On Sunday, I was on a panel about steampunk at the Eastercon in Bradford with Tim Powers, one of the original creators of steampunk literature (see his Anubis Gate). Halfway through, Powers mentioned casually that he came to write a science-fictional book influenced by Victorian England after reading, London Labour and the London Poor , a classic text by Henry Mayhew. Powers said that the book was KW Jeter's (Jeter coined the term "steampunk") and that it was passed around to both Powers and James Blaylock, three friends whose works were, arguably, the first steampunk novels ever written.
Powers said words to the effect of, "After reading this book, I realized that I had a whole novel's worth of research right there." It struck me that I'd never heard this story before, and that here, in this book, there was an important origin story about one of the major ways that an entire genre of literature, making, film and comics came into being.
I've just ordered my copy. Can't wait to read it.
London Labour and the London Poor
The University of Michigan's library recently acquired a copy of American Cheese, 20 Slices, by Ben Denzer, a book made from shelf-stable, plastic-wrapped slices of American cheese.
Back in 2014, David wrote up Jeremy Bell's prototype "ScrubBoard" that enabled a scratch-like effect with magnetic audiotape. Bell writes, "I've made a lot of progress on my device since then, and I have a much more sophisticated prototype that uses a motorized tape loop and can record live audio directly onto the tape while […]
Just look at it. (Thanks, Greg Cook!)
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