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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Steampunk! What's it to you?

No, seriously. Steampunk. What is it to you? I've been finding myself more and more intrigued by the (sub)genre lately, especially due to new authors such as Cherie Priest and Gail Carriger, and I'm wondering, gentle reader, what do you consider some other Steampunk reading goodness? I've read all of Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, and I've got Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century sitting at the top of my TBR pile to start this weekend. I've also read Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, Philip Reeve's Larklight (but not the succeeding volumes), Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series and the DC Elseworlds book, Gotham by Gaslight. What else is there? I'm trying to come up with a reasonable list of what people think of as being the best of the best of Steampunk.

So, tell me, what is Steampunk to you?


Riva said...

Leviathan and Behemoth, first two in a series by Scott Westerfeld. PRIME Steampunk - with GORGEOUS line drawings and some of the best covers I've seen.

tapestry100 said...


Thank you for the reminder, Riva! And to think... I just met Scott Westerfeld two weeks ago and got both Leviathan and Behemoth signed! #embarrassed

So, onto the list those will go.

Sarah G said...

Dude, you know I can't help myself, right?

If you REALLY want to read Steampunk, you should start with 'The Difference Engine' by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, which is the novel that actually started the genre. I may have mentioned it years ago. ;)

As far as deliberate Steampunk, I have a couple of suggestions:

1. 'Steampunk' edited by Jeff Vandermeer (a collection of stories, most of which are Steampunk, though some are a stretch -- worth reading.)
2. 'The Court of the Air' by Stephen Hunt (1st in series -- this is one that tried to do too much at once, but is still a decent read.)

There are also a few great novels I've read that use the steampunk aesthetic, but aren't purely Steampunk:

1. 'Perdido Street Station' by China Mieville (weird but awesome)
2. 'The Diamond Age' by Neal Stephenson (both nano and steam -- turns out it's a great combination)
3. 'Darwinia' by Robert Charles Wilson (kind of steampunky, kind of not)
4. 'Airman' by Eoin Colfer (YA adventure)
5. 'Howl's Moving Castle' by Diana Wynne Jones (I know you've read this, but I thought I would mention it as a reread candidate)

And there is a whole bunch of Steampunk, aesthetic or otherwise, on my TBR list:

1. 'The Warlord of the Air' by Michael Moorcock
2. 'The Dream of Perpetual Motion' by Dexter Palmer
3. 'The Half-Made World' by Felix Gilman (got this from LT -- woohoo!)
4. The 'Johannes Cabal' series by J.L. Howard
5. 'Homunculus' by James Blaylock
6. 'Girl Genius' by Kaja and Phil Foglio (comic book series)
7. 'Infernal Devices' by K.W. Jeter
8. 'Extraordinary Engines' edited by Nick Gevers (newer short stories)
9. 'Mainspring' by Jay Lake
10. The Affinity Bridge' by George Mann
11. 'The Women of Nell Gwynne's' by Kage Baker
12. 'Airborn' by Kenneth Oppel
13. that Cassandra Clare series that I can't remember the name of

Okay, so I will stop there. May have over-shared a bit. :)

tapestry100 said...

Thanks for the further suggestions, Sarah! And the Cassandra Clare series that you mentioned is The Mortal Instruments.

A Twitter friend (Hi Caspette!) has also mentioned some manga that is Steampunk based, so I thought I'd mention those here as well:

'Full Metal Alchemist'
'Last Exile'
'D Gray Man'