31 Days of Post (2) Day 4: Knights on Bikes

A few years ago, there was a grand argument concerning “historical verisimilitude” in fantasy. At issue, if I remember, was women warrior and knights on motorcycles. Yes, in our history, knights never rode motorcycles into combat. Maybe for leisure, but not for combat. But does that mean that I can’t have motorized knights in my fantasy (or science fiction) if I want it?

No. There are ways of putting knights on bikes. It just takes some imagination.

Of course, if the project is adhering to a strict sense of “historical verisimilitude,” I wouldn’t recommend trying to shoehorn in mechanized knights.

But what if the project is playing fast and loose with the “rules”? Here are some ideas.

The first idea is to utilize the early twentieth century as an inspiration. The First World War was, in many ways, the last gasp of the dying age of aristocracy. It wouldn’t be too hard to imagine a force of young noblemen riding out to the battlefield, guns blazing and sabers rattling, on a motorcycle. 

Another idea is to imagine a postapocalyptic setting where civilization is coming back together. Is it impossible that, assuming automobiles are still operable, a local warlord would surround himself if armed retainers who happen to ride choppers?

Or, perhaps, one could implant a sense of chivalry into a biker gang. Much like how bushido influences the yakuza. And the conflict between the idealism of the code vs. the reality of gang life would make an excellent inspiration for a story.

Then again, it is entirely possible to screw trying to make sense and go the purely science fantasy route in which motorcycles (and other modern items) exist in a medieval frame work.

In which case, a wizard did it. 

I had originally planed to write about inspiration and historical interest today, but the inspiration was lacking. That said, even this exercise reflects what I had wanted to write about. 

So, how else could someone write knights on bikes?

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Posted on October 4, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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