1. Autumn Grayson says:

    Sounds interesting 🙂 It vaguely reminds me of Disney’s movie Treasure Planet. It takes the plot of Treasure Island and puts it in a scifi/fantasy world where people can sail between planets in large boats. I don’t think it really talked about magic much, if at all. But it’s a good movie. The story world feels a little magical in its own way, and it’s really cool to see how the technology and world building is.

    Donita K Paul’s Dragonkeeper Chronicles is very different from your idea, but she’s a Christian fiction author that kinda combines science with magic. In some ways that’s been a little more of a trend lately. Even if a magic system doesn’t follow science exactly, they still use it in an academic/scientific research kind of way. Fate Zero’s story world does that quite a bit. Waver, for instance, finds Caster’s hideout by taking magic samples from various spots along a river and testing them for magical residue. And there’s many other indications of mages in that world researching and using magic similar to how we would science. Kiritsugu’s father accidentally unleashed a plague of ghoul/zombie/vampire things on their island after experimenting with immortality, for example.

    I tend not to use actual magic in my stories(though some of my chars believe in it). But there are spirits in my stories that can manipulate their environment based on scientific principles.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I know of a bit of combination of magic and science im stories, but I think the trend is to make magic act like science in that it’s predictable and regular and subject to controlled study. As opposed to actually combining the two.

      I personally haven’t ever heard of magic directly manipulating known forces like gravity and electromagnetism within the limitations of what those forces can do. Have you?

      As for Treasure Planet, yeah the Spheres story world would making sailing ships in space happen for reasons other than just-because-we’re-copying-history. The sails would be radically different though and the ships would seem to have to be more like airships than sailing ships…to get enough lift…

      • Autumn Grayson says:

        Yeah, I wasn’t trying to say Treasure Planet was super close to your idea, just that a few elements reminded me of it, and some of the aesthetics could work for someone writing your idea at least.

        Honestly, my long term memory is pretty cruddy, so whether or not I can remember reading certain story elements is pretty hit or miss. It doesn’t help that even if a magic system involves manipulating scientific things like the four scientific forces, the story might not harp on it much, or at the very least other story elements seem more important, which makes the scientific magic part harder to remember. Fate Zero might do a bit of what you’re talking about. Kiritsugu was, in small quantities, able to use magic for Time Alter battle moves(so maybe it could have to do with relativity or spacetime). Not entirely sure if Time Alter was just to speed/slow his own body or if it literally messed with time. It seemed more to control how fast he could move, but even then it could have a scientific component to it, because developing and using that magic could very well require an understanding of biology in order to manipulate it. But then it’s hard to say for sure because even with all the information in that show, there was so much explanation it didn’t have time for.

        But regardless of whether or not a show actually talks about chars using magic to manipulate the scientific forces, there can still be the obvious assumption that that is how their powers work, and maybe they just don’t realize it. Like, if a wizard flies around or can make things levitate, maybe that’s because controlling gravity is part of his powers, whether or not he actually says so.

        Now that I think about it, though, Fullmetal Alchemist actually combines magic and science. Or, you can think of alchemy in that story as being between magic and science. The Law Of Conservation Of Energy (and Equivalent Exchange) are a very big part of that story/plot/magic system. From what I understand there’s a lot of discussion of God and atheism in there too, though I don’t know entirely since I haven’t seen much of that show. Obviously, since it talks about alchemy, it isn’t realistic per say, but it at least tries to combine magic and science, and maybe plays around with/builds a world based on historical views of science.

        Donita’s Dragonkeeper Chronicles seems to try and do what you’re talking about in terms of magic having to work within the confines of scientific laws and what elements and forces can actually do, though you may or may not think it does so well/accurately. I think Brandon Sanderson likes to employ science in his magic systems as well.

        Then again, science is more about research processes, methods and whatnot. Like the scientific process of experimentation and testing and investigation. Gravity itself and the control of it will not be science, and although maybe wizards in a story world have to work within what those forces can actually do, they could presumably figure out how to do so through rudimentary trial and error methods and not science. So if mages in a story world subject their magical research to scientific research processes, technically the story is combining science and magic, even if they sometimes work outside of what gravity and such can do.

        • Travis Perry says:

          Control of gravity by wizards is not science, but using forces identified by science and treating them in a way consistent with science, even if the characters in the story are unaware of it, is what I’m proposing is an original twist. Sure, some people have done similar things. For example, Full Metal Alchemist seems to put magic ideas alongside science and treat both seriously (I’m actually familiar with this manga!) But that’s not quite what I proposed.

          Besides, the magic of forces from real science was just one factor of what I was offering as unusual or uncommon…

          • Kathleen Eavenson says:

            Travis: I was reminded, reading your discussion with Autumn Grayson about magic/science, of Randall Garrett’s old SF stories of Lord Darcy. He goes around solving mysteries along with his ‘sidekick’, Brother Sean (think that’s the right name). Brother Sean is a Catholic monk and a qualified licensed practicing magician, specializing in criminal investigations. (!)

            In this parallel universe, magic IS the science of the world, obeys natural magic laws, and the proper, legal use of magic is overseen by the Church. (There’s been no Reformation in this world!)

            Most of it is in short story form and there are a couple of the collections available on Kindle (no idea about other formats) Public libraries with large SF collections might have copies. Alternatively, some libraries may be able to borrow copies on interlibrary loan from other systems. ILL policies and availability vary widely

            The 3 volumes still in electronic “print” are: Lord Darcy Investigates; Murder and Magic; and Too Many Magicians. I first read them many years ago and was delighted to find that they’re still available.

            [Hope I caught all the typos!]

  2. Leanna says:

    Cool setting, Travis, thanks for sharing. 🙂 I’ve often thought about writing in a science fiction world where liveable planetary bodies are closer together (So that you don’t have to have to have magic speed) but more along the lines of multiple habitable moons around a gas giant.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Back in the old days before probes visited the gas giants, some old sci fi imagined the Galilean moons of Jupiter were habitable (e.g. Stanley Weinbaum)…it’s definitely got potential!

  3. lol, I kinda cheat, I have genies that create portals. ;P Oh, and there are a couple of worlds with stationary portals like in the Wood Between Worlds.

  4. This calls to mind a vaguely like this series about Celestial Isles by Mollie Reeder, a steam punk series where train tracks float in the air connecting the isles.

What do you think?