Tell me about the idea that mugged you in the night and wouldn't let you go

[1] When explorers found out that Earth was flat after all, they mounted expeditions beyond the edge to climb the gears of Heaven. [2] Some brought back stars and pieces of the sun and installed them on towers, to grant their cities eternal day. [3] Others stayed. Their houses adorn the steel beams that carry the sun and watch down onto earth, which now looks like the night sky once did.
The ideas quickly became too many to pour into a coherent twitter thread, so I'll bloviate here instead. How is this world different from ours? It is flat, it is finite (beyond the beams that carry sun, moon and stars, there is nothing), and stars are small and easily tamed. After the first explorers, there are now two "interesting" civilizations: The sky settlers and the star tamers.

The Sky Settlers

They are the descendants of the explorers who have chosen to stay among the stars. The gears and spokes of heaven are gargantuan indeed and have plenty of surface. Which is hard but not impenetrable and dust has accumulated in places, so settlements and some species of moss and lichen cling to them. It is a very austere environment, but the view is great and some of the planets even habitable. They trade stars with the surface in exchange for soil, ropes and other rarities, and it is rumored they have been working on their own artificial stars, and machines to cross the distances without a harness.

The Star Tamers

They have stolen stars from the sky and built giant receptacles (generally towers called pharos [plural the same as singular]) in their cities to carry them. This has various ramifications: PS: Mechanical suns can't melt steel beams published: Feb 10 2016. epistemic status: subjunctive.