marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

When the Magic Comes Back

Future fantasy, and does it turn on magic returning?

Discussion of Harry Potter and other worlds where the magic is hidden.  And how hidden is it?  Is it hidden in Borderlands?  They concluded not really, it's running parallel.

On the other hand, we didn't have many examples of magic returning full blown.  Operation ChaosJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.  But not many more.

Magic realism was touched on, with its enchantments and effects.

Then there was the question of far future fantasy.  Jack Vance's Dying Earth was brought up as a prime example, but some other ones -- Shannara, and Wheel of Time -- were not pleasing.  After all, they were nominally futuristic.  You could have peeled off the futuristic elements, plopped them in a parallel world, and have no one notice a real difference.

Pern was brought up, and it was pointed out that it was SF, and furthermore genetic engineering, which was made clear in the very first book.

One audience member pointed out it was all about the fall of technology -- were there fantasies where technology went side by side?  This brought up Operation Chaos again, where nuclear war is being prevented by Tibetan prayer wheels.  Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series was brought up and rejected:  those were parallel worlds, one magic, one tech-based.  Warhammer 40000, on the other hand, uses plenty of both, and the question of whether the tech is just stuff they lost knowledge of, or really has magic effects.  I brought up Andre Norton's <I>Dread Companion</I>, where you have interstellar travel and the -- ehem -- Good Folk taking children.  One panelist wanted to know whether it was SF explanation for the Good Folk, and I said at the time that there was nothing in the book that contradicted folklore.  (In hindsight, the correct way to describe it as using neither SF nor fantasy tropes, but as being what the heroine saw, with very little explanation.)
Tags: genre: fantasy, genre: magic realism, lunacon, point of view, setting (whole story), world-building: magic (effects), world-building: technology
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  • 'tis the voice of a child

    One complication of using a child as the point of view character is keeping not just the observations within the child's power to make, but the…

  • tale of a child

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