Wizards from Outer Space
GUIDE THE SPACEMAN THROUGH THE CASTLE AND DEFEAT THE WIZARD.
Sometimes Science Fiction isn't really science fiction. Sometimes, it's actually fantasy. Even so, some things are usually seen as a part of one genre and not the other. If you see a magic sword, for example, you can assume it's fantasy and not sci-fi. Space travel, on the other hand, is firmly in the realm of science fiction, and not fantasy.
Except when the High Fantasy takes place in outer space without the use of sufficiently advanced technology or being super-evolved, that is.
Sometimes this is a science fiction setting with some distinctly fantasy elements, such as Magic by Any Other Name. Other times, the only science fiction element is the fact that its taking place on an alien planet. Magitek can sometimes be commonplace in such settings, but not always.
A subtrope of Science Fantasy.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Technically it's not Outer Space, it's the Void Between the Worlds, but it's treated the same way.
- Mahou Sensei Negima skirts into this territory, the Magical World is in an artificial pocket dimension on Mars, with Magitek flying ships shaped like marine animals. It's connected to Earth via magical gates, so there is no actual space travel. There are also sentient robots, and a major arc revolves around Time Travel.
- Outlaw Star has "Tao magic" used by Chinese space pirates, as well as the Caster Guns that fire magical shells.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- Stardust the Super Wizard from The Golden Age of Comic Books. He used what amounts to Magitek to fight crime.
- Gemworld, from the DC Comics universe, definitely applies. When it first appeared in the Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld miniseries, the Gemworld seemed to be just another generic fantasy setting, with monsters and wizards and so forth. And then the Big Bad of the miniseries turned out to be Mordru, the incredibly powerful foe of the 30th Century Legion of Super-Heroes. It turns out that the 30th Century planet Zerox, home of not just Mordru but also Legionnaires White Witch and Dragonmage, is Gemworld, and the original miniseries was taking place on a different planet the entire time.
- Swamp Thing, the latest in an ancient line of mystic plant elementals, once travelled to several different planets, all of which had vegetation on it, by growing a new body on the new world.
- Maybe just a result of the Fantasy Kitchen Sink, but both Marvel Comics and DC Comics have magical and technological (and otherwise) superhumans fighting alongside and against each other, and often going into space.
- Something like this seems to be present in Hellboy - in the first volume, some random aliens comment on how they can detect Rasputin's attempt to free the Ogdru Jahad, and the Ogdru Jahad (or possibly their spawn) are described in very sci-fi terms at one point, in what is probably a Shout-Out to HP Lovecraft's influence on Hellboy.
- The Jedi and the Sith from Star Wars. It is, after all, the story of a young farmboy who meets a wizard, who teaches him magic. The boy then inherits a magic sword, rescues princesses, fights monsters, a black knight, and an evil wizard, all while flying spaceships.
- The film version of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe dealt with this trope.
- For that matter, the show itself fits; half the characters use magic and the other half use technology.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Clark Ashton Smith's Xiccarph-cycle is a cycle of horror stories concerning the evil wizard Maal Dweb set on the distant planet Xiccarph.
- Lin Carter wrote many stories of this kind in his early novels, inspired by Clark Ashton Smith's example, though Lin Carter's stories were more adventure stories than horror. Tower of the Medusa is a tale set in a space opera setting, but featuring witch queen Azeera as one of the villains and Doctor Temujin, a doctor of the Minor Thaumaturgies, as the hero's ally. Oh, and the heroic thief turns out to have a god hidden within him.
- Young Wizards: Wizards travel to the Moon, Mars, and other planets in other solar systems on many occasions in the novels via teleportation.
- The Soul Drinker Trilogy by Jo Clayton had wizards, gods, and space ships. Actually, all of Jo Clayton's work is like this now that I think about it.
- Clayton reveled in the contrast of the two genres, particularly in the premise of Skeen's Leap and its sequels: Hard-boiled interstellar treasure-hunter Skeen, stranded on a backwater planet, discovers an Interdimensional Portal to a world that fairly approximates the ISO Standard Fantasy Setting. It doesn't seem to make much difference in her life; she goes from being chased by saayungka to being chased by werewolves without much intermission.
- In the Spider Robinson short story "Local Champ," a wizard dominates all magic on Earth. When someone tries to take him out with a laser weapon, he laughs at it; while physical energies can travel further than magic (which is limited to a planet's ecosphere), magic can easily overcome scientific forces—at least until The aliens the signal laser communicated with show up to pluck him out of Earth's atmosphere with a tractor beam.
- One of the Elric of Melnibone stories involves Elric teaming up with other incarnations of The Eternal Champion to take down alien wizards that had come to his world from beyond his reality. It's even more awesome than that summary makes it sound.
- Dungeons & Dragons had the Spelljammer setting. Wooden-hulled sailing ships, cannons, pirates, magic, and monsters. IN SPACE!.
- In the old-school Mage: The Ascension, both the Sons of Ether and the Void Engineers travelled through space using magical spacecraft.
- Warhammer 40,000. There is magic that is universal (all use the same rule set where it is called Psychic Powers) and necessary for space travel, but the Eldar and the Imperium treat it like magic or religion, introducing terms like warlock and inquisitor. Men in particular treat their Lost Technology spiritually or as actual parts of a god. Meanwhile, the creatures of Chaos are very clearly daemons are lifted with no alteration straight out of Warhammer Fantasy. (literally, the models can be used for both games)
- The Elder Worm from the Champions Universe is a race of Starfish Alien space-wizards who dominated the entire galaxy a hundred thousand years ago.
- One of the Elder Worm's slave races, the Thane, fits this trope even more, what with their body-obscuring cloaks, their demon worship, and their chanting.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Most Final Fantasy games take place in a setting like this.
- The original Phantasy Star quadrilogy fits this. Magic, technology, and Psychic Powers are all in use in the Algol system. In the fourth game, some individuals use all three at once, and the most powerful attack in the game is a Combination Attack drawing from all three sources.
- The old Might and Magic verse had a backstory involving very technologically proficient Ancients, which directly impacted eight out of nine games of the technically main series - blasters can be found, malfunctioning robots may be enemies or the Big Bad, perfectly functional robots may be enacting Failsafe Failure Salt the Earth strategies, characters from a previous game may show up in a starship after having gone off-course... all in vaguely medieval/renaissaince worlds with a high dose of magic.
- Space Station 13 fits this trope to a tee.
- Kamella from Super Mario Galaxy.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Thundercats, full stop. Castaways from another planet led by a guy with a magic sword land on a new world with colorful inhabitants, build a fairly high-tech base for themselves out of what's left of their ship, and spend most of their time fighting the schemes of an evil wizard.
- In Thundercats2011 Mumm Ra is literally a evil sorcerer who crashed to Third Earth centuries ago with most of the animal races and the ancestors of the Thundercats.
- Thundarr the Barbarian is set in an age of "savagery, super-science, and sorcery." Many wizards (most notably Mindok the Mind Menace) use superscience and magic interchangeably, while Thundarr's Sun Sword appears to be scientific.