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Recommendations (books, movies, anime...whatever...)?
I also just recently finished Jay Lake's Mainspring, which was pretty good but more clock than steam.
Oh, and wikipedia's got a pretty complete list:
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman fx. has no steampunk elements, if by steampunk you understand an anachronistic technology in a somewhat historical setting. It is set in a Victorian London where Dracula married Queen Victoria, and it is a great set piece, but there is no technology to make it steampunk.
Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality.
It's not a great definition in that it wouldn't include works like Perdido Street Station, etc. But then they don't strictly follow the definition in the list of steampunk works. In spite of the flaws, though, I think one could use the list as a relatively good jumping off point.
The list of movies at the link provided by drneutron is awesome. Some of my favorites are there.
PS, if anyone cares to try their hand at creating some homemade steampunk, check out the story 'Constantinople Gyrosteambike Company' on the writing website One Million Monkeys Typing... :)
I recently finished The Affinity Bridge, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. I't definitly steampunk, and with a occult/supernatural twist to boot, but it never feels as if it heads of into fantasy teritory, as many of these books seem to do, at least in my opinion. That it has one of the most refreshing and intriguing male/female protagonist team dynamic in quite a while doesn't hur either. Sequel will be out this summer, and I'll definitly keep an eye out for it.
I'm also very fond of Phillip Pulman's His Dark Materials trilogy - the first book was the basis for the movie The Golden Compass. It's odd that the the three books and spinoff aren't on that Wikipedia page.
A couple of steampunk series' that haven't been brought up here:
- Larklight by Philip Reeve - A junior steampunk series that captures a wonderfully whimsical Victorian sentiment. Rolllicking good fun!
- Mortal Engines also by Philip Reeve - Young Adult series based on steam-powered city-sized vehicles.
And a couple of Australian steampunks, for those who can get a hold of them
- The Laws of Magic, starting with Blaze of Glory, by Michael Pryor - A wonderful steam-magic series. Aubrey Fitzwilliam, son of the Prime Minister, is embarking on his studies of the laws of magic in a steam & magic powered alternate Europe.
- World Shaker by Richard Harland - A slave girl escapes the coal engine recesses of the hulking Worldshaker and runs into the Captain's grandson, changing everybody's world. A great young adult story by one of Australia's best speculative fiction authors.
There are some great graphic novels/comics that feature steampunk, too.
Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series is nothing like movie and features a very dark storyline.
The Hollow Grounds, by Luc Shuiten is beautifully illustrated and features many odd stories.
and Daisy Kutter: The Last Train is a fun adventure through a robot-laden wild west.
The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti
Court of Air by Stephen Hunt (he has a few more out,too, that I don't own yet)
Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters
Soulless by Gail Carriger
I haven't read any of these yet so any thoughts would be welcomed.
P.S. Steampunk magazine (www.tangledwilderness.com) is amazing. I have all the issues available.
Well, Perdido Street Station has steam and airships, and New Crobuzon has a certain Victorian feel, but I don't think Mieville was consciously aiming at steampunk as a genre. It is a terrific novel; Mieville is among the best fantasists now writing.
I read The Shattered Teacup at the publisher site, and thought its shortcomings were due to the short story format, but so far The Affinity Bridge suffers from the same 'wooden' characterization.
I am enjoying the Girl Genius Volume 1 Online comic, its not really steampunk but it does have many mad clockwork contraptions and of course airships, plus it's just funny. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/
Edited: missing word!
The Shattered Teacup I liked a bit more, but was just approaching above average.
Mann's story at Apex, 'The Nature Of Blood' is considerably superior. Not related, though.
I don't know, I honestly really liked it, it felt fresh and not as contrived as some of the SP out there is, in my opinion.
I picked up the sequel The Osiris Ritual a while back and didn't, surprisingly, care for it at all. It felt flat and unimaginative compared with the first one, and the freshness of the gender roles that really got me hooked was nowhere to be seen. So if you didn't like the first one you probably shouldn't go any further. I can give you that at least. I'll probably pick up the third one when it comes out, however. I haven't given up totally on Mann yet.
Girl Genius is described by its authors as a "Gaslight Romance", but it's rather steampunky - At least it has all the trappings of steampunk, although some of it might be rather on the light side for some readers. Above all it's about Mad Science and swashbuckling adventure. It's rather epic in scope, and the technology is wonderfully absurd at times (death rays!).
And I'm half way through Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (yeah for Seattle authors!) and it is simply amazing.
I must admit that I'm only a quarter of a way through The Twentieth Century (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by Albert Robida. It's a nineteenth century vision of the future; and amiable, though very dated satire, but the illustrations make the book - just fantastic and there are lots of them. Plenty of zeppelins, fantastic contraptions and lots of fabulous ladies dressed in a style that could only be described as George Melies futurism.
Finally, I can definitely second Will's recommendation of the Mortal Engines quartet (Hungry City Chronicles in the US) by Philip Reeve This may have been marketed for the juvenile audience (like Phillip Pullman), but has to be one of the best Steampunk epics I've read - Zeppelins, land-leviathan cities and reanimated cyborgs. Tremendous energy, wonderful characters and an utterly gripping story.
the Gail Carriger series certainly seems aimed at the paranormal romance market, but I suspect transcends it because of the wit and creativity.
Girl Genius seems, to me, to be very steampunk. Sedia's The Alchemy of Stone, otoh, though well worth reading, *doesn't* strike me as particularly steampunk - ymmv.
Another recommendation for China Mieville, especially Perdido Street Station and the Scar. While some of his stuff is steampunk-ish rather than perhaps actually steampunk, it's all brilliant and worth the read.
in no particular order
Boneshaker, Cherie Priest
The windup girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
Flora Segunda, Wilce
The glassbooks of the dreameaters, Dahlquist
The manual of detection, Berry
The somnabulist, Barnes
The court of air, Hunt
Perdido street station, Mieville
The city and the city, Mieville
Each and every title are very different from each other, and some titles may prove debatable in whether or not they could be included as steampunk. I've really enjoyed most of these titles and plan to continue exploring this genre further this year. I've already added some titles to my list from the above posts, so thanks! :)
Standouts were The windup girl and Mieville. Enjoyed the writing in The somnambulist, couldn't get into The court of air and loved Soulless for it's light hearted approach. I agree with the poster that it is aimed more at women, and it's definitely angled towards chicklit.
Don't feel bad about liking a book that others didn't. I find myself in the position many times. We are all different and all like different things. (I can't abide any of James Joyce's work, yet the literary establishment tells me his work is sheer genius. Hmmm!)
As it happened, I wasn't over the moon about The Affinity Bridge but I loved The Difference Engine.
Thanks. I know that tastes will always be different, I just hate to see readers disappointed. "To each his own" is a creed to live by.
Also, there's a Girl Genius Novel out: "Agatha H. and the Airship City"! I haven't picked it up yet, but will soon, as the comic is pure genius.
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