Stuart Robertson

By StuartRobertson


This morning I was in Glasgow early and I made a visit to the Graving Docks in Govan.

This is a view from Graving Dock 2 looking towards Pacific Quay. From left to right you can see the Squinty Bridge, PSV Waverley, BBC Scotland, Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow Tower and the IMAX.

The term “Steampunk” originated in the late 1980s with a cheeky letter to Locus Magazine from science fiction author K. W. Jeter. Jeter was trying to find an accurate description of works by himself (Morlock Night), Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates), and James Blaylock (Homunculus). While Jeter coined the word, it was William Gibson and Bruce Sterling that brought the genre attention with the book The Difference Engine (1992). Best known for their offerings in cyberpunk, Gibson and Sterling took their intimate integration of man and machine back to 1885. In this alternative Industrial Revolution, Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine is not merely a curiosity but the norm, and now his Analytical Engine comes to fruition. The book centres around the struggle between the working class Luddites (who fear technology) and the upper-class “enhanced” elite.

If Jules Verne or H.G. Wells were writing their science fiction today, it would be considered “steampunk.”

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