William Gibson became an overnight sf success with the publication of his best-selling NEUROMANCER THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE is a huge cult success, a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, now available with a brand new cover treatment taking it into the 21st century. 'Stuffed with period detail, lovingly researched ...the deepest and raciest sf collaboration since Pohl and Kornbluth' GUARDIAN 'Brilliant' THE FACE 'An ingenious book, Gibson and Sterling score points in the toughness of their imagination, the quality of their speculation and the daring of their technique' i-D
William Gibson began writing in 1977 and burst upon the literary world with his acclaimed first novel, NEUROMANCER, the book that launched the cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction, the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards. His most recent books include PATTERN RECOGNITION and IDORU. Bruce Sterling burst onto the sf scene with the birth of Cyberpunk and co-authored THE DIFFERENCE ENGINE with his colleague William Gibson. His biggest UK success was with THE HACKER CRACKDOWN. He lives with his wife and daughters in Austin, Texas.
In a surprising departure from the traditional view of cyberpunk's bleak future, Gibson ( Mona Lisa Overdrive ) and Sterling ( Islands in the Net ) render with elan and colorful detail a scientifically advanced London, circa 1855, where computers (``Engines'') have been developed. Fierce summer heat and pollution have driven out the ruling class, and ensuing anarchy allows the subversive, technology-hating Luddites to surface and battle the intellectual elite. Much of the problem centers on a set of perforated cards, once in the possession of an executed Luddite leader's daughter, later in the hands of ``Queen of Engines'' Ada Byron (daughter of prime minister Lord Byron), finally given to Edward Mallory, a scientist. Mallory, who knows the cards are a gambling device that can be read with a specialized Engine, is soon threatened and libeled by the Luddites, and he and his associates confront the scoundrels in a violent showdown. A sometimes listless pace and limp conclusions that defy the plot's complexity flaw an otherwise visionary, handsomely written, unsentimental tale that convincingly revises the 19th-century Western world. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo. (Mar.)
In a Victorian England run by steam-powered computing engines and governed by an intellectual elite led by Prime Minister Byron, an ambitious young paleontologist comes into possession of a dangerous set of program cards and begins running for his life. This first collaboration between cyberpunk legends Gibson ( Neuroman cer , Ace, 1984) and Sterling ( Islands in the Net, LJ 6/15/88) represents an ingenious (though not entirely successful) tour-de-force, as cyberpunk and the Victorian adventure novel meet with a vengeance. Recommended.