As the Maltese Falcon first proved, there was a lot which modern technology could do to improve upon 19th century commercial sailing ships. But as the world was suddenly thrust into its second age of sail and those yards who still had the skills and materials scrabbled to put hulls in the water, the living fossils of that first age were much in demand. While in the early days they maintained those most delicate tendrils of physical contact between continents once more worlds apart, naval architects, shipwrights and mariners alike all sought to re-learn from those who’d gone before.
T.E.P. wins a copy of the Tor Books edition of METAtropolis, and a big smile from me. Check out the contest page itself for some awfully cool ideas from many other folks.
Bear's contest here: here.
Toby's contest here.
John's contest here.
Karl's contest here.