Vintage Steampunk Jul 2, 2009
This is one of the novels that kicked off the genre now known as "steampunk," and it is still one of the best. In the world of this novel, information processing, using cards and huge buildings full of machines to sort them, existed in Victorian Europe. A host of fascinating technological and social anachronisms create a world that later was echoed in lots of other novels, movies, comics and short stories. Think Sherlock Holmes with Zepplins and giant computers. Aside from pioneering this kind of setting, this novel is a well crafted mystery and thriller.