Brian Tacik's Reviews > The Difference Engine

The Difference Engine by William Gibson
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M 50x66
's review
Jan 06, 2008

it was ok
Read in October, 2007

This was a total disappointment. I was hyped to read some "steampunk" after jumping back on thee comics and sf trains over the last year plus. The word on the web was don't buy this, don't read it, not worth it. Don't get pumped about reading a collab by Sterling and Gibson. I ignored the shouts...and shoudn't have. I agree with what I read in online reviews and blogs: steampunk is a good concept for art, comic books or even cinema, but it doesn't work in novel form, especially not in The Difference Engine. So much potential from the concept and from the authors. Steampunk requires visual. Many don't like the movie Wild Wild West with Will Smith, but it's a good visual rep of steampunk (see the spider machine and all of Kevin Kline's character's technology). Mike Mignola and his Hellboy comics (Hellboy, BPRD, Lobster Johnson) are great representation of steampunk.
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Sean O'Reilly Interesting review but I would quibble with 'it (steampunk) doesn't work in novel form'. I'm not a major steampunk fan but I believe Philip Reeve's Larklight, albeit written for a younger audience, has some connection witht he steampunk genre and works very well.

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