Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-12-2003, 12:54 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor's Avatar
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 31,083

Steampunk Novel titles Requested

Your Unca Bosda is really, really bored.

And, my intrest in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen has piqued my intrest in Steampunk--science fantasy set in the Victorian/Edwardian Era.

I know that the Teeming Millions have absolutely wonderful taste--they all read the works of the Perfect Master Cecil Adams, after all.

So fill me in.

Give me some good Steampunk titles.

Or actual Victorian Fantasy/SF, if you've found something good.
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
~~~Dom Helder Camara
Old 03-12-2003, 01:04 PM
Ferrous is offline
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Posts: 2,640
I quite enjoyed The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson. It's set in a world where Charles Babbage's calculator actually worked, and the "Information Age" started in the 19th century.
Old 03-12-2003, 01:10 PM
Legomancer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Vat of Nutritive Fluid
Posts: 2,873
I have been reading roughly Victorian stuff lately. H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and such. I also expanded my range to include Robert Lousi Tevenson, Lovecraft, and E. R. Burroughs.

I highly recommend going to the actual sources. I've had a blast reading them.
Old 03-12-2003, 01:44 PM
Mr. Matthew is offline
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: DFW Metroplex
Posts: 54
Try The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling. It's on the border of Steampunk and alternative history. Quite a good read.
Old 03-12-2003, 01:45 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is online now
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,737
James Blaylock: The Digging Leviathan, Homunculus and Lord Kelvin's Machine. I'd add that "Homunculus" was probably the best of the genre. (I believe Blaylock may even have coined the term "Steampunk").

K.W. Jeter: Infernal Devices. Also highly recommended. Probably the next best after "Homunculus."

Tim Powers The Annubis Gates is technically not steampunk (it's set pre-Victorian), but shares similarities, including the fact that he is a friend of Blaylock and an William Ashbless scholar . You can also try his The Stress of Her Regard. Heck, read just about anything by Powers, one of our best writers.

Esther Friesner Druid's Blood

Mark Frost The List of Seven and The Six Messiahs

Michael Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter has much in common with Steam punk.

The Difference Engine is one of the genre's better-known works, but is inferior to all listed above. Gibson and Sterling came late to the genre and didn't seem to understand that the point of it was having fun.
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
Old 03-12-2003, 01:50 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 41,327
Although it's not exactly steampunk, His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman (a trilogy beginning with The Golden Compass) has a very steampunk feel to it, for me.

I've just started reading Perdido Street Station, and a blurb on the back cover calls it steampunk.

If you've not read Frankenstein, of course, you need to remedy that right away.

More as I think of them.

Old 03-12-2003, 02:23 PM
Fiat Lux is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 86
I'd recommend:

Rats and Gargoyles, by Mary Gentle. It's an odd kind of book, with universities of thieves and lashings of hermetic magic, but it is great fun. The steampunk elements are fairly subdued, but they're there.

Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville. Bizzare steampunk world and city. It's good, although the whole is somewhat less than the sum of its parts; the actual plot doesn't match up to the coolness and strangeness of the city itself. I often wish there was a genre of fictional atlases and tour-guide books for authors, like Mieville, Gibson and Vance, whose imaginations are great, but whose plots are often weak

Deathscent, by Robin Jarvis. It's a YA book, but still readable. It's somewhat strange ( I've just realised I've said something like that about every book so far. I guess steampunk is just a strange genre); about Elizabethan England... in space Not Victorian, but I'd still define it as steampunk.
Old 03-12-2003, 03:23 PM
Skip is offline
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 726
I recommend Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter. It's set at the turn of the century where the Brits have total control of Europe thanks to their possession of the volatile and powerful Anti-Ice.
Old 03-12-2003, 03:43 PM
Legomancer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Vat of Nutritive Fluid
Posts: 2,873
Here are some threads of mine that might be helpful:


Victorian Sci-Fi
Old 03-12-2003, 07:52 PM
burundi is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 3,030
I'm not sure if it's strictly steampunk, but The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson is science fiction set in a neo-Victorian future. The plot isn't the greatest, but it's a fascinating setting and a good read.

Like RealityChuck, I also enjoyed The Iron Dragon's Daughter. It's kind of a grim take on what happens when Faerie meets the Industrial Age. But much less twee than I just made it sound.
Old 03-12-2003, 08:15 PM
Hello Again is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: I am Queens Boulevard
Posts: 14,142
There's a new novel coming April or May "The Light Ages" by Ian MacLeod.

"Newton's Cannon" by J. Gregory Keyes. Sort of unique in that it is set during the American colonial period. Instead of discovering Newtonian Physics, Newton uncovers the secrets of the aether and the harmonics of the universe. Benjamin Franklin stars as a young adventurer/inventor.

Of course the movie "Wild Wild West" is definitely steampunkish, although its not very good.
Old 03-12-2003, 08:45 PM
Badtz Maru is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 5,665
Correction: Steampunk does not always have fantasy elements. The above-mentioned The Difference Engine does not have any, and there is another really good book in the genre I read that was simply alternate history, but I can't recall it's name.
Old 03-12-2003, 11:08 PM
Johanna's Avatar
Johanna is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 13,393
What would you call this kind of thing set in the era just before steam power? Clockworkpunk? Regencypunk? Luddpunk? How about Gothicpunk? I know... Frankenpunk!


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017