I write in an alternative c17th world, researching into the history of inventions and occasionally pulling technology back into that space from later centuries. Why?
It is fun. It is accessible.
It recreates a sense of wonder and creativity – the sheer exhilarating Romance of scientific discovery and invention.
I grew up with a very scientific older brother who seemed to grasp instantly the detail of incomprehensible particle physics and who revelled in all the logical-Mr Spock- shiny white sterile laboratories it seemed to entail.
Whereas I have always wanted simple, mechanical explanations that I could visualise. I want dirt and grime and the smell of grease on hot metal. It is more tangible and emphasises the work-in-progress feeling. It makes me remember that scientific theory is a collection of ideas about how to explain the world. It may not be right but it fits.
And to celebrate that fact here is Solomon’s House, a fictional institution in Sir Francis Bacon’s utopian work, New Atlantis, published in 1627.