable spells as the "assembly language" for his magic compiler, relying on being able to execute many of them quickly to make it work. Unfortunately, his experiments draw both criticism from the Council and attention from the Dark League, who raid Heart's Ease, burning it to the ground and kidnapping Moira. Wiz bitterly vows to rescue her, and creates spell programs that not only do so, but smash the City of Night and defeat the League. Shortly thereafter, he and Moira are married.
Wiz soon finds that his new form of magic has two disadvantages: it's hard for many of the wizards of the North to learn, and people can use it for purposes he never intended, such as destroying magical creatures. He attempts to improve the compiler, but it eventually takes a programming team recruited from Silicon Valley, led by his former cubicle-mate Jerry Andrews, to turn his makeshift tools into a production-quality spell development system. Subsequently, his fame continues to grow as he helps save the World on at least two more occasions. He is forced to play the role of a consultant when a dragon coerces him into aiding the residents of a small town in the Dragon Lands, and later embarks upon a quest to rescue his wife's body from a mysterious entity.
Sources: Rick Cook, Wizard's Bane, The Wizardry Compiled, The Wizardry Cursed, The Wizardry Consulted, and The Wizardry Quested