"I'm kind of touched to see these guys becoming pop stars," says Sterling, "The Difference Engine" co-author. "To me it's a sign of social health. People can look on the legacy of the past and grab it and use it. It's an industrial cut-and-paste aesthetic. And I think that the 20th century's love for 19th-century technology is going to be matched by the 21st century's love of corny 20th-century technology. We're going to see Atompunk."
Personally, I love the concept (zeppelin obsession notwithstanding) even if I haven't had much opportunity to retrofit the old Dell on my desktop. That's not to say I haven't given it much thought. I actually blogged about the aesthetic coolness that are wooden computers more than a year ago. It's not exactly the same thing, mind you, but the concepts are simpatico.