Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention re-imagines a 19th-century American dime novel hero and his family as real-life inventors. In the late 1800s, Frank Reade Jr.—globe-trotting inventor and original steampunk hero—was the star of Frank Reade Library magazines, the world’s first science fiction periodicals. Millions of readers were enthralled by tales of Frank’s outlandish inventions and adventures.
In Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention, spectacular illustrations from the vintage dime novel series have been restored and are reprinted for the first time in more than a century, along with excerpts from the old stories. This lost legacy of Americana is interwoven with a biography of the supposedly “real” Reade family—inventors and explorers who travel the world with their helicopter airships, submarines, and robots, encountering people like Geronimo, Houdini, Texas Guinan, and the Wright brothers.
Told through the viewpoint of Frank Reade’s daughter, Kate, this generation-spanning saga weaves together science fiction, history, adventure, and family drama. The book also features appearances by our own robot character, Boilerplate, and its inventor Archie Campion.
Paul digitally restored the dime novel artwork for Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention; made physical models of Frank Jr.’s vehicles; Photoshopped, photographed, and drew all the other images; and wrote most of the image captions and historical sidebars. Anina wrote the main narrative, chose the dime novel excerpts, edited those and Paul’s text, and created the Reade family timeline. Martin Venezky helped weave it all together with beautiful graphic design.
Books and Merch
Autographed Frank Reade books are available from our Etsy shop.
Our Threadless shop carries a variety of art prints, T-shirts, and other fine goods.
“A retrofuturist visual feast.”
—Wall Street Journal
“A stunning multimedia confection of the highest order that creates a detailed and delightful world.”
“Portland-based Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett are a husband-and-wife team of multimedia artists who have produced a variety of work. . . . Their new book, Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention, is their best work yet.”