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Download The Difference Engine Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Difference Engine Audiobook, by William Gibson
2.6 out of 52.6 out of 52.6 out of 52.6 out of 52.6 out of 5 2.60 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Gibson, Bruce Sterling Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2010 ISBN: 9781441890771
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1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine, and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. Three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with the future: Sybil Gerard—fallen woman, politician’s tart, daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward “Leviathan” Mallory—explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant—diplomat, mystic, and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for.

Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine took the science fiction community by storm when it was first published more than twenty years ago. Provocative, compelling, and intensely imagined, this novel is poised to impress a whole new generation.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stuart | 2/15/2014

    " A genre-bending mix with a very original storyline, I think this gave rise to the term Steampunk. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 2/1/2014

    " So much potential... so little payoff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 kate rev | 1/30/2014

    " It was alright; could have cut about 150 pages and it woulda been the same story. I think maybe I'd be more interested in reading the actual history; some of it left me being like "yeah but wtf actually happened". It was entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Book Warehouse | 1/22/2014

    " A generation after the computer is invented in 1824, England is gritty, powerful, and on the edge of political upheaval, when a set of punch-cards arrives in London. No one knows what they do, except maybe the people willing to kill for them. As the cards change hands, the reader gets an intriguing, often thrilling tour of a nearly cyperpunk London, from horse races to programmer offices to the kinetic pictures. It's a fantastic what-if novel and the possibilities and repercussions don't end when the book does. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 1/17/2014

    " I liked all the steam punk stuff a lot, the clacking, the kinotropy, the savants and the Rad institutions. All the alt history was fun too. But the narrative was not very satisfying, too choppy, characters I had to work to get interested in just disappearing (more or less). Oh, and barely any real story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen | 1/11/2014

    " If steampunk didn't exist before The Difference Engine Gibson and Sterling invented it, because the book is really an absolute steam punk manifesto. Every staple steampunk element is represented in spades and blended together by Gibson's virtuosic world-building talents into an engrossing portrait. The characters are convincing and well-developed, and their sub-plots tie into each other very well. Not much else to say really, no ground-breaking concepts introduced, so not a 5-star masterpiece, but a near-perfect interpretation of the steampunk genre. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 James | 12/31/2013

    " Highly disappointing. Amazing world building. But the novel drowns in its details. The plot was an incomprehensible labyrinthe that I thought I'd never escape. Not sure how I got through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Viq | 12/28/2013

    " Good read, enjoyable, nice steampunk setting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve Puma | 11/5/2013

    " No sir, I didn't like it. One of the few science fiction books I ever gave up on, even given the fact that I think that William Gibson is brilliant. I think he needs to stick to cyberpunk, and stay away from steampunk! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aaron Piper | 10/24/2013

    " As with much of William Gibson his attention to detail often bogs down much of the story to me. But since his work often define sub-genre's of science fiction I guess he should get a little slack. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dakan | 10/17/2013

    " This is the worst book I have read since the bible. And I love steampunk, but this was just bad! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marc Rocket | 7/4/2013

    " The plot just did not work for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwen | 10/27/2012

    " This book was awesome about setting the scene and creating the world, but it was really slow for anything to happen. Also I think it kind of fizzled at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kiddonne | 9/4/2012

    " makes for a nice mingle & really gets your attention for the detailed historical entries "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jude Adamson | 1/5/2012

    " I so wanted to love this. The idea of how the world might be if Charles Babbage had succeeded in building his computing machines fascinates me. That was hardly touched upon really, and it felt like a missed opportunity. Hopefully someone else will try writing about it too? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jack Repenning | 6/2/2011

    " Attempts, for Steam Punk, what Gibson's earlier works did for Cyber Punk. Not as satisfactory, on the whole, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chad.haefele | 4/13/2011

    " I like the setting quite a bit - steampunkish without going over the top. Parallels to our current info age are fascinating. But plot-wise this did very little for me - It meanders around without much of a point for far too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Athena Genevieve | 4/3/2011

    " Not my favourite book. Sometimes a slow read. But very interesting, therefore worth the read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie | 4/2/2011

    " sorry, but i just don't like these sorts of books... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Snoof | 3/15/2011

    " I was really disappointed with this book. I love William Gibson, but this collaboration with Bruce Sterling was a swing and a miss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Viq | 3/10/2011

    " Good read, enjoyable, nice steampunk setting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bob | 2/24/2011

    " I wanted to enjoy this book a lot more than I did. It started strong, but Gibson seemed to lose the thread of his novel as he moved forward. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 2/6/2011

    " I realized, partway in, that I had read this novel years ago. I soldiered on, looking for the particular genius of William Gibson. Surely, any page now, this story will catch fire. But it never happened. Not the best example of Gibson's genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 2/4/2011

    " I have no idea what this book was about - but it was a bloody good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessie | 2/3/2011

    " A disappointment from Gibson. Disjointed plot.
    "

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About the Author
Author William Gibson

William Gibson is the author of Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Burning Chrome, Virtual Light, Idoru, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, Zero History, Distrust That Particular Flavor, Agency, and The Perippheral, a New York Times bestseller.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.