marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

philosophizing on the masquerade

My muse is uninterested in the genre urban romance despite my having read a number.

It's not just that I like magitech, like Operation Chaos and "Magic, Incorporated" better for technology and magic mix.

I think it's the masquerade -- the way the vampires and wizards and whatnot are hiding from the mundanes.

Why are they doing that?  Well, from one point of view it's obvious:  because we look around and see no such oddities.  If it's to plausibly be the modern world, the stuff's got to be hidden.  But that's a flaw in and of itself.  Everything happens in a piece of fiction because the author wants it to happen that way, but it's a flaw when the reader notices it, especially when there is no real in-universe justification.

Something I was musing about having re-read Prospero Lost and Prospero In Hell, where the Orbis Suleimani want to keep humanity from worshiping powers, many of which are unfit for worship and some of which are very evil, in order to get magic, and instead use science -- the effects of which are visible around you, but they had to trample on the very notion of magic to get them.

One notes that this is like the various notions of protecting the mundanes you sometimes get offered, but far more plausible because the Orbis Suleimani recruits.  It can therefore seek out the like-minded.  In Harry Potter and so many other works, you are born to the masquerade, you aren't recruited, and so what you think is up for grabs. The notion that being born able to work magic makes you high-minded doesn't work, really.
Tags: aesthetics, genre: urban fantasy, masquerade, world-building: magic (effects), world-building: metaphysics, world-building: technology

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