By Jay Lake
In his novel Mainspring, Lake created a big canvas for storytelling with his hundred mile excessive Equatorial Wall that holds up the good Gears of the Earth. Now in Escapement, he explores extra of that territory. Paolina Barthes is a tender lady of exceptional highbrow skill – a genius at the point of Isaac Newton. But she has grown up in isolation, in a small village of shipwreck survivors, at the Wall in the course of the Atlantic Ocean. She understands little of the realm, yet she is familiar with that England ideas it, and needs to be the house of people that own the educational that she so desperately wants. And so she units off to make her means off the Wall, no longer realizing that she is going to convey her surprising, unschooled expertise for sorcery to the eye of these lethal factions who may use or kill her for it.
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Extra resources for Escapement
Tiny pieces seemed to hold firm in her fingers, though she knew with the right clamps and stands she could have cut them almost dust-small. The shavings she carefully swept by hand, separate piles for each consistency of metal, in case she needed them for even tinier springs. Likewise the slivers, which could provide a roller for a movement almost too small to see. She could not build those here in the dark, with these tools, but she could anticipate the need and how it would work. There was frustration, too, as some parts fumbled away from her hand, and others couldn’t be made to fit with sufficient smoothness.
She wandered the village, looking at the houses and storerooms that comprised most of Praia Nova. The ones that were not inhabited were tumbledown. Paolina didn’t want to contemplate the patience required to clean up an abandoned hut. On the Oporto shelf, the second ledge above town, where more of the thin wheat fields ran, she realized she was looking at her answer—the mushroom sheds. They were sealed with lacquered canvas, and they were quiet. It would be a month or more before another set of trays was picked.
A tiny stab of fear stole into her heart. Davies switched to English. “You have been summoned. ” Paolina sighed and put down the teakwood picks. She carefully covered the stemwinder with a square of pale silk, part of the bounty harvested from the body of a Chinaman brought up in the nets the year before the big waves. ” She dusted off her hands. Clarence looked down at his feet a moment. ” The answer was obvious now, but her rising irritation made her unkind. ” Walking behind her through the canvas flap that was the door, he mumbled some answer she couldn’t hear.