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Advanced Technology in a Fantasy Setting

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Deleted member 2173, May 26, 2013.

  1. I am currently exploring the world my story takes place in, and hit something of a roadblock.

    There is an underlying aspect of the story that to all but the hero seem mystical but are in fact the workings of advanced science. The technology becomes evident later, but I am now questioning at what level the bad guys are at. They are stranded without their world's technology and haven't the resources to maintain the majority of it unless I decide to provide it.

    Do I force that aspect of the story to become evident to the characters to the last moment, or embrace the alien aspects and do something somewhat "Star Wars"-like, blending fantasy and sci-fi? I use "Star Wars" as an example as I see those stories as fantasy stories with robots, lazers, and spaceships.

  2. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    Well, without a bit more context to go on, I would have to say it's your story, embrace it. You say "There is an underlying aspect of the story that to all but the hero seem mystical but are in fact the workings of advanced science." Is the hero also your POV character? If so, then the cat's already out of the bag, so why not?
    Deleted member 2173 likes this.
  3. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    You can easily play the contrast for comedy--this one character actually gets how everything works, but everyone else persists in just calling it magic, to his frustration. (Alternatively, you can comment on how a lot of it simply isn't feasible to replicate with available resources, and in that sense might as well be magic.
    Deleted member 2173 likes this.
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I would find it disappointing to learn that the magic is really science if I didn't get to see much of it throughout the story. I think you're better taking a good idea and running with it instead of hiding it.

    Then again, "big reveals" are cool, and if your story is - to exaggerate a little - book 1 of 12, then one story's big reveal is the next story's opening hook and you aren't really hiding it. So it's all about perspective.

    And of course, I'm saying all this thinking only in broad strokes about your setting, without having a very clear idea of what you're doing with your story, and you need to figure out what works specifically for you and your story.
  5. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke

    "There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden." Gene Wolfe

    Embrace it.
    Deleted member 2173 likes this.
  6. Addison

    Addison Auror

    Maybe you can sprinkle in the revelation. Through the journey the character(s) can see gears or microchips or hear the humm of eletricity or robo voices, something that puzzles and entices them and the reader to the big reveal.
  7. Justin Cary

    Justin Cary Dreamer

    I think that it should be established in the story that science has reached a point where magic and science are blurred from near the beginning. Individual characters or even the majority of characters can be unaware of this fact, but if the reader is blindsided by a sudden revelation of this fact later on in the story they may put the book down. It would be like starting one book, not finishing what you started, and then giving them something else. If the reader does have enough clues to discover this aspect along the way, that reader can eagerly anticipate the reveal to the characters, making the reader feel like an insider rather than being blindsided.
  8. My thanks to all of the responses. I think I have my direction now, and in fact have some new angles for the bad guys.
  9. MaccosBridgman

    MaccosBridgman Dreamer

    You should defiantly go with the whole sci-fi fantasy setting its different to normal fantasy and can add more depth to your story for example some of the technology powered by magic. This is something I have also thought about as well for my own novel that I'm writing were the magical races have evolved to level of being able to possess weapons as deadly and powerful as nukes :p :D

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