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Mainspring

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ISBN13: 9780765317087
ISBN10: 0765317087
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Lake (Trial of Flowers) 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. Archangel Gabriel charges clockmaker's apprentice Hethor Jacques with a quest: he must find the lost Key Perilous so that the Mainspring of the World can be rewound. Hethor leaves New Haven, Conn., for Boston, where he boards Her Imperial Majesty's Ship of the Air Bassett and travels south to the towering Equatorial Wall, along the top of which run the great gears that rotate the earth. Hethor soon discovers opponents who don't want the mainspring rewound. He must deal with dark magicians, monstrous winged savages, mechanical men and other wonders during his epic journey, which takes him over the wall and into a land of wonders. The author of more than 200 short stories, Lake demonstrates his enormously fertile imagination in this unusual book, marred only by some sluggish pacing. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"As Hethor and his companions find their faith in the Divine Clockmaker both challenged and justified, so, too, do they discover the humanity that both blesses and curses them in a mechanistic world....Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Despite some good elements — intriguing alternate history, solid characters, briskly moving plot — God created everything in Lake's meticulous scenario, and events are explicable only in terms of Him. Precious little room, then, for mystery, suspense, a sense of wonder or even suspension ofdisbelief." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A dark, wild mix of machine and magic — an impressive debut novel from short story maestro Jay Lake." Greg Bear

Synopsis:

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.

Synopsis:

Jay Lakes first trade novel is an astounding 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 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.

About the Author

Jay Lake is the winner of the 2004 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He is the author of over 100 published short stories, and has been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. Mainspring is his first trade hardcover novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Ian Foster, July 23, 2009 (view all comments by Ian Foster)
The question of a divine creator’s existence is only one among many such spiritual and philosophical quandaries. Yet it’s all too easy to get hung up on that question without considering others that are just as important. Indeed, it’s all too easy to confuse the “existence question” with questions about the nature of the creator, the nature of human beings, and the nature of our relationship with our creator and with the world around us. Our biases, preconceptions, and prejudices lead us to assume that, if a creator exists, he/she/it must be a certain way. He/she/it would look, think, and behave in the way we expect a creator would. And so when we do not see in this world the influence of the kind of creator we expect, we reason that there is no creator at all. For it may be much more simple to believe in no creator than to believe in a creator who is different from the one we want.

In Mainspring, JayLake takes a unique approach to help the characters (and, by extension, the readers) sort through our philosophical and spiritual uncertainties: he resolves the “existence question” conclusively so as to remove that question from consideration, at least within the context of the book. In the Mainspring universe, a great wall topped by gear teeth encircles the world and moves the Earth along its vast orbital track around the sun. The other planets and satellites in our solar system move along like mechanisms. The Hand of God in creating the universe is, therefore, apparent and undeniable to any who are willing to simply raise their eyes to the sky. The “existence question” is no question at all.

Jay Lake tells us, “Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that God exists and He created the Heavens and the Earth.” If the reader is willing to make that assumption, at least temporarily, then the reader is free to ask the other, often sticker and more difficult spiritual and philosophical questions without getting hung up on the question of whether God exists in the first place. The reader can cast off prejudices about what God ought to be like and instead concentrate on what God is like. Forget about how humans would interact with their creator and think about how humans should interact with their creator. Those are the questions with which the characters in Mainspring must wrestle.

Mainspring does something I've not seen in many books. It gives you a context with which to explore your own thoughts and ideas about spirituality, while keeping you in a fun, entertaining, and non-threatening atmosphere. It helps you to ask some serious questions of yourself but without taking yourself too seriously. I definitely recommend giving this one a shot.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780765317087
Author:
Lake, Jay
Publisher:
Tor Science Fiction
Author:
Lake, Jay, Tobias
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Solar system
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction - Alternative History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
June 12, 2007
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
6.61 x 4.24 x 0.995 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Mainspring Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Tor Books - English 9780765317087 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Lake (Trial of Flowers) 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. Archangel Gabriel charges clockmaker's apprentice Hethor Jacques with a quest: he must find the lost Key Perilous so that the Mainspring of the World can be rewound. Hethor leaves New Haven, Conn., for Boston, where he boards Her Imperial Majesty's Ship of the Air Bassett and travels south to the towering Equatorial Wall, along the top of which run the great gears that rotate the earth. Hethor soon discovers opponents who don't want the mainspring rewound. He must deal with dark magicians, monstrous winged savages, mechanical men and other wonders during his epic journey, which takes him over the wall and into a land of wonders. The author of more than 200 short stories, Lake demonstrates his enormously fertile imagination in this unusual book, marred only by some sluggish pacing. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "As Hethor and his companions find their faith in the Divine Clockmaker both challenged and justified, so, too, do they discover the humanity that both blesses and curses them in a mechanistic world....Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Despite some good elements — intriguing alternate history, solid characters, briskly moving plot — God created everything in Lake's meticulous scenario, and events are explicable only in terms of Him. Precious little room, then, for mystery, suspense, a sense of wonder or even suspension ofdisbelief."
"Review" by , "A dark, wild mix of machine and magic — an impressive debut novel from short story maestro Jay Lake."
"Synopsis" by ,
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.
"Synopsis" by ,
Jay Lakes first trade novel is an astounding 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 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.
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