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Timelines and World Development

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I originally developed a world based off of the late 18th century, and I have a series of stories set in that time. But I was considering doing another, set in the far future, where my original characters are mentioned in textbooks, etc. I think it'd be cool and give me a chance to really explore this world and the impact my characters' actions in the first series have on the world in the future, that my next book takes place in. However, I'm a bit concerned. If I use things like cars/etc. Will it just look like I'm scamming off of our world and not being imaginative enough? ??? But if I do something weird/other than a car (the car is just one example, but I'm also talking about all the other technological luxuries we have), it just feels too sci-fi to me, and not fantasy enough (which is what these are, fantasy stories). So I'm just wondering, have any of you ever done this, and if so, how did you tackle the problem? Got any advice? Or any examples of authors that have done this well? (Or at least done it, even if it was done not well)? Thanks so much everyone!  :)
#1 - March 14, 2009, 07:32 PM

YA & Spec Fic Writer
Poster Plus
I haven't done this, but the first thing that comes to mind is--how much of 18th century tech are you using in your original society?  Because technology follows previous technological developments in a pretty logical sequence.  So if your fantasy world has all (or almost all) the same tech that 18th century whatever-country-you're-using had, then it would make sense for them to end up developing things like cars. 

Then you might consider how your society is different from 18th century earth, and how those differences might have shaped the sort of car-like things these people would make. 

And based on how different they are, I think you could figure out whether to still call them "cars" or have some other name for them.

I think that might work.  In any case, sounds like what you're planning will make for some interesting stories!
#2 - March 15, 2009, 10:44 AM
YA paranormal, sci fi, & fantasy:
Fallen World series
Earth & Sky trilogy

This reminds me a little bit of Pullman's His Dark Materials series, where different alternate realities have different kinds of technology and call it different things. For example, electricity is similar in some realities, but makes use of different materials and so has different names (I think instead of "electric" the mc says "anbaric" but it's been a while since I read the books, so someone can correct me.)
#3 - March 15, 2009, 04:35 PM
The Echo Room (Tor Teen, 2018)
Where Futures End (Penguin, 2016)


Thanks everyone!
#4 - March 18, 2009, 01:28 PM

Poster Plus
Maybe your world would develop in a more steampunk fashion than ours? So you'd end up with a lot of stuff that does what modern technology does, but is created and operated much differently.
#5 - March 18, 2009, 06:57 PM
BOUND BY BLOOD AND SAND | Delacorte Press, Fall 2016 | @allreb |


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