170 – Technology in Fantasy

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, we’re discussing how technology functions, or doesn’t function, in a fantasy setting. Of course, we get into Harry Potter first, because it’s absolutely critical to know what kind of water-management system Hogwarts has. But it’s not all about the Wizarding World, we promise! We also discuss how powerful magic should be in order to compete with technology and the implications of automation. Plus, a thrilling discussion about cranks and their many uses!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Harry Potter

The Chamber of Secrets

Hogwarts Lake

Moaning Myrtle



Dresden Files




The Great Filter


Engineering in the Ancient World


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  1. Xandar The Zenon

    I had to laugh when you mentioned a system with few implications then said Mistborn. In the second “era” of novels in that series it is revealed there is an entire group of people whose industrialization of certain magics enables their survival. And also because the author is planning to use that setting for a space opera enabled by the magics.

  2. Evil Genius

    In “Legend of Korra,” it’s just a numbers game. They say 1% of earthbenders can metalbend, it’s reasonable to assume that since lightning is the equivalent advanced technique of firebending, say 1% of firebenders can use lightning. Since the population of republic city is so much larger (since there is easy transport with trains) it’s reasonable there’s a few dozen lightning benders working in the power plant.

    Earth humans went from the Wright brothers’ plane that glided for about 6 seconds to space flight in 60 years. The jump made on Korra from primitive technology to… radio in the same amount of time doesn’t really strain disbelief. Technological innovation is exponential.

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