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Edison vs. Tesla

December 17, 2013
Posted at 8:50 am

In my story "It's only a Steampunk Moon", the preface is that Thomas Edison has announced that, before the end of the 19th century, he plans to put a man on the moon. I got the idea for this opening from a very old novella I had read ("The Man Who Sold the Moon by Robert Heinlein) and a gaming system I once found at a yard sale (Space: 1889). My map for the story was to only have Edison on for a very small part in the first chapter, and from there on out, he would always be someone who was offstage. I had read some steampunk stories, and I thought I would give writing a bit of erotica with some steampunk elements a shot.
And then I found out about the whole Tesla vs. Edison conflict!
First, thanks to everyone who wrote to me about Tesla. I had some vague notions of who the man was, but had never really known much about him. I'm correcting that now by reading "Tesla: Man Out of Time." And I've had extended online and offline discussions about him. So my education of all things Tesla and steampunk has been greatly expanded.
However, I really don't see me changing my story because of this new knowledge. I really just needed a device to get a rocket into space, which Edison was able to provide. Perhaps Edison and J. P. Morgan pulled some shenanigans and thieveries offscreen with Tesla in order to get their Moon Project going, but that conflict, at least, isn't germane to the story, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave it offscreen.