Why I Wrote It: Magic, Technology, and Worldbuilding

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This was the second book in my “Way WIth Worlds” Minibooks. Why I wrote it is twofold.

On the larger level, this was me wanting to try out writing a series of focused worldbuilding books. I’d decided to work on six at first to try it out, originally as tie-ins to my Way With Worlds books. Later, as I’ve noted before, I found these were valid on their own and began writing them regularly.

But that’s the general thing. Let’s talk why I focused on Magic and Technology – together.

Because for your worldbuilding magic and technology are the same thing. I’ve said it many times, and I gave myself an entire book to talk about it. So it was kind of cathartic.

See, Magic and Technology are how characters work with and change the world. Rituals and coding, spell gestures and wiring, are all just “I want to do X so Y happens.” For the sake of worldbuilding, they’re almost always the same.

This is important because we so often focus on the differences between magic and technology. This leads us down the path of focusing on the differences between them. We ask what the magic system is like. We ask how probable the technology is in our world.

But these differences are only a small percentage of all the questions we should ask bout a world.

How does this work? What is the impact? Who teaches it? What is the effect? Once we decide on a magic or technology, the major worldbuilding questions dwarf the questions of “how many necromancers can dance on the head of a hard drive.”

Putting this in book form felt great. Here’s the hard questions to ask about magic or technology. Here’s the social impacts to think about. Here’s all these questions without getting lost in differences.

If I hadn’t done the Way With Worlds series, this probably would have come back as another work, perhaps a larger book. Instead it got to be part of the larger picture.

This will always have a special place for me, because of this.

And that’s why I wrote it.

Steven Savage