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Magic and Science

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Niven's Converse:  Any sufficiently rigorously defined magic is indistinguishable from technology.

I'm not that big on High Fantasy, let me go ahead and make that clear. I grew up watching and reading Sci-Fi, and thats where my thought process lies. High Fantasy by itself I find only midly interesting at best and outright boring at the worst. I never watched the third Lord of the Rings film until just last year because I wasn't interested, and have no intention of ever watching them again or reading any of the novels because I just am not interested. Give me a choice and I'll watch or read something Sci-Fi over something fantasy 100% of the time.

That being said, it might become a little unclear why I write the way I do. I clearly am using things like 'magic' and such, elements of high fantasy, while at the same time writing in a Sci-Fi manner. My reasoning for this is that I don't believe that they should be exclusive. Combining both together can turn into something really interesting. I'll give you, for example, the anime Scrapped Princess which is founded on Clarke's Law. The series starts out seeming like some generic high fantasy anime, but even before the first episode ends it starts throwing things in that just seem out of place (the odd visual appearance of their casting, references to DNA, so on and so forth) and you become intrigued as it leads you along to find out what's really going on. 

Niven's Converse forms a yin and yang relationship with Clarke's Law, strengthening each other's ideals. Conversely, high fantasy and sci-fi can be used together to strengthen each other, instead of dividing amongst themselves worlds rich in magic but with no technology, and worlds rich in technology that have abandoned such 'archaic' concepts as magic. A Unified Fiction Theory allows so much more to work with, and gives so much more variety. Say, for example, let's take some mythological creature at random, lets say the Gorgon Medusa (and ignore her two sisters for now). One myth about Medusa says she was originally human, but turned into what she became by an angry Athena after she slept with Poseidon in Athena's temple. The ancient world - a world of fantasy without any technology - would just believe that as is, but lets say for example that maybe Medusa is in fact an alien from another world of advanced humanoids, that was condemned for committing some crime, and transported to Earth as part of their penal system and the turning to stone is caused by a device implanted in her to prevent her from gaining any followers there to try and escape the sentence. 

Not that its particularly an idea I had been previously playing with, its just an example of my point. My point remains that there's far more things possible once you start blending the two genre's together, instead of trying your hardest to keep them separate. And that's the way I write: a mix of High Fantasy and Sci-Fi together, building upon each other, using both Clarke's Law and Niven's Converse to strengthen the story and make things far more mysterious and interesting.

Date posted: 01 June, 2010
Tags: anime movies mythology novels television video_games writing
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