Life in Steam

Published on

First published in Writers of the Future XXV

Reviewed in Diabolical Plots:

and reviewed by John E. Rogers, Jr. writes on the Asimov’s Forum:


You ask proof of God's work? Look only to the vault of heaven. He created the sky as a solid firmament, that we might cross it. He gave us the knowledge to build machines that cling to that firmament and crawl the distance from our island of rock to many others. What other proof would you ask?
- The Gospel of Arden Clock-Maker

The Ira Deus, like all spider-ships in the Dominican Armada, had protectively small windows with thick plate glass that obscured vision. Mendel could still see the dark curve of God's firmament through the port window in his quarters. But after four months aboard, he missed seeing the full expanse of creation, and missed even more, standing on real ground with fresh air.

He looked old. At forty-two, half his hair was grey. He adjusted the mitre on his head and wished he could look dignified, but young. He asked the Lord's forgiveness for his vanity.