marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

magic vs. tech

One thing in world-building is that a lot of writers -- particularly those with cross-world travel in their worlds -- say that "technology" doesn't work in the magical world.  Just because it's magic.

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.  If your gunpowder doesn't explode, you should be dead, and your fire shouldn't be burning; they all run on the same process.  If your watch doesn't run, lightning shouldn't strike -- or else that mill shouldn't be grinding grain and the carts going to it should not have their wheels turning.  Technology doesn't use some fundamentally different processes than everything else.

And, anyway, what is technology?  Why is the steam engine technology and the water mill not?

And worst of it, it's never caused.  If Lud the Purple had cast a spell to ensure it, it would have to be motivated -- with difficulty -- and defined, and I would be very suspicious if people didn't try to pry around the edges.  But it's treated as a natural aspect of magic.  As spontaneous as the sun rising.  Selectively turning off the laws of nature for certain applications developed after a certain era leaves the question of why.

Tags: rants, world-building: metaphysics, world-building: technology

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