This has always been an interesting genre to me, especially the idea that one day magic takes over the world, and a handful of surviving scientists keep the idea of science alive in a world where it seems irrelevant. Best examples that I can cite are David Brin’s Thor VS. Captain America. and Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Won. I’m more interested in stories where science is the underdog, rather than the other way around (the old “magic doesn’t work if you’re too rational to believe in it” cliche).
This doesn’t really answer your question, but Piers Anthony has written several series in which both science and magic exist, and sometimes compete against each other (although not really in an all-out-war-dragons-vs-F-14s sense). In particular, the first few books of both the Incarnations of Immortality and Split Infinity series are quite good.
Fritz Leiber’s Gather, Darkness!
Kar Kaballa (can’t recall author)
The Flying Sorcerors by Larry Niven and David Gerrold
Well, if magic existed, it wouldn’t be counter to science; it would be a branch of science, and you wouldn’t need a lot of mystical nonsense. Poul Anderson wrote an entertaining series of novels with that premise. I’ll come up with the title in a moment.
Grunts by Mary Gentle. Take a stock High Fantasy world, introduce a cache of modern military equipment, and let an intelligent band of orcs find it. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, though it can get very graphic with the sex and violence. It’s by no means a thoughtful, exploratory novel, just something written to be entertaining.
Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman of Dragonlance fame had the Darksword trilogy in which technology was the forbidden ninth area of “magic”. Naturally, conflicts between the technology cultists and the rest of the magic using populace erupt, etc etc.
Flights of the Dragons.
I haven’t read it myself yet, but I’ve heard Siege of Wonder by Mark Geston mentioned on these boards, before.
“Hand me another Elf, this ones split.”
I love me that book.
Do you mean The Flight of Dragons, the 1982 animated feature?
It’s more of a “science is gradually displacing magic” story, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Yes, that’s the one that I meant. Flight of the Dragons was the book that inspired the animated feature. Mea culpa.
I’d say that it ultimately qualifies as a science-defeating-magic story, in light of the climactic battle sequence.
Somebody already mentioned the Split Infinity series. I liked it, but then again I don’t have Piers Anthony Phobia.
Poul Anderson books were Operation Chaos, and the circa 2000 sequel, Operation Luna.
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber was the story of a professor (in logic?) who discovered his wife (as well as many other women) were practicing witches. A lot of their husband’s successes were due to the background machinations and hexes of the wives. After he insists his wife stop practicing magic, bad things happen and he has to come up with a formal theory of magic so that he can fight back.
Nah, the fault is mine - I didn’t know it was inspired by a book. I’ll have to take a look at it sometime.
Not a print story, but the animated Bakshi movie “Wizards” fits the bill nicely.
Terry Brooks “Shannara” series deals with magic and fantasy overlaid over a past technological society.
Nope, my fault. The book doesn’t actually have anything about science vs. magic. It only attempts to provide a semi-scientific justification for how dragons can fly and all that rot.
These elements made their way into the animated feature.
Darkworld Detective by Michael Reaves is about a high fantasy world in a space opera universe. The ruler confines the use of technology to a small enclave where off-worlders are permitted to come and trade with the locals.
There is no magic in the book. Nonspoilers-The church which rules the human race uses advanced science to convince the masses that the priests have magical abilities granted to them by the Great God. The undergound group planning a revolution uses advanced science and the trappings of Sathan.
The Cyborg and the Sorcerers and The Wizard and the War Machine, both by Lawrence Watt-Evans, deal with encounters between a post-apocalyptic (also post-diaspora) civilization governed by magic-users and cyborg warriors whose obsolete mission still compels them to investigate, and if necessary, apply a military solution to, the anomalous conditions that the magic creates.
There. I got it all into one sentence.