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Old 09-16-2019, 11:47 AM   #11
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Magic and Hard SF

Magical energy is still energy, so transforming magical energy into another form of energy does not violate anything (and transmutation would likewise not violate anything).
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:59 AM   #12
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Default Re: Magic and Hard SF

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
Violating laws of conservation is pretty much what magic means. I think only information spells would avoid breaking them.
The problem with the laws of conservation is that they all depend on being in a closed system. Take one aspect of Quantum mechanics is Quantum fluctuation involving particle-antiparticle pairs that appear and disappear. Which is fine until they so close they hit each other producing some energy.

The Law of Mass and Energy Conservation just took it on the chin because you had energy come from nowhere. If you say this is due to the universe not being a closed system than all the other laws of conservation take a dirt nap.

Never mind that one of the Laws in Authentic Thaumaturgy is The Law of Positive Attraction which is summed up as “That which is sent, returns.” ie "Like attracts like; to create a particular reality you must put out energy of a similar sort." This is effectively the The Law of Equivalent Exchange out of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood .
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Last edited by maximara; 09-16-2019 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: Magic and Hard SF

I would think that those studying the brain in any Hard Science world with magic, would simply call magic PSI. Isaac Bonewits declaration that "Magic is folk parapsychology." would rule on the university scene. If magic is unknown to science, I assume most wizards would pass themselves off as new age occultist hucksters.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:48 PM   #14
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I would think that those studying the brain in any Hard Science world with magic, would simply call magic PSI.
Depends on the rules the magic follows and the origin of the study. Plenty of magical theories are rigorous enough to allow scientific study other than the minor problem that they don't actually work.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:15 PM   #15
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I've always wanted to write a fantasy novel about the people who, in the local equivalent of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are working out the laws of magic in the same way the laws of nature were worked out in our world.

"Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night
Newton cast "Fiat Lux", and all was light!"
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Magic and Hard SF

I agree with other posters, we need more information about what Whitewings is hoping to do with this. For instance, if transmuting matter is possible, these star systems would suddenly become the biggest news in the galaxy as everyone rushes to get there and make gold. Unless in your setting making gold is already straightforward, in which case you might have a problem with there not being much left for your magic to do that far-future technology isn't already covering.

ravenfish, that sounds like a very good book.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:59 PM   #17
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I agree with other posters, we need more information about what Whitewings is hoping to do with this. For instance, if transmuting matter is possible, these star systems would suddenly become the biggest news in the galaxy as everyone rushes to get there and make gold. Unless in your setting making gold is already straightforward, in which case you might have a problem with there not being much left for your magic to do that far-future technology isn't already covering.

ravenfish, that sounds like a very good book.
I doubt a TL 12 galaxy would care much for gold other then it being a good conductor for electricity. More over anybody with any sense will quickly realize everybody trying to make gold (or anything regarded as precious) like its going out of style will make that thing worthless.

Never mind that if the hard science means no FTL then it will take so long to get to these systems that it would not be worth it for that reason.

IMHO Isaac Arthur should be the go to youtube channel for hard space scifi.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:48 PM   #18
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I doubt a TL 12 galaxy would care much for gold other then it being a good conductor for electricity. More over anybody with any sense will quickly realize everybody trying to make gold (or anything regarded as precious) like its going out of style will make that thing worthless.
Magic could allow the production of materials that are either impossible or prohibitively expensive (in the latter case, it will allow marked drops to the price of such materials, allowing for much more widespread use - but the first few mages to cash in are going to make out like bandits, at least if they can avoid the actual bandits trying to steal from them). PTUís (polytransuranics) from Schlock Mercenary come to mind - they are necessary for creating the matter->energy conversion plants of the setting, and are useful elsewhere as well, but require such massive energy expenditures they almost require you to already have such plants, and even then itís a slow, expensive process. Magic that lets you make it more easily would be a great boon (the Toughs get something comparable, finding a huge ancient cache of the stuff, and it makes them incomprehensibly wealthy).
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: Magic and Hard SF

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I doubt a TL 12 galaxy would care much for gold .
Just replace "gold" with any material with useful properties. Something being used as energy sources, in the production of energy sources, reactor shielding, crucial parts of computers, construction, production, entertainment or anything else.

Star systems that allow for easier creation of useful substances will be valuable to everyone. Depending on the rarity of these star systems and the people able to utilize whatever force is behind magic, having control of just a single of these systems (and enough people that can utilize magic) could make a faction a major player on a galactic scale.

Note that if Gate spells exist, travel between magic enabled systems would also be a lot easier than between any other system. This would make for some interesting tactical and strategic considerations.

If it was only discovered in a specific system due to the inhabitants of that system, events will likely be unkind to that system and the inhabitants. Every known system will likely be examined as fast as possible, the inhabitants of the original system will likely be thoroughly examined by every other species. If the setting is actually resembling "Hard SF" (with allowance for magic), there will be something to discover and replicate. A lot of the examination will likely be unpleasant for those inhabitants.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:29 PM   #20
AlexanderHowl
 
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One thing to consider would be the quantification of magic. For example, if mages are capable of channeling (Will)^(Magery) kW of magical energy, someone with Will 10 and Magery 0 can channel 1 kW of magical energy while someone with Will 20 and Magery 3 can channel 8 MW of magical energy, giving scientific measures to magic. Of course, energy is cheap in a TL12 society, so it is what a mage can do with that energy that matters.
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