Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Escapement

Escapement

Clockwork Earth (Volume 2)

Jay Lake

Tor Books

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In his novel Mainspring, Lake created an enormous canvas for storytelling with his hundred mile high Equatorial Wall that holds up the great Gears of the Earth. Now in Escapement, he explores more of that territory.

Paolina Barthes is a young woman of remarkable intellectual ability – a genius on the level of Isaac Newton. But she has grown up in isolation, in a small village of shipwreck survivors, on the Wall in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She knows little of the world, but she knows that England rules it, and must be the home of people who possess the learning that she so desperately wants. And so she sets off to make her way off the Wall, not knowing that she will bring her astounding, unschooled talent for sorcery to the attention of those deadly factions who would use or kill her for it.


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EXCERPT

Chapter One

P A O L I N A

The boats had been drawn up in the harbor at Praia Nova when the great waves came two years past. The men of the village generally thought this a blessing, for that circumstance had spared their lives. The women...

Reviews

Praise for Escapement

“Theological steampunk set in a mechanical universe -- the debut novel from a noted short-story writer....Good elements -- intriguing alternate history, solid characters, briskly moving plot.” —Kirkus Reviews on Mainspring

“Could Mainspring be the opening canto of a metaphysical magnum opus in the vein of Wolfe? Yes, very plausibly. The language is lyrical and perfectly calibrated, the symbolism is profound, the intelligent mystification is just at the appropriate level. With this novel, Jay Lake has ascended from journeyman to Master; let the Masterwork now unfold.” —Locus on Mainspring

“A dark, wild mix of machine and magic--an impressive debut novel from short story maestro Jay Lake.” —Greg Bear on Mainspring

“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 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 on Mainspring

“As if Edgar Rice Burroughs had collaborated with Adam Roberts, or as if Robert Louis Stevenson had partnered with Gene Wolfe, Jay Lake, in his new novel Mainspring, delivers a mad, brave, compellingly readable tale of an alternate universe where the gear-stuffed Earth literally rolls through the Heavens on a brass track. Lake, with the artist's instincts for narrative and character over dogma, takes this conceit and runs with it in postmodern fashion toward a conclusion both shattering and redemptive. Lucent, tactile, deeply inhabited, the world of Hethor Jacques is a marvelous subcreation stuffed full of miracles, both cosmic and domestic. In Hethor's world, one can hear the midnight meshing of mystical gears. I imagine they sound somewhat like the subliminal hum of this book.” —Paul Di Filippo, author of The Steampunk Trilogy on Mainspring

“The gears that propel this story run -- yes -- like clockwork. The world Jay's created here is one of the best wind-up toys a reader could ever want.” —John Scalzi, author of Old Man's War on Mainspring

Mainspring is a grand and glorious adventure, an epic journey of imagination the likes of which I haven't often seen... a breathlessly exciting tale that takes the best old-school storytelling and the most vivid contemporary world-building sensibilities and spot-welds them together. Think Edgar Rice Burroughs or Philip José Farmer meets China Miéville or Ian R. MacLeod, by way of religious allegory. Mainspring is always gripping and often dazzling in its vision.” —SFReviews.com on Mainspring

“A fascinating take on the God-as-clockmaker theory, this is a compellingly readable coming-of-age story. Hethor Jacques is a likable protagonist, and while the plot slows down in the middle, the book as a whole ticks along agreeably with superb world-building and an original take on an old idea.” —Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Mainspring

“Lake envisions the universe as an enormous clockwork, put in motion by God, complete with gears and a mainspring hidden at the Earth's center, in his intriguing first trade hardcover novel, a fantasy set in the magic-tinged late 19th century.…Lake demonstrates his enormously fertile imagination in this unusual book.” —Publishers Weekly on Mainspring

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jay Lake

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.

Jay Lake

Mary Elizabeth Lake

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