Synopses & Reviews
What would today's technology look like with Victorian-era design and materials? That's the world steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions powered by steam and driven by gears. In this book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that's captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.
Just like today, the late 19th century was an age of rapid technological change, and writers such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells commented on their time with fantastic stories that jumpstarted science fiction. Through interviews with experts such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, James Gleick, and Margaret Atwood, this book looks into steampunk's vision of old-world craftsmen making beautiful hand-tooled gadgets, and what it says about our age of disposable technology.
Steampunk is everywhere — as gadget prototypes at Maker Faire, novels and comic books, paintings and photography, sculptures, fashion design, and music. Discover how this elaborate view of a history that never existed can help us reimagine our future.
About the Author
James H. Carrott may have been born a historian, but definitive proof awaits further mapping of the human genome. A self-described tech nerd, anachronist, game geek, fanboy, and contrarian, James has followed an eclectic career path that has taken him from the deepest recesses of America's colonial past to the future of gaming and entertainment and everywhere between. Among many other things, he's been a miniature strategy game national champion, co-founder of a community radio station, union steward and treasurer, host and producer of innumerable radio programs, and once had the San Francisco Mime Troupe over for supper. Prior to embarking on his Vintage Tomorrows
adventure, he served as global product manager for Xbox 360 hardware. James (aka CultHistorian) is currently a freelance historian, writer and design consultant, researching cultural change to explore the future through the creative application of the past. He resides in Seattle, Washington with his two daughters in a little flat packed with books, comics, games, and toys.
The future is Brian David Johnson's business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called "future casting" — using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Fake Plastic Love, Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories and the forthcoming This Is Planet Earth). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.