The Commonplace Book
A Tor.Com Original
The first piece of short fiction by popular Television Without Pity writer Jacob Clifton is like nothing we've ever read, a piece of postmodern steampunk encompassing past, present, and future all at once. Jacob writes, "There's a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation—and part of that is the notion that you can't just remix, you have to transform."
"The Commonplace Book" concerns certain social and technological developments in New York's sixth Borough of Lytton, a timeless locale facing great change at the hands of new motion picture technology and the advent of machine intelligence. And, most of all, from inventors and iconoclasts Lady Adelaide Babbage and Mr Maximilian Willoughby, struggling in parallel with a hopeless inability to conform in fashion or manner to the standards of the day, and the construction of identity in the face of the knowledge that the creation of AI is—like any other art—also the creation of self.
- Tom Doherty Associates, October 2012
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