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How would cyberpunk technology effect a fantasy world? (1 Viewer)

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Joker

Senior Member
I've always found it curious that the vast majority of fantasy worlds never technologically progress past the steam engine. I'm not sure if this is just cultural inertia, or if modern technology makes telling a fantasy story inherently difficult. But the popularity of urban fantasy set on Earth makes me lean towards the former.

I've come up with some ideas. Alchemy companies that sell potions over the counter in drugstores, magic quackery being widespread because of amateur mages spreading nonsense on the Grid (ie the Internet), failed attempts at cloning mages by sinister megacorps, black market mystical creature poachers, and some other things.

What other cool things could be done by mixing fantasy and high tech? I'm trying to distance myself from both Tolkien-esque fantasy and Twilight crap.
 

MikeDwight

Senior Member
It does remind me that modern era's social commentary usually and Somehow the ancient past is light-hearted, go figure...

Pathologic 2 was lightly steampunk and lightly modern. It accompanied my interest in the original "Pictures of Pagan Russia: Rite of Spring" ballet and the Russian Civil War.

Well you're a Russian ending up in a half-russian half-steppe people town, they're such small minorities these days, I don't know. Once again light artistic nudity like the modern play... You're a doctor delivering medicines, there's a plague. The town is drawn in the shape of a bull, or cow.... Some native women that are naked all over the place waiting to be sacrificed 'to the tradition' like the Rite of Spring, ya you cut open women's livers for the Earthmother, and you're actually a nativeborn steppe whatever. They teach you the lines and the meat , or something.

There's only 2 endings saving the town from plague and the future or you submit to return to animals that don't use speech and the Earthmother. Well its not religious like the play, there's like a steampunk Church, its just a big clock mechanism, where the inquisitor lady arrives at the steamchurch, sees if you're going to fix the town or the general will blow up the place. You end up blowing up the earthmother heart, or I did, and the magic blood cures everybody. So mythical vaccinations, disease, hallucinations, semi-modern, psychological more than magic.
 

luckyscars

WF Veterans
I've always found it curious that the vast majority of fantasy worlds never technologically progress past the steam engine. I'm not sure if this is just cultural inertia, or if modern technology makes telling a fantasy story inherently difficult. But the popularity of urban fantasy set on Earth makes me lean towards the former.

I've come up with some ideas. Alchemy companies that sell potions over the counter in drugstores, magic quackery being widespread because of amateur mages spreading nonsense on the Grid (ie the Internet), failed attempts at cloning mages by sinister megacorps, black market mystical creature poachers, and some other things.

What other cool things could be done by mixing fantasy and high tech? I'm trying to distance myself from both Tolkien-esque fantasy and Twilight crap.

I feel like what you're describing is pretty much contemporary urban fantasy, just on a slightly more epic scale than a lot of urban fantasy tends toward. I have seen things like magic pharmaceuticals and stuff, just not so much in the context of an entire world rife with that kind of thing and more. Most urban fantasy seems to tilt toward a single fantastical entity or power or idea in an otherwise non-fantastical environment and is more on the end of 'low' fantasy.

For inspiration, I recommend an author named China Mieville. His work is definitely along the lines of what you are describing with magic blended with technology in high fantasy worlds.
 

Theglasshouse

WF Veterans
You can get away with a lot more with horror and fantasy. You probably need not follow the science maybe depending if it is fantastical technology. Just like steampunk I would imagine which isn't practical. Speaking of steampunk it is a good genre. Some people on this board have posted stories with steampunk. Aldus huxley I think created the genre. But I am not sure.

It sounds promising. You can make up the technology in the story. I write mostly pure science fiction but maybe it's a genre meant to be crossed. That's why it falls under the words speculative genre.

I've read China Mielville and his work does fall under fantasy and science fiction. He pulls up the alchemy trope and time machine in a anthology of a short story I read. Basically two people meet their former selves and become better or worse is how I would describe it.
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
I've come up with some ideas. Alchemy companies that sell potions over the counter in drugstores, magic quackery being widespread because of amateur mages spreading nonsense on the Grid (ie the Internet), failed attempts at cloning mages by sinister megacorps, black market mystical creature poachers, and some other things.

What other cool things could be done by mixing fantasy and high tech? I'm trying to distance myself from both Tolkien-esque fantasy and Twilight crap
This sounds very similar to Shadowrun. Warhammer 40k would be another example of high-tech fantasy.

I suppose, the line between 'high-tech fantasy' and vanilla science-fiction is probably very blurry once we discard the requirement that sci-fi be either 'realistic' science or speculation on the future. See Star Wars and Aliens for concrete examples.
 

Lee Messer

Senior Member
This sounds very similar to Shadowrun. Warhammer 40k would be another example of high-tech fantasy.

I suppose, the line between 'high-tech fantasy' and vanilla science-fiction is probably very blurry once we discard the requirement that sci-fi be either 'realistic' science or speculation on the future. See Star Wars and Aliens for concrete examples.

In truth, there never really is "hard Sci-fi". It's subjective in that once a higher complexity and power of technology is perceived, that is what it becomes. Until then, it is speculation... magic.

I have a degree, and hobby in electronics communications. From time to time, I like to do some weird experiments for fun. Some are dangerous.

In real life, I can shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips if I so choose to make the device to do it. One hundred years ago they'd call me a wizard. Today, I'd be called an eccentric geek.

Fireballs? Rioters use them daily these days.

Actual spells... well that's going to require some string theory, or dimensional gateways, but it's entirely possible. Any person claiming that it isn't science is assuming that anything is impossible.

For the sake of objectivity, that's bad science, and they're crappy scientists. You can't ever assume in any experiment being conducted. It clouds your observations.
 

Joker

Senior Member
In truth, there never really is "hard Sci-fi". It's subjective in that once a higher complexity and power of technology is perceived, that is what it becomes. Until then, it is speculation... magic.

I have a degree, and hobby in electronics communications. From time to time, I like to do some weird experiments for fun. Some are dangerous.

In real life, I can shoot lightning bolts from my fingertips if I so choose to make the device to do it. One hundred years ago they'd call me a wizard. Today, I'd be called an eccentric geek.

Fireballs? Rioters use them daily these days.

Actual spells... well that's going to require some string theory, or dimensional gateways, but it's entirely possible. Any person claiming that it isn't science is assuming that anything is impossible.

For the sake of objectivity, that's bad science, and they're crappy scientists. You can't ever assume in any experiment being conducted. It clouds your observations.

I won't claim that I'm original at all with this, but my mages are very physics-minded. There is a religio-scientific basis to all magic performed in my world. Becoming a professional in any field as a mage requires a lot of textbook reading and math.
 

Joker

Senior Member
You can get away with a lot more with horror and fantasy. You probably need not follow the science maybe depending if it is fantastical technology. Just like steampunk I would imagine which isn't practical. Speaking of steampunk it is a good genre. Some people on this board have posted stories with steampunk. Aldus huxley I think created the genre. But I am not sure.

It sounds promising. You can make up the technology in the story. I write mostly pure science fiction but maybe it's a genre meant to be crossed. That's why it falls under the words speculative genre.

I've read China Mielville and his work does fall under fantasy and science fiction. He pulls up the alchemy trope and time machine in a anthology of a short story I read. Basically two people meet their former selves and become better or worse is how I would describe it.

I'd say it's closer to Star Wars than Warhammer, just without interstellar travel. The technology is there more to contrast magic than integrate with it, since one of the themes is the slow slide of magic into (perceived) irrelevance.

There are fewer and fewer monsters. Mages are replaced by machines more and more. That sort of thing. The MC struggles with an identity crisis in the face of it all.
 
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