Prospero Taligent is mad. He is also the richest man in the world, an inventor, industrialist and entrepreneur who can do just about anything he likes. He lives in The Dream of Perpetual Motion's early 20th century alternate reality, where one can find technology as futuristic as flying mechanical men, and as retro as food automats and Victrolas. In the city of Xeroville, Prospero's madness seems to have tainted everyone, as evidenced by the need for "Shrink Cabs," which offer psychiatric therapy as well as a ride.
The story begins at the end; that is, we first meet Harold when he is already trapped aboard the Zeppelin, Chrysalis, where he can hear the voice of Prospero's daughter, Miranda, speaking to him, but cannot tell where she is. He suspects, but cannot prove, that the perpetual motion engine keeping the ship afloat is gradually running down. Harold refuses to speak to ...
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