So today we ran out of electricity. Okay, so our meter ran out of money and we consequently woke up with no power. This is a confusing way start the morning … Click. Why didn’t the light turn on? Do we need a new bulb already? Crap … I think my charger’s broken again. My laptop won’t charge. You could try mine? … Hang on. This light’s not working either. We just ran out of electric. Already? …
It was both annoying and funny at the same time. It’s amazing how much we rely on electricity. History clearly shows that we could easily live without it, we’d just miss the luxuries electricity affords: an oven that gets hot quickly and on demand, hot water from a power shower, hundreds of channels on our televisions. So anyway, we put £20 on the key and life continued as per usual. It would be interesting to live without electricity though … especially if it was replaced with magic. That I could definitely do.
Plenty of people in the stories I read make do just fine without electricity and are even confused by it. A pure blood wizard in J.K.Rowling’s magical world is thoroughly bamboozled by electricity or anything else muggle related. Even Mr. Weasley, a muggle fanatic, struggles with the electrical technology and needs Harry’s help to get through the Underground ticket barrier. As wizards and witches don’t tend to use electricity they have come to rely completely on magic instead. Magic is just another form energy and can be used to replace everything we use electricity for. They can charm items to stir food, chop the grass and do the washing up; a flick of a wand and you have a roaring fire, a high security lock or you have siphoned all the dirt out of your carpet. Their lives aren’t any the worse for the lack of electricity.
So what about those fictional worlds that don’t really have either? In the world of Peter V Brett, every night humans are under attack from Demons from the Core and all they have to protect themselves are wards of defence. While this is still magic, they can’t utilise it as energy. They farm, cook and clean completely without electricity or magic and, not only that, they have to do it all before Sundown when the vicious Corelings rise. Their history tells of electricity whilst the Demons were dormant for thousands of years, when humans had made huge technological advances. These were all lost however when the Demons rose from the Core once more. Cities were ruined, libraries were razed to the ground and the advancements of centuries were lost. From that point on humans had one mission: Survive the Night.
While it’s easy to do without electricity for a short while – when you go camping, for example – anything longer then that strikes me as a hard life where there’s little time for yourself. I could probably do it just fine but I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming. I’d have to give up hot, powerful showers, watching my programmes, the ease of reading from a kindle and, of course, ranting at you guys. Do you think you could do it?