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10 Gripping Steampunk Books You Need To Read

January 24, 2017

10 Gripping Steampunk Books You Need To Read

1. Steampunk, Edited by Ann and Jeff Vander Meer, May 1 2008.



This classic anthology does not cease to impress by combining both modern technology and Victorian elegance into its story-line. Replete with whimsical mechanical wonders and bold adventurers, this riveting anthology lovingly collects classic steampunk stories, pop culture–fueled discussions of steampunk, and essential recommended reading lists for the discerning steampunk fan.

2. Leviathan by Scott Westerfield, May 27 2010



It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet. That's just a taste of the Steampunk elements on display in this classic. Be sure to check it out.


3. Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina May 30, 2011



London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world. At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices. Another classic that we highly reccommend.


4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, 1818



Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror and science fiction stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind. Although not full out Steampunk, there are definitely some elements on display here that would later be incorporated into the Steampunk genre.


5. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, September 29, 2009



In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska's ice. Thus was Dr. Blue's Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born. But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead. This gripping book is a must read for any self respecting Steampunk fan.


6. Homunculus by James R Blaylock, 1986



It is the late 19th century and a mysterious airship orbits through the foggy skies. Its terrible secrets are sought by many, including the Royal Society, a fraudulent evangelist, a fiendish vivisectionist, an evil millionaire and an assorted group led by the scientist and explorer Professor Langdon St. Ives. This classic is a must read for all Steampunk fans.


7. Agatha H. and the Airship City (Girl Genius Series) by Phil and Kaja Foglio, 2011



The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. Sixteen years have passed since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over ― and terrorizing ― the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Heterodynes’ return. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck. Incapable of building anything that actually works, but dedicated to her studies, Agatha seems destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. But when the university is overthrown by the ruthless tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Agatha finds herself a prisoner aboard his massive airship Castle Wulfenbach ― and it begins to look like she might carry a spark of Mad Science after all.

If you consider yourself a Steampunk fan, be sure to pick this one up!


8. Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon, October 30, 2007



The inimitable Thomas Pynchon has done it again. Hailed as "a major work of art" by The Wall Street Journal, his first novel in almost ten years spans the era between the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I and moves among locations across the globe (and to a few places not strictly speaking on the map at all). With a phantasmagoria of characters and a kaleidoscopic plot, Against the Day confronts a world of impending disaster, unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places and still manages to be hilarious, moving, profound, and so much more. A must read for all fans of the Steampunk genre!


9. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, April 1, 2011



In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice is pushed out of London by the man he most admires and must seek answers in the perilous Out-Country, aided by one girl and the memory of another. The cover art for this book had us immediately and the book itself definitely does not disappoint!


10. Perdido Street Station by China Midville, July 29, 2003



Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. Brilliant scientist Isaac has spent a lifetime quietly carrying out his unique research. But when a half-bird, half-human creature known as the Garuda comes to him from afar, Isaac is faced with challenges he has never before fathomed. Though the Garuda's request is scientifically daunting, Isaac is sparked by his own curiosity and an uncanny reverence for this curious stranger.

This may sound like a strange premise but trust us, this is an amazing Steampunk classic and absolute must read for fans of the genre.


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