Genre Spotlight: Steampunk

steampunk

When you hear the word “Steampunk,” you probably think of gears and goggles and tiny hats. Or, maybe you think: “Steam-huh? What even are you saying to me?”

If you’re NOT familiar with steampunk, keep reading. If you ARE familiar with steampunk, keep reading.

Steampunk does involve quite a lot of gears and goggles and tiny hats, but it is so much more than that. It’s an alternate version of history.

Steampunk generally focuses on the 19th century – frequently Victorian England, but there are sub-genres that focus on the American Wild West, Asian societies, and others. Why the 19th century?  The 1800s were a time of expansion, exploration, enlightenment and science. Steampunk takes the inquisitive, innovative spirit of the period and gives it more to play with. It asks the question: what if 19th century scientists had used the technology they had to create modern inventions like robots, airplanes, and telephones? Thus, you see things like clockwork automatons, steam-powered airships, and“etherographic” communicators.

Also, there are frequently vampires and werewolves and ghosts.  And sometimes octopi.  Essentially, the genre takes the culture of the Steam Age and “punks” it with a healthy dose of science fiction and/or fantasy.

Here are a few Steampunk titles to get you started:

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories
Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant
Place a hold.

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Etiquette and Espionage
By Gail Carriger
Place a hold.

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

The Transatlantic Conspiracy
By G. D. Falksen
Place a hold.

The Transatlantic Conspiracy

The Dark Unwinding
By Sharon Cameron
Place a hold.

The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding, #1)

The Girl in the Steel Corset
By Kady Cross
Place a hold.

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

And, since I had trouble narrowing down my list, here are a bunch more:

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
The Grace of Kings by Ken liu
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Prudence by Gail Carriger
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
Girl Genius by Phil Foglio
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

If you devour all these and find you’re hungry for more, just stop by the Vortex.  We love to recommend books!

_____

Tara

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