My mailbox held a nice belated Christmas present: my very own copy of Tales of New Babbage, the collection of stories written by citizens of that fine nation-state.
From the back cover:
On one level, of course, New Babbage is a series of magnetic impulses imprinted on a set of disks in a nameless data center, running Linden Labs' Second Life protocol. But that's just the physics of it. To say that New Babbage is "just" a computer-generated environment would be like saying that Paris is "just" stone and plaster.
The City of New Babbage is a consensual hallucination of a Victorian-era steampunk city in a time that never was. It's filled with airships, clockwork devices, submersibles, evil geniuses, street urchins, and the collective activities and imaginations of hundreds of people from all over the world. And they make it as real as Leeds or Pittsburgh or Warsaw.
These are their stories.
Well, I can't speak of this Leeds or Warsaw or (most improbably) a city named Pittsburgh, but I can certainly attest that New Babbage is as real as I am.
Stories by people such as Ceejay Writer, Magdalena Kamenev, Jedburgh Dagger, Darien Mason, and Jimmy Branaugh will surely make the book essential reading. Best of all, the subtitle is "Volume One," promising more stories from the smoggy city.