Eisner Awards Nominee!! Best New Graphic Work and Best Writer/Artist!



“An audaciously imagined alternate history of the invention of the computer . . . . Like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, readers can get lost in the explosion of imagery and overwhelming notes that document the history that never was. A prodigious feat of historically based fantasy that engages on a number of levels."
red_starKirkus (Starred Review)

"...a must-have for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a story as brilliant in execution as conception... permeated by delightful illustrations, obsessive foot- and endnotes, and a spirit of genuine inventiveness, it’s an early candidate for the year’s best."
red_starPublishers Weekly (Starred Review)


Over 6 months on the New York Times Bestseller list!  Winner of the British Society for the History of Mathematics Neumann Prize, the British Book Design Award, and finalist for Goodreads Best Graphic Novel! Meet two of Victorian London's greatest geniuses… Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron: mathematician, gambler, and proto-programmer, whose writings contained the first ever appearance of general computing theory, a hundred years before an actual computer was built. And  Charles Babbage, eccentric inventor of the Difference Engine, an enormous clockwork calculating machine that would have been the first computer, if he had ever finished it.

But what if things had been different? The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents a delightful alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the Difference Engine and use it to create runaway economic models, battle the scourge of spelling errors, explore the wider realms of mathematics and, of course, fight crime. Complete with historical curiosities, extensive footnotes and never-before-seen diagrams of Babbage’s mechanical, steam-powered computer, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is wonderfully whimsical, utterly unusual, and, above all, entirely irresistible.

“Don’t be fooled by the word ‘comic.’ Sydney Padua tells a story that is tender, passionate, and true.”  -- James Gleick, author of The Information and Chaos




My new favourite book. It has everything. Byron, maths, imaginary computers, emotion (Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive)

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is a piece of pure love and genius (Lucy Mangan)

"...the wittiest, best-researched and most original tribute yet paid to the achievements of Lord Byron’s brilliant, tearaway and tragically short-lived child, Ada Lovelace....What she’s done here, in a book that ought to be ordered in triplicate by every school in the land, is to give another nudge up the literary ladder to a genre that still [...] produces the sneering dismissal from some that serious readers don’t stoop to ‘comic books’." - Miranda Seymour, Literary Review

...much of the book seems to breathe the air of Wonderland – just as Wonderland itself breathes the air of algebraic mathematics...In short, this is an utter joy, but also, to hazard a semi-educated opinion, mathematically sound...Padua has done her research: she has teased out the connections between Babbage, Lovelace and what would seem to be the whole of Victorian culture and society – and done so in a way that appears almost effortless on the page, her light, easy graphic style an excellent vehicle not only for deep and complex thought, but for excellent, and sometimes excellently corny, jokes. This is a book to reread, not just read. - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian Paperback of the Week

A rip-roaring caper engulfed in footnotes of quotes, quips and illuminating asides... the book does more than simply celebrate the genius of the first computer programmer, it encourages us to turn our imagination to technology - just as Lovelace did. And that's an inspiration to us all (Nicola Davis Observer Tech Monthly)

Wonderfully funny, brilliantly smart and delightfully unhinged (Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts)

This is history as I wish it was: bright, caring and full of zing... This is a book about the creative process and the creative mind, with its fancies and magpie distractability, its excitements and sloughs of despond... It is full of life. Go. Get it (Nick Harkaway, author of Tigerman)

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is learned, clever, funny, and above all very silly in the best sense of the word. - (Charles Petzold, author of Code and The Annotated Turing)

Whether you're a lover of science, history, graphic novels or, like me, all three, you're guaranteed to fall in love with this smart and hilarious series of comics. It's beautifully drawn, with gloriously goofy panels that crackle with energy... A unique, fun and totally addictive graphic novel, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is a must-read for any self-respecting geek out there (Michael Edwards Scotcampus)

A book that makes you a lot smarter as it makes you laugh (Washington Post)

Sydney Padua's new book is definitely "Yowza!" material. Considering that its subject is math - math and the history of the computer - it may deserve a "Yowza!" and a half. By spotlighting two controversial, charismatic people who laid the earliest foundations for the computer revolution, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage transforms punch cards and little brass cogs into the stuff of legend (Etelka Lehoczky NPR)

A heady mix of alternative history, adventure and lots and lots of footnotes... Padua blends fanciful situations, mathematical truths and a heap of historical facts to create an outlandish, enlightening tale (Discover)

Beautifully drawn... unique; a tome that is brimming with an astounding amount of visual and cerebral humour that, as you read it, you can almost feel your own mind expanding to the point that you might, just might win a verbal sparring contest against Oscar Wilde (Starburst magazine)

Sydney Padua's impeccably researched, yet playfully imagined graphic biography is a treat for history buffs and graphic novel lovers alike... With fantastically detailed art, footnotes and diagrams of Babbage's steam-powered computer, this is a whimsical graphic account like no other (BookPage)

A must for your classroom bookshelf (Digital Education Ezine)



Sydney Padua is a animator and insufferable know-it-all, generally employed in making giant monsters appear to be attacking people in movies. She started drawing comics by accident and is still trying to figure out how to stop.


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