When Steam Wasn't Punk.
May 19, 2009 11:41 AM   Subscribe

The Brazen Android by William Douglas O'Connor, is a 19th century science fiction story based on the myth of the Brazen Head, a steam-powered head that told fortunes. It's available as an audio book from the Internet Archives. (Via)
posted by The Whelk (18 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was having trouble believing that "android" could be a 19th century meaning (despite the fact that it's a completely classical word). Popularized here.
posted by DU at 12:04 PM on May 19, 2009


Oh and that's a story about women being replaced by sexbots. In 1886. So yeah, men are robopigs.
posted by DU at 12:06 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Human innovation is largely driven by the desire to have sex with more things. To wit:

" ...she was cursed with the desire to be coupled with the king's finest bull. The Queen conscripted the great artisan Daidalos to assist her in the endeavor, and he built for her a hollow wooden cow, wrapped in a bovine skin and endowed with mechanical life. Hiding herself inside this contraption she conceived and bore a hybrid child, the bull-headed Minotauros."
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM on May 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


(from DU's link)

The Future Eve has been called equally stunning for its literary experimentation and its virulent misogyny


That's a combination of words you don't see very often. It's like literary criticism Mad Libs.
posted by The Whelk at 12:17 PM on May 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: all pent-roofed or gable-peaked, heavy-caved, stub-chimneyed, narrow-latticed, awning-shuttered, stair-eased, post-buttressed, beam-crossed, dusky-red-roofed, dingy-white-walled and low under the overhanging vastness of the sky.

It's a wonder they didn't run out of adjectives.
posted by GuyZero at 12:19 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, paging Pope Guilty, as you got name-checked.
posted by GuyZero at 12:22 PM on May 19, 2009


Metafilter: literary experimentation and virulent misogyny

(Sorry.)
posted by marginaliana at 12:52 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
posted by Restless Day at 1:12 PM on May 19, 2009


Sorry never mind
posted by Restless Day at 1:16 PM on May 19, 2009


They sure were, --a lot more creative; with, their, punctuation in: the 19th century.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:48 PM on May 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first cite for "android" in Brave New Words (which we discussed here) is:

[1727-51 E. Chambers Cyclopædia: Albertus Magnus is recorded as having made a famous androides.]
posted by languagehat at 2:00 PM on May 19, 2009


Like he (Roger Bacon), I am acquainted with the force of Elastick bodies.

Man, I love English.
posted by annathea at 2:10 PM on May 19, 2009


I am acquainted with the force of Elastick bodies.

Pics or it didn't happen.
posted by rokusan at 11:00 PM on May 19, 2009


Has anyone ever actually seen an antique Brazen Head? If they were real, and as popular as the Wikipedia article implies, surely at least one would have survived.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:45 AM on May 20, 2009


Has anyone ever actually seen an antique Brazen Head? If they were real, and as popular as the Wikipedia article implies, surely at least one would have survived.

The google image search for "brazen head" -dublin -pub -inn -tavern -bar -restaurant -guinness -beer was disappointing in this regard.
posted by anazgnos at 11:01 AM on May 20, 2009


Imaginary Gadgets: Brazen Head
posted by The Whelk at 1:55 PM on May 24, 2009


Just out of curiosity, can you folks in the US actually read The Brazen Android at the google books link? Because us folks in Canada don't even get to see snippets. Of a volume that was printed in 1892. Google should never be allowed near a scanner again, IMO.
posted by djfiander at 2:34 PM on May 24, 2009


Oh, and here's the book at the Internet Archive (featuring a preface by Walt Whitman).
posted by djfiander at 2:38 PM on May 24, 2009


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