Archive for April 25th, 2011

The Steampunk Reader: Discarded Science

Writers write.  Writers should also read.  As there wouldn’t be anything all too original in trying to generate a list of steampunk to read, instead I’m going to make an occasional (perhaps one time only) series about the non-steampunk that can be good to read.

Starting with Discarded Science.

This is a volume I picked up at a bookstore out of complete curiosity, and found myself pouring through, so I figured I better buy a copy.  Written by John Grant it presents scientific “facts” from past centuries that have since been discredited.  Among them are plenty of concepts from the Victorian era about the how the world worked, the nature of the ether, and the disposition of the planets.  The book aims to be wide and shallow, so you won’t get an in depth grounding in any of the subjects, but it has opened me up to dead science that I’ve never even heard of.  As a writing reference it can date when theories came into and out of vogue.  As an inspirational tool, most of the brief articles can open the door to a story concept merely by asking “what if this was true?”

It’s a jumping off point, a source for inspiration, and at times just a fun read.

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