I meant to write about this last week but it slipped my mind until the books arrived yesterday. John Halbo at Crooked Timber has done the world a great favor and brought two lost classics of 19th century science fiction back from the heat death of obscurity: Edward E. Hale’s The Brick Moon and The Huge Hunter, Or Steam Man of the Prairies by Edward Ellis.* Both are cheep as hell and available for free download or in print, from my new favorite site, Lulu.com.
I started reading The Brick Moon last night and it’s pure, old school speculative fever dream. John’s description is what sold it for me though:
Along with the Epic of Gilgamesh and The Three Little Pigs, Edward E. Hale’s “The Brick Moon” (1869) is one of the great brickpunk classics of world literature. Sandemanian technopreneurs look to the bold, bricks&mortar future, with their flywheel-launched, satellite-based global positioning system; but learn valuable life lessons instead.
And it is, truly. Full reviews forthcoming.
* No relation to Warren Ellis, though it would not surprise me in the least if he wrote something about a steampunk prairie cyborg. Though his would be fueled by jenkem and hate, which would make it just as good, if not even better.