September 14th, 2006


Past and Future

The problem with Sufficiently Advanced Technology[1] (and this is something I expect razorsmile to at least pick up on) is that nomenclature makes such a difference. Hell, it'd be reasonably trivial to remake, say, Accelerando as a high-fantasy novel purely by changing some of the nomenclature — the story, function, and even forms remain the same.

All that you need to change is the style[2] and the manner of description depending on who you're trying to sell the idea to. Generic fantasy stories are typically early Rennaisance-era with magic on the side. SF stories are the future with hypertech. The problem is, once the Californian school of shite trilogies had thoroughly battered Fantasy around the head, the historical bits were only there as scenery. This just makes things easier.


Otoba grabbed her jacket. The supercomputing exocortex within started beaming ideas, extermalising queries, and otherwise upgrading her intelligence to a level where she could function among what had become of human society.

Elandriel gathered her Thoughtstones close. The jewels whispered ideas into her mind, the intelligence and experience of a thousand sorcerers talking in a way only she could understand. Without them she was naked, alone, stammering through social interactions. With them, nothing could stand in her way.

Not the best of examples, but you get the idea.

This of course leads on to my latest train of thought. Why do fantasy RPGs limit themselves to predictable, base ideas for magic items? Why do SF RPGs never bother going further? Why do so few games, fantasy or SF, have a projectile-stopping gravity well? Why can I not enchant a suit of armour to do something a powersuit would find easy?

I'm probably just thinking about this so I can ignore being back at work.

[1]: Yes, wrt the quote.
[2]: Have I posted about that yet? I can't remember...
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