A fantastically inventive book that rewrites history

Remember learning about Boilerplate, the world’s first robot soldier, in history class? No? Then we suggest you take a look at Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, the wildly imaginative and visually stunning work from graphic novelists, and husband-and-wife team, Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.

This handsome book lays out this alternative history: Boilerplate was designed by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 for “preventing the deaths of men in the conflict of nations.” Through amazing illustrations and doctored photographs, one can see “The Mechanical Marvel” in action—breaking up ice while on an expedition in the South Pole; assisting Teddy Roosevelt with the Panama Canal or soldiers during the First World War.
It’s an incredibly detailed, well-thought-out alternative universe, and as entertaining a read as it is, it also makes one wonder (as posed in the book’s foreword): “What would warfare look like today if we had built a robot army in 1917?”

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. A fantastically inventive book that rewrites history