One of the more interesting elements to deal with in the world of Niya-Yur is the mix of magic and technology. There are many moments in the books where many readers wonder, “why didn’t they just use <insert thing>?” A few have even been frustrated enough to write me and ask. The answer is couched in the fact that my books are written from the point-of-view of the characters. Having grown up and lived in the environment that exists, they don’t even think about using tools which many of us would expect to be present.
One of the best examples I have of this is bows and arrows. As Niya-Yur is a far future sci-fi world that was created using the best technologies for both magic and science (yes, high-tech is mixed with actual magic), it is reasonable to assume bows and arrows both exist and are well known. This is indeed the case. All of the races and countries are aware of and have advance bows (recurve bows are everywhere and some places even have compound bows), as well as highly crafted arrows. All made without an ounce of magic. In book one, there was a battle, and more than a few readers were upset by the fact that no one pulled out a bow and just ended the problem.
Archers seemed a reasonable answer to how to deal with a bunch of people running around with short swords in book one, Thread Slivers. Yet, instead, Duke and the Daggers waded in hip deep using teeth and blade. I explained to those that wrote me directly that bows and arrows are totally ineffective in Niya-Yur as a combat weapon vs. most troops because magic exists, and both sides have mages as well as artifacts that provide shielding against such attacks. It was then pointed out I should have said so in the book. Well true, it would have saved confusion, except that the characters didn’t even consider it because they all knew it would not be effective.
In book two, Thread Strands, there was finally a battle where more effective projectile attacks (Gatling dart systems) were used with limited success. However, that battle demonstrated the complications of mixing magic with technology and why even advanced weaponry is no guarantee of success. Is magic more powerful than advanced technology? It would seem so from the books. However, the truth is, again, more complex than you might think. Only a few entities have enough knowledge to use the really advanced technologies well and correctly. It takes years of training and experience to effectively use any tools.
Just because someone has a powerful blaster cannon, doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to win the fight. Just because someone has magic doesn’t mean they are going to win the fight. It still takes skill, proper tactics, and a bit of luck. Here is a fabulous excerpt from Thread Skein showing this little fact of life on Niya-Yur.
Electra continued to search for what she truly wanted. At last, she found the palace defense systems. “Aperi aestus imperium radio.”
Her display shifted to show her a targeting system like the one used during her clandestine attack earlier on the Nhia-Samri base before all this started.
Now let’s stop those mages.
Using the controls, she started scanning for anyone that looked like a mage. Spotting one, she made sure the targeting was locked onto him and pressed the activation button. The air around the mage burst into flames as the mage stumbled backward.
Two Nhia-Samri warriors leapt holding up their odassi between the mage and the weapon she was using. For a second, she thought they were going to be able to completely defend against the cannon. Then one of the odassi blades shattered. The warrior holding the broken blade tried to jump out of the way but wasn’t fast enough. He burst into flames.
The mage turned back towards her view. He looked completely calm and seemed to have already recovered from the initial attack. He stepped out between the weapon and the remaining Nhia-Samri. The weapon’s power slammed into the mage’s strengthened shield which absorbed the power. The mage looked directly at her. Actually, he was looking at the weapon, but still, it was an eerie feeling. The mage raised both hands, and a second later, the display went blank.
“The mage destroyed the photon cannon.” Vesta confirmed in her ear.
Dammit. I thought we could get some of them before they took out the weapon. All I think I did was make him upset.
Electra glanced at the displays. In spite, of Ellua preventing any surprise attacks and coordinating the city’s troops, the Nhia-Samri had taken control of the western and southern portions of the city and were now slowly making progress.
We’re going to lose this battle.
Vesta seemed to be reading her mind. “You need to evacuate.”
Thank you for reading this article. If you liked this article please leave a comment with your thoughts, even a simple “that was fun” helps me to improve my writing for your enjoyment.
If you enjoyed this you will enjoy the rest of the Golden Threads Trilogy. Why check them out? The series has been a regular bestseller since it came out in early 2013. Trust me, it is best to start with book one Thread Slivers.
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