Pa·leo·tech·nic - pā′lē ō tek'nik (adjective):
Coined by historian Lewis Mumford in his 1934 book Technics and Civilization, the word comes from the combination of the Greek prefix paleo (old world) and root technic (things pertaining to the practice of an art or science). Mumford used the term to describe an historical period where the individual's labor became a commodity, rather than an inalienable set of skills. This transformation owes much to the invention of coal-fired, steam powered factories and the installation of capital-intensive machinery that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. The adoption of these 'modern' inventions lead to a gigantic round-the-clock scale of production supported by unskilled machine tenders.
That the Paleotechnic period coincides with the end of the Victorian Era, covered by this blog, is certainly part of the reason it was chosen for the name. However, Paleotechnic was also selected because Victorian Science Fiction (VSF) has at its heart, the juxtaposition of art (as in craft and craftsmanship) and technology (as in the mechanization ushered in by the assembly line) of the human endeavor. The wonders of the VSF world are still the purview of specialist craftsmen (inventors like Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), they desire, and plan, to create devices that will be mass produced; thus bringing them fame and wealth (like Thomas Edison perhaps), but the process required to create these inventions remains largely the realm of the expert craftsman in his/her laboratory.
So, Paleotechnic Press is my effort to bring some craftsmanship to a small corner of the VSF world...enjoy!
|Joe Boeke is a higher education development professional with a keen interest in the scientific, military, and naval history of the late 19th Century. It wasn't until the late 1980s, when GDW released Space: 1889, that he truly became interested in the Victorian Scientific Romance genre. A board wargamer for over 40 years, he also credits Space: 1889 with introducing him to the joys of historical (and science fiction) miniatures.|