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  1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is this worthy of the title "futuristic?"

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by GuardianWynn, Jul 11, 2015.

    Okay. A friend of mine hates me for this. lol. So I wanted a more objective opinion.

    When I created this universe I had a doozy of a time deciding between magic and tech. I ultimately decided since I like both I would use both.

    My set up is that years in the future humans evolve a connection to the elements. So kind of mutant magic. Yet it is years in the future (200 ish) so tech is better.

    Here is the thing. Tech is not that much better. No flying cars. Jet packs do exist but are not considered safe enough for non military release. Laser weapons exist. Again not considered good enough.

    Most of the tech moments come from things just doing what they do now. Just better.

    I did this for two reasons.
    1. One I am not a sci-fi junkie. I would probably fail if I went deep into tech.
    2. I think it is a logical conclusion. I remember movies like back to the future and well flying cars by 2015! lol. In general it seems to be a common theme that futuristic media takes an exagerated take on the future.

    I kind of like the idea of spitting in the face of that. Saying most advances unless from a ground breaking moment tend to be improvements. I do use some higher elements of tech too I just claim that for the most part it is nt yet good enough for standard use or replacement.

    Examples. One girl is a tech warrior. So she has all the risky tech weapons. Including a plasma knive. The draw back? The knive burns it own circuits out. So it works for about 15 seconds. lol She also has a laser rifle but comments on how it is too heavy to carry around standard. The battery pack being massive.

    Is this a neat tech or futurist take? Or does this take get called something else?

    Thanks for the advice
     
  2. mad_hatter
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    mad_hatter Active Member

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    Hmmm... I'm not too sure how to answer your question directly.

    I do want to say though, I feel you are correct to question your own logic. This 'tech warrior' - why is she bothering with these things that don't work or are unsuitable for her use? Surely she'd know this, so wouldn't even bother carrying them; she'd just stick with the stuff she knows works. If she needed her 'plasma knife' and it burns out (and she knew full well that it would), isn't she just setting herself up for a quick death..?

    As for the term "futuristic"; I'd say that something like a laser weapon could be described as such, but I'd imagine, in the world that you describe, their existence wouldn't be particularly common knowledge, as they don't really work yet, meaning that there wouldn't be too many people to consider them futuristic, kind-of making the use of the term void.

    I'm sure that's of no help whatsoever! :)
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anyone who takes the time to read my randomness and try to help is of value :D. If you can anwser the main question or not.

    To anwser your question on the logic of the tech warrior.
    She is non magical. So she can't fight on the level of magical fighters without something. In her case Tech. She actually also uses it to brilliant effect. The point here is not everyone uses it as well as her because most people have magic and most non magic people don't fight. So she has learned to turn the weaknesses of tech to strengths at least for her. Like with the knife. She doesn't use it often it is her final strike. And she often hides a laser rifles n a place of use. As example.
     
  4. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    I've read plenty of "futuristic dystopian" stuff that actually has a loss of technology. Mark Lawrence's Thorns trilogy has a really interesting mix of sword play and among the ruins of modern cities with much of modern technology being lost in a holocust which occurred thousands of years before the events of the series. I would be cautious about using tech without picking somebody's brain about it though. Truth is, there's a lot of tech out there that the general public don't know much about simply because it is very expensive to produce or can be unreliable. There are a lot of compact, light power sources at present. Speaking to combat solders etc. many of them will choose low tech, reliable weaponry over high tech. A big rock can have an advantage over a firearm that jams. My husband is a tech head and is used to me asking him odd questions. This morning I was picking his brain about a repeat shooting crossbow. Your concept sounds very interesting and your tech fighter very resourceful though.
     
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  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Lol. Point. It is in the future. But reminds me of a few things.
    Like someone said star wars is set in the past but it is still called futuristic because of the space ships and plasma swords right?

    Yeah. It would be nice to have a tech friend to bounce ideas off of. lol. Closest I have is my friend mentioned above that loves sci-fi and thinks my current concept is worthless. lol.

    My girl is indeed resourceful. :D Thanks.
     
  6. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Sounds like it's twenty minutes into the future. I probably wouldn't call it futuristic myself, but I'd say it's not in inaccurate label.
     
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  7. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Some people can get very attached to their definitions of genre :) We need to remind them that the genre is there to describe the story, not the other way around ;) You can always combine genre descriptions. I was reading a fantastic futuristic dystopian western last night. I'd call yours a futuristic fantasy, but I remember in uni we had a tutorial where we were challenged to draw our idealised visions of the world in 20 years, my classmates all had flying cars etc. I had everyone growing food on the nature strips and wind turbines and solar panels everywhere - so clearly I'm a little different.
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why am I surprised that there is a trope for that. Lol
     
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  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    :D

    Yeah. This world is my version of that question. My very detailed world. lol. Funny enough people keep calling it a dystopia.

    Now I have the strong desire to open a PM with you and gush the idea of my world. I am gathering the feeling you might like it or like hearing it.

    Am I correct? Sorry if I am inccorect. lol
     
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  10. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    It sounds fantastic :) I need to put the computer away soon for date night with husband but feel free to gush in the meantime :D
     
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  11. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    Oh, I do have no idea how to PM on here though as I've been on this forum for one afternoon!
     
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  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I got ya covered. I sent you one. It should appear next to your alerts. :D

    In that case welcome to the forum and it is nice to meet you. :)
     
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  13. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Sounds more like Science Fantasy than Science Fiction.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If your world building is interesting and well written, your readers will forgive your predictions. But if you go too far into the future you might bump up against some criticism if the world is little changed.

    Flying cars and jet packs may never happen. You can forego them if they don't fit your story. I've chosen to use a hybrid, it takes more fuel to fly and fuel tank size is an issue so flying is very expensive, most people roll down the highways in wheeled vehicles and some flying vehicles do both so they can get places with no roads but save fuel where highways exist.

    I wouldn't worry at all about a story sounding "futuristic" or not. Concentrate more on making your world interesting.
     
  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It sounds to me as if technology has stalled in your world. We've gone from horses to jets and halfhearted space travel in the past 200 years--for your world to have little change feels like a stall.

    But that could be deliberate--maybe the magic, for example, caused a stall in technical development?
     
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  16. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is kind of true. Magic did become the focus of a lot of people. Technology still gets love though. Rather though I think for technology to move from one stage to another requires a leap. Something to happen. A giant break through. I am saying that even in two hundred years no one has really made that breakthrough. So technology is in the same class as ours just better more or less. Computers work better. Cars work better. Tech works better but still works the same. And that things they have that we don't are not considered good enough for public release.
     
  17. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I can't help it; I think of just about everything in terms of humour. With that in mind...

    Her being saddled with futuristic, yet not-so-useful weapons (the weight of the gun, the disposable plasma knife) makes me think of the military and how soldiers (sailors, cops, whatever) gripe about how stupid decisions/situations/gear-choices can be when the higher-ups don't understand what it's like to be in the thick of it. So, on that level, it works because it connects to how people see the world today. Even a lot of civilians don't agree with how any city/state/province/country is run. As for being futuristic, all the tech has to be is: more advanced than it is now and I think you have a good start on that.

    I think I missed something, though. Where does the magic come in?
     
  18. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my universe the world has kind of a magical revolution to which people began developing magic. So it is 200 years later it is quite well developed by this point.
    Figured people might be like "Magic! It is fantasy!" but others are like "Plasma knife! It is Sci-Fi!" and I have no idea who is right. lol
     
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  19. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    You could possibly do a major war or apocalypse of types, after which humanity finds out about magic more and focuses more on magic than forwarding their own technology, so while some scientists are working on making tech weapons like laser rifles and such other "scientists"/Wizards are focused on their new found powers. Also something to think about is "Why does the technology not work?", because while something may not be as practical as using powers (Like the laser guns) it doesn't mean the company who created it would just through an untested crap weapon out for sale. You'd need to figure out a way for it to work properly but the technology not to be all there to make it efficient. Like you said with the knife that burns itself out. Think of this: What if the company knew this but didn't know how to fix it so instead of trying they simply worked their way around it. Ex: Say the knife has a chip in it's handle that allows it to electify but it burns out the circuits so the company made the circuit removable so you can slide another one into the knife for another minute of eletricity.

    Another thought is making the technology stolen or black market, that's how a LOT of stuff works in the book I am working on. The rich completely ignore the poor now so the poor have people who salvage old technology and recreate tech stolen from the rich so everything they have whilst useful in their own ways is all kind of junky.
     
  20. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh yeah they don't have untested crap on the market.

    Actually different areas have different levels of tech. Because different nations focus more on magic or tech.

    The idea is that things like plasma knives are not for sale to the public because they aren't considered ready. Even with the replacable circuit idea.

    The tech character I was talking about wants to be an active fighter and has no magic. There fix was taking many ideas like this and using them to the best of there ability.

    While a tech nation is more doing probably one to do ideas.
    1. Trying to improve the tech
    2. Creating new tech or new plans for the tech. By which I mean. If a laser gun is too heavy to carry. They repurpose it as a building defense turret.

    The particular character is unique in the sense they are trying to force tech to fit there needs(mobily soldier) even if the tech isn't fitted for that.

    And magic does lead to a war but most of my stories take place not in the war but after. Much after. So that the dust has settled and things are peaceful again.

    Just realized I got side tracked I was originally thinking about labels and Genre since I suck at it. Because some think this is sci-fi. Others think it is fantasy. I have no clue which is right.
     
  21. AspiringNovelist
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    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

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    I kind of like the idea of a "hero" running around with a ineffective weapon. But you're mixing a lot of genres -- you need a concise reason why the hero is doing this, right? For example: even in your world a 30odd6 still exists, and a marksman would take you out in a minute in Texas earth.

    So, let's backtrack and come up with environments where your character really fits. Immediately, distant planets come to mind. There would be no 30Oddsixes there. So, you're character(s) are on a distant planet and have access to only the most ill-fit of weapons -- why?

    Did the political class not want them to succeed? If so why?

    What happens if they succeed?

    I think your story is a good starting point, but I "also" think you're working just from an "initial" idea without an end-to-the-means. You should focus on the end of the story, then that will solidify your starting points and way points along the story.

    Good luck,
     
  22. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL
    Sorry. This thread has really gotten off rail. Which isn't bad. I love discussion. :D Now I want to show you my tech girl. I have a picture of her. :)

    The mixing of Genre was the topic I was trying to address here. Being that it has elements of Fantasy(magic) and Scifi(Laser weapons) and I was wondering. When someone asked me what genre my stuff is. What do I say? Hense the title. I figured maybe my stuff not being super futuristic prevented it from really deserving to be called scifi.

    What do you think?

    Oh and what is a 30 odd 6?
     
  23. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    For the sake of Genre (which I personally never really focus on, I'm either writing in the future, past, or present but not focusing on sci fi or sci fa or any of those) I would personally consider it to be Science Fantasy. Where it is in the future or in a more sophisticated society but still focuses on magic and the unknown.

    And as for the story: I think you should (since you already know a lot about your universe) focus on expanding things in your universe and figuring out why things are the way they are. A friend of mine once said that 'Why' is a writers most useful tool. Once more of the universe is there writing characters in that universe will be a lot easier (at least from my experience).
     
  24. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    yeah. I didn't know they had a science fantasy genre lol. Guess I am not the only one to run into this problem.

    Yeah I agree. At the moment I think my characters are solid or I had no problems with them that solving worlding building aspects would solve.

    Funny enough much of my world building had the reverse concept. I created characters with precise concepts and then I wondered what the world around them had to be like in order to do that.
     
  25. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah I'm pretty sure Star Wars is considered Science Fantasy due to the Force and things of the like.

    And my world building and character building all meld together. I build a world of awesomeness in my eyes and have all these events and groups and end up creating a character who belongs to a certain group which ends up recreating the entire group. Which is how a group of thieves and black merchant dealers and fences turned into a group who fight to make the Terran part of space an equal place for both the rich and the poor.
     
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