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What do STEM fields look like in your worlds?

Are medical sciences complicated by the multitude of races? Do biologists risk having their scalpels eaten by the acid blood of certain specimens?
What are some ways that the fantastical elements of your world have affected STEM, if there is one?

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
We write urban fantasy, so STEM looks a lot like trying to keep the preternatural a secret against an increasingly savvy and curious human population. Our latest flash fiction, "Proof," touches on this subject.

Miles Lacey

In the world of my work in progress the ability to cast spells - the Spark - is gifted by the gods to around 0.5% of the population. Normally, this was more than ample to cope with any medical situation. Apart from the occasional battle or epidemic where mass casualties over-whelmed mages, forcing them to recruit "auxilleries" to assist them, this system worked fine. Thus, medical sciences developed very slowly.

The invention of weapons of mass slaughter, such as the machine gun, and industrialisation forced the medical sciences to catch up quickly because mages could no longer cope with the numbers of people suffering from injuries and wounds. During the Great War necessity forced mags to rely upon doctors and other medical staff to deal with the sick and wounded. As a result, there was a huge leap forward in medical sciences.

The invention of electricity allowed the advancement of technology to the point where magic has become increasingly sidelined. This has resulted in the emergence of three key schools of thought when it comes to how magic, science (including medical science) and technology should be treated.

Rationalists believe that the days of relying on mages for healing and other things are over. While mages are useful in poorer communities and remoter areas where it''s too expensive to have doctors, hospitals and electric lighting they should take a back step to scientists, doctors and technocrats wherever possible.

Traditionalists take the opposite approach. They view science and technology as being useful only in circumstances where mages and magic would not be able to cope. Rather than being sidelined, mages and magic retain their exalted place and take priority whenever possible.

Egalitarians believe that mages, magic, science and technology can work hand in hand with one another. The Tarakanese Empire (where the story is set) is an Egalitarian state where mages work in hospitals side by side with doctors and technology and magic are both valued equally in importance.

As far as medical sciences and races are concerned there are several complications:

Nesians have both lungs and gills so a minor surgical error could condemn them to a life underwater or a life on land. Elves have ultra-sensitive senses of hearing and smell which makes them prone to hearing loss or vomiting in the cities where the noise and smells are overwhelming and often vile. Itims have skin colours that change depending upon the climate. This means they can't have blood transfusions with non-Itims as it''s a chemical in their blood that changes their skin colour. Although not a race, the self-healing powers of mages blood automatically renders mages sterile. Despite this, mages blood is highly sought after by wealthy clients and unethical medical practitioners, especially cosmetic surgeons. Kidnapping and harvesting the blood of mages is common enough to require mages to learn combat spells.


In my WIPS, technology and magic are kind of similar in that they are both just beginning to be understood. My MC is pretty technically minded, though I migt have her explore the mysteries of sorcery in WIP2..
I like to hear people working "magic" and tech together. I have a sci-fi series that I am always adding to, I have incorporated forms or "magic" into it. I have honestly played with just taking the stories out or changing the elements where magic is used should I ever go to publishers.
As far as STEM in the series, there are cultures that use magic and others that don't. There are starships, blasters, bots and mechs. The magic in the series is limited to the individual(s) using it and their discipline to train. Much to the effect a scholar or a body builder would in their respective disciplines and training, it is a part of life. Some use it mediocrely, some become profound in it, but it is not the all encompassing god-like ability some make it out to be.
sorry for the double post.


Fiery Keeper of the Hat
I have a story that's on the backburner where I put a lot of thought into topics like this one. It's an eastern setting, and I developed the ten serving traditions, houses that raise children in constant training to become masters of their service. Magic in this setting works a little like feng shui, where you can align your environment, your body, and your lifestyle, to perfection, to harness the magic. People in the service houses use those principles to align the world around them, according to their service. Several of the houses are STEM related, and one is based on Engineering.