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dArkNESS rISiNG
August 15th, 2007, 07:35 PM
This is inspired from all the other threads currently popular and the topic of this thread is obvious, the issues with having a high tech world with magic. Is anyone writing such a world and if so what kind of difficulties are you having? Do you see it as good or bad? Are there any books that are related to this topic? And lastly, how equal would magic and technology truly be?

Based on my own world, it's my theory that if tech and magic was in the same world an arms race of sorts would go about. There would be all magic countries aligning against all tech countries in a sort of Cold War. This would result in one side winning (Soviet Union callasping). My opinon is that technology would eventually win the race because in a high tech world (GUT, A.I.) there would be enormous potential to progress, while magic sticks to the same, old rules for centuries. An interesting idea, for me, is that what if magic evolved alongside technology. That the arms race never stopped until both sides were ridiculously overpowered and eventually destroyed themselves.

Opinons of this would be very interesting. thanx :D

Abby
August 15th, 2007, 10:23 PM
I'm working on a story set in a tech & magic universe. :D

You're right about the competition between them. One would dominate the other. In my universe, magic used to trump technology, but the balance of power shifted when the common people started bioengineering their own 'magicians' (to use a common term that is never used in my novels). Now, in the current era of my universe, technology holds supremacy over magic. They've invented a serum that disables anyone with powers. They destroy fetuses if they show signs of developing powers, and they kill anyone who exhibits such powers. For all purposes, their universe has become technology-only, with magic confined to ancient history.

Except for the mind readers ... they don't consider that to be a magic sort of power. It's normal for them. The dominant people of my universe are all mind readers, and they consider anyone who isn't to be 1) handicapped, and 2) a slave species.

Dromed
August 16th, 2007, 01:34 AM
It seems quiet typical for magic and technology to appose each other.

I think what would be interesting is if both elements could influence one another so they can co-exist without conflict.

What is magic anyhow? In fiction (my own anyway), I consider it to be an incomprehensible science and thus chaotic in its use. Magic can be a mystery waiting to be uncovered via scientific method and accessible to anyone after its discovery.

Can "magic" become technology?

Hereford Eye
August 16th, 2007, 06:51 AM
Can "magic" become technology?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Always thought Piers Anthony pulled off the dual usage nicely in his Phase series.

Shane
August 16th, 2007, 07:47 AM
IMO, the biggest advantage technology has over magick is that, presumably, to be a decent magick user you have to go through Harry Potter-esque riggorous training for decades to come up with any significant skill. With technology you only need one smart guy to come up with it, and then anybody with half a brain can use it to its full potential almost immediately.

So ultimately, in terms of sheer numbers, magick might be more powerful, but technology has an easily replacable supply of soldiers who can use it. If a land of technology users and a land of magick users went to war, every casualty of the magick land would be felt and mourned for, while only the highest minds of the techno land would care. Everyone else would be cannon fodder.

Konrad
August 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM
Can "magic" become technology?

I think that Hex the "computer" in Pratchettīs Discworld is a good example of that. Although funny it could be used in another form in any magic universe.

And tech would win, as said it is more durable than people and a nuclearbomb would destroy them, hurhurhur.
But then it depends, in some fantasyworlds then magic has almost godlike powers and if that was the case then sorry tech.

And isnīt Star Wars something like this? The jedipowers are like magic afterall.

KatG
August 16th, 2007, 12:29 PM
Are you talking exclusively about imaginary realm fantasy or fantasy in general? If the latter, there are of course numerous contemporary fantasy novels that combine tech and magic, and one that might be particularly of interest to you Darkness is Tim Powers' novel Declare, which is set during WWII and the Cold War. You might also find helpful Naomi Novik's alt history Temaire series helpful, which is set in the low-tech Regency period but shows increasingly modern warfare combined with magical dragons.

If it's just imaginary realm fiction, then it's been more sporadic. Piers Anthony's Phaze series where there's one tech world and one magical world existing in parallel might be useful, as HE suggested. You might also want to check out some of Michael Moorcock's work and Stephen King's Gunslinger series, which takes place part of the time on Earth. More recently, you have writers like China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer and K.J. Bishop writing high or low tech settings with magic. Tad Williams' War of the Flowers has a fairy world that's relatively high tech. If you search, or ask the question in the Fantasy Forum, you probably will get a good list of titles past and present.

I would also suggest not ruling out the sf writers, particularly military sf, which -- while it doesn't have material about magic -- will have material about war, arms races, cultural impact, politics, etc. John Barnes' work or the There Will Be Dragons series by John Ringo might give you some ideas. Post-apocolypse sf where a high tech world finds itself low tech might also be worth exploring.

Your idea of countries acting on either magic or tech sounds interesting, but I would think that the countries that relied on one or the other might then also try to steal the assets of the other -- getting magic weapons for the tech and tech to go with the magic weapons.

dArkNESS rISiNG
August 16th, 2007, 08:14 PM
Are you talking exclusively about imaginary realm fantasy or fantasy in general? If the latter, there are of course numerous contemporary fantasy novels that combine tech and magic, and one that might be particularly of interest to you Darkness is Tim Powers' novel Declare, which is set during WWII and the Cold War. You might also find helpful Naomi Novik's alt history Temaire series helpful, which is set in the low-tech Regency period but shows increasingly modern warfare combined with magical dragons.

If it's just imaginary realm fiction, then it's been more sporadic. Piers Anthony's Phaze series where there's one tech world and one magical world existing in parallel might be useful, as HE suggested. You might also want to check out some of Michael Moorcock's work and Stephen King's Gunslinger series, which takes place part of the time on Earth. More recently, you have writers like China Mieville, Jeff VanderMeer and K.J. Bishop writing high or low tech settings with magic. Tad Williams' War of the Flowers has a fairy world that's relatively high tech. If you search, or ask the question in the Fantasy Forum, you probably will get a good list of titles past and present.

I would also suggest not ruling out the sf writers, particularly military sf, which -- while it doesn't have material about magic -- will have material about war, arms races, cultural impact, politics, etc. John Barnes' work or the There Will Be Dragons series by John Ringo might give you some ideas. Post-apocolypse sf where a high tech world finds itself low tech might also be worth exploring.

Your idea of countries acting on either magic or tech sounds interesting, but I would think that the countries that relied on one or the other might then also try to steal the assets of the other -- getting magic weapons for the tech and tech to go with the magic weapons.


My story is set on a different planet than Earth, so yea it's imaginary. And one of my subplots is about a high tech country that hired some powerful magicians. The country then started expanding, the whole situation is akin to Hitler's Germany, also with influences from the recent U.S. weapon's pact deal w/ mid-eastern countries. Of course there are some superpowers that house super-races or both magic/ high tech, but those nations would number extrememly few, especially since i have 50 odd countries in my world. :)

Except for the mind readers ... they don't consider that to be a magic sort of power. It's normal for them. The dominant people of my universe are all mind readers, and they consider anyone who isn't to be 1) handicapped, and 2) a slave species.- Abby

That sounds interesting, are you meaning slave magicians controlled by mind readers? I don't think I've read a story about slave magicians w/ high tech. Sounds good!!

IMO, the biggest advantage technology has over magick is that, presumably, to be a decent magick user you have to go through Harry Potter-esque riggorous training for decades to come up with any significant skill. With technology you only need one smart guy to come up with it, and then anybody with half a brain can use it to its full potential almost immediately.- Shane


But what happens when a few immortal magicians come to play? :D Not only with thousands of years of magic experience, but also with handling tech.... Even when outnumbered, an immensely skilled magician that knows loopholes around tech would be very hard to deal with.

Abby
August 16th, 2007, 08:29 PM
That sounds interesting, are you meaning slave magicians controlled by mind readers? I don't think I've read a story about slave magicians w/ high tech. Sounds good!!

Thanks! Yup, the empire in my universe went through an era where magicians were enslaved and controlled through technology. But that's also ancient history to them. Nowadays, they just kill anyone born with magic ability. They also kill people with mental handicaps, fatal diseases, and anything they don't like. They prefer people to be born "equal" and "perfect," within a very narrow definition. They allow non-telepaths to live as brutally oppressed slaves.

My universe contains a few Hitler-inspired elements too, as you can see from the above paragraph.

Yours sounds fun, too! Yay for magicians who oppress the common people. :D

dArkNESS rISiNG
August 16th, 2007, 09:00 PM
Thanks. I think that what you are doin should be more frequent. I'm tired of reading fantasy where technology seems to stand still while the world has seen thousands and thousands of years. Or that some apoclypse suddenly occurs when the world is starting to gain knowledge. It's crazy.

I would also like to know how your story fares. I don't know what's popular in the current market, but since I'm soon to be in college, I think it would be smart to start analyzing it. Seeing what stories are successful or not.