George Eliot's work, especially Middlemarch, deals with the impact of new technologies on society. And her worldbuilding, in the sense of creating a microcosm of society, is second to none. So perhaps it's not surprising that author Jo Walton argues Eliot had a "science-fictional mind."
Can the humble romantic choices of one woman alter the course of global politics? That's the question at the heart of Jo Walton's fascinating alternate history character study, My Real Children. The book is a masterpiece of personal and political worldbuilding.