I'm looking for the author of a science fiction series (it may just be a loose collection of his works), written by a patronage era European male scientist/inventor. I remember seeing his name in a comment section on science fiction authors. The author himself (if memory serves) spent his life inventing or investigating the various interests of princes and dukes. Interests which would be as varied as an elaborate fountain or a device to slice a man's arm in four even exact pieces (that was an example, he didn't actually create that device specifically, as far as I know). He drew from these experiences when he wrote his books. His books featured robots (but he did not call them that) and environments that were dystopian/utopian, I think. He would cleverly hide his views inside his books, similar to how Kepler hid his. I know for certain that he was quiet well known for a song/haiku in one or more of his books. The song contained hidden/heavy references to trig or geometry. I remember him being considered as influential in the area of science fiction. He may be German or Russian.

Additionally, I know his works to be available on Amazon. The art on the books being within a small square and featuring art similar to the art in the game Machinarium, but in black and white.

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    what period defines the patronage era? Google doesn't seem to turn up anything useful. – Hypnosifl Jul 18 '14 at 23:26
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    I don't know when exactly, but I can give an estimate between 1600-1950. I remember him being known for creating mechanical machines, automata. I remember the one of his books I saw had a tin-can style robot, like the one often seen on old space adventure art from the 50s. – William Jul 19 '14 at 7:21
  • I've looked through several lists of sci-fi authors and robot histories trying to find this author. I have yet to find him. I'm starting to think I may have dreamed this up, but that geomemtry/trig math haiku/song haunts me. – William Jul 19 '14 at 7:23
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    Leonardo da Vinci matches many of the points in the description. He was, of course, a European male scientist/inventor, he built robots avant la lettre, as well as various weapons, he wrote in code to hide his ideas from peering eyes, etc. On the other hand, he was not German or Russian and I don't believe he ever wrote fiction or poetry. – Mr Lister Jul 19 '14 at 17:10
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    Are you positive it was a poem with references to geometry, as opposed to a story? The German fantasy writer E.T.A. Hoffmann ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._T._A._Hoffmann ), who lived from 1776-1822, had a story involving an automaton called "The Sandman" ( lit.genius.com/Eta-hoffmann-the-sandman-annotated ), was something of a polymath (though not really an inventor, see the wiki page for his various jobs), and had a story that involved a trigonometric problem involving projecting a flat image onto a curved surface: muse.jhu.edu/journals/dis/summary/v031/31.1-2.kittler.html – Hypnosifl Jul 19 '14 at 18:49

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