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The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to…
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The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary…

by Jeff VanderMeer

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5111332,260 (3.95)19
Discusses the steampunk movement in fiction, film, art, music, and fashion, tracing its history from Victorian science fiction novels and detailing its evolution into modern popular culture.

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This was a beautiful book with lavish illustrations tracing the Steampunk movement. Its origins in the industrial revolution and the literature of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, to its influence in modern day fiction, fashion, art, craftsmanship, and film, are all documented with beautiful photography, illustrations, and prints on almost every single page of the book; it's worth reading just for the visual experience as the layout of the pages has been well thought out to give the reader a feast for the eyes.

There were some sections that I found rather disappointing. For example, the section on Steampunk fashion made me feel that if I didn’t have the right boots/goggles/work belt, then I wouldn’t be considered to be serious about my Steampunk. This smacked of the elitist point of view to me, as I know many people that have some outstanding costumes and have won prizes, but don’t check all the blocks they say are necessary in this book. Also the section on much went on just a little too long for such a new sound.

However, I did find the book thought-provoking and insightful, and made me consider that Steampunk and other movements are actually springing up all around the globe full of people wanting to disconnect from our technological and virtual society. The do-it-yourself ethic in which Steampunk is highly invested, focuses on creating things with your own hands in order to reconnect with the world around you while at the same time giving yourself meaning and purpose in your life; we can see this mindset slowing taking hold through various avenues such as homesteading and self sufficiency groups.

I would recommend it to readers who are interested in this genre, if it can be called such; those who are just dipping a toe into Steampunk, and anyone else who would like a beautiful, and unusual coffee table book.

Originally reviewed on: http://catesbooknuthut.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/review-the-steampunk-bible-an-il...


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
( )
  TheAcorn | Nov 8, 2019 |
A wonderful compendium of many things steampunk. Vandermeer looks at the historic foundations of steampunk, and surveys the fiction, art, fashion, gadgets...even music and movies of the modern movement.

I've discovered something about myself and steampunk while reading this: I take, and like, steampunk for what it is, simply because it never was and cannot ever be. I don't consciously or unconsciously try to figure out why something won't work or how it might possibly work, quite unlike my experiences with fiction, science fiction, movies (in particular) or whatever.

I've also discovered that for me, steampunk's allure is pretty much totally visual. I've tried some of the fiction recommended (Gibson/Sterling's The Difference Engine, Dexter Palmer's The Dream of Perpetual Motion, and a few short stories) and found them barely readable. Palmer's work was to me a droning mess of words that never should have been printed. In the same vein, I've been trying out some of the music cited by Vandermeer...odd is the politest description...decidedly strange in some respects (Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls.)

So, gadgets, some movies, maybe fashions will continue to attract me as I admire the creativity of the fans. And this book will stay on my nightstand for a while. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Couldn't finish reading this. Never really got into it. It felt like somebody was trying way too hard to justify importance and significance to something. If an undergrad ever write a pro-Renaissance Faire term paper, it would sound like this book. ( )
1 vote RottenArsenal | Jul 28, 2014 |
The Steampunk Bible is a small book but ambitious and packed with information which truly fit its name. I think I became more than a newbie reading this.

Densely illustrated with a lot of side notes and more side references to pique you along but sometimes the content wash off me. There was a prevalence Jules Verne fandoming somewhere in between but the most content out of this book has got to be the book references.

I was more familiar with Japanese steampunk so I was quite disappointed how small section dedicated for that in this book. There was countless of games (Final Fantasy series), anime (Full Metal Alchemist), tokusatsu (Kamen Rider), tv series (Garo) and films (Escaflowne)in Japan that was steeped in steampunk than just Steamboy and Hayao Miyazaki. No, I refuse to let Jay Kristoff's abomination on Japanese culture to ever fit in the genre.

At times, I was completely unfamiliar with the references provided in the book (and there was tonnes of it) but the illustrations helps. But some of the content was a bit repetitive. There's some section dedicated for US-based Steampunk movement which is a bit nice but done nothing for the international folks really.

Basically its 101 Steampunk, long paragraphs with book and movie recommendations, some fashion and DYI art and some steampunk sculptures. There's some philosophy in between but the repetitive nature of it made some part of the book redundant. But is it just me, or the book made Steampunk look like unapproachable in term of class aka snobbish? Because it does read like that.
( )
  aoibhealfae | Sep 23, 2013 |
The Steampunk Bible is a small book but ambitious and packed with information which truly fit its name. I think I became more than a newbie reading this.

Densely illustrated with a lot of side notes and more side references to pique you along but sometimes the content wash off me. There was a prevalence Jules Verne fandoming somewhere in between but the most content out of this book has got to be the book references.

I was more familiar with Japanese steampunk so I was quite disappointed how small section dedicated for that in this book. There was countless of games (Final Fantasy series), anime (Full Metal Alchemist), tokusatsu (Kamen Rider), tv series (Garo) and films (Escaflowne)in Japan that was steeped in steampunk than just Steamboy and Hayao Miyazaki. No, I refuse to let Jay Kristoff's abomination on Japanese culture to ever fit in the genre.

At times, I was completely unfamiliar with the references provided in the book (and there was tonnes of it) but the illustrations helps. But some of the content was a bit repetitive. There's some section dedicated for US-based Steampunk movement which is a bit nice but done nothing for the international folks really.

Basically its 101 Steampunk, long paragraphs with book and movie recommendations, some fashion and DYI art and some steampunk sculptures. There's some philosophy in between but the repetitive nature of it made some part of the book redundant. But is it just me, or the book made Steampunk look like unapproachable in term of class aka snobbish? Because it does read like that.
( )
  aoibhealfae | Sep 23, 2013 |
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S. J. Chambers would like to dedicate this book to John Johnson, Aleks Sennwald, and her parents Jseph and Sonja Chamvers.

Jeff VanderMeer would like to dedicate this book to Anne VanderMeer, Lselie Anne Henkel, Matt Staggs, Jake von Slatt, and his long-suffering agent, Howard Morhaim.
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By the time Steampunk Workshop founder Jeke von Slatt had stepped onto that stage, Steampunk had already reached critical mass following the publication of Ruth La Ferla's article "Steampunk Moves Between 2 Worlds" in the Style section of the New York Times on Nay 8, 2008.
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