The Whorl of Swords
Technology on The Whorl
The technology level of The Whorl is: absolutely anything you want. The majority of the residents of the generation ship live at a relatively primitive tech level: they cook on gas stoves, they walk or ride animals for transportation, they don’t have technological gadgets. On the other hand, rich people have hover cars, there are fully sentient robots, there are computers with restricted artificial intelligence, there are embryos in cryo-suspension with amazing psychic powers, there are cyborgs, there are energy weapons and firearms… In other words, anything goes.
The limiting factor is primarily economic. Something might not be common, but almost everything is available for a price. Just like in real life the best items are reserved for the wealthy and powerful, or those that serve the wealthy and powerful. Your average citizen who wants a weapon will use a sword or knife as they are cheap and easily available, but the city militia will have slug rifles. Wealthy citizens and successful criminals might have needle pistols, but they’ll still keep a dagger for backup.
The other primary factor is social. Just because sentient robots exist does not mean that they are treated equally everywhere on The Whorl. There are around 200 cities on The Whorl, and each was apparently drawn from a different culture. There could be a city ruled by “chems” neighboring a city where there are no chemical people allowed. There are matriarchal cultures and theistic cultures and athiestic cultures. There might be a culture where anyone who is possessed by one of the gods of The Whorl is immediately made the town’s mayor, and they remain in that position until the next possession at which time the outgoing mayor is sacrified to the gods.
Technological sophistication is also highly variable. There are technologically savvy people on The Whorl, but they are not common. Most people are tradesmen, civil servants, or criminals of some type. They are aware of the existence of various pieces of technology, but have no idea how they actually work.