Historical Reference

Bibliography

Fact

Fiction

  • The Chess Machine by Robert Löhr — This account of the automaton is set during von Kempelen's lifetime, and tells the story of its debut at Schöbrunn Palace, along with the aftermath. This novel wasn't as focused on historical accuracy as I would've liked, and I found the author's handling of Tibor problematic, but the rest of the book was a pleasant enough read.
  • Kingkill by Thomas Gavin — In his darkly beautiful first novel, Gavin turns Maelzel into a truly evil antagonist. The plot is accurate to historical fact, yet Gavin injects a deep vein of highly believable fiction through its center, until even I had trouble telling one from the other. Thick, heavy prose curls in every corner of the book, sometimes weighing it down, sometimes raising it up; I found this a quite dense read. Note: Kingkill contains depictions of rape and overt transphobia.

Web References

(Links may contain spoilers)