The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage : The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer
Winner of the British Book Design and Production Award for Graphic Novels Winner of the Neumann Prize in the History of MathematicsIn The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage Sydney Padua transforms one of the most compelling scientific collaborations into a hilarious set of adventures Meet two of Victorian London's greatest geniuses... Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron: mathematician, gambler, and proto-programmer, whose writings contained the first ever appearance of general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. And Charles Babbage, eccentric inventor of the Difference Engine, an enormous clockwork calculating machine that would have been the first computer, if he had ever finished it.But what if things had been different? The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a delightful alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and use it to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime - for the sake of both London and science. Extremely funny and utterly unusual, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage comes complete with historical curiosities, extensive footnotes and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage's mechanical, steam-powered computer. And ray guns.
- Hardback | 320 pages
- 171 x 237 x 36mm | 704g
- 28 May 2015
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Particular Books
- London, United Kingdom
- Main edition
- w. b&w ill.
So impossibly funny, clever, demented, charming and altogether wonderful that I was a convert within three pages. Buy it for everyone you know, regardless of what you think they like. Brilliant stuff -- Lucy Mangan, Book of the Year * Stylist * My new favourite book. It has everything. Byron, maths, imaginary computers, emotion -- Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive A rip-roaring caper engulfed in footnotes of quotes, quips and illuminating asides... the book does more than simply celebrate the genius of the first computer programmer, it encourages us to turn our imagination to technology - just as Lovelace did. And that's an inspiration to us all -- Nicola Davis * Observer Tech Monthly * The wittiest, best-researched and most original tribute yet paid to the achievements of Lord Byron's brilliant, tearaway and tragically short-lived child, Ada Lovelace... An astonishing debut... a book that ought to be ordered in triplicate by every school in the land... Ingenious as a textbook, marvellous fun as inventive biography -- Miranda Seymour * Literary Review * A stylish, funny graphic novel featuring Ada Lovelace, estranged daughter of Lord Byron, and co-programmer, had it ever been built, of the "mathematical engine". Playful, earnest, and beautifully drawn, the book cuts a swathe through early computing theory, explores Ada's relationship with Charles Babbage, and brings to the fore one of the unsung heroines of science -- Sarah Hall * Independent * Rich with in-jokes, warmth and charm... It's difficult not to be ignited by Sydney Padua's enthusiasm. There is so much to discover that I'll treasure my copy for years to come -- Hannah Fry * BBC Focus * There is no way around this, Sydney Padua's Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is bloody brilliant... and educational too -- Robin Ince I love it... everyone is getting a copy -- Martha Lane Fox Wonderful and genuinely informative... Padua's gorgeous art and very funny text are combined with factual footnotes to create an utterly unique and enormously enjoyable book -- Anna Carey * Irish Times * Sydney Padua's smart and sassy steampunk science graphic novel is a delightful mixture of research and invention, dressed up in Padua's bouncy cartooning. If nothing else, it is one of the best introductions to its real-life heroine, proto-computer programmer Ada Lovelace, you could wish for. If only all science lessons could be this much fun * Herald Scotland * Immensely delightful and illuminating... Padua delivers a thoroughly unsynthesizable range of enchantment and elucidation -- Maria Popova * Brain Pickings * Wonderfully funny, brilliantly smart and delightfully unhinged -- Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts This is history as I wish it was: bright, caring and full of zing... This is a book about the creative process and the creative mind, with its fancies and magpie distractability, its excitements and sloughs of despond... It is full of life. Go. Get it -- Nick Harkaway, author of Tigerman A book that makes you a lot smarter as it makes you laugh * Washington Post * Whether you're a lover of science, history, graphic novels or, like me, all three, you're guaranteed to fall in love with this smart and hilarious series of comics. It's beautifully drawn, with gloriously goofy panels that crackle with energy... A unique, fun and totally addictive graphic novel, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is a must-read for any self-respecting geek out there -- Michael Edwards * Scotcampus * Lucky for us, we got two books for the price of one: A most entertaining graphic novel infused with Padua's imagination, humor, and art and an impeccably researched and witty introduction to the lives and times of Lovelace and Babbage... I believe Padua's passion for her subjects and for historical accuracy supported by meticulous research will infect many girls and boys and get them interested in computing, history, or both. The Thrilling Adventures should serve as a teacher's aide in classrooms everywhere * Forbes * Hilarious (but scholarly) -- Richard Holmes * Nature * A gleeful hardback... Sydney Padua blends the serious and the frivolous to distinctive effect * TLS * Sydney Padua's new book is definitely "Yowza!" material. Considering that its subject is math - math and the history of the computer - it may deserve a "Yowza!" and a half. By spotlighting two controversial, charismatic people who laid the earliest foundations for the computer revolution, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage transforms punch cards and little brass cogs into the stuff of legend * NPR * A heady mix of alternative history, adventure and lots and lots of footnotes... Padua blends fanciful situations, mathematical truths and a heap of historical facts to create an outlandish, enlightening tale * Discover * We LOVE Sydney Padua's The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace And Babbage - scientifically accurate steampunk comic! -- Spoken Nerd Don't be fooled by the word 'comic.' Sydney Padua tells a story that is tender, passionate, and true -- James Gleick, author of The Information The immensity of Padua's research and the wit and allusions of her prose are striking, saying as much about what drove her to explore the possibilities of her protagonists' relationship as about the protagonists themselves. Permeated by delightful illustrations, obsessive foot- and endnotes, and a spirit of genuine inventiveness, it's an early candidate for the year's best * Publishers Weekly, starred review * Like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, readers can get lost in the explosion of imagery and overwhelming notes that document the history that never was. A prodigious feat of historically based fantasy that engages on a number of levels * Kirkus Reviews * Beautifully drawn... unique; a tome that is brimming with an astounding amount of visual and cerebral humour that, as you read it, you can almost feel your own mind expanding to the point that you might, just might win a verbal sparring contest against Oscar Wilde * Starburst magazine * Sydney Padua's impeccably researched, yet playfully imagined graphic biography is a treat for history buffs and graphic novel lovers alike... With fantastically detailed art, footnotes and diagrams of Babbage's steam-powered computer, this is a whimsical graphic account like no other * BookPage *
About Sydney Padua
Sydney Padua is an animator and visual effects artist, usually employed in making giant monsters appear to be attacking people for the movies. She started drawing comics by accident with the webcomic 2D Goggles or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage and is still trying to figure out how to stop. Originally from the Canadian prairie, she now lives in London with her husband and far too many books.
So impossibly funny, clever, demented, charming and altogether wonderful that I was a convert within three pages. Buy it for everyone you know, regardless of what you think they like. Brilliant stuff Lucy Mangan, Book of the Year Stylist