Welcome to my guide on how to write technobabble! Every post will start with one letter of the alphabet, from A to Z, and cover tips and ideas for all you writers of sci-fi. Whether you’re writing about near-future science fiction, far-flung alien worlds, or historical steampunk adventures filled with advanced technology that never was – these posts are designed to help you write convincing and unique tech for your story!
M is for Magic
Magic in a science-fiction story? Why not? Numerous sci-fi sub-genres can be just as much fantasy as fictionalized science: steampunk, space fantasy, and superhero stories often utilize as much magic as they do technology.
You’ve probably heard the quote, from sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke, I believe: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The smart phone in your pocket would seem like magic to someone even 50 years ago. The electric lights that we’ve taken for granted for a century or so now, would seem like magic to someone from the 14th century.
This doesn’t mean that all of your fantastic tech has to have an aura of mysticism or mystery about it. It does mean, however, that if you want to take that route and have the supernatural rule your tech world, it’s okay.
I wrote a post some time ago about magic-based science fiction versus science-based fantasy. Because I’m feeling a bit lazy, and because the original post I wrote is quite good, if I do say so myself, I’m just going to refer you over to that post to read my take on the use of magic in sci-fi.
Have fun as your write your sci-fi, and if some magic spells find their way into your technobabble, that’s okay!