Quote Originally Posted by Emissarius View Post
I'm beginning to think part of my issue is a matter of aesthetics (not being able to imagine wizards with staffs boarding space ships as we know them in sci-fi). I'm wondering if anyone's come across a work where space travel is made through ships without computers or any other tech-elements. Like a primitive kind of ship that works with magic or through an obscure technology that's got nothing to do with electronics. If I can somehow get that part done, I may be able to retain my magic system and all the wizardry because then the story won't really feel like sci-fi. Think the early books of the Dragonriders of Pern series. They're classified as sci-fi only because the stories take place on a planet other than earth, but there's no technology or electronics involved. It's technically a fantasy within a planet other than earth. It'll be trickier in my case cause of all the space travel between star systems, but if I can somehow make the ships non-technological whatsoever, the aesthetic problem might be overcome.
The prologue in Dragonriders of Pern makes it pretty explicit that Pern was founded by human colonists, the Thread is from another planet in irregular orbit, and the dragons were genetically engineered from native life forms, so there is a fair bit of SF in it from the get-go. The dragons even require limestone/"fire rock" to exhale Thread-burning flames, a chemical reaction. (And IIRC McCaffrey herself was rather adamant about it not being fantasy.)

And a spaceship that runs on magic instead of tech... would that be primitive? In their world, that would be the bleeding edge of technology. (Heck, you can even skip the spaceships altogether if your magic allows for portals... unless you need some sort of spaceship to build the gate/portal/"bridge" in the first place.)

I think you might need to read some non-traditional/Tolkienian fantasy, to get an idea of what magic can look like without staff-wielding wizards; many just need to scribble a rune or cast a gesture or even just think/will a spell into being. For existing space/magic... as neandermagnon pointed out, Star Wars is basically space fantasy (midichlorians notwithstanding, the Force is basically magic.) Max Gladstone's Empress of Forever raises tech to the level of godlike magic; characters randomly sprout extra limbs as needed, or just bypass reality, and they even fold up a spaceship like a blanket when not needed (one character is too primitive to be able to travel without such primitive means.) Alex White's A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe has space travel and other tech entirely dependent on magic; almost everyone is born with a glyph that gives them control over a type of magical skill that enables them to (among other things) operate spaceships, and those without magic are seen as handicapped or crippled. And there is magic of a sort in Jeffrey A. Carver's Dragons in the Stars duet; his Star Rigger universe uses lucid dream imagery to navigate ships through the "Flux" of hyperspace, and this stand-alone duet has life forms evolved to live in hyperspace and use its properties as a sort of magic.