Steampunk Message Board

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Steampunk Message Board

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1manofredearth
Jul 27, 2006, 10:01am

I've read The Difference Engine and loved it. I've been thinking of reading The Steampunk Trilogy even though many have commented on how they feel it's not actually "steampunk". If anyone could elaborate on this idea, I'd be glad to hear the reasoning behind it (or refutation). I've also read the Steampunk graphic novels, Manimatron and Drama Obscura, by Kelly and Bachalo (though it's a shame that the end without and ending). As for "classics", I haven't read anything by Jules Verne in more than a decade, but I'd like to revisit his work.

So what "steampunk" works have you read?

(In other media, "The Geographic Adventures of Jasper Morello" is an amazing short video and will be followed up with two more shorts and a film.)

2manofredearth
Jul 29, 2006, 3:21am

Ok, seven members, more talk/less lurk.... :)

3starfishpaws
Jul 29, 2006, 8:27pm

Well, I've been lurking in silence because I'm new to steampunk and wanted to let someone more "experienced" go first. ;-) But I would love some recommendations. What are your favorites? Has anyone read The Necropolis Railway? I can't find it in any stores, but it sounds so good that I'm thinking of ordering it online.

4manofredearth
Jul 30, 2006, 5:10pm

PDeebs, I haven't heard of it. I know it's cliche by now, but I'm a fan of The Difference Engine. I'm all ears for more suggestions, too.

5angharad
Aug 1, 2006, 10:04pm

6quartzite
Aug 5, 2006, 5:17pm

I recently read The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling which is a cross between steampunk and swashbuckling adventure.

7ragwaine
Dec 12, 2006, 9:14am

I had never heard of necropolis railway either but I just checked it out on amazon and it doesn't sound that exciting and has 1 bad review.

8ragwaine
Dec 12, 2006, 9:36am

Also to go along with those Blaylock books (which I haven't read yet but do own, I think). I would suggest Infernal Devices: A mad Victorian fantasy by K. W. Jeter. It's kind of a cthulhu meets steampunk. It's kind of funny and not as dark as I would have liked it but it did remind me of Neverwhere.

I also read and loved the Steampunk graphic novels, and yes I really wish they would bring the series back. They were a bit hard to understand but the art was great and the concepts were really cool. I stole a bunch of stuff for my D&D campaign from there.

Almost forgot to mention my favorite book of all time Perdido Street Station also China Mievilles other books The Scar and The Iron Council. All excellent and include many elements of steampunk.

9unapersson First Message
Dec 19, 2006, 4:46pm

Moorcock's Bastable novels, The War Lord of the Air, The Land Leviathan and The Steel Tsar have always been favourites of mine.

I agree about China Mieville, and would probably throw in K.J. Bishop's The Etched City as well.

10Zennor
Dec 20, 2006, 4:37am

I agree with unapersson: Moorcock's The Warlord of the Air and other Bastable novels were early favourites of mine. The short stories of H. G. Wells were also inspirational. This group may inspire me to go back and reread them.

11ragwaine
Dec 20, 2006, 5:10pm

I have The Etched City and plan on reading it sometime next year. I also have The Nomad of Time omnibus. I read the Land Leviathan but I remember not liking it all that much. I have it listed as the 2nd novel in the trilogy, so I'm not sure why I read that one. Maybe I should try the first book. Also like Wells a lot and have read a bunch of his stuff. Try When the Sleeper Wakes if you haven't yet, it's very cool.

12unapersson
Edited: Dec 21, 2006, 7:47pm

The first book (The Warlord of the Air) is the best of them. Worth reading even if you don't enjoy the later two. I haven't read When the Sleeper Wakes yet, I'll have to catch up with some Wells. I've only read a few.

13quartzite
Edited: Apr 9, 2008, 6:19pm

Two books with steampunk elements even though not full scale are Dark Sleeper by Jeffrey Barlough and The Secret Service by Wendy Walker. The latter takes place in somehwat alternate 19th century England sort of place, in which a group of spies develops a process that transforms people into inanimate objects. Three people are thus transformed and given as gifts to enemy conspirators so they can spy on them. The book is marred by a lengthy 100+ page dream sequence of minimal coherence and no plot value, but overall the book is interesting nonetheless

14thepogoman
Dec 31, 2006, 2:34am

I third the books of China Mieville. Iron Council is still sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but Perdido Street Station and The Scar were some of my favorites.

The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod was a good read in the magic/steampunk arena (as opposed to the pure technology steampunk). I just bought the sequel, The House of Storms but haven't gotten to it yet.

Some might argue it, but I always found the Greatwinter trilogy by Sean McMullen to be enjoyable and steampunk-esque. They involve human-powered computers (each person performs a different operation and passes it down the line), militant librarians that fight pistol duels, an entire society and guild structure built upon air duels with small airplanes, etc.
Souls in the Great Machine
The Miocene Arrow
Eyes of the Calculor

15bluetyson
Dec 31, 2006, 3:05am

Definitely like Sean McMullen too.

16ragwaine
Jan 3, 2007, 2:16pm

14:

Those both sounds like great series to look into. I've added them to my wishlists on Amazon and Bookmooch. Thanks for the recommendations.

17ragwaine
Jan 23, 2007, 1:32pm

Check out this steampunk website, it was mentioned in Wired magazine.

http://ccgi.firewyre.force9.co.uk/brassgoggles/

Has links to pretty much everything Steampunk.

18Esper_Ranger
Jan 31, 2007, 9:51pm

Cool link. Thanks!

19cmc First Message
Edited: Feb 22, 2007, 10:50pm

3,7: OTOH, there's Basil Copper's Necropolis, which is a Holmeseque story about murders related to the Necropolis Railway.

I read it in high school, and, despite being too honest for my own good, did seriously consider stealing it. (I bought a copy recently, and it was still good, although probably not worth stealing.)

20AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Feb 22, 2007, 11:25pm

I've been thinking of reading The Steampunk Trilogy even though many have commented on how they feel it's not actually "steampunk". If anyone could elaborate on this idea, I'd be glad to hear the reasoning behind it (or refutation).

I'd vote against moving on to the diFilippo:
it's interesting, but - despite the title - it is distinctly NOT what you're looking for. (I'd have to dig it up to build a case for why, so just trust me on this.)

If you're looking for more like The Difference Engine, try the Blaylocks mentioned at #5 or the Moorcocks mentioned at #9.

edited to add:
Oh, and whatever it is that China Mieville is doing, I wouldn't call it 'steampunk'. (His marketers are describing it as "The New Weird", which is probably a better label for it.) Again, probably not what you're looking for after The Diff. Engine.

21MrSleep First Message
Mar 9, 2007, 4:07pm

No-one seems to have mentioned this one, but it may be of interest (despite the slightly OTT name):

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
http://http://www.glassbooks.co.uk/flash.html

22VictoriaPL
Jun 10, 2007, 4:54pm

K.W. Jeter, particularly Noir, Farewell Horizontal and his Bladerunner books. I also like James Patrick Kelly, his novel Wildlife is great.

23stevetempo
Edited: Aug 25, 2007, 11:53am

How about Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter. An alternate history novel where a "nuclear like" high explosive is discovered in the Victorian age.

Also if you are all steampunk oriented, I assume many of you have seen the now canceled sci-fi TV show The Secret Adventures Of Jules Verne.  I've just started viewing the shows episodes and have been impressed.

I know this is a book site, but it is a show about book inspired characters.

24Wosret
Edited: Sep 22, 2007, 6:01pm

Child of the River by Paul J. McAuley is probably the only steampunk work I've read so far.

The previews for The Golden Compass certainly give the impression that the book contains some steampunk-y things, but that could just be the set designer.

Hmmm ... would the Myst books, count, I wonder? The games certainly have a steampunk vibe, and I would credit them with getting me interested in the genre, way back when.

There's an odd steampunk-like contraption in Strange Stains and Mysterious Smells by Terry Jones and Brian Froud, but the work is not steampunk overall. The same goes for the Dinotopia books by James Gurney.

25Sleepytimes
Apr 8, 2008, 10:00pm

I am about to jump into Steampunk fiction. I bought the Difference Engine, though Gibson makes me wary. I've already enjoyed Steampunk in comics. But what I would really like is a super opinionated top 10 of essentials. As in: Works that define the genre. Basically a primer of what you would read. All the suggestions on the board sound great. How about somebody gets brave and tells me how it really is. Thanks!

26PaulMarlowe
Edited: Jul 5, 2013, 8:45pm

Steampunk fans might enjoy this magazine:
http://www.thewillowsmagazine.com/home.htm
(I have a short story in this month's issue).

update: The magazine is defunct now, sadly

27ragwaine
Apr 15, 2008, 8:15am

I just received both issues in the mail a couple days ago. Haven't had a chance to read them yet but I'm looking forward to it.

28quartzite
May 17, 2008, 6:11pm

I am reading The Witches of Chiswick which is a comic fantasy, but it has steampunk elements and posits a Victorian age full of technological wonders created by Babbage and Tesla, with history then rewritten by a cabal of witches to hide the truth about the past.

29ragwaine
Dec 9, 2008, 11:18am

Hey Quartzite, I'm finally reading Dark Sleeper (your suggestion from about 2 years ago) and I'm enjoying it very much. Colorful characters, creepiness, humor, giant sabertooths, mastadons, cthulhu-esque monsters and victorian dialogue. What more could you ask for!

Thanks for the suggestion.

30quartzite
Dec 13, 2008, 4:57am

Glad you are enjoying it!

31ragwaine
Dec 28, 2008, 8:15am

Just finished it over the holiday weekend. Very cool book, I posted a review. I will say though that besides the victorian society there really were no steampunk elements. No gadgets or machines of anykind. So if that's what you're looking for you will be disappointed.

32quartzite
Dec 29, 2008, 8:17am

perhaps more like inverted steampunk-Victorian technology in an Ice Age world.

33GeorgiaDawn
Jan 4, 2009, 12:31pm

I just found this group this morning and looking forward to reading the topics. I initially became interested in all things steampunk a couple of years ago at DragonCon in Atlanta. I received a copy of The Difference Engine from my local library and it's my short TBR list. I'm sure I'll find more suggestions here!

34drneutron
Jan 4, 2009, 2:50pm

You keep showing up in all my favorite groups! 8^}

35mrgrooism
Jan 4, 2009, 3:03pm

I've been dying to dive into Steampunk, I found some recommendations that seem to be echoed here over in the Sci-Fi Group.

Although I've currently got a huge TBR file, I'll definitely be picking up some of the titles you guys recommend. I'm interested in a good STORY, so whether it be Steampunk or merely Steampunk elements is fine by me!

#33 & 34! Wow! I was just thinking I should post about this group in the GD, and looky who I find at the end of the first thread I read!

36GeorgiaDawn
Jan 4, 2009, 3:07pm

*waves at drnewt and Groo*

Where did you two come from?? :)

37mrgrooism
Jan 4, 2009, 3:11pm

#36 - Can't speak for the Good Doctor, but I came from Mommy and Daddy!

38quartzite
Jan 6, 2009, 10:03am

Would one say The Diamond Age has steampunk elements, at leats inverse--set in the future, with future technology, in which one prominent high-tech group clings to Victorian syles and mores?

39dukedom_enough
Jan 19, 2009, 8:34pm

The Diamond Age has that retro, "Neo-Victorian" theme; IIRC there's no description of the retro design element, but there's room for the reader to imagine the look of the technology in that way if she chooses.

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