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Doing in the Wizard and the Scientist:

 1 GAP, Mon, 19th Dec '11 11:35:55 AM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Formerly G.G.
You know I know that in our physical world , the universe has physical laws that dictate that X shouldn't happen because of X law. What kind of irritates me is that in fantasy settings, fans cannot accept its just magic and need an explanation for everything that occurs in the story. Same goes for the science fiction or any science trope, maybe gravity may not work that way or any other physical law but I like the ideas the represent or the stories themes. I forgot the name of that sliding scale trope that pertains to this but of these bother me due to the fact that the wizard tropes needs explanation and the science tropes don't use real science at all. Why does everyone want to do in the Wizard and the Scientist?

edited 19th Dec '11 11:57:05 AM by GAP

"I can't write about myself in my own newspaper. It would have to be done by some third party. "
 2 Ralph Crown, Mon, 19th Dec '11 12:07:04 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
The point is not that everything happen in accordance with our known laws of physics, but that everything happen in accordance with some internally consistent system of magic and/or science. If you wave away any sort of rational basis for why things happen in your story, then you're implying that you can do whatever you want for the sake of your story. Some readers don't like that.
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 3 USAF713, Mon, 19th Dec '11 12:15:40 PM from the United States
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I personally prefer to mix magic and science (when there is magic available) for the desired effects, so I never bother with this kind of thing.

I tend to do the wizard in when doing more science-y science fiction, but I've never done the scientists in, as far as I can remember...
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 4 nrjxll, Mon, 19th Dec '11 12:44:55 PM Relationship Status: Not war
I find doing in the wizard really irritating because the "explanation" is usually pseudoscientific technobabble that has just as much basis in actual science as "it's magic" does, and is a lot more annoying to read. Not every case of it is like this, but enough are that it gives the trope a bad taste for me.

I've never done in the scientist, and I can't remember reading many works that did either.

 5 Aniventerie, Mon, 19th Dec '11 12:49:01 PM from Imagination World
Detective Extroadinaire
As Ralph said, as long as your speculations form a consistent and definable theory I (and most other readers) will be happy. This also means I'm not a big fan of Phlebotinum, Timey-Wimey Ball, and other tropes that rely on the internal rules remaining unexplained. This is also partly because I'm a nerd and actually like listening to drawn out explanations of why and how magic/cloning/telepathy/time travel works. tongue

edited 19th Dec '11 12:49:31 PM by Aniventerie

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Don't worry about it too much. The fans that complain about that sort of thing are a tiny minority. It's more about internal consistency, not some sort of watertight flawless worldbuilding. If you make readers imagine that there's more to it and want to know more than there really is, then you're doing your job right, but it doesn't mean you're obligated to actually put in all the detail that they demand.
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Personally, what bugs me is works using serious scientific explanations that turn out to be wrong, when it would have been easier to either use a less serious one or simply not explain it at all. Star Trek, as an example, is fine because it's quite clear that Treknobabble is not supposed to reflect anything approaching actual science. Meanwhile The Core (yeah, shooting fish in a barreltongue) is completely serious and completely wrong and if it weren't other So Bad, It's Good, that'd be annoying.
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Well, I don't mind the explanation of 'it's magic, period' so long as you do that throughout the work, and magic itself is this arcane force that no one really understands or can control much. It's when people start out explaining things about magic in their work and then try to pull some shit on me like 'it doesn't make sense because it was magic!' that it pisses me off. You can't have it both ways. Either magic is something understood and consistent or it isn't. You can't act as if it has laws in most of the book and then negate that with an Ass Pull of a climax on the basis that 'actually no, it doesn't have rules, it's magic, it can do anything!'.

edited 19th Dec '11 7:15:13 PM by NoirGrimoir

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 9 feotakahari, Mon, 19th Dec '11 11:30:37 PM from Looking out at the city
Fuzzy Orange Doomsayer
Well, I don't mind the explanation of 'it's magic, period' so long as you do that throughout the work, and magic itself is this arcane force that no one really understands or can control much.

If I may differ, it does bug me when magic can do exactly what the author wants it to do, exactly when the author wants it to be done, and will never do it again if the author doesn't want it to be done again. (This is one of the reasons I dislike the writings of Diana Wynne Jones.)

edited 19th Dec '11 11:31:29 PM by feotakahari

That's Feo . . . He's a disgusting, mysoginistic, paedophilic asshat who moonlights as a shitty writer—Something Awful
 10 Noir Grimoir, Mon, 19th Dec '11 11:32:33 PM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
I was thinking more along the lines of dreamy stuff like Robin McKinley or Patricia A. McKillip.

edited 19th Dec '11 11:32:40 PM by NoirGrimoir

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 11 Muramasan 13, Tue, 20th Dec '11 5:43:21 AM Relationship Status: Not war
It bugs me when people take "scientific" to mean "explainable by currently understood phenomena", rather than "producing repeatable, analyzable results". All but the softest magic is the second; only doing in the wizard is both.

For instance, if Gandalf casts spell A under the exact, precisely same physical circumstances B a hundred times, if it has the same effect each time, it's scientific, if not explainable.

edited 20th Dec '11 5:45:32 AM by Muramasan13

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 12 GAP, Tue, 20th Dec '11 10:10:23 AM Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, she is imaginary
Formerly G.G.
[up] I too make that very same mistake.
"I can't write about myself in my own newspaper. It would have to be done by some third party. "
 13 Noir Grimoir, Tue, 20th Dec '11 3:46:59 PM from San Diego, CA
Rabid Fujoshi
Science = applying the scientific method.
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 14 Muramasan 13, Tue, 20th Dec '11 8:37:08 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Precisely. Nice brevity.
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Total posts: 14
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