July Question

Have you ever considered setting a novel — or a trilogy — in one of your fantasy worlds in a more technologically advanced time period, when the technology either approaches present-day levels… or even higher levels, with computers, nanotechnology and/or space travel?

I have to admit that I haven’t considered writing a fantasy in a high-tech setting, although I can see that such a setting would have serious adverse repercussions or limitations on every magic system I’ve thus far created. Imaging in space would be almost impossible, for example, as would handling order and chaos or attempting to find any lifeforce on which to draw.  Still… it’s an interesting idea, but I’m not about to promise anything… at least not yet.


8 thoughts on “July Question”

  1. Robert the Addled says:

    Thinking of all the various books and series I have read, you could refine/redefine life force as things created naturally vs manufactured, deal with ‘living’ ships/stars/planets (Moya from Farscape, the sentient stars of Herbert’s Whipping Star novel), and/or redefine things with a psi slant (the background of the founding of Pern in Dragonsdawn).

    I think you’ve already come very close with the ‘nanite-free’ mods to the MCs in both Parafaith War and Gravity Dreams. The conversion from normal human to ‘enhanced’ human to potentially ‘beyond’ human. Once things branch into ‘powers’ or ‘abilities’ beyond ‘normal’ – the perception can be made for ‘magic’ or otherwise supernatural.

  2. Matthew Runyon says:

    Generally, what seems to be the most commonly used ability of all your magical characters is some kind of enhanced perception. You even had something of the magic/tech bit in the Fall of Angels with the officers who were on the ship’s net having the greatest magical aptitudes. Magically enhanced senses would get around the usual problems of science vs magic, and then you get something like why Dorrin and Nylan were great smiths, except now they might be great ship builders.

  3. Jim S says:

    I would say that you did do a little bit of that with Hammer of Darkness…

  4. Ryan Jackson says:

    I’d actually almost question the Order Chaos manipulation being difficult in space. Chaos would be, you’d almost have to have a mage have a battery, such as the Mirror Towers served in early Cyador. But with Order, at least as I’ve understood it from the bits and pieces of Basis of Order, is the structure surrounding things, the framework so to speak. Wouldn’t the Vacuum be nearly perfect order?

    Or I guess maybe the issue is more that what mage is going to be strong enough to deal with that stuff. For that matter assuming you could learn to manipulate the vacuum, we saw what Creslin did to the weather on one planet, who knows what would happen in a bigger scale.

  5. R. Hamilton says:

    One thing to watch out for – alternating tech / magic has already been done various ways. Anthony’s Proton/Phaze books (two series, really); Boyett’s Ariel (and a sequel whose name I don’t recall), Attanasio’s “Radix”, maybe even Niven’s time travel short stories (where the premise was that traveling into the past before the invention of the time machine necessarily took one into alternative, almost fantasy, timelines).

    All very different…but still a well-occupied space.

    And swords-and-sorcery meets space opera can be knee-deep in cliches. Thinking more movies (I try not to read anything that obvious) – Krull, for example.

    Perhaps that means it’s all the more a sub-genre that could use some fresh material. Certainly the attention to logistical and other detail that lends realism and substance could be a game-changer.

  6. R Mayo says:

    I think you have at least edged into that sandbox as previously noted with Hammer of Darkness. Also (and one of my first and favorite of yours) The Fires of Paratime with it’s time diving abilities and additional “powers” that Loki displays later. The most realistic approach would seem to keep the bulk of the story planet bound or perhaps the “magic” component would deal with a travel ability between locals.

    You seem to have wrapped up the “Timedivers” universe in your two novels but I would love to see you somehow return there. Always had a soft spot for anything utilizing the Norse Gods and Loki in particular.

    Anyway, keep on pumping out novels and I will continue to grab anything you write.

  7. James Hamlyn says:

    Surely space is pure order and chaos? The chaos of suns vs the vacuum of space, black holes vs white holes, gravity forces and quantum?

    Can’t wait to see more novels post-Lerris or Pre-angles!

    1. There likely won’t be any novels post-Lerris, as I’ve explained earlier, because the world has changed so much that they wouldn’t be the same kind if stories.

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