Leiber, Fritz (Reuter), (Jr.) Tom Shippey - Essay

Tom Shippey

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[In The Golden Bough Sir James Frazer deduced] that in essence primitive magic was not like primitive religion, as most observers had assumed, but was instead similar to science, in its belief that the universe was subject to "immutable laws, the operation of which can be foreseen and calculated precisely". The Golden Bough makes this claim overtly…. [And] it is a relatively short step from saying that magic is very like science to saying that it is actually a form of science. It is this further step which many science fiction authors have, with varying levels of seriousness, been happy to take. (pp. 121-22)

[The] real potentials of the "Frazerian" story were...

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