Just had to share this discovery. My current WIP has parallel worlds--one uses magic and one technology. Magic works in the technological world, but not as well. Technology is unknown in the magical world. Some is banned. But mostly it just won't work. You can bring in a toaster oven or microwave, but without a electrical grid what good are they? You can bring in a motorcycle, but without an infrastructure to provide gas, it won't get you very far. (Even bio diesel would still need a distribution system.) And my antagonist is trying to develop technologies that will work in the magical world so he can use them to take over.
Imagine my surprise when I looked through my news magazine (The Week) and found a little throw away article. University of Washington researchers have developed an electrical device that can be plugged into a tree for power! This has got to find a way into the story.
Sweet! I love it when that happens, though I find that when I'm in a certain mode of thinking, that sort of thing happens more often. My brain is "tuned" to look for the kinds of things that I'm interested in (like when you're pregnant and you suddenly notice all the pregnant women! It's not like the weren't there before you got pregnant, you just weren't noticing them...)
I just found a tiny little article in the newspaper about the houseplants that NASA has found that do the best job of absorbing potentially harmful gases and cleaning interior air. Perfect for my stories set on space stations and spaceships!
quote:By the way, there are some who define technology a bit more broadly than you are defining it for your story, so don't be surprised if someone squawks at your definition.
Well, to clarify. The magical world in my story cut itself off from the technological side (us) about two hundred years ago, when they started worrying about the technology of modern warfare. So they would have been exposed to technology up to about that point. Most of it wouldn't have had a huge impact--day to day technology of the time wouldn't have been a significant improvement over what they could do with magic.
There might even, for example, be a few guns still around on the magical side. But they would be single-shot, not repeaters.
I remember a cartoon from somewhere. (Gahan Wilson, maybe?) Da Vinci is showing off a TV to someone. He's holding the electric cord and plug and saying something like, "...but then I realized I'd have to invent electricity, and I said, 'The hell with it.'"
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