QUOTE (LockeZ @ Jan 5 2011, 07:58 AM)
In fantasy you can often get away with just including magic and not explaining it. A lot of people don't mind just taking for granted that your fictional world has unexplained magic in it and that none of the characters think it's worth mentioning.
In a futuristic setting that doesn't work. If you want to include fantastical elements, the expectation is that you explain them. People expect anything in a futuristic setting to be developed with at least a token amount of science fiction mentality. If you have psychics, people will expect that the story will explain that they are the result of controversial research into psionic implants and that eventually your heroes will confront the creators of it, or something like that. Even in the original Star Wars trilogy, where the Force is unexplained and mysterious, a great deal of the story is devoted to it. It's not taken for granted, it's a major plot element. And even though it never is explained in the end (shut up there are no mitichlorians), Luke learns a great deal about it and comes to terms with what it means.
Arthur Clarke's Third Law of prediction: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Most futuristic sci-fi pretty much approaches the point of fantasy anyway. It's all just dressing really.
The important thing is that you must define exactly what is causing and maintaining this uber futuristic world. If magic and technology coexists, you have to define their relationship with one another. Here are a couple useful questions to ask:
1. does magic exist?
2. how widespread is it? Is it just EVERYWHERE?
3. how accessible is it? Be it the items or the spells, is it available only to a few people or to a lot of people? Does it take special talent/genes or is it just a matter of training?
4. how powerful is the stuff?
5. what is the relationship between this and other forces at work? i.e. maybe in one world, magic is basically just another field of science that people explore, and some might even have found ways to merge the two together like rifles that is powered by magical energy.
repeat these questions for every driving force you have.