The War of the Currents enters its most ghoulish and macabre phase: when the combatants were willing to play with a man’s life. William Kemmler became the first person put to death by deliberate electrocution. Viewer discretion is very much advised.
When New York became the first state to execute people using the electric chair, Edison and his DC supporters would do anything to ensure it was alternating current that powered “Old Sparky”…
War is hell, even when it’s the War of the Currents. Harold Brown’s campaign against AC turns deadly, as he conducts gruesome electrical experiments on stray dogs, and helps set the stage for New York’s first electric chair…
It’s that time of year again: speculative fiction award season!
Calling all Canadians: Aurora Award nominations–the top Canadian prize in speculative fiction–are now open (until May 26), and if you’d like to support me then I hope you’ll consider nominating “The Waxing Disquiet” from me and co-author Tony Pi, eligible for Best Short Fiction. You can read it here for free until nominations close.
And if you’re not Canadian, well, feel free to read it anyway! Tony and I are quite proud of our beeswax-and-candle-punk tale 🙂
“The Waxing Disquiet” originally appeared in Deep Magic (June 2017).
Oops! For some reason this didn’t post with the latest episode of the podcast. Sorry about that…
As promised, here’s what Edison’s “longest and most splenetic howl of corporate outrage” looked like.
All caps, naturally.
The War of the Currents begins! Edison uses every dirty trick he can think of in the struggle for DC dominance vs. the AC upstart. There can be only one (format)!
Did the Westinghouse engineers want Tesla to fail in Pittsburgh? He went to consult, but all Tesla found was a hornet’s nest of resentment, ego, and competing agendas. And what was Edison up to now that Westinghouse was a threat to his DC business? A current war is in the offing…
You could call this episode: “Tesla: The Art of the Deal”, as we see Tesla and his business partners Peck and Brown bluff, finagle, and finally negotiate the lucrative sale of the AC motor patents to George Westinghouse. The sale changed Tesla’s life–and ours–forever.
Tesla was cranking out break-through inventions as fast as his partners could patent them. Plans to promote and sell them culminated in Tesla’s full-on arrival as a cutting edge figure in the electrical field with his groundbreaking address to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.
Not long after Tesla stormed out on Edison opportunity came knocking again…as did further betrayal and disappointment. But with the help of new business partners, Tesla was on his way to becoming a truly world-changing figure.