Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for BOOKS

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that takes many Victorian/Industrial Age technologies, and then thrusts it into a futuristic world. In a steampunk world, there might be flying machines, computers, and ray guns - but built from copper, wood, brass, and using steam as a power source. It's a unique blend of the future and the present that makes steampunk unique.

Reading some of the most incredible books is how I got introduced to the world of steampunk. Many of the classics were actually written in the 19th century, but it's amazing to see how the genre has expanded and continued even to this day.

Steampunk can be Gothic (Shelly's Frankenstein), pure science fiction and fantasy (Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), alternative history (Priest's Boneshaker), and even Western (Rensick's The Doctor and the Kid). Or heck, combine all of them!

My first foray into steampunk was H.G. Wells' 1985 classic, The Time Machine.  I was captivated with the idea of building a time machine using only Victorian technology...going forward in time and fighting the Morlocks in 802,701 A.D.

I then started reading Jules Verne and delved into the mysterious worlds of A Journey to the Center of the Earth (which has been made into a movie about a bazillion times) and of course, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea where we learn of Captain Nemo and his amazing submarine, The Nautilus.

Most recently, you've had Cherie Priest gain popularity with her Clockwork Century series which takes place in an alternative history where airships and trains dominate the landscape during The American Civil War. I read Boneshaker, and it was fantastic!

And of course, you have Scott Westerfield's YA series, The Leviathan Trilogy. It also takes place in an alternative history, and a strange version of World War I where the Clankers, with their deadly machines, battle the Darwinists, who utilize biological weapons.

With steampunk books going in all new directions, it's an exciting time for the genre. It's full STEAM ahead!

Below is a pretty comprehensive list of steampunk books. Although not nearly all-encompassing, I hope you will give one, or two, or a dozen a try.

Anderson, Kevin J. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Pocket Star, 2003.

Baker, Kage. Not Less Than Gods. Burton. Subterranean Press, 2010.

Bear, Elizabeth. New Amsterdam. Far Territories, 2007.

Blaylock, James P. The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives. Subterranean Press, 2008.

Carriger, Gail. Soulless--The Parasol Protectorate: Book the First. Orbit Books, 2009.

Dahlquist, Gordon. The Dark Volume. Bantam, 2009.

Di Filippo, Paul. The Steampunk Trilogy. Four Walls Eight Windows, 1995.

Ewing, Al. El Sombre: Pax Britannia Series. Gardena: Abaddon Press, 2007.

Flaming, Matthew. The Kingdom of Ohio. Amy Einhorn Books, 2009.

Foglio, Phil & Kaja. Girl Genius: Omnibus Edition #1.Studio Foglio, 2006.

Frost, Mark. The 6 Messiahs. William Morrow and Co. 1995.

Gevers, Nick. Extraordinary Engines: The Definitive Steampunk Anthology. Solaris, 2008.

Giambastiani, Kurt A. The Year the Cloud Fell. Roc, 2001.

Gibson, William & Sterling, Bruce. The Difference Engine. Bantam Books, 1992.

Gray, Nathalie. Full Steam Ahead. Red Sage Publishing, 2010.

Green, Jonathan. Unnatural History: Pax Britannia Series. Abaddon Press, 2007.

Guinan, Paul, & Bennett, Anina. Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel. Abrams Image, 2009.

Jeter, K.W. Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy. New American Library, 1987

Judson, Theodore. Fitzpatrick’s War. DAW Books, 2004.

Lake, Jay. Mainspring. Tor Books, 2007.

Lansdale, Joe R. Zeppelins West. Subterranean Press, 2001.

Lowachee, Karin. The Gaslight Dogs. Orbit, 2010.

Lupoff, Richard. Into the Aether. Dell, 1974.

MacAlister, Katie. Steamed: A Steampunk Romance. Signet, 2010.

MacLeod, Ian R. The House of Storms. Ace Books, 2005.

Mann, George. The Affinity Bridge. Tor Books, 2009.

Maumejean, Xavier. The League of Heroes. Manuella Chevalier, Trans. Black Coat Press, 2005.

Mellon, Mark. Napoleon Concerto: A Novel in Three Movements. Treble Heart Books, 2009.

Miéville China. Iron Council. Del Ray Publishing, 2005.

Michael Moorcock. A Nomad of the Time Streams: A Scientific Romance. White Wolf, 1995.

Newman, Kim. Anno Dracula. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1993.

Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. HarperCollins, 2004.

Palmer, Dexter. The Dream of Perpetual Motion.St. Martin's Press, 2010.

Pagliosotti, Dru. Clockwork Heart. Juno books, 2008.

Peters, S.M. Whitechapel Gods.  Roc, 2008.

Pondsmith, Michael Alyn. Castle Falkenstein: Adventures in the Age of Steam. Talsorian Games, 1994.

Powers, Tim. The Anubis Gates. Ace Science Fiction Books, 1983.

Priest, Cherie. Boneshaker. Tor, 2009.

Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. Random House, 1995.

Pynchon, Thomas. Against the Day. Penguin, 2007.

Reeve, Phillip. Infernal Devices. 2005. Harper Collins, 2007.

Rucker, Rudy. The Hollow Earth. 1990. Monkeybrain Books, 2006.

Rutoski, Marie. The Cabinet of Wonders: The Kronos Chronicles Book 1. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008.

Sedia, Ekaterina. The Alchemy of Stone. Prime Books, 2008.

Smedman, Lisa. The Apparition Trail. Tesseract Books, 2007.

Stephenson, Neal. The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.  Bantam Books, 1996.

Stirling, S.M. The Peshawar Lancers.  ROC, 2003.

Vandermeer, Ann, and Jeff, eds. Steampunk. Tachyon Publications, 2008.

Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan. Simon Pulse, 2009.

Wooding, Chris. Retribution Falls: Tales of the Ketty Jay 1. Gollancz, 2010.

Wrede, Patricia C. Thirteenth Child. Scholastic Press, 2009.


Kelly Barnes said...

Great list. Thanks. I notice WRATH OF FATE isn't on the list. I like Abney Park, but I'm wondering if their novel is as good as the music.

farawayeyes said...

Wow, what a list. I'll mark it for a great reference.

Rusty Webb said...

I do appreciate the list. I have tried a few stories and none have sucked me in to the genre. I read Leviathan, and almost read Boneshaker - but decided against it. Maybe your novels will make me fall in love with the genre.

Vero said...

Fantastic list, Jay! Thanks for rounding up the best of them, this is certainly a handy reference for future reading!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I need to read these steampunk zombie books. I love zombies. "BRRAAAIINNNSSS!"

The Desert Rocks said...

What a nice thoughtful list you put together for your steampunk friends and fans. When I was a kid I loved anything strange and science fiction-like but somehow I changed. Nowadays I don't think I'd categorize Mary Shelly in any genre other than classics, but I'm obviously out of touch with a growing phenom.

Jay Noel said...

Kelly: I'm curious as well. Like their music, however.

faraway: Thanks! I took from various lists and put it all together.

Rusty: I liked Leviathan, and thought Boneshaker was better. But as a guy, by brain needs more action. I hope you do like it when it comes out in July. (Just reminded me of my publisher's deadline this month!)

Vero: You're welcome.

Michael: I know! I downloaded one. Steampunk/western/zombie. Wanted Dead or Undead.

Eve: Shelley is in her own little category. Pretty cool how she finished Frankenstein when she was only 19 years old, but then again, she only lived to be 53.

Kelly Barnes said...

I already have Wrath of Fate in my B&N bag along with the Steampunk Bible. I gonna go ahead and tell them to send it. I'll let you know.

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Wow, I'm totally bookmarking this page to add to my TBR list!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Steampunk has been around a lot longer than most people think.

Jay Noel said...

Kelly: Please let me know what you think!

Juliana: Great. Glad I help.

Alex: It has been, although the term "steampunk" didn't come about until the 80s. Just like everything else that's cool!

R.A.Desilets said...

I'm going to have to get my hands on the Scott Westerfeld series :) I actually adore his books, but haven't read that series yet - so thanks for the recommendations!!

nutschell said...

I'm seriously bookmarking this post. :) I love all these Steampunk book recommendations. One day I hope to build my own goggles!

T.D. McFrost said...

I love books! This reminds me I need to read a hell of a lot more.

Thanks Jay!

T. S. Bazelli said...

Oh great list! I've been looking for a steampunk list for a while now.

Sky Luke Corbelli said...

Lindsay Buroker's "The Emporer's Edge" and "Flash Gold" series are pretty solid steampunk reads as well, particularly if you enjoy Westerfeld-esque writing.

Laura Barnes said...

Great list. I think I could enjoy writing steampunk, but I'm not that creative. Boo.

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

I've been wanting to dive into steampunk for quite some time now :) So love it when I see it come by in movies and in books.

Love Alan Moore's comics series of the league of extraordinary gentlemen :)

Greetings from the A to Z trail,
Sylvia @ Playful Creative

Elizabeth Twist said...

Nice theme for A-Z. I am really looking forward to reading the Leviathan trilogy. I've heard great things.

Can't wait to read your book either, Jay! Looking forward to the release date.

A-Z @ Elizabeth Twist

The Golden Eagle said...

. . . make that two dozen for me. I love Steampunk!

Mohamed Mughal said...

I'd never heard of this genre before, Jay. Thanks for expanding my literary horizons.

Jay Noel said...

RAD: Yup, I need to read more of his stuff too.

Nut: If you make some, post a pic up for me to see.

T.D. I wish I had time to read more!

T.S. You're welcome!

Jay Noel said...

Sky: I will look them up. Thanks for visiting.

Laura: Oh, you're too hard on yourself.

Sylvia: Yes, I love the comic version too. The movie was not so great.

Elizabeth: I need to finish that trilogy up too. I'm excited too. Scared, but excited.

Eagle: If only there was enough time in the day to enjoy all this steampunk goodness.

Mohamed: I'm glad you found something new on here.

Kelley said...

Wow! What a fantastic list! Bookmarking this page right now ;)

Melissa Bradley said...

Wow! There are some great books here and certainly ones I have not read yet,. Thanks for sharing these.

M Pax said...

I've read Boneshaker, and many of the older steampunks. Oh, Soulless, too. You put together a great list. Lindsay Buroker writes a steampunk series, too. Good writer.

Christine Rains said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. I've seen Boneshaker around, but I haven't heard from anyone who has read it. Now I'll pick it up! :)

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