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Old 28th December 2011, 04:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Futuristic Fantasy?

I guess I am asking does it exist? Other than in the 40,000 universe of the gamesworkshop?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any... Oh wait Terry Brooks! But otherewise I can't.

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Old 28th December 2011, 06:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

You have to define your terms. If by "fantasy" you mean sword & sorcery, quests and the like, then "futuristic" may not be a typical combination. Many authors have mixed magic and technology, such as Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, or Heinlein's Glory Road, Waldo and Magic, Inc. The flip-side of Clarke's Law is "any sufficiently repeatable magic is indistinguishable from technology."

However, some might define fantasy as any story involving technologies or phenomena that are completely imaginary, such as FTL warp drives, alternate universes, time travel, etc. The movie Fantastic Voyage even has "fantasy" in its name, despite all the high tech trappings.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers qualify as futuristic fantasy. The subgenre is not a new one.

The Northwest Smith books by C. L. Moore. In fact, I think if you looked at the work of pulp writers in general you would find a fair amount of it.

"Psi" powers is just another word for telepathy and telekinesis, so any books that rely too heavily on that could be called futuristic fantasy. In that case, quite a bit of Andre Norton's "science fiction" fits.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Sword and the chain Joel Rosenberg? fantasy setting but they try to bring the modern world into the fantasy? Not sure, I might be stretching.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Charles Harness: The Paradox Men, The Rose and many others.
Frank Herbert: Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune etc.

Both belong to the sword & blaster school of space opera (the Dune books rule out use of firearms because of the shielding technology forcing a return to sword fights).

P.S. See also the Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels (John Carter of Mars, The Chessmen of Mars etc.) as the grand-daddy of this sub-genre. Both Harness & Burroughs strongly inspired the young Michael Moorcock whose work (e.g. the Hawkmoon fantasies) influenced the W40K setting.

It would be worth looking at Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure quartet: City of the Chasch, Servants of the Wanhk, The Dirdir, The Pnume.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

All of the Star Wars story types are pretty much firmly within Futuristic Fantasy. I've always thought of Dune in a similar vein, in that it was fantastic in nature. Likewise, I would include the John Carter books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, even if he was born in the 19thC.

I could also make an argument that Heinlein's Starship Troopers is, in many ways, a fantasy theme (brave warriors fighting monsters) in a futuristic setting.

Not really futuristic, but aliens and telepathy are at the core of Chocky by John Wyndham.
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Old 28th December 2011, 08:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

I'm reading one now - The Cold Commands by Richard Morgan. It's a sequel to Steel Remains.
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Old 28th December 2011, 09:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

I tend to think of most SF that isn't relatively hard as fantasy... A lot of Dick and le Guin for example.

Glen Cook's Dark War series has magic powered space craft and space exploration alongside atomic weapons and powerful orders of magic users.
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Old 29th December 2011, 01:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

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Originally Posted by Abernovo View Post
All of the Star Wars story types are pretty much firmly within Futuristic Fantasy.

Butbutbut!! They happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
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Old 29th December 2011, 05:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

As Teresa said, a lot of pulp writers did such a combination, from Robert E. Howard (Almuric) to Jack Vance (the Dying Earth tales; The Dragon Masters) and so on. Even Heinlein has done some which at least border on that, such as Glory Road, Waldo, and Magic, Inc. (or several of his short stories, such as "--And He Built a Crooked House--" or "The Man Who Traveled in Elephants"). Not necessarily fantasy in the sense usually meant today (a semi-feudal society; castles; magical creatures such as one encounters in mythology and fairy tales, etc.), but most definitely fantasy for all that.

And then you have writers like Harlan Ellison, or Ray Bradbury, who are usually called "science-fiction writers", but who would be the first to tell you that they are nothing of the kind, they are fantaisistes or fantasy writers because, though they often use tropes also used in science fiction (robots, space ships, alien planets, etc.), they seldom pay any attention to scientific accuracy or probability, using such things for their metaphoric and emotional significance. Fritz Leiber also did a fair amount of this sort of thing; even his "Gonna Roll the Bones" (included in Ellison's anthology Dangerous Visions) is a blending of science fiction, folktale, and outright fantasy. Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, J. G. Ballard, Michael Moorcock, and even Brian W. Aldiss, have all done things which are more in the line of science fantasy, or futuristic fantasies, than either "straight" fantasy or science fiction.

Or, for that matter, those which cross back and forth across that line, such as Anne McCaffrey's Pern, Andre Norton's Witch World stories, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover, etc. Or Joanna Russ's Adventures of Alyx, among others.

In other words, there's one heck of a lot of it out there, depending on what definition one applies to "fantasy"....
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Old 29th December 2011, 01:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

I still gotta think that if the author believes he/she is writing Science Fiction that it is even if the Science is bad or outdated. If the author takes you to a land of swords and dragons but explains it with Science (good or bad) it's still Science Fiction. I would have to reread the Barsoom novels to define them because I don't really remember whether John Carter felt there was an explanation for his travels or not. Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers relied on Science although not well thought out. I would call the Dune series Science Fiction but the first three Star Wars movies relied on the Force which made them Fantasy. (The prequels did a poor job of explaining The Force and making them Science Fiction, poor as they were.)
Someone mentioned Starship Troopers. Heinlein had Science for every part of that. Telekinesis has a scientific definition even if it floats in the questionable range.
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Old 29th December 2011, 04:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Jack Vance: Dying Earth, Planet of Adventure novels, The Last Castle, The Miracle Workers

Leigh Brackett: The Ginger Star( Erik John Star book 1)

Northwest Smith by CL Moore
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Old 29th December 2011, 07:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

I don't think membership of this genre by a work is purely a matter of whether putative scientific principles explain the events of the story or how things work in it. It has more to do with the style and the atmosphere of the writing plus a combination of the archaic (swords, aristocracy, hokey religion) with some advanced technology.

Another work occurs to me as possibly belonging to the sub-genre: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson. It relates the tale of a group of medieval knights & men-at-arms taking to the stars. And Anderson is commonly regarded as a hard SF writer (although he also wrote fantasies such as The Broken Sword).

Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun deserves a mention and M. John Harrison's Viriconium as well.
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Old 29th December 2011, 08:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Pullar View Post
Another work occurs to me as possibly belonging to the sub-genre: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson. It relates the tale of a group of medieval knights & men-at-arms taking to the stars.
That's SF set in the past, not fantasy set in the future. I don't remember the details but, however logistically implausible, other than the usual FTL, I don't recall anything making it purely, strictly fantasy. 'Course, my memory is generally poor.

But this is getting bogged down in the perpetual indecision of "what is genre x?" and the OP never clarified what he meant.

As possible items that might fit, maybe stuff like Kuttner and Moore's Earth's Last Citadel and some of their other science fantasies might qualify, but these were written as being loosely understood to be science fiction - they both wrote outright fantasy[1] and these aren't that.

Also, I think Cherryh's Morgaine saga would qualify if the background was important though the foreground is pretty thoroughly fantasy-like.

Silverberg's Majipoor began as definitely a very thorough blend of fantasy-feel and SF elements but I understand it became more fantasy oriented as it went on (I was satisfied after the original 3, so I'm not sure). That might qualify.

If you treat Goldstein's The Dream Years as a fantasy (a story with time travel about surrealism), some of it is set in the future, at least.

Some of Tanith Lee's "SF" might be better read as futuristic fantasy, such as Day by Night.

Some Zelazny is heavily fantasticated, though usually billed as SF with genuine SF elements.

And, yeah, much of PKD. And some Sturgeon. And if we're including Harness, we have to include much of van Vogt.

Star Wars might be the definitive example, though the Force is probably more plausible than the spaceships.

But it's kind of impossible to cite useful examples without clarification of what we're supposed to be giving examples of.

[1] Or at least Kuttner did - seems like most Moore is always mixed with some vague touch of SF at the least - I think "alternate dimensions" tend to be SF handwavium more than fantasy and I think those even occur in Jirel.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Futuristic Fantasy?

Wow I feel a tad dumb now! But thanks for the tips.
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