Laura Nicole

Each week I will be analyzing an object from the Science Fiction and Fantasy world to project just how it would pan out in modern society.

Alchemy
By Laura Nicole

Oh, that I could change any metal into gold. White gold. Maybe Platinum. Oops, sorry, got carried away in my little day dream and forgot I was supposed to be writing about what would happen if we had alchemy in modern society. Could we turn any one base item into another thing? Who would have that access to that power?

So let’s start with what could possibly go wrong with this scenario. Say we could turn any base metal into gold or some other precious metal. The word precious is associated with high value, but if the metal is common it can’t be very valuable. If you don’t pay attention to the stock markets then you may not know that metals are fairly well off at this point. Many countries have their economies based in these metals, and if their value were to crash many economies would suffer from it.

Sounds of impending doom… Doom… DOOM! Oops slipped away again. Sorry folks, got Balticon on the brain. Now where was I? Oh yes, the brighter side of alchemy.

I am an eternal optimist… I just don’t show it that often. However, if we had the ability to turn a base substance into something else we, as a people, could do tremendous good with it. Think of all the land fills of garbage that we have throughout the world. If we could use alchemy to reduce how much waste we produce and go green. Car companies could sell cars for less because they could take junk cars and with alchemy refurbish the metal again. No more Styrofoam cups…

Ultimately, it would all come down to who has the power of alchemy and how they would chose to use it. What are your thoughts? What would you do?

This column is pretty short this week due to the con weekend coming up but I promise next week we will be loaded with more fun and speculation. If you have suggestions, join in the conversation on our forums. Http://forums.flyingislandpress.com or you can e-mail me at Lnicole@flyingislandpress.com

2 Comments

  • Ayoub says:

    Alchemy would be the new Big Pharma!

  • Dave Maciver says:

    ACTUALLY we can. or at least if I remember correctly we can. lead to gold, piece of cake.

    Cake = extremely expensive energy and money wise for a piddly wee amount and you need extremely clever people to do it.

    Fact is gold seems pretty common to me anyway. It’s EVERYWHERE, there’s probably a couple of grams in the room I’m in. Most of it is in me and electronic devices though. Pretty poor basis for an economy really. But it doesn’t carrode so there’s that. And the only other alternative people have so far is for it to be based on the whims of a few hundred sociopaths who randomly decide how much something is worth, generally in a way that makes them lots of money without any consideration for the consequences. I shall call it the stock market, and I’ll base some of the worlds biggest economies on it. Nothing bad could possibly happen, these bubbles will never burst!