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Sites about The Difference Engine

by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling.

An alternate history, ‘steampunk’ novel in which the computer age is ushered in 100 years earlier in Victorian England with the building of Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine.

Keywords: cyberpunk, steampunk, alternate history, science fiction, computers

Critical sites about The Difference Engine

Gibson and Sterling’s Alternative History: The Difference Engine as Radical Rewriting of Disraeli’s Sybil
“This essay will trace the methods through which Benjamin Disraeli’s Sybil (1845), a social novel asserting that the evils of the industrial revolution and the concomitant barbarousness of workers and employers can only be redeemed by the humanistic values of the enlightened landowning aristocracy, is transformed into The Difference Engine, with a scientific meritocracy that holds up information as the standard of value, and that asserts a technoculture in which the human and the mechanical easily merge. Catastrophism and chaos theory, positing ‘prigoginic leaps’ to ‘a new, more differentiated, higher level of ‘order’ or organization,’ offer a more positive outlook than Disraeli’s uniformitarian stance in Sybil.”
Contains: Content Analysis, Historical Context
Author: Elisabeth Kraus
From: Node9 Volume 1, 1997

Other (non-critical) sites about The Difference Engine

The Difference Dictionary
Dictionary for and commentary on William Gibson & Bruce Sterling’s novel The Difference Engine. Browsable and searchable.
Author: Eileen Gunn
Author: Eileen Gunn

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013