Litkicks Message Board Archive

The Difference Engine - William Gibson & Bruce Sterling

Posted to What Are You Reading?




England, mid nineteenth century, Charles Babbage's Analytic Engine has caused the technical revolution to happen at the same time as the industrial revolution. Essentially the last 150 years of science and industry are happening in just a couple of decades. As well as this, archaeologists are just figuring out what dinosaurs were and how they died. The whole history of the planet is being negotiated in just a few years. naturally, there is much trouble i.e revolution, pollution and skullduggery.

I've not read any of Gibson's other more famous books (neuromancer etc) so i'm not sure if this is typical of his work, nor can i say how the collaboration between the two writers was worked.

The actual writing isn't hugely impressive, you might call it a bit clunky. However, the ideas and imagination at work here are impressive. History is a strange beast and it really is a wonder that we're still a (mostly) viable species.