In dimension described by Jay Lake in Mainspring, the universe is truly a clockwork creation: the earth spins on a great track around the sun, and midnight is marked by the teeth of the equatorial gear clicking into the track as the world turns. Two rival powers control most of the land north of The Wall: the British Empire and The Chinese Empire. Recently, these two powers were both trying to beat the other to the southern hemisphere, but they have since changed their minds, and are canceling those efforts. The British Empire is now seeking to recall what they can of their failed attempt to drill through the wall. The German Scientist who had headed the efforts has not been heard from yet, as communications had not been wired into place before the decision to cancel the effort was made.
The Recent explosion of Strasbourg’s Astrological Clock still has many questioning what may have happened in that city of rationalism, but no real answer to that mystery has come to light. Many suspect Chinese involvement. Because of this, tensions are rising between the two super powers.
The year is 1905, and Queen Victoria is proudly ruling an empire upon which the sun never sets, and whose airships keep her sky safe. Her American colonies are proud members of the empire, and the free cities open to all traders bustle with cosmopolitan peoples and goods.
But what does the future hold?