Tuesday, 10 January 2012
SteamPunk Review: The Difference Engine
by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling (1990)
Published by Gollancz in 2003 – ISBN 978-0-575-60029-4
After rereading 'The Difference Engine' all be it a bit at a time (after starting it mid November), I found that the depth of this early SteamPunk World still full of detail, and you can delight in it's fantasy of an alliterative historical England and the Empire, when calculating engines of brass and steel started the information age over a hundred years before the microchip and the industrial might that sparks the British conflict with the new Luddites has its moments!
It's now over 20 years after its first printing and this imagined World is now familiar, as well as fiction of alliterative histories and SteamPunk as a sub-genre of science fiction has had many enthusiasts and imitators, even the emergence of writers who's settings are solely in the Victorian era are well liked.
I feel that The Difference Engine's brass has lost a little of its shine, but it has its place in fiction and should always have a place on your bookshelf.