16.49: Magic and Technology: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Fonda Lee, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Tayler

Magic and technology are tools that we, as writers, use to tell interesting stories, and they’re very, very similar tools. In this episode we’ll examine some ways in which both magical and technological elements can be used in our stories.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson


Come up with one speculative element to add to our world. “Children have night vision.” “Dogs can talk.” Come up with as many aspects of the world that would be different from our own as a result and mark one or two that would be the seed for interesting stories.

David Mogo Godhunter, by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

3 thoughts on “16.49: Magic and Technology: Two Sides of the Same Coin”

  1. This week, the fantastic foursome, Dan, Fonda, Mary Robinette, and Howard (or at least an illusion of him), flipped the worldbuilding coin to look at how magic and technology work in speculative fiction stories. From using knives to free someone or stab someone, through using magic or tech to advance your plot, and into the way your character views the magic or tech, and the ripples of even small changes… heads or tails, magic or tech, you can read all their discussion in the transcript available now in the archives.

  2. If dogs could talk, little Haruki (“Timmy”) Murakami would never have written The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, that wonderful story of a man obsessed with old, dried up wells.

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