Clockwork Earth (Volume 1)

Jay Lake; Read by William Dufris

Macmillan Audio

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.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
The angel gleamed in the light of Hethor’s reading candle bright as any brasswork automaton. The young man clutched his threadbare coverlet in the irrational hope that the quilted cotton scraps could shield him from whatever power had invaded his attic room. Trembling, he closed his eyes.
His master, the clockmaker Franklin Bodean, had taught Hethor to listen to the mechanisms of their work. But he’d found that he could listen to life, too. Hethor heard first and always his own breathing, even now heavy and slow despite his burgeoning sense of fear.
The old house


Praise for Mainspring

"A dark, wild mix of machine and magic--an impressive debut novel from short story maestro Jay Lake."--Greg Bear on Mainspring
"In Mainspring, Lake has created a grandiose, thoroughly engaging blasphemy.
This book blends the best of nostalgic adventure fiction with a genuinely
fresh voice and ideas. An instant steampunk classic." --Cory Doctorow, author of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town 

"From the sweeping mechanisms of his clockwork world, down to the subtle movements of his characters, all drawn with a clockmaker's eye, Lake gives us a story both grand and intimate, smart and savvy... and a whole lot of fun to boot."  --Hal Duncan, author of Vellum

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Jay Lake; Read by William Dufris

  • JAY LAKE was a prolific writer of science fiction and fantasy, as well as an award-winning editor, a popular raconteur and toastmaster, and an excellent teacher at the many writers' workshops he attended.  His novels included Tor's publications Mainspring, Escapement, and Pinion, and the trilogy of novels in his Green cycle - Green, Endurance and Kalimpura. Lake was nominated multiple times for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He won the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 2004, the year after his first professional stories were published.  In 2008 Jay Lake was diagnosed with colon cancer, and in the years after he became known outside the sf genre as a powerful and brutally honest blogger about the progression of his disease.  Jay Lake died on June 1, 2014.

    William Dufris is a native of Houlton, Maine but began his audio career in London, England. He has also acted on stage and in television, and has been nominated six times as a finalist for the APA's prestigious Audie Awards.  He garnered eighteen Golden Earphones Awards through AudioFile magazine, which honored him as one of "The Best Voices At The End Of The Century." 

  • Jay Lake Mary Elizabeth Lake
    Jay Lake





    Available Formats and Book Details


    Clockwork Earth

    Jay Lake; Read by William Dufris



    Macmillan Audio