I write a lot about magic. The idea of magic holds both great wonder and terror, and that simultaneous potential is the most compelling part. If magic exists, then by definition it breaks the laws of physics or at least goes beyond the rules of the mundane universe as we understand it. Stories about magic are about moving beyond the ordinary, predictable world into something more. “Here be dragons,” as the unknown edges of the maps declared. Amazing, maybe, or horrible and terrifying, who can know? Greater risks but greater rewards are possible beyond the safe limits of what we know.
When I write about the supernatural or the paranormal, part of what I’m doing is trying to capture the exciting potential of the unknown. Several of my favorite authors do this very well: Ray Bradbury stories like “The Emissary” for example or Simon Green’s Nightside stories are full of wonder and dread. And it has to be both: the wonder can’t exist without the potential that could produce terror.