Magic-Tech - Ideas you want to use/really enjoyed

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TulipMama

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Hey folks,

Some of you may know that I'm an Urban Fantasy nerd, but I also like my Sci-Fi, and oh boy do I like it when the two meet up.

The original mind worm that has me set on this particular thread is a Comic called The Red Star set in an AU Russia where they incorporate witches into their army, but not as special infantry or some such, but as artillery fuel.

One of the most striking panels in the graphic novel is a scene where a dozen or more witches are suspended from what is called a 'sky furnace' (think helicarrier form Marvel) with ports pointed down. The witches are all hooked up to the furnace and either power it, cast a spell in unison or through some other mechanism, are the catalyst for a massive blast of flame that really messes with some poor guy's day. Other panels have the MC asking for permission to run spells like a program, like there's a server somewhere that's doing the number-crunching for the spell to be cast. The marriage between technology and magic is just a beautiful thing in how it changes both. Siege engines powered by witches, spells run by computer, it a fun counterpoint to the 'tech and magic don't like each other' narrative a lot of other Urban Fantasy runs with *cough*Dresden Files*cough*

There are other examples that come to mind (Final Fantasy, Shadowrun, Gunnerkrigg Court, a healthy amount of steam-punk eg) but I want to take a moment and focus in on this idea!

What are some of your hot-takes?

Ideas you want to use in this vein/thing's you've enjoyed?

If you want to get speculative, postulate how your Sci-fi world would change with the advent of some kind of magic?



Below is one of my own takes on this (skip if you don't want to read me gushing about this, I don't mind :) ):

In my Urban Fantasy, magic is being worked into technology, but because all magic requires a contract with a spiritual entity (Making deals with Fey/Kami/Jinn etc) to work, it still needs a magic-practitioner somewhere in the system, even if the computers are doing the heavy lifting of casting the spells.

One example is making golems. In book 2, a lot of focus is on the use of Zombies vs Golems for dangerous/skilled labour.

Necromancy is pure magic at this point. It needs one practitioner (to power the spells) and one spirit to animate several dead people. The brains of the deceased are animated enough to function, allowing the zombie to do things that require skill, memory, learning etc.

Traditional golems need one practitioner (again, for power) and one spirit EACH for the golems, because the spirit is acting as the brain. Because weaker spirits are, by their nature, dumber, they need more powerful spirits for more complicated work. More powerful spirits cost more to contract with.

A company in my world is making robots that use low power spirits as rudimentary AI, catapulting them ahead of today's modern robotics, and because they're run off electricity, a single practitioner can have dozens of 'robot-Golems' running at a time at a relatively low cost to their own pool of magic. They're still running behind Necromancy in the labour market though, because robots are expensive to design and build where dead people are plentiful.
 

ChaseJxyz

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In [birds], the [Original Species Do Not Steal] have individuals that are extremely skilled at something, but it's very narrow in scope, but it also means they're able to manipulate energy in very specific ways no one else can. They can make metallic objects that are single crystals (and all the magic stuffed into it negates the major flaws single crystals have) for example. The kind of magic they naturally generate is ionizing radiation, so you can't irradiate them, so they do have tech that uses nuclear power but they don't need to worry about heavy shielding. Large parts of their country can't be visited by other species due to this. They also have some other unique things going on like very fast/automatic healing, so getting your fingers crushed in a factory is nbd cause you can walk it off.

I have an alt-far future idea for [birds] where everything is space-faring and pretty much everyone is a hybrid of some sort. People who have a decent chunk of [Original Species] DNA are highly valued in space exploration/colonization since they don't need to worry about being fried to a crisp. I haven't put a ton of thought into developing it so I'm not sure if there's computers or if the High Elves are still refusing anyone but themselves to do things manually. They're able to see the different "colors" of energy and came up with most of the scientific theories/laws, but since other people can't see stuff, how can you trust them to manipulate it the right way? Like can you IMAGINE being at the controls to an x-ray machine and just hoping you're hitting the right spot in a patient? It would be like having a blind person drive a car, it's outright dangerous! Even though other species have created things to sense/measure "invisible" energy, the High Elves don't believe it can be good as your own eyes, and since they're the ones building/funding all the space stuff...who knows...But also they don't believe in gravity as its own, unique fundamental force since they cannot see it, it clearly has to be some other form of energy acting in a different way, so if I ever get around to this idea I need to figure out how someone can do rocket science while also not believing in gravity in that way.
 

JJNotAbrams

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I really like the idea of magic crystals being the basis of a lot of technology.

Like phones are actually a scrying crystal that lets you see the other person on the "screen" or how a car's battery is actually a lightning crystal that you have to recharge with mana every once in a while. Planes have wind and fire crystals that help them travel through the air.
 

Unimportant

but appreciated anyway...
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For me, manipulating DNA and using CRISPR technology is utterly fascinating, both in real life and as a basis for fictional world-building. One of these days I'll get round to using it for the latter!
 

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