Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Hayley

      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
BookJumper

Where to start with Steampunk?

Recommended Posts

It's taken me this long to stumble upon a definition of this (according to Wiki, 'works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy'), the idea rocks my socks but I have no idea what's good and what's faff... please help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought it was a clothing line. I've seen the steampunk emporium, because I adore all things Victorian and that website sells period clothing and accessories. That must be why I thought it. Now that I've looked it up myself, I must admit I'm rather fascinated by the culture, whatever about the books!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer, just published, is getting some good reviews. Here's a rave relevant to the subject:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think: Victorian era meets science fiction. A lot of fairy tales images are often reworked into steampunk style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Think: Victorian era meets science fiction. A lot of fairy tales images are often reworked into steampunk style.
Precisely :) now all I need is titles...!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thing that springs to my mind is His Dark Materials, but I would have thought you'd have read that, or have it on Mount TBR? I'm gonna look up lesser known and specifically Victorian stuff though, so I'll report back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guilia, is the work you are writing steampunk? I haven't read any of the books but I know the genre well from another angle- I play steampunk games (also called Victorian scifi).

Edited by vodkafan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes steampunk has been around for quite some time it has only recently really become more mainstream, with many fans of the goth culture also being a fan. There are clothes, accessories, books, films, animations, games, even bands that play steampunk inspired music. Many films we have all seen and loved have had steampunk inspired scenes if not the whole film such as 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The city of lost children, Stardust even in bits, etc. One film I bought recently is partially in a steampunk world - Franklyn.

 

One book I have already read that is classed as having a streampunk world is Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente which is beautifully written, but just to let you know it does centre around sexual relations among characters, sex is the way they travel to the steampunk/fantasy world.

 

Another book which I own that I have yet to read but I have read many amazing reviews on is Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. In one review it is said to 'read like a steampunk version of Dante's inferno... Perdido Street Station is the first in a series, Scar being the second book and Iron Council being the third.

 

Back of the book blurb of Perdido:

The metropolis of New Crobuzon sprawls at the centre of the world. Humans and mutants and arcane races brood in the gloom beneath its chimneys, where the river is sluggish with unnatural effulent, and factories and foundries pound into the night. For more than a thousand years, the Parliament and its brutal militia have ruled here over a vast economy or workers and artists, spies and soldiers, magicians, junkies and 'ladies of the night'.

Now a stranger has arrived with a pocket full of gold and an impossible demand. And inadvertently, clumsily, something unthinkable is released.

As the city becomes gripped by an alien terror, the fate of millions lies with a clutch of renegades and outcasts on the run from lawmakers and crimelords alike. The urban landscape becomes a hunting ground. Battles rage in the shadows of uncanny architecture. And a reckoning is due at the city's heart, under the vast chaotic vaults of Perdido Street Station.

 

There are quite a number of other books available including anthologies which may be useful to get that way you can be introduced to a number of authors who write steampunk.

 

Another book which has been on my wishlist for quite a while, I think I remember someone mentioning they were readng it recently too is 'The Affinity Bridge by George Mann which is a steampunk mystery. The Affinity Bridge is also the first of a series, the second being The Osiris Ritual and the third, The Immorality Engine.

 

Blurb from amazon(The Affinity Bridge):

Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world where lycanthropy is a rampant disease that plagues the dirty whorehouses of Whitechapel, where poltergeist infestations create havoc in old country seats, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where nobody ever goes near the Natural History Museum.

 

Sounds fantastic does it not? Reminded me I MUST get this soon!

 

Hope some of this helps in someway :)

Edited by chrysalis_stage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, thanks all for your helpfulness :) more specifically:

 

The Dream of Perpetual Motion
The Jules Verne comparison made my ears prick, however I adore Verne* and wouldn't be amused if upon reading it this actually failed to compare :roll: new books are tricky, as all the reviews are from the press rather than 'actual' readers; I'll have to read me a few pages when I'm next in a bookstore to get a feel for it.

 

* ETA: I read his 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Around the World in 80 Days when I was ikkle and loved them all; it was quite probably my first serious batch of Science Fiction.

 

First thing that springs to my mind is His Dark Materials, but I would have thought you'd have read that, or have it on Mount TBR? I'm gonna look up lesser known and specifically Victorian stuff though, so I'll report back.
You are correct, I have Northern Lights on Mount TBR with a view to purchasing the others if I enjoy NL as much as I want to :lol: I eagerly await your findings.

 

This is a listing found on Wiki for Steampunk novels. Another few here.
Ooooh, pretty lists *scours*. You're obviously cleverer than me Chrissy :cry2: when I Wikied the subject I utterly failed to find these.

 

Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann

Thanks for the warning about Palimpsest, it does sound good but possibly not for me. China Mieville is already on my wishlist though I thought I might start with The City & The City, just to take his style for a testdrive before committing to a trilogy. I remember seeing The Affinity Bridge in bookshops and thinking it was very pretty :D I must do some further research on that one.

 

Guilia, is the work you are writing steampunk? I haven't read any of the books but I know the genre well from another angle - I play steampunk games (also called Victorian scifi).
The work I'm writing is not steampunk as far as I can tell; I believe it to be a high/urban fantasy novel with elements of gothic horror and a mythological interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried The Court of Air and subsequent sequels they seem to meet this criteria. The author is Stephen Hunt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if it counts Giulia but have you tried 'Mariah Mundi : The Midas Box'? .. It has a definite Victorian flavour .. is full of magic .. and 'The Prince Regent Hotel' where Mariah goes to work as a magician's assistant is a steam powered hotel .. with a fantastic steam powered elevator.

It is a teenage book really, and the story wasn't entirely convincing at times, but I loved it enough to buy the sequel (though I haven't read that yet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't read the Mariah Mundi books Poppy; I'll look into them. I haven't read terribly good things about G.P. Taylor as a writer, however we seem to have such similar tastes in books these might be worth the risk :).

 

I've had a look through the lists you linked Chrissy and I've found much to interest me :roll: the Anubis Gates by Tim Powers, Anno Dracula by Kim Newman and Mainspring by Jay Lake were already on my wishlist; also, I've added the following:

 

- The Age of Unreason by Gregory Keyes (Newton's Cannon, A Calculus of Angels, Empire of Unreason and The Shadows of God)

- Automated Alice by James Noon

- The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson

- Morlock Night by K.W. Jeter

 

Thank you!

 

*toddles off to research The Court of the Air + sequels*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven't read the Mariah Mundi books Poppy; I'll look into them. I haven't read terribly good things about G.P. Taylor as a writer, however we seem to have such similar tastes in books these might be worth the risk :).

 

Well, as I said, it wasn't perfect, but it was intriguing and it had a lot of atmosphere .. perhaps best borrowed than bought (and you're welcome to borrow mine .. but I have to warn you, it's not in the best of shape having been lent out a bit).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Giulia, I've heard a lot of good things about Automated Alice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like Steampunk and have read a few. The author that comes first to mind is HG Wells, with The Time Machine and War of the worlds.

 

Try books by George Mann - The Osiris Ritual and Affinity Bridge are well worth a read (just seen these mentioned below):smile2:.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(and you're welcome to borrow mine .. but I have to warn you, it's not in the best of shape having been lent out a bit).
It's safer that way, 'cos if it's battered I won't steal it :giggle:!

 

Giulia, I've heard a lot of good things about Automated Alice.
That's good to hear :irked:.

 

The author that comes first to mind is HG Wells, with The Time Machine and War of the Worlds.
Jules Verne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my TBR pile I have Extraordinary Engines - The Definitive Steampunk Anthology edited by Nick Gevers which looks a good a place to start as any.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It's a steampunk-esque novel that that I stumbled across in TIME magazine last year, I need to read it myself.

 

My friend suggested some other steampunk /cyberpunk books after seeing Blade Runner on TV recently, I just asked again: Boneshaker, Leviathan, The Difference Engine, perdido street station

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed Mariah Mundi and can't wait for the film. I don't know why some people dis this guy. I think his stuff is amazing - if not a little weird. His last book ship of fools was off the wall. I can't wait for the movie of Mariah. It comes out in Sept 2011 and I heard on variety that they were having open casting for the kids parts. Give him a shot and read him with an open mind. He writes as well as Rowling and beter than Meyer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On my TBR pile I have Extraordinary Engines - The Definitive Steampunk Anthology edited by Nick Gevers which looks a good a place to start as any.
Let me know how you find it - the reviews I've read of this weren't very inspiring.

 

How about The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It's a steampunk-esque novel that that I stumbled across in TIME magazine last year, I need to read it myself. My friend suggested some other steampunk /cyberpunk books after seeing Blade Runner on TV recently, I just asked again: Boneshaker, Leviathan, The Difference Engine, Perdido Street Station
I've just looked up The Windup Girl' and the 'decadent whims' of the man who finds the girl of the title don't bode well... I'll look up the others, thank your friend for me.

 

Give him a shot and read him with an open mind. He writes as well as Rowling and better than Meyer.
As I loathe Meyer with every fibe of my being, I should hope so :lol: that said, I never thought Rowling's writing was exactly earth-shattering either, just that the story (up to The Goblet of Fire IMGO) was genius enough to make up for it. Is the story of Mariah Mundi also genius?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was just looking through my wishlist on amazon because I could have sworn there were some other steam punk books in there and just came across another called The Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

 

Blurb:

Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally. A steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy, The Alchemy of Stone represents a new and intriguing direction by the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow.

 

Pretty cover too! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our minds must follow the same tracks - when I was doing my own preliminary Steampunk research, Alchemy of Stone is one of the first titles I took note of :lol: do let me know what you think of it if you get to it before I do, which you probably will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×