Shadowrun is Great, but it’s not The Beginning
I get annoyed anytime anything puts magic in a modern setting, and people say “That’s ripped off from Shadowrun.” No, Shadowrun blended cyberpunk and fantasy, brilliantly, and is the first thing I am aware of to do so. But if something blends other forms of modern or sci-fi with magic, with no cyberpunk element? That’s NOT original to Shadowrun. Lots of stories did it before that, many of them major releases.
Yes, these are “different.” That’s my whole point. If you are blending modern or futuristic elements with fantasy with neither cyberpunk tech nor thematic ties, there are tons of examples available from prior to Shadowrun’s release in August of 1989.
This is a short, incomplete, trivial list of settings and stories that mixed magic and modern elements before Shadowrun came out. It could be expanded tenfold with any effort. Some is great. Some is terrible. All is arguably influential.
Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Billy the Kid vs Dracula (and a LOT of Weird West stuff from the 1960s forward)
Burning Water (by Mercedes Lackey, first printing Feb 1989)
Comics (Seriously, Doctor Strange and Iron Man have been in the same universe since 1963, and they are hardly the earliest example, by decades)
Expecting Someone Taller
Fiends of the Eastern Front
Incarnations of Immortality (And a lot of Anthony)
Jack, the Giant Killer (and lots of Charles de Lint)
The Jewel in the Skull (and, in one form or another, a lot of Moorcock)
The Keep (novel and movie)
War for the Oaks
Warhammer 40k. This predates Shadowrun by a couple of years, and it’s actually much more like Shadowrun (or rather, Shadowrun is a much more like it) as a setting than I find Shadowrun to be with most things people want to claim are inspired by Shadowrun.
The Magic of Support Through Modern Technology!
Is there anything I can’t turn into a segue about how my patrons support this blog through my Patreon campaign, and you can too?
No. No there is not.
Posted on December 22, 2017, in Adventure Design, Anachronistic Adventurers, Business of Games, Microsetting, Musings and tagged Business, Essays, Fiction, Worldbuilding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.