Mainspring by Jay Lake

An extremely clever concept here: the story takes place in an alternate Late Victorian Era Earth built like a clockwork orrery, a giant brass mechanical representation of the universe.  All the planets move along their orbits on giant celestial tracks through the heavens.  The Earth is divided by a giant gear along the equator, with the Southern Hemisphere virtually unknown.  The universe affects the culture in surprising ways–angels are clockwork automata, for example, and Christ was crucified on a giant gear.  Unfortunately, the execution is weak, the characters thin and the plot suffused with way too much neo-Victorian colonialism for my tastes.


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