Preface and Acknowledgements


Inventing Reality

towards a magical technology

by Tom Graves

Preface to the on-line edition (1998)

Inventing Reality is a brief essay which explores the practical relationships between the routine realms of modern technology, and the peculiar yet equally real expression and experience of magic in the everyday world. Traditionally, these two approaches to working within the world seem to be at opposite ends of a spectrum - one subjective, the other objective. Yet in practice they have far more in common with each other than with other approaches such as science or spirituality: so much so, in fact, that they can be merged together into a truly magical technology, through which we can invent the reality - or realities - that we need.

This on-line edition is based on the second edition of the printed book. I have made only a few minor edits, to correct date references and the like, and the two quadrant diagrams in Chapter 3 have been redrawn: the original printed book, for reasons which were never explained, had contained the rough drawings rather than the finished artwork provided.

Other than these minor changes, the text remains essentially the same as in the original book. I wrote the book in late 1985, using a brief gap in a heavy workload to put down some ideas that I'd then already been brewing for some years. Even so, it was perhaps a little premature: it took a full decade more for the ideas which were expressed in a light-hearted yet very condensed form in this book to become commonplace anywhere else, and it still seems to be experienced by many readers as a 'turning-point'. I expanded on some of its themes, in more practical detail, in the Wyrd series; but much still remains to be done. Somewhen I'll be able to find the time to do so... somewhen... perhaps...!


Tom Graves (Drummond, Victoria [Australia], December 1998)


This essay was originally published in book form by Gateway Books, The Hollies, Wellow, Bath BA2 8QJ, England, first as Towards A Magical Technology (1986: ISBN 0-946551-30-8) and later updated and reissued as Inventing Reality: towards a magical technology (1990: ISBN 0-946551-64-2). I owe many thanks are due to Alick Bartholomew at Gateway Books, who also (in previous publishing incarnations!) successfully published two previous books of mine, Dowsing: Techniques and Applications (still in print as The Diviner's Handbook) and Needles of Stone (now available online at the Isle of Avalon site).

Works by other authors which were quoted from or referenced in this essay are listed on the Bibliography page.

Regrettably, I am unable to give proper credit to the cartoonist who drew the illustrations in Chapter 3 and Chapter 6, as at present I have no record of his name: this will be corrected when the information becomes available.

Copyright information

This on-line edition of Inventing Reality: towards a magical technology was published in December 1998 by Wyrdsmiths Pty Ltd, PO Box 70, Malmsbury, VIC 3446,
Australia. The work has been made available for public viewing and download from the TomGraves web-site (via at no charge, and may be output to a computer printer for personal use only, but remains copyright © Tom Graves 1998; all rights are reserved. Other than as specified above, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission the publisher, except for the quotation of brief passages in criticism.