Jay Lake's first trade novel is an astounding work of creation. Lake has envisioned a clockwork solar system, where the planets move in a vast system of gears around the lamp of the Sun. It is a universe where the hand of the Creator is visible to anyone who simply looks up into the sky, and sees the track of the heavens, the wheels of the Moon, and the great Equatorial gears of the Earth itself. Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker's apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster to the planet will ensue if it's not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis, to fulfill the commandment of his God.
Eleven original stories about the different paths our world might've taken... Alternate history explores the many possible directions our world could follow if certain key events didn't occur at all or were changed in some crucial way. Is our Earth the only Earth, our reality the only one that exists? Or are there many parallel worlds and societies, some very similar to ours, some barely recognizable? What if... Lincoln had never become president, and the Civil War had never taken place? Columbus never discovered America, and the Inca developed a massive, technologically advanced empire? Magic was real and a half-faery queen ruled England? Hitler and Germany won the war because America never got involved? Many of the world's religions were totally commercialized, their temples run like casinos, religions deisgned purely for profit? An author discovered a book written by an alternate version of himself? These are just some of the possible pathways that you can take to explore the Other Earths that may be waiting just one event away... This anthology includes stories by: Robert Charles Wilson -- Jeff Vandermeer -- Stephen Baxter Theodora Goss -- Lizz Williams -- Gene Wolfe Greg Van Eekhout -- Alastair Reynolds -- Paul Park Lucius Shepard -- Benjamin Rosenbaum
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