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Magic Realism or Magical Realism?

awnlee jawking

Which term is correct, or are both acceptable?

I started typing the term into google and autocomplete finished it as 'Magical Realism', but when I pressed enter the first website was Wikipedia (spit!) on Magic Realism.

AJ

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@awnlee jawking

Looks like both tend to mean the same thing and either is acceptable.

https://www.thoughtco.com/magical-realism-definition-and-examples-4153362

Magical realism, or magic realism, is an approach to literature that weaves fantasy and myth into everyday life. What's real? What's imaginary? In the world of magical realism, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the magical becomes commonplace.

Also known as "marvelous realism," or "fantastic realism," magical realism is not a style or a genre so much as a way of questioning the nature of reality.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@StarFleet Carl

Thanks.

Looking a bit deeper using Google searches and Ngrams, the picture is very unclear. While different corpi have had preferences in the past, nowadays the usages have converged until their differences are insignificant.

I guess it's up to a coin toss ;)

AJ

AmigaClone

I personally would say the sentence where you use the term Magical Realism or Magic Realism out loud and then chose the one that sounds better in that situation.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@AmigaClone

The context is that I have been sent a story for comments by one of my writers' group (not an editorial job, fortunately). The author knows I'm not a fan of magic(al) realism.

The protagonist is strictly a scientist but other characters use, are familiar with, and influence the conflict resolution with paranormal phenomena.

I want to reprimand the author (in a friendly way) for trying to get one over on me, without looking a complete dumbass by using the incorrect term.

TMI?

AJ

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
REP

@awnlee jawking

I suggest that you just don't respond. If he says anything about your lack of response, tell him that you are aware that he knows magic and paranormal isn't your cup of tea.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

Nah, this author is a friend and part of my 'support network', just like I'm part of theirs. Friends get a free pass on genera they're not keen on, although I have to admit we've never sent each other anything sexually explicit for comments.

Chicken? Moi? Cluck cluck cluck!

AJ

Replies:   REP
REP

@awnlee jawking

Ah! A diplomatic chicken. :)

awnlee jawking

Slight swerve in subject - can anyone recommend good magic(al) realism stories here on SOL?

Does Uncle Jim's oeuvre count? I like his stories but there's usually a distinction between magic users and those with no talent so I'm not sure whether they qualify.

AJ

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

The context is that I have been sent a story for comments by one of my writers' group (not an editorial job, fortunately). The author knows I'm not a fan of magic(al) realism.

The protagonist is strictly a scientist but other characters use, are familiar with, and influence the conflict resolution with paranormal phenomena.

Which is the problem in that case: the magic or the realism? I've used that motif several times, but since I tend to write hard sci-fi, I base the paranormal activities on specific scientific principals (so it 'magically' changes from 'magic' to 'pseudo-realism'.

If your problem with him is that he uses 'magic' to pull a rabbit out of his hat to rescue a badly floundering plot, then you should say THAT! Not having a decent ending and simply pulling out of your sleeve when you tire of writing is a crappy way to write anything!

You can include magic in a story is a 'realistic' way, or you can treat science as if it was magic (ala. Star Trek, where you introduce amazing technology without every even trying to justify it's existence).

Replies:   StarFleet Carl
StarFleet Carl

@Crumbly Writer

You can include magic in a story is a 'realistic' way, or you can treat science as if it was magic (ala. Star Trek, where you introduce amazing technology without every even trying to justify it's existence).


Star Trek, other than when they brought 'Q' into it, pretty much is just amazing technology that is, or should be, possible. We're doing some of the things they considered far in the future now already.

Star Wars, on the other hand, is magic. And complete fantasy. After all, the opening of the series - a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, is semantically equal to once upon a time in a kingdom long ago ... just like any other fake story.

Baltimore Rogers

@StarFleet Carl


Star Trek, other than when they brought 'Q' into it, pretty much is just amazing technology that is, or should be, possible. We're doing some of the things they considered far in the future now already.


I mostly agree with you, except for one thing ... Transporter Beams. There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

Star Trek, other than when they brought 'Q' into it, pretty much is just amazing technology that is, or should be, possible. We're doing some of the things they considered far in the future now already.

My point about Star Trek has nothing to do with predictions, but HOW it treated science in the stories, which is as a fait accompli, something already settled which readers are merely supposed to accept, just as they accept a sword in a stone in King Author. That, to me, defines 'magic realism', you simply accept that magic exists, rather than questioning how it came to be.

Thus my Demonic Issues series, featuring fairies, dwarves and demons, focused on the explanation behind their existence , and how THAT affects the main character (ie. it's the antithesis of magical realism).

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Baltimore Rogers

I mostly agree with you, except for one thing ... Transporter Beams. There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.

Especially since everyone who enters one dies instantly, and some other being, based on them, comes out the other end to continue their lives. Why the hell would anyone ever voluntarily enter one? "Don't worry, you'll die horribly, but since something else continues your life, your existence still has meaning."

StarFleet Carl

@Baltimore Rogers

I mostly agree with you, except for one thing ... Transporter Beams. There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.


Um ... while we don't have this technology now, we're actually doing something that could (yes, I know I used the word could) be the basis for this now.

We report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite - through an up-link channel - with a distance up to 1400 km.


Forbes article link

So, yes, for now, it's still science fiction - but one that does have a basis in now current science - 50 years AFTER the series premiered, before that science was known.

Replies:   BalRog  Crumbly Writer
REP

@Baltimore Rogers

There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.


IIRC, when Jules Verne wrote his stories, the science was not in existence to support his creations. His ideas inspired scientists to take existing materials and concepts and create those machines and the underlying science.

Replies:   BalRog
BalRog
Updated:

@REP

@Baltimore Rogers

There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.



IIRC, when Jules Verne wrote his stories, the science was not in existence to support his creations. His ideas inspired scientists to take existing materials and concepts and create those machines and the underlying science.


And amazing, wonderful stories the were. So what? I was responding to this statement by StarfleetCarl:

Star Trek, other than when they brought 'Q' into it, pretty much is just amazing technology that is, or should be, possible.


So whatever Jules Verne, or H.P. Lovecraft, or Edgar Rice Burroughs, or Ray Bradbury, or Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, may have written, and written well, under the broad banner of "Science Fiction", it has no bearing on whether or not a concept from STAR TREK has any basis in "technology that is, or should be, possible".

Really, you're not undercutting my argument at all, but you are undercutting StarfleetCarl's. If good science fantasy writing can be justified as hard science fiction just because at some point in the future it COULD become scientifically plausible, then there is no difference between Star Trek and Star Wars after all. Because, who knows, maybe some day scientists will discover a basis for light sabers, force lightning, telekinesis, prescient prophecy, and even midichlorians! :-P

Replies:   Remus2  REP
Remus2

@BalRog

who knows, maybe some day scientists will discover a basis for light sabers


https://www.cnet.com/news/new-photon-matter-takes-step-toward-real-star-wars-lightsabers/

Replies:   BalRog
REP

@BalRog

", it has no bearing on whether or not a concept from STAR TREK has any basis in "technology that is, or should be, possible".


At the time Jules Verne wrote his stories, the stories' concepts of a flying machine and undersea vehicle had the same validity as those in Star Trek and Star Wars. Namely, an idea that the average person did not believe possible.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@REP

At the time Jules Verne wrote his stories, the stories' concepts of a flying machine and undersea vehicle had the same validity as those in Star Trek and Star Wars.


Is that true? The average person would have been aware of birds and fishes, so the possibility of building something to imitate them couldn't have been that much of a stretch.

AJ

Replies:   joyR
joyR
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


At the time Jules Verne wrote his stories, the stories' concepts of a flying machine and undersea vehicle had the same validity as those in Star Trek and Star Wars.


Really?

1485 - Da Vinci drawings of flying machines

1774 - First military submarine

1783 - First manned ballon flight with passengers

1870 - Jules Verne

Remus2

I must have missed the Black Friday sale on crystal balls and tarot cards. Sure seems like some strong opinions being expressed about what will be, or will not be, technology of the future.

One thousand years sounds like a lot of time. However, look back on the advances in science/technology over that time. From horse to space travel, camp fire to nuclear power, abacus to computers, sword and bow to thermonuclear bomb, it's been a massive leap in that one thousand years.

I'm thinking people saying they know what will and won't happen in future either has a soothsaying goat, or they are being a touch or more daft.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Remus2

soothsaying goat


Where can I get one of those? I need help choosing lottery numbers, and my lawn could do with a trim too ;)

AJ

Replies:   Remus2  joyR
Remus2

@awnlee jawking

Where can I get one of those? I need help choosing lottery numbers, and my lawn could do with a trim too ;)


I'm guessing the same place you get leprechauns and unicorns from ;)

BalRog
Updated:

@StarFleet Carl


@Baltimore Rogers


I mostly agree with you, except for one thing ... Transporter Beams. There is absolutely no scientific basis to believe that such a thing will ever be possible.



Um ... while we don't have this technology now, we're actually doing something that could (yes, I know I used the word could) be the basis for this now.

We report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite - through an up-link channel - with a distance up to 1400 km.

Forbes article link

So, yes, for now, it's still science fiction - but one that does have a basis in now current science - 50 years AFTER the series premiered, before that science was known.


tl;dr: No, quantum teleportation does not by any means provide a theoretical basis for the Star Trek transporter beam.

And as for the misleading title of the article, there's this. Or this. Or especially this.

The Long, Boring Response

That's all beautiful, except for two things:

1) "Quantum teleportation" is a means of moving INFORMATION from one place to another without using mechanical (physical transport) means or electromagnetic (fields, currents, or photons) means ("qubit" stands for QUantum Binary DIgit, a unit of information). It does NOT, even in theory, move matter from place to place. So in this case, what was "teleported" was energy and entropy (that is how a physicist defines "information"), not matter. If you've ever heard any of Bones's rants about transporters in TOS (or, more particularly, in the official James Blish novelizations) you know that they work by disassembling matter and reassembling it at another location. It works like a perfect (often remote) subatomic 3D scanner/disintegrator combined with a perfect (often remote) subatomic 3D printer. If quantum teleportation were a part of this process it would only be a small part.

2) Quantum teleportation, like every other form of transmission ever conceived, requires a SENDER and a RECEIVER. In the case of QT, the sender and receiver are a pair of quantum-entangled particles. Pairs of particles get "quantum-entangled" in the first place by being "generated" at the same place and time (which is simple to say, but requires Feynman diagrams and a semester-long course in quantum mechanics to really explain). So, if the particle pair were generated in one place, how did one end up on the ground and one end up in a satellite in orbit? They did it the old-fashioned way. They put one of the particles in a rocket and burned shit-tons of fuel to put it into orbit. Now consider the Star Trek transporter beam. Although SOMETIMES people and things are moved between two transporter platforms (ship-to-ship, ship-to-star-base, etc.), the FAR more common cases are "beaming down" to an undistinguished point on a planet's surface, or "beaming up" ("Beam me up, Scotty!") from a point established by a signal from the communicator, and maybe a body count ("Three to beam up"). In the former case there is no "receiver". In the latter, no "sender". It would be like a telephone call where only one of the participants actually has a telephone. THAT is what makes Star Trek transporter beams science fantasy. If they operated more like Larry Niven's "transfer booths", with a sender/receiver pair, then I could maybe consider them to have a theoretical basis in possible technology. As is, no.

BalRog

@Remus2

HA! Please see my previous links on "Science journalism".

But sure, for the sake of argument, that's one. Now give me a scientific basis for the other four.

Replies:   Remus2
joyR

@awnlee jawking

Where can I get one of those? I need help choosing lottery numbers, and my lawn could do with a trim too ;)


Too late..!! The sabresoothed tigers ate them..

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Remus2
awnlee jawking

@joyR

The sabresoothed tigers ate them..


I think the sabresoothed tigers ate my update of chapter 22 :(

(Actually I suspect the process of moving something from SOL queue to SOL website requires a little more manual intervention than just a moderator eyeball because it's not the first thing I've had go AWOL. I'll resubmit it later.)

AJ

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@awnlee jawking

I think the sabresoothed tigers ate my update of chapter 22 :(


A good gigolo never blames his tool.

Sweetheart, I know you feel all powerful, dominant, master wordsmith etc, but really it's ok to click the submit button, it's not going to hurt your manliness, honest.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Remus2

@BalRog

HA! Please see my previous links on "Science journalism".

But sure, for the sake of argument, that's one. Now give me a scientific basis for the other four.


You asked for one I gave you one. However, given your argumentative tone, I'll pass on any further dialog on the subject with you. You know it all oh wise one, I won't bother with an attempt to dissuade you.

Replies:   BalRog
Remus2

@joyR

Too late..!! The sabresoothed tigers ate them..

That was the Ogres.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

Um ... while we don't have this technology now, we're actually doing something that could (yes, I know I used the word could) be the basis for this now.

We report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low Earth orbit satellite - through an up-link channel - with a distance up to 1400 km.

Quantum physics, by definition, have NO baring on the normal world, as quantum physics is complete separate from normal (real-world) physics. Quoting a theoretical quantum thought-experiment as 'proof' that we've nearly achieved teleporation is beyond ridiculous! Even the individual atoms which make up an individual are WAY too massive to obey quantum physics.

Now, there are several theoretical physics principals which might support teleportation, several of which I've included in stories, including String Theory (so far utterly unproven to have ANY physical basis in the real world). :(

rustyken

Well it seems Ell Donsali figured out how to use quantum physics...

Oops sorry that is currently fiction.

Replies:   BalRog
BalRog

@Remus2

You asked for one I gave you one.


Truly, I didn't ask for any. But I did pick a random set of 5 science fantasy concepts from Star Wars as examples to illustrate a point. You're the one who took it as a challenge of some sort.

However, given your argumentative tone, I'll pass on any further dialog on the subject with you. You know it all oh wise one, I won't bother with an attempt to dissuade you.


Well, I do know the things I know. I worked pretty damned hard to learn them, so I won't pretend not to know them. But if you're done, I guess I am too.

awnlee jawking

@joyR

Sweetheart, I know you feel all powerful, dominant, master wordsmith etc, but really it's ok to click the submit button, it's not going to hurt your manliness, honest.


Pfffff. Instead of just whining about it, after the SOL transporter beam dematerialised the red-shirted Chapter 22 from the queue but didn't rematerialise it on the website, a real man would have punched a hole in the computer screen, kicked the dog, then decamped to the pub for a pint or eight.

AJ

Replies:   BalRog
BalRog

@awnlee jawking

Pfffff. Instead of just whining about it, after the SOL transporter beam dematerialised the red-shirted Chapter 22 from the queue but didn't rematerialise it on the website, a real man would have punched a hole in the computer screen, kicked the dog, then decamped to the pub for a pint or eight.


Well, there's your problem right there! You used the transporter beam instead of the submission form. Lazeez never has gotten that pesky transporter beam to work right.

BalRog

@rustyken

Well it seems Ell Donsali figured out how to use quantum physics...

Oops sorry that is currently fiction.


So have QM's "Mages", but that's also fiction, as far as we know.

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