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It seems that there's very little point to have a specific tag for "sorcery" - it's merely a synonym in real English, and no SFF universe makes a clear distinction between the two. In that question it was merely added since there was a definition of the term being asked for.

I proposed to change to be a synonym of .

If you agree, and have >=5 upvotes in , please feel free to up-vote the synonym suggestion here: https://scifi.stackexchange.com/tags/magic/synonyms

If approved, I will take care of minor re-tagging if it will be necessary.

  • 5
    Nitpick: there are plenty of SF universes that make a clear distinction between the two. But the distinction varies from universe to universe. So as general concepts, they are synonyms. I'll set up the synonym unless someone objects.
    – user56
    Feb 1, 2012 at 20:57
  • @Gilles - I already set them up (I have enough upvotes). Or do synonyms require Moderator fairy dust on top of regular 4/5 votes? Feb 1, 2012 at 20:58
  • You've suggested it, it still requires votes. As usual, moderators have a binding vote.
    – user56
    Feb 1, 2012 at 21:03
  • @Gilles - Oh. Sorry. Didn't parse your wording correctly. Feb 1, 2012 at 21:11
  • @Gilles - Your first comment made me mad curious, so I asked for an example in the main site. If you already had a specific example when writing a comment, please feel free to answer - cheap and easy rep :) Feb 1, 2012 at 21:47
  • I gave a couple at the end of my answer to hard science fantasy stories on Literature.
    – user56
    Feb 1, 2012 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


While there are some distinctions between them in different universes, specifically that Sorcery tends to deal with spirits of some kind, while magic usually doesn't, there are enough similarities where I think it's fine.

As far as tag synonyms go, a person can "tag" a question with Sorcery still, but it will be converted to magic.

  • I don't think there are any such general rules. The first example that came to my mind was Lyndon Hardy's Five Magics where it's wizardry that involves spirits, and sorcery is mind-to-mind. The second is Ethshar where sorcery may indirectly involve spirits (but this hasn't been established yet) and theurgy and demonology involve gods and demons.
    – user56
    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:15
  • @Gilles: Hmmm, guess I haven't read those kinds. Still, I don't doubt that there are differences in different series... Feb 3, 2012 at 3:55

I agree withh Gilles that there is a distinction between the two, and even in real life, people who study sorcery and people who study magic are studying two different things (with some overlap).

I say keep the two tags the way they are. If someone is reading a story that specifically uses "sorcery" as it's mechanism, then someone is going to be confused when they can't use that tag when asking a question.

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