Archive for October 31, 2011

Ancient Space Travel

October 31, 2011

Does any story that involves outer space qualify as Science Fiction?  Every time I’ve asked this question, the answer I’ve gotten back has been an overwhelming “yes”… and yet I continue to disagree.

Odysseus, now with Sirens!

Traveling to different worlds certainly isn’t a new idea.  Consider Odysseus’ journey or Gulliver’s Travels as examples.  Or, consider examples from fantasy literature; in Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné the titular character visits other worlds that exist as alternate realities connected either by Gates or by sailing on the ‘Seas of Fate’.  This is exemplary of how most fantasy series treat the topic of aliens and alien settings.  This piggybacked the widespread appeal of mediums like Dungeons and Dragons, particularly their Planescape setting and its whole series of interconnected realities.

Astroarcane’s primary deviation from other fantasy works is that the authors of the universe approach this topic with an armchair-astronomer’s understanding of the universe.  And apparently, that’s all it takes to jump from fantasy to science fiction… at least according to the casual observer.  (This disconnect is why Steph and I refer to Astroarcane as “space fantasy.”)

The idea of a pre-modern society having space travel does not, for me, immediately bring to mind science fiction. I am instead reminded of the Mayan’s weird artwork:

Falling into the jaws of a monster, or flying a spaceship?

Iron Age interplanetary travelers?  Some scholars make very serious claims about such topics.

Heck, Indiana Jones had to deal with these guys, and I don’t think anyone is claiming Indy has gone sci-fi.  If you don’t believe me, re-watch Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and try to convince yourself that the monkey scene isn’t a work of fantasy.


NH Game-a-Thon

October 27, 2011

So this year both Brian and myself will be participating in the NH Game-a-thon to raise money for Child’s Play. I am sure as consummate nerds many of you already know what Child’s Play is, but in the odd case you don’t, it’s a charity  that provides games and toys to sick children in hospitals around the country.

I have set up a “Donate” button here if you would like to sponsor my marathon 24-hr gaming session. Unless of course you don’t like sick kids (how upsetting!)

Earth Magic

October 24, 2011

Magic in the universe of Astroarcane was created and developed for the betterment of humanity. Understanding the Elements that make up the whole leads to a better understanding of how that whole will behave.

I am not sure why those mans are on fire.

In the real world, understanding the parts requires studying both chemistry and molecular biology and then applying that learning to the study of human physiology and medicine.

Wizards don’t study the periodic table; instead they study the classical elements (water, fire, earth and air) and their interactions.  Instead of 100 elements and their limitless combinations, only four elements are considered; and how their virtues and properties influence each other.

Hooray for science!

Whoa, whoa, slow down Brian! Where are you going with this?

So, I bring all this up, because it turns out some modern scientists talk about medicine like a Wizard.

Your local Novum Chirurgeon would probably make similar recommendations.  Keep your elements balanced by maintaining proper exposure to each pure element.  Wear some lodestones on your wrists to draw out excess the Earth mana stiffening your joints.

It would seem Astroarcane magic is closer to science than I expected… either that, or some scientists are a little too close to magic.