The Steampunk subgenre is getting more popular among science fantasy and fiction. One of its main traits is its fashion, the aesthetic design usually inspired in the century’s British Victorian era, even though some stories have the American “Wild West”. No matter the setting, technology is the main element in this subgenre.
Steampunk has one basic element as a key: industrial steam-powered machines. In addition, steampunk fashion is another of its claims, an entire culture has been gathered around this new style. In short, Steampunk dressing is the perfect mixture of modern styles with the Victorian era. Here, gowns, corsets, petticoats, topcats and even military garments are revisited creating the Steampunk style. Of course, a Steampunk outfit is never complete without the proper accessories, such as flying/driving goggles, aviator hats, and heavy machinery watches. And gears, lots of gears!
Which Steampunk books read?
Steampunk novels are heavily inspired by the Works of H.G Wells and Jules Berne, therefore recreating their fictional machines in their stories. Here you have a selection of classic, modern and for kids steampunk novels:
Classic Steampunk novels
Homunculus by James Blaylock
A crazy story. Everything starts with a dirigible with a dead pilot flying over London in the Victorian era. This will catch the attention of the scientist Langdon St. Ives and the evangelist Shiloh.
The Difference Engine by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
An alternative history taking place in Victorian Britain. The novel is set in 1855, depicting a powerfully weaponized British Empire thanks to the development and use of extremely advanced steam-driven technology in the industry.
For some, this is the book that invented the steampunk genre.
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
A time travel story, The Anubis Gates will take us to London in the 19th century.
Infernal Devices by K. W. Jeter
Another novel taking place in Victorian London. Everything begins when a mysterious man enters George’s watch shop with a strange device in need of repair. Eventually, George will get involved in the most unexpected conflict.
It was K.W Jeter who created the term Steampunk, as a way to refer to his work as well as the work of the authors previously mentioned. Notice that even it is the same title, this book is not related with Cassandra Clare Infernal Devices.
Modern steampunk novels
Soulless (Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger
This novel is set in the Victorian era, but here werewolves and vampires are accepted as normal members of society. Soulless tells the story of Alexia Tarabotti, a woman with no soul, a particular ability that allows her to turn supernatural beings into humans.
Mechanica Wars by Jay Noel
Mechanica wars is a trilogy, composed of: Dragonfly warrior, Shadow warrior, and Iron warrior. This series takes place in an alternate universe, even so, it still has the usual traits of the steampunk genre. This saga tells the story of Kanze Zenjiro, the prince of Nihon, a region assaulted by steam-powered giants and iron spiders sent by the Iberian Empire.
Gears of Golgotha by Rebekah McAuliffe
A novel set in 3141, in a dark future after World War Three. In this story, Earth is now a nation, Pangae. Humans live in a society where people believe in magic, Mages, or in science, Chemists. Eventually, such segregation will arise conflict.
Alchemy Wars trilogy by Ian Tregellis
Alchemy wars is composed of The Mechanical, The Rising and The Liberation. This series tells the story of Jax, a mechanical mal created thanks to the arts of alchemy. He, as his kind, is the ultimate fighting machine.
The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia
The narrative takes place in an alternate 1930s. In this setting, some people are Actives, people born with magical activities. This series tells the story of Jack Jake Sullivan, a private investigator with the ability to make objects light or heavy at will.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
An alternate history set in the beginnings of World War I. Leviathan tells the story of Prince Aleksander, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. However, Aleksander’s life will change when he meets Deryn Sharp, an airman.
Steampunk books for children
If you want to introduce your children to the amazing world of Steampunk here you have some suggestions for children. If you want to encourage your kids, this is what you are looking for Reading for children.
Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve
Mortal Engines takes place in a post-apocalyptic universe This series consists of four novels, the series taking the name from its first novel. If you want to start reading this series, just check this reading order post.
His dark materials by Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials is a trilogy telling the story of Lyra Belacqua. In this case, the story takes place in several locations, in a multiverse, in a world with witches and armored bears. Recently, the second novel of its equel, The Book of Dust, was published: The Secret Commonwealth.
Also, His Dark Materials is having a tv series adaptation, see His Dark Materials BBC tv series.
Additionally, you can check these other books for kids.
Hope these Steampunk novel suggestions were of your interest!
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