The Dream of Perpetual Motion has been mentioned in one form or another in two recently published books that are both well worth a look.
First—elements of Harold Winslow’s monologue near the middle of the book, in which he posits an imaginary language that has a one-to-one correspondence between words and the things they mean, are quoted in James Gleick’s excellent book The Information. I started out as a physics major in college (where I read Chaos, like seemingly everybody else at the time), but switched into English literature after my sophomore year. So it’s amusing to me that that academic path circuitously led to an appearance in the index of one of Gleick’s books, nearly two decades later. Life is strange that way.
The Information isn’t a quick read—I spent nearly a month on it, on and off—but that is a characteristic, not a flaw. It repays the effort invested many times over.
Second—there’s a page on The Dream of Perpetual Motion in The Steampunk Bible, edited by Jeff VanderMeer and S. J. Chambers. I haven’t had time to do more than leaf through my copy of the book and read a couple of chapters here and there, but it’s gorgeous from a design perspective. It’s worth the surprisingly inexpensive price for the artwork alone.
In fact, I’ll be appearing at the Barnes and Noble on 82nd and Broadway in New York City on May 26 with Jeff VanderMeer and other guests in support of the book, so if you’re free that evening, come on out.