Magic is better than bad science

Seriously, don’t use science if magic would be more believable.

I’ve been reading and watching and playing more stuff, and I really got to say: some of them take basic science and throw it out the window. At this point I’m on the verge of yelling at some shows and saying: stop trying to “explain” it away in ways that don’t make sense, tell the audience that in this particular fictional universe magic exists, whether it’s a universal ether or some crazy life-force, and be done with it.

Seriously. In fact, a simple explanation of: this fictional universe has an additional fundamental force, and the creatures/people that inhabit this universe are able to interact with it naturally, it’s called magic – is far better than some silly science that tries to be as accurate as possible, but completely fails.

There’s even a certain show/book that glosses over the role of governments making sure electronics work correctly, vast teams of programmers that can either make a function or find out how to change it, and sticks “something” that makes microwaves or “something similar” into a lightweight helmet, that’d only activate after a couple hours, when it’s likely the batteries don’t have enough charge, and will fry a brain. Oh wait, ALL of those are in Sword Art Online. Two years trapped in a game world, and not a single server crash (HAH), a team of programmers to change the technology, or even barring those (assuming the author could explain those away… somehow, and I’ll accept many for those, but not the final) the simple use of an EMP to disable the functionality of the brain-frying helmets?


It’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of stories that seem to start off with good principles and an interesting plot, and then flounder due to some haphazard explanation. The same author writes both Accel World and Sword Art Online. SAO has a great premise, but then the explanation for why everyone is trapped in SAO is…. terrible. Awful. He also makes a really annoying number of things happen in Accel World, such as easy to get viruses from pictures – seriously? Technology is good enough to give people virtual overlays and HUDs, but the technology doesn’t run in sandboxes, the visuals can be hacked by external attackers, sounds like TERRIBLE QUALITY ASSURANCE and lack of government oversight right there… or just an author writing an interesting story but badly screwing up the explanations. Of course, considering they have technology that allows them instant recording, yet the main character doesn’t even use it when someone is confessing how they are going to blackmail him is just… WHY DIDN’T HE JUST RECORD THE CONVERSATION!?!? Especially when a later episode reinforces the ability.

I guess I’ve given one author a hard time. However, I still enjoy the rest of the story, just not the explanations given or the lack of technological prowess in technological societies. It’s still better than some things I’ve seen which would still be better off using magic than bad science.

I don’t like the thought of using the word “magic,” it has bad connotations in reality. However, for fiction, you can add additional forces to the universe the fiction resides in. Just don’t try to ground it in reality with bad science.

About James Ashman

I write books of the fantasy, heroic, slice-of-life, and/or adventure types. So far. By choice, I self-publish my works. I'm an author who loves fantastic stories. I have a penchant for foreign works, and don't hesitate to learn about something new. I've grown up in the technology generation, watching that world change faster each year. Author-specific email:
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