Scenariowise over the years I have generally preferred to roleplay the fantasy enviromnets which as I write strikes me as a little odd as I am a hard core science fiction fanatic at heart. Bar Tolkien the rest of the fantasy landscape seems derivative to me but I am also aware that this is a somewhat disparaging view where art is concerned as there are always avenues to express ideas, beauty and truth within any medium. But my Kindle would stress my former point as its laden with SciFi classics and completly void of anything with orcs in it. Void however does remain an interesting point.
There have been a significant number of classic sci fi authors who have transited into fantasy writing and there are more than a few RPG systems that combine both fantasy and scifi mechanics into the player experience but I have never felt it has worked very well really. More to the point, historically, one tends to discplace the other - where civilasation rises, science and critical thinking secularises culture. Where civilisation collapses people often only have their religion and superstitions to turn to and power structures quiclky rise based on ceremony and magic. The two facets of philosophy have always seemed mutually exclusive to me.
However talking to Jack last week regarding the Dark Heresy game, he was recounting a rather ugly fumble on his psych skills after which he detonated a void bomb damaging players and foes around him. As far as I can tell a psycher has to open and control aceess to the void in order then to focus its power with ethereal effects; though the system emphasises psychic skills over magical effects, I actually think its quite well done. Despite the void being the home of Demons it is also the medium of travel for starships so whilst this is a good example of a clash of genres it always offers the description of horrific and powerful entities living in a seperate part of the universe rather than expicity magical and supernatural realms inhabited with Gods. Conversely for the Imperium of Man, the Emperor is often revered as a God but his existence necessitates the use if technology so his rule always has a cultural context, not a divine one. Far be it for me to sound heretical but before the inquisition arrives for my latest mind wipe I'd just like to say I have made my peace with the Demons in this system.