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

by Jeff VanderMeer, S. J. Chambers (Author)

Other authors: Desirina Boskovich (Contributor), Libby Bulloff (Contributor), G. D. Falksen (Contributor), Rick Klaw (Contributor), Jess Nevins (Contributor)3 more, Bruce Sterling (Contributor), Catherynne M. Valente (Contributor), Jake von Slatt (Contributor)

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5771432,490 (3.96)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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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I have been to several con's and seen the steampunk asthetic in the costumes some people wear, but I didn't really understand what the touchstones of the genre were. This is a fantastic primer to this wonderful, wacky world. The pictures are wonderful and the text is lively and not too techie. I felt that I now "get it." ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
The strength of this book for me lies in the photography. They did a great job on the photos and spreads. In fact, I found myself wishing they had done some more and made this more of a coffee table book. The book is pretty comprehensive in looking at steampunk from the literary, the artistic, popular culture, craftmanship, fashion, and media. Given I am more of a reader, the parts I found most interesting were those related to literature and graphic novels. However, there is a bit of everything in this book. If nothing else, this book will make you want to seek out some of the literary works mentioned in order to read them. For some folks, you may want to seek out some films or maybe try your hand at a new outfit to wear. If you enjoy steampunk in any of its forms, you want to take a look at this book. It is certainly one that lends itself to browsing as well. I read it from cover to cover, but skimming is perfectly fine. I know I will be looking up a few works after reading this book. Also, given that I have read some steampunk fiction pieces that were less than stellar, this book helped to reignite a bit of my joy in the genre. ( )
1 vote bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
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.
( )
1 vote 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jeff VanderMeerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chambers, S. J.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boskovich, DesirinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bulloff, LibbyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Falksen, G. D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klaw, RickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nevins, JessContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sterling, BruceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valente, Catherynne M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
von Slatt, JakeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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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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