Today I’m hosting some other authors to talk about their thoughts on a topic related to our shared anthology!
Untethered Authors Speculate on the Future of Contemporary Fantasy Fiction in Light of Rapid Changes in Technology
Contemporary fantasy fiction changes with the times. The Dresden Files has a very different flavor, for instance, than Dracula. With technology moving along so quickly, is any contemporary fantasy story destined to become a science fiction story? Or maybe just obsolete?
Certainly not! In honor of the book release for Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, four authors discuss their vision of contemporary fantasy’s future.
H.M. Jones: I think contemporary fantasy, now, often thrusts people into situations where they have to make do without technology. Authors often avoid it altogether, and it works for their stories. I think that’s done for a reason. Technology goes in and out of popularity. You don’t want to date your stories, sometimes. At the same time, Back to the Future is dated and silly and people still love it. I think people will integrate technology into their contemporary fantasy more often. I see it happening all the time, now. Sci-fi and Fantasy are growing closer together as we become more dependent on tech. It’s producing great stories.
Jeremiah Reinmiller: Arthur C. Clarke once famously said that, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In recent years we’ve also seen some pretty crazy leaps forward in tech. Maybe not in the “cool stuff” predicted in the past (jet packs, and laser guns) but we’ve got super computers in our pockets, connected wirelessly to AIs that can live translate audio and video into new languages. That’s pretty unbelievable. I think this means that anything we can dream up as fantasy or sci-fi right now, will quickly get shoved into non-fiction. That’s not a problem, but it is really cool.
Rhiannon Held: The first wave of solutions seems to have mostly boiled down to “magic causes technology to go haywire! My protagonist thus uses very little technology!” That’s fine, but I think we’ve done it often enough that it’s heading toward overdone. Personally, I find that it helps to avoid having the plot revolve around the technology. If it’s vital to your plot that the hero is in ignorance of an important fact for long enough for him to make a stupid mistake, because his phone had no bars, and then the book is published after cheap, reliable satellite communication reaches all but the deepest caves, the plot falls apart. If, however, the hero checks in with his mom to tell her he survived the climax, it doesn’t really matter if he’s doing it on ancient 4G, or spiffy new satellite. I’d bet contemporary fantasy learns to consistently make sure the magic, not the technological glitch, drives the climax.
Either that, or some of it will go all the way and embrace the technology of the moment, so even after that moment, it will provide a window into how that technology affected our lives! 😉
A. Moritz: I actually don’t think the feel of fantasy will change much; its basic precepts have always been ‘What if…?’ and no matter where technology goes, there will always be more questions. On top of that, you can add magic to ANYTHING, and it will open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Want to see what these authors did with the concept of a magic iPhone? Pick up your copy of Untethered: a Magic iPhone Anthology in ebook or trade paperback today. Find it at Amazon.com, Nook, or wherever you prefer to grab your books.
Extra Interest: Jon Lasser shares “I’ve got an iPhone 6, and will be upgrading to the 7 Plus just as soon as it shows up! What’s really impressed me about smartphones has been the progress of the camera, and that’s what my story touches on.”