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science-based fantasy

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WolfFan

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Sep 18, 2023, 6:38:44 PM9/18/23
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So I was re-reading Asimov recently, and one of the stories was Pate de Foie
Gras, about the goose that laid the golden egg. This is a special goose:
it’s a nuclear reactor. It converts oxygen-18 to iron-56 to gold-197. As
gold is a heavy metal and toxic, it gets rid of the gold as plating in its
eggs. Which are infertile, thanks to the gold. There’s a lot more
sciency-style detail about the experiments which determine how it does this.

Poul Anderson once had a fantasy involving all kinds of magical creatures and
all kinds of magical effects, such as certain creatures turning to stone on
being exposed to sunlight... and inflicting a curse on any who plunder their
stoney bodies. Obviously, if carbon is transmuted to silicon, it’ll
probably be a _radioactive_ isotope of silicon... Similar sciency-stuff for
other things.

And Randall Garret perpetuated a story in which he alleges that the original
Thor was a time-traveller with a big handgun. Yeah, there were frost giants,
who were really naughty. Yeah, “It flew from his hand! Smote them! Crushed
them! And returned!"

And David Brin has Thor meet Captain America, but not the way most think. And
Loki’s a good guy.

Any more candidates?

Robert Woodward

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Sep 19, 2023, 1:01:06 AM9/19/23
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In article <0001HW.2AB908E800...@news.supernews.com>,
Do Rosemary Kirstein's _The Steerswoman_ and sequels qualify? There are
people who are referred to as wizards and monsters such as dragons and
basilisks, but it all Clarke's Third Law fakery. Also "demons" showed up
in a sequel, but they were an alien species.

--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward robe...@drizzle.com

Ted Nolan <tednolan>

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Sep 19, 2023, 1:32:11 AM9/19/23
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In article <robertaw-01BBDB...@news.individual.net>,
And still nothing new, dang it!
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..

Default User

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Sep 20, 2023, 3:08:59 AM9/20/23
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WolfFan wrote:

>Any more candidates?

A modern example is the Innkeeper Chronicles series from "Ilona
Andrews" (a husband/wife duo). It starts out seeming like an urban
fantasy. Dina is the keeper of a magic Inn, where she travels through
portals the marketplace with many strange creatures. A group of
Vampires is expected for stay. And she detects that a Werewolf has
moved into the neighborhood.

But it turns out it's all supposed to be science fiction. The Inn is a
living being that's psychially linked with Dina. The Vampires are
humanoid warrious with fangs, from distant worlds, not undead
bloodsuckers. The Werewolf is the descendent of bioengineered soldiers
from yet another world.

Now, the science is pretty soft, especially the biology (her sister has
baby with a Vampire) and this would I think fall in the "science
fantasy" category.


Brian

Michael F. Stemper

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Sep 20, 2023, 8:58:25 AM9/20/23
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On 18/09/2023 17.38, WolfFan wrote:
> So I was re-reading Asimov recently, and one of the stories was Pate de Foie
> Gras, about the goose that laid the golden egg. This is a special goose:
> it’s a nuclear reactor. It converts oxygen-18 to iron-56 to gold-197. As


> Any more candidates?

Would Zelazny's _Lord of Light_ fit into this category? It has what seem to
be Hindu (or at least Indian) gods who turn out to just be users of sufficiently
advanced technology.

--
Michael F. Stemper
This post contains greater than 95% post-consumer bytes by weight.

Garrett Wollman

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Sep 20, 2023, 7:04:27 PM9/20/23
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[mucho snippage]
>Any more candidates?

One of the major complaints (or high points, if you are In The Know)
about Graydon Saunders' Commonweal series is the frequent reference to
-- an expectation that the readers will be able to make sense of --
various aspects of science, engineering, and advanced mathematics,
whether it be algebraic topology or general relativity or geology. Or
the design constraints for canals and bridges, or railguns.

Some people like this. Some critics are bored or even disoriented by
it. It's not ever entirely clear what material constraints from the
real world (like, say, conservation laws) should be read into
secondary world -- I think of it as the author making a wink and a nod
at the presumably knowing reader.

Another, much older example in this genre would be Julian May's Saga
of Pliocene Exile and Galactic Milieu series -- basically an exercise
in "What if... Teilhard de Chardin but also Unified Field Theory, with
aliens and superluminal intergalactic travel?" (But May was much more
of a plotter than Saunders seems inclined to be, and wasn't trying to
make a point other than to put sciencey and folklorey stuff in there
for reviewers to find lest they make it up on their own.)

-GAWollman

--
Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can,
wol...@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is
Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together."
my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015)

Lynn McGuire

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Sep 21, 2023, 11:45:34 PM9/21/23
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No more softer than the Liadens having babies with Terrans. Liadens are
from another Universe, not just another planet. Of course, there is the
Jurassic Park argument, biology will find a way.

Lynn

Paul S Person

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Sep 22, 2023, 11:29:34 AM9/22/23
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I don't see that being from another Universe, as such, matters.

Those who believe that the Universe is fully-determined or entirely
mechanistic, for example, would, it seems to me, have to agree that,
if two Universes had the exact same physics and the exact same
starting conditions, then they would progress /identically/ in every
way, simply because no alternatives exist. So, if the Liadans came
from the Earth of the alternate Universe, then they and Terrans would
be -- the same species. With the same history, the same languages, the
same cultures.
--
"Here lies the Tuscan poet Aretino,
Who evil spoke of everyone but God,
Giving as his excuse, 'I never knew him.'"

Ted Nolan <tednolan>

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Sep 22, 2023, 11:34:11 AM9/22/23
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In article <egcrgidcmrrkqjtf3...@4ax.com>,
That's not the way the Liaden old universe worked. For instance, the
value of Pi was not the same, setting aside a completely different set
of stars & planets.

Dimensional Traveler

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Sep 22, 2023, 3:03:59 PM9/22/23
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And both developing and using the ability to travel to the other
universe at the same time....

--
buy them buy them buy them buy them buy them buy them buy them buy them
buy them buy them

I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.

Default User

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Sep 22, 2023, 8:06:07 PM9/22/23
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Lynn McGuire wrote:

>On 9/20/2023 2:08 AM, Default User wrote:

>>Now, the science is pretty soft, especially the biology (her sister
>>has baby with a Vampire) and this would I think fall in the "science
>>fantasy" category.


>No more softer than the Liadens having babies with Terrans. Liadens
>are from another Universe, not just another planet. Of course, there
>is the Jurassic Park argument, biology will find a way.

Yes, pretty much any similar cross-fertilization is bad science.


Brian

Paul S Person

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Sep 23, 2023, 12:04:23 PM9/23/23
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On 22 Sep 2023 15:34:08 GMT, t...@loft.tnolan.com (Ted Nolan
Well, then interbreeding might indeed be a problem, depending on how
different they were from each other.

Paul S Person

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Sep 23, 2023, 12:08:38 PM9/23/23
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Doing everything in lock-step.

Imagine an entire multiverse of individual universes in lock-step.

Rather boring, wouldn't you say? Not to mention superfluous.

Universes that have choices, that are at best /mostly/ deterministic
or mechanical, which might indeed differentiate, would be much more
interesting.
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