Steampunk stories very often feature steam-driven machines, but there are other works that have technology driven by springs and sprockets. This is the subgenre called Springpunk, and Jay Lake’s Mainspring is springpunk taken to an extreme, as the description makes clear:

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.


To get a feel for it, you can read the first chapter on the MacMillian site.


But that’s enough of what other people think. If you’ve read Mainspring, leave a note here and share your thoughts!