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    • CommentAuthorConfusion
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (93.1)
    I know that steampunk is the most obvious incarnation of retro-tech, but lately I have vague ideas tugging at my mind, but sadly no idea of where to look for inspiration.

    So I thought maybe asking here would be best.

    Does anyone know much about good sources for clockwork automata, and other various incarnations of present-day tech using strictly outmoded technology?

    Yes, I know, google is my friend, but I can't be the only person that's interested but overwhelmed by the entry levels of knowledge needed.
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      CommentAuthoradamatsya
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (93.2)
    Not sure if this is exactly what you want, but Gabby Wood's Living Dolls book is a good history of automata. It goes beyond the subject towards the end, but it's a pretty good primer.

    The guardian has an excerpt of it on their site.
    • CommentAuthorConfusion
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (93.3)
    Due to my own filthy habits that I pursue in spare time, I'm looking for something periodesque to occupy myself with when I'm at SCA events.

    It occurred to me that making inventions that may or may not have ever existed but were at least -possible- with the tech of the time would amuse me. Thus, questions about retro-tech made with things predating steampunk's theme
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      CommentAuthorExploder
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (93.4)
    I think I have that same book but under the title Edison's Eve. So you may find it as that if you go looking for it.
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      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
     (93.5)
    There was a book I almost finished before the library pried it back out of my fingers called Mainspring by Jay Lake. Aside from the technology level, it also uses a very steampunk cosmology - by which I mean the planet Earth is a giant piece of clockwork, and the plot revolves around a young hero going to the South Pole to wind it back up. Some fantastic concepts that might prove influential or inspirational.

    Also, I have never been quite satisfied with any literary or graphic experiments with the inventions and theories of Nikola Tesla that I have read, which is sad, because I think there's an insane amount of material for a steampunk (or maybe electro-punk) story or setting.
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      CommentAuthorCarnadine
    • CommentTimeDec 4th 2007
     (93.6)
    Is it clockpunk you're looking for? The Da Vinci Automata blog might be what you're looking for - though it updates sporadically, it collects links on retro clockpunk tech and clockpunk stories. They're also compiling an anthology of clockpunk short stories (if I recall correctly, under a CC license).
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      CommentAuthorEcksearoh
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
     (93.7)
    I always thought that the Nixie Tube in big leaded glass and copper bell dials would make for a great Steampunk visual attached to a Difference Engine. Combine them with a split flap "display screen", and a typewriter keyboard you'd have a truly unique look.