“Street Wizard” — Simon R. Green

Simon R. Green is the best-selling author of dozens of novels, including several long-running series, such as the Deathstalker series and the Darkwood series. Most of his work over the last several years has been set in either his Secret History series or in his popular Nightside milieu. Recent novels include The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny and The Spy Who Haunted Me. A new series, The Ghost Finders, is forthcoming. Green’s short fiction has appeared in the anthologies Mean Streets, Unusual Suspects, Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, Powers of Detection, and in my anthology The Living Dead 2.

Our lives are ruled by routines: wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, eat lunch, and so on, always the same, day after day. We may move to a new city, a new country, and tell ourselves that we’ll break the routine, discover something new every day, but pretty quickly we inevitably find ourselves frequenting the same shops, following the same routes to and fro.

In a wide world full of endless possibilities, why do we find ourselves doing the same things in the same way day after day? We’re creatures of habit, as the saying goes, and of course there’s a certain comfort to be found in the familiar, the predictable, the everyday. When we read stories about wizards, we tend to see them at moments of high drama: exploring a dungeon or preparing to work some grand casting. But of course wizards, like everyone else, must have their average days, their normal routines. What would it be like, a day in the life of a wizard? That’s what our next tale explores. Though of course there’s quite a bit more to the life of a modern urban wizard than cubicles and commutes.