Clockwork Game: The Illustrious Career of a Chess-Playing Automaton

In 1769, the court of Empress Maria Theresia witnessed one of that era's most amazing feats of engineering: a machine that could play chess. Artfully constructed by a Hungarian nobleman named Wolfgang von Kempelen, the chess-machine played a unique game against each opponent, far surpassing the abilities of all its fellow automata. Throughout its eighty-five year career, audiences across Europe
and the Americas flocked to see the mechanical marvel seemingly capable of human intelligence; Napoleon, Charles Babbage, and Benjamin Franklin were among its challengers, and Edgar Allen Poe wrote an essay attempting to explain how it worked. Despite its demise over a hundred fifty years ago, its mystery continues to fascinate, and its audience's reaction to its Orientalist trappings casts fresh light on our present sense of the 'exotic'.

Clockwork Game retells the true story of the world's first chess-playing automaton, blending reality and fiction into a singular graphic novel.

Credits

Written by

Jane Irwin

Art by

Jane Irwin

Cover by

Paul Sizer

Lettered by

Jane Irwin

Edited by

Nisi Shawl

Published by

Jane Irwin

Genres

Drama Graphic Novels Historical Robots, Cyborgs & Mecha

About Book

Page Count

213 Pages

Digital Release Date

March 12 2014

Age Rating

15+ Only