The Difference Engine: A Novel

· Sold by Spectra
37 reviews

About this ebook

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!”

Ratings and reviews

37 reviews
Mike Bess
October 7, 2014
The Difference Engine is a complex, oftentimes baroque novel that offers reader a compelling example of postmodern historical narrative. It captures the essence of 19-century Victorian politics and society, passing it through the prism of a "sci-fi" premise that turns the world as we know it on its head. A must-read book if you're hungry for something wholly original and thought provoking.
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Timothy Anderson
November 7, 2021
There are a variety of negative reviews here that miss an important point. The Difference Engine was written over 20 years ago, cementing the Steampunk genre. That the prose is frequently exhausting is simply indicative of mid 19th century English literature. The book is a defining example, and shouldn't be missed by any bookworm.
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About the author

William Gibson is credited with having coined the term "cyberspace" and having envisioned both the Internet and virtual reality before either existed. He is the author of NeuromancerCount Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Burning Chrome, Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow's Parties, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, Zero History, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and The Peripheral. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife.  

Bruce Sterling is an Austin-born science fiction writer and Net critic, internationally recognized as a cyberspace theorist who is also considered one of the forefathers of the cyberpunk movement in science fiction. He has won a John W. Campbell Award, two Hugo Awards, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award.

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