Historical Fantasy

Allison Marles apm at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Sep 15 12:36:08 EDT 2004


This reminds me of a great quote from I-know-not-where, 
"Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic".

Very true.  "Magic" is a fairly subjective term that mostly means
stuff we can't do with science, or more accurately, don't know how to
do with science/tech.  So if someone figured out how and didn't tell
anyone, but presented it without explanation, is it magic or science ?
what's the difference really ?  Is magic only "real" if it's a human
being achieving something unaided and with some non-physical ability ?
sorry for the rambling stream of conciousness there ...

For a great fantasy-scifi mixed story, you should find the Ivory
trilogy by Doris Egan, "The Gate of Ivory", "Two Bit Heroes", and
"Guilt-Edged Ivory".  I found them second-hand as they were out of
print but I saw something about them being republished in a single
volume when I was googling for the titles.

Allison

On Wed, Sep 15, 2004 at 12:15:06PM +0100, Rowland, Jennifer A B wrote:
> I wrote:
> > > Mary Gentle's Ash should qualify, though, (unless it's 
> > > science fiction).
> 
> Philip wrote:
> > Hang on.  I've not read Ash, but why should being science fiction disqualify
> >  a story from being fantasy?  Surely it's possible to extrapolate science and 
> > introduce magic in the same story (Simak, "The Goblin Reservation" springs to 
> > mind, but there's plenty more around.)
> 
> I read Ash a while ago, and some of what looks like magic is explained by  technology, but I can't remember if it all is- or if the technology itself turns out to be magical. If all the fantasy elements turn out to be tech, I'd be less likely to call it a good example of a historical fantasy.
> I agree that you can get science/fantasy books. (I mostly think of them as either SF or fantasy depending on the feel of the story, but that's a personal thing.)
> Jennifer 
> 
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