I have created a fantasy world, that is in many ways defined as a high-fantasy vs Science-Fantasy world. The ability to perform magic is caused by using an extra element called "mana" to influence the laws of nature.

What is Magic in this world: Much like what was seen in the movie "The Sorcerers Apprentice" fire is created by increasing the vibrations of the molecules. Or as seen in the books of "Earth-Sea Tales" by Ursula le Quin, where if you create a rain cloud over a field, the neighboring field might experience drought caused by dry weather. Mana is that which exists in the void between electrons and protons. And it is what a select group of individuals can utilize to perform "magic". The ability to use mana is through a genetic evolution or enhancement, i.e. some people are born with the ability to perform magic.

Level of Technology: At the present year (1837), the ability to combine magic and mechanical engineering has been achieved and the largest constructions that exist to the known world are the airships, which closely resembles those seen in "Dungeon and Dragons Online: Stormreach - Guild Airships". However, these mechanical wonders are only for the wealthiest of nobles or the most prestigious armies. The regular farmer still uses an ox or workhorse for heavy labor, and the quarries still encompass massive armies of slaves for cutting stone through manual labor. The Industrial Age is in its very infant state, with only a few guilds in the entire world that have encompassed it.

Question: I'm currently in the process of expanding this worlds timeline to include both a modern era and that of a SciFi era much like Star Trek or Warhammer 40k and is wondering what year would space-flight become a day-to-day reality when you put magic into the mix?

I'm not intending to create a world where technology replaces magic, as that logic itself simply makes no sense. Instead, I'm looking for a fusion between magic and technology, i.e. a laser rifle would have a battery in the normal sci-fi world, but in this world - it could be powered by a mana container where the rifle acts as a catalyzer.

The year 1837 can be seen as late 1800's in comparison to our world.

Edit in Response to Raditz_35 "What kind of magic can be performed?" Magic can perform a range of wonders in this world. Whether it be the classical Fireball or the teleportation of an object or living being from one location to another. Some magic goes into the divine, by scrying the very concept of reality - looking past the illusion and seeing what is true, or in another word being able to tell the future. Although the ability to ascertain the future or reality is subject to high individual cost, i.e. it can cause the death of the user. The most common magic or spells are those of offensive and defensive militaristic uses. Second most common, is the amplification or alteration of a physical aspect, i.e. making a person stronger, or repairing a castle after a siege.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Yilmas! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Dec 13 '17 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Oh ps: I should add that what you wrote under "What is magic in this world" I think is fine for a story, but has no meaning other than the vibration part, so one cannot possibly extrapolate a year from that. Basically your magic heats stuff up? Is that all it can do? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Dec 13 '17 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps relevant: Sanderson's laws of magic. The question as posed is unanswerable, because we know very little about what can - and can't - be done with 'the magic'. As an additional crutch, it would suggest that 'technology' might advance faster overall. However, it might also means certain things just never get researched, because economics has a role to play. Cars would never get past curiousity stage if you had a magical beast that was strictly superior. $\endgroup$ – Sobrique Dec 13 '17 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Yilmas! Adding to what Raditz_35 wrote just previously, requiring someone who wants to answer your question to read separate material, and particularly so books, may be grounds for closing a question as unclear what you are asking. There is some discussion about this on Worldbuilding Meta in Are questions based on movies okay? (which, despite the title, does not relate only to movies). If it's important, then incorporate the relevant parts into the question itself. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Dec 13 '17 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ Remember any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Similarly any sufficiently explained magic is indistinguishable from technology. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Dec 13 '17 at 14:22

Consequences schmonsequences

This is the dawn of the industrial age, the forests were turned to charcoal and ships. Except it isn't, it came a lot sooner.

What magic gives is an easy way through the barriers that require technological advancement.

We needed to invent the steam engine, they needed to enchant a rod to spin continuously. We needed to invent the blast furnace to smelt iron, they just needed a fire spell.

The weight of an engine and fuel was a significant factor holding back powered long distance heavier than air flight. That's no longer a thing. Enchant a rod to spin, attach a gearbox and propellor and you don't even need to carry fuel. The same is true of iron ships needing vast steam engines, cars, trucks, trains, power stations. None of this requires the technological advancement that we needed.

Magic is a bypass on every hard physical limitation on the world.

This is why magic is so hard to work with, and the mix of magic and technology is almost impossible. It's very easy to create basic magical items on an industrial scale that could act as the engines for technological marvels and completely throw out the balance of a world.

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  • $\begingroup$ So to restore balance, one would need to "limit" magic. And then go from there, perhaps with some historical references. I.e. lets say that 'one spell of a thrusting force' can last for X amount of time. Then correlate that with real life technological progression, while factoring in these "loop holes" or "bypasses". $\endgroup$ – Yilmas Dec 13 '17 at 15:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Yilmas, that's the general idea, find a way to prevent the magic from being too powerful, or even at all useful. One of the standard rules is that magic should only cause problems, not solve them. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Dec 13 '17 at 19:32

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