A genius inventor builds a magic machine (an airship!). His government uses it as a superweapon its neighbors have no defense against. His country becomes an ever expanding Empire.
One fine day, he sees the destruction his creation has wrought. Filled with remorse, he escapes & finds life in a far away land.
Now, several years later, the Empire has located him & is coming to take him back.
Notes.Each of the 3 main ideas of the story are old tropes: genius inventor, remorseful war-winner turns his back on war, & new superweapon neighbors have no defense against. Three good sf examples, all online, of the last one:
- Murray Leinster's "Morale" (download).
- Robert Heinlein's "Solution Unsatisfactory" (download).
- H G Wells' "The Land Ironclads" (download).
Fact sheet.First published: Nick Gevers (Eds)'s Extraordinary Engines (2008).