1. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Is modern fantasy even possible?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Rassidan, Aug 22, 2011.

    Lets just say you wated to add in some odd race such as trolls or ogres. Is it even possible to have them roam about and be unknown to people? Is it even possible to have wizards and still keep magic unknown? Better yet could it be done in some place such as Dallas or L.A.?

    I know if you have creatures leak in to this world then it is possible to have creatures in the modern world but is it possible to keep dragons and everything in the modern world and still unknown to people IF they were always there to begin with. I just don't see how such a story is possible unless you make all the creatures practically endangered or create some alternate plane of existence that they roam in, which I don't care for either.

    So my simple question is can magic and magical creatures always exist in the world and still be unknown to everyone?
     
  2. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Yes, its quite possible.

    It'll require caution and forethought on the mythical side, but it is quite feasible.
     
  3. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I would imagine it would take caution. I couldn't imagine say a Chimera strolling through downtown San Diego during rush hour and people just passing it without a care in the world.
     
  4. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    See: Neil Gaiman's The Neverwhere. The fantasy exists right under London's nose.
     
  5. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    While placing them underground is a way to bypass this it still has that alternate world feel to me. If you take this route then why not just go all out and create a magical rift below London that transports the person to a magical world. The only thing the underground world is offering is a non magical solution with the same benefits of the magical wworld to some extent.
     
  6. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    I think that the only way to make a fantasy like that possible is to make the "fantasy" characters nearly human or at the very least humanoid. Anything else would lead to panic. As I see that you are referring to something truly magical, this is probably just not feasible without actually changing the nature of the people in your story, thereby making it a fantasy world. Unless you have some sort of society that is hiding say the trolls, a shape shifting element, or a way to make the characters invisible to the naked eye, then you are stuck creating a fantasy world. I would say that a society is pretty unlikely too. It would be a logistical nightmare; what do you do for food? Shelter? How do you keep them hidden? What about medical concerns? It isn't as if you can take you Minotaur to the local vet. What if your hippogriff is pregnant? Not very feasible.
     
  7. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    I get what you're saying, but my point wasn't the location so much as just the fact that Londoners didn't care what they saw in the book. The whole adventure begins when the MC is the only person to notice and care about an injured girl, everyone else was just oblivious. American Gods had the same motif - the reason we don't see magic today isn't because it doesn't exist, but because no one cares/has imagination enough to see it.

    The biggest hurdle I see isn't, Why don't people see Griffins? It's, Why haven't we ever seen any fossil evidence for Griffins? You'll either have to take a lot of artistic license and rewrite the book on paleontology, account for the lack of evidence by keeping all fantastic beings in one highly localized area that has not been thoroughly investigated yet or keep them in an alternate reality.
     
  8. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Hmm I see your point of the fossils being a big issue. Lets just say for instance that dinosaurs are not dinosaurs and the romans actually had it right. Then the government comes along and says no these are dinosaurs all in an attempt to conceal the truth.
     
  9. AllThingsMagical
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    AllThingsMagical Member

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    Well I think it depends what you want to exist but remain unknown. For example witches, wizards, dwarves, vampires and werewolves for example could all theoretically exist in our world without our knowledge. If say a wizard were to cast a spell before us then our minds would assure us there was a logical explanation for it.

    However if you were thinking along the lines of trolls and dragons then it might be a tad harder to do as they don't resemble enough of humanity to just blend in. I guess the only way I could think of incorporating them in would be to have them inhabit areas that are uninhabitable to humans.

    I think in the end how effectively you could do this would depend on three things:
    1) whether or not you're mythological race looks like humans.
    2) how well they could disguise themselves if they needed to.
    3) If they are intelligent enough to know to hide themselves.

    Anyway hope this helps :)
     
  10. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    Terry Brooks' Running with the Demon series is a great tale that does this. He has magic, demons, and more existing in a contemporary setting, and it's quite believable. Terry's book The Elves of Cintra in his Genesis of Shannara series also reveals an entire race of elves living through contemporary times until the time that the book takes place in, which is a bit in the future.

    A movie that comes to mind that is related to this but not fantasy is Last of the Dogmen. It shows a tribe of Native Americans who remained hidden away in the mountains of Montana until present day, untouched by time, and unknown and unnoticed by the people who lived there.
     
  11. EMSchell2009
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    EMSchell2009 Member

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    Raki, I think you just bit off more than you can chew.
     
  12. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    You are talking to the one person who has read everything Terry Brooks ever wrote. The thing is elves and the bearer's are very easily concealed or mistaken for people. The second thing is most people could not see them and I want them to be able to see them.
     
  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    If you have magic creatures in the modern world, why can't they use their magic to stay hidden? You're the writer, there's plenty of methods by which nonhuman races could remain hidden. You just have to find them. But for inspiration try Simon Green's Man with the Golden Torq series. Terry Brooks Running with the Demon.

    Cheers Greg.
     
  14. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    @EmSchell2009: Ha, maybe.

    @Rassidan: You definitely aren't the one person who has read everything Brooks has written, though it's been a long while since I have read many of these books. If I remember correctly, everyone could see most of the demons (there were several they couldn't see, and the feeders and other such things, like that little twig guy in the trees in Running with the Demon), though they usually didn't know or realize they were seeing a demon. Everyone could see Findo Gask, but they didn't know what he was in Angel Fire East. They just thought he was an old guy, didn't they? They could have seen the woman demon when it was in its bestial form in Knight of the Word had it not been dark and had they been there to see it. And everyone could see a knight of the word, though they didn't know what they were looking at or the deal with his staff. The elves in Elves of the Cintra could be and were mistaken for humans only a few times, very rare, but mostly, they remained secluded in the wilderness of Oregon.

    Anyway, my point is that he did what you are asking, or at least what I think you are asking. Yes, he used elves, which bear a close resemblance to humans, and made certain things invisible to normal, unbelieving folk, but those were just his techniques. Others use similar techniques. Think of contemporary stories with vampires and werewolves, or even Harry Potter. A lot of fantasies exist in the modern world, you just have to develop your technique as to why no one notices it. Perhaps your trolls sprinkle a magical dust behind them everywhere they go and any who see them are drawn to the dust instead of the troll. Really, it's very much possible and your imagination is the only limit.
     
  15. TobiasJames
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    TobiasJames Contributing Member

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    Anthony Horowitz's Power of Five series is a modern fantasy. Also Chris D'Lacey's Last Dragon Chronicles is an example. Terry Pratchett has written numerous titles.

    Even old children's favourites like Roald Dahl's The Witches is set in modern times, or Bridge To Terabithia. And can I add HARRY POTTER in there...?

    So, to answer your question, there are already vast numbers of fantasy stories in contemporary settings, so it is not just "possible", it has been achieved.
     
  16. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Well, think about The Silence in Doctor Who. As soon as you turn around, you forget they were ever there. So that's one way of doing it.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The entire subgenre of Urban Fantasy is based around the idea of such creatures, magics, and the like in the modern world. The Dresden Files, for example. So whether it is possible as a viable form of fantasy story is, I think, fairly evident at this point.
     
  18. LaurenM
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    LaurenM Member

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    I've read some children's books that do it. In Percy Jackson, the Mist bends mortals minds to make them think they are seeing something that they're not. For instance, when Percy attacked the Furies with his sword, everybody thought he was attacking three old ladies with some other type of weapon. Or in Fablehaven, you can't see the magical creatures unless you drink a certain magical creatures milk every day. Otherwise the creatures will just look like butterflies and birds and other animals. See?
     
  19. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    I would sure hope that I am not the only one who has read them all. If memory serves me right the demons used a human form to hide their true form. I also believe that Findo hated his human form but that is irrelevant either way. I see what you mean however by developing a method as tto why the people have not noticed them. That is the tricky part as I do want chimera's to be able to march through Dallas and be unknown to people yet still look like a chimera.

    As for everyone else I understand the books you are suggesting are in the genre and I know that the genre is viable but most of these books the characters go somewhere else and do not stay in this world. The only exception to thse that I am aware of are either the Word and Void series or the Spyderwick Chronicles, don't know if I spelled that right. Yet these both utilize creatures that are not normally visible.

    These are two concepts I am trying to eliminate to see if it is still possible. While I could go with the low population theory I do not want to do this. So the question still remains is it possible to write in this genre without the current gimmicks that seem to be used in the genre.
     
  20. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    The mist sounds very interesting and has actually sparked a few possibilities. If I think of something solid after this I will have to let people know the basis.
     
  21. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Of course. Neal Gaiman's American Gods is an example. So is the Twilight saha, regardless of how you feel about it. Or slipping over to science fiction, Dr. Who's recent story featuring The Silence, a race of creatures you cannot remember the moment you look away from them. And of course, Harry Potter -- Muggles can overlook all manner of things they don't wish to believe.

    I could go on with other examples, but I think the point has been made.
     
  22. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    The Silence sounds very interesting and I thought about using something like this originally. I never heard of American Gods but that too sounds very interesting.
     
  23. jabber-baby-wocky
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    jabber-baby-wocky New Member

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    possible, and quite common
     
  24. Steve89
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    You could do this in Dallas or L.A in a kind of parallel universe. It would be interesting to see a world where these creatures actually do exist within society. This would mean people accept these mythological creatures because they have always been there.

    I think it would be really good if it was not this Dallas or L.A. but another Dallas or L.A.
     
  25. Vaalthurion
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    Vaalthurion Member

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    David Edding in his Belgariad series employed a form of spell on the MC's ginormous sword he carried in the later two books of the series which concealed it's existence from the mundane eye.

    Everyone could see the sword that the MC was wearing, but, due to the spell, rather than acknowledge its existence everyone just sort of "didn't care" or "didn't take notice" that it was actually there, and thus had no memory of it really being there.

    I think maybe the same concept could be employed in your setting as well, where a form of sorcery is at play that prevents everyone in a urban cityscape setting from seeing the mythical creatures - even though they're anywhere and everywhere.
     

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