Category Archives: The Difference Engine

The Formation of the Observer in “The Difference Engine”: Political Upheaval and Visual Culture

In his book Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, Jonathan Crary details two popular models for understanding the change in vision and visuality over the course of the mid- to late-nineteenth century and the sub… Continue reading

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“A Knowledge that is Dying to be Born”: Manipulating Knowledge in The Difference Engine

In The Difference Engine, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling compose an alternate history depicting technological, environmental, and socio-political crises of the nineteenth century. At the heart of this novel is an overwhelming sense of ambivalence re… Continue reading

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Cholera and Miasma: Technological Progress and Medical Backwardness

In science fiction, cyberpunk, and speculative fiction, technology is often presented as an answer to social problems; we like to think of it as manna delivered from the heavens by an unseen hand to feed a people hungry for progress. However, William G… Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century, Bruce Sterling, Cholera, Florence Nightingale, Germ Theory of Disease, History of Medicine, history of science, London, Miasma, microbiology, Science Fiction, technological progress, The Difference Engine, The Great Stink, William Gibson | Comments Off on Cholera and Miasma: Technological Progress and Medical Backwardness