CoSi on Absinthe

If magic can be mechanical, you’ll find it in the Machines of Isle of Nantes. This museum, dedicated to the machines and visions of Jules Verne and Leonardo da Vinci, presents a bizarrely functional world for visitors to explore. Note, I call it a museum because I just don’t know what else to name it. […]

From This City of Nightmares, What Dreams May Come?

In 1987 K.W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk” in a letter to Locus magazine. Jeter used the term to qualify the neo-Victorian writings that he, James Blaylock, and Tim Powers, were producing. This term was in part a play on the term “cyberpunk,” which was a popular genre in the late 1980s. Steampunk is a genre of speculation, whether it is set in an alternative version of Victorian England, in an alternative American West, in a future where steam power rather than electrical current runs the world, or in a fantasy setting where steam power is in mainstream use. It owes a debt of gratitude for its creation to such authors as Jules Verne, Mary Shelly, and H.G. Wells: Their works are speculative and include many of the aspects that readers now associate with modern steampunk novels. In terms of world building, though, the genre owes an even larger debt to Charles Dickens and his depiction of Victorian England.

“The Other Log of Phileas Fogg” – Book Review

I expected this story to be written like a series of journal entries, but rather it is through the lens of an “expert” interpreting a secret journal and often “correcting” Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days as much as adding missing pieces. But, one thing Farmer does do is give Fogg his missing back-story. According […]

Symposium Session – Victorian Spacecraft

Victorian Spacecraft Presented by Zebulon Vitruvius Pike The science and science fiction of space travel in the 19th Century. Jules Verne’s moon gun. H.G. Wells’ Cavorite sphere. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky’s space elevator. Erasmus Darwin’s rocket. Thomas Edison’s aether propeller. Tesla’s Venusian X-12. Where they got it right. Where they got it wrong. How you can incorporate in […]

Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts Jours

Today we have a bonus “This Day in History” to celebrate the first publication of Jules Verne’s Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingts Jours (also known as Around the World in 80 Days to English speakers) on January 30th, 1873.   The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1st, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman […]

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