I wasn't anywhere in them. They were more like watching random snippets of a movie. Also, my brain seems to do some fairly cool fantasy world-building when I'm not trying.
This is what I remember:
- Some people had the ability to make ships travel long distances really quickly (interstellar? cross-dimension?)
- Some people could do other types of magic.
- A person could only do one type or the other
- Both ran in families
- most nations made use of both abilities in a fairly egalitarian way (allowing for the overall regency/Victorian Western Europe feel of the world as a whole)
- most nations allow intermarriage between both type of magicians and magicians and non-magicians
- one nation (sort of Czar-ist Russia feeling) had a ruling class made up of other magic users, who pretty much had absolute power over everybody in the country
- Russiain’t* enslaved the distance magicians, and basically treated them like draft animals
- Russiain’t leaders also did nasty magical experiments on the distance magicians, trying to figure out a way to do that magic themselves. The experiments frequently killed or burnt the magic out of the victims
- The distance magicians had originally all come from one region (faux-India?), and because Russiain’t had forced them to only interbreed with each-other they still looked distinctly different from the general populace in that country. In the rest of the world they had been able to marry as they pleased and so were more homogenized with the general population.
*naming convention swiped from matociquala
(Elizabeth Bear)’s reports on her current work in progress.