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Vintage Tomorrows

(photo of co-author James H. Carrott courtesy of Andy Pischalnikoff)

It was a great pleasure to co-edit, along with fellow editor Courtney Nash (who deserves the bulk of the editorial credit), the newly released Vintage Tomorrows. I have yet to hold it in my hand, but those who have held it in their hands were immediately struck dumb with awe. I cannot wait to have that experience myself.

Congratulations to authors Brian David Johnson and James H. Carrott. This book was an epic effort, and in fact, ended up being too big to fit between the covers (so we created a free companion ebook, Steampunking Our Future). Big thanks to our production editor, Christopher Hearse, who moved mountains, rivers, and planets to make amazing things happen with the book.

Here’s a little bit about the book, from the press release that our publicist, Mary Thengvall, put together (if you’ve heard about the book, chances are that Mary’s responsible for it reaching your ears):

Steampunk, a mashup in its own right, has gone mainstream, with music videos from the likes of Nicki Minaj; America’s Next Top Model photo shoots; and Prada’s Fall/Winter menswear collection featuring haute couture, steampunk style. Some steampunk fans revile this celebrity. But James H. Carrott, co-author of Vintage Tomorrows, says that’s just how cultural change happens. “Things get appropriated; they affect the culture in some way or another, and the people who are at the heart of trying to make that change move onto the next key idea.”

So what is steampunk, exactly, and why should we care? Carrott, a cultural historian, says “steampunk is playing with the past.” The world that steampunk envisions is a mad-inventor’s collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions, powered by steam and driven by gears. It’s a whole new past; one that has a lot to say about the futures we want to see.

In Vintage Tomorrows, Intel’s resident futurist Brian David Johnson (@IntelFuturist) joins Carrott (@CultHistorian) in a globe-spanning journey to dig beyond definitions and into the heart of this growing subculture. Through interviews with experts such as Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, and James Gleick, this book looks into steampunk’s vision of old-world craftsmen making beautiful hand-tooled gadgets, and what it means for our age of disposable technology.

Check out the full press release here; you can buy the book in the Maker Shed.

Brian Jepson

I’m a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I’m not tinkering, I’m probably editing a book for Maker Media.


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