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On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »

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The Difference Engine

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William Gibson's first novel since 2010's bestselling Zero History, The Peripheral (Putnam) is described by fellow author Cory Doctorow as, "A piece of trenchant, far-future speculation that features all the eyeball kicks of Neuromancer and all the maturity and sly wit of Spook Country."

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines.  Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time.  And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history—and the future:

 

Sybil Gerard—a fallen woman, politician’s tart, daughter of a Luddite agitator

 

Edward “Leviathan” Mallory—explorer and paleontologist

 

Laurence Oliphant—diplomat, mystic, and spy.

 

Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose.  Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for….

 

Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the collaborative masterpiece by two of the most acclaimed science fiction authors writing today.  Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson’s and Sterling’s unique visions—and the beginning of movement we know today as “steampunk!”

Synopsis:

In 1855 London, a steam driven calculator heralds a new age of information as everything from fast food to credit cards turns the Victorian Era into a bizarre modern-day world. "Bursting with the kind of demented speculation and obsessive detailing that has made both Gibson's and Sterling's work stand out in the past".--San Francisco Chronicle.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Dovile, December 20, 2009 (view all comments by Dovile)
It's my first novel both by W. Gibson and by B. Sterling, and also my first steampunk novel. Maybe this reason was the reason I didn't particularly like it. It was unusual, that's true, I also liked the authors's writing style, besides, the mystery set up from the very beginning kept me reading to the end, but in general, this novel didn't fullfilled my expectations. The characters are many and sometimes it's difficult to keep track of them. Clearly, this novel wasn't my cup of tea, but I'd recommend you to try it, maybe you'll like it better.
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Katherine Stuart, October 2, 2008 (view all comments by Katherine Stuart)
This is the first book I’ve read by Bruce Sterling but the fourth or fifth I’ve read by Gibson. The prose does not disappoint Gibson fans and the plot is as labyrithian as a fan would expect. Even the philosophy is ken.
The book however still manages to be vague and off target. It’s an alternative history novel and yet many of the alternative history “facts” or “characters” seem superfluous and clumsy. Perhaps the authors enjoyed creating the alternate Sam Houston, but the character still manages to seem completely contrived. As an overall effort it falls flat.
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Samsara, October 6, 2007 (view all comments by Samsara)
This book is the best representative of the steampunk genre. A tale of mystery and intrigue set in an England that never was, where velocipedes and airships coexist. The setting is too luscious too describe.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553294613
With:
Sterling, Bruce
Author:
Sterling, Bruce
Author:
Gibson, William
Publisher:
Spectra
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Computers
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
548
Publication Date:
19920101
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
7.08x4.22x1.24 in. .48 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Steampunk

The Difference Engine Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Spectra Books - English 9780553294613 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In 1855 London, a steam driven calculator heralds a new age of information as everything from fast food to credit cards turns the Victorian Era into a bizarre modern-day world. "Bursting with the kind of demented speculation and obsessive detailing that has made both Gibson's and Sterling's work stand out in the past".--San Francisco Chronicle.
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