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Author Topic: Steampunk 101: Recommended Reading  (Read 4235 times)
LadyClankington
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« on: January 17, 2011, 09:27:39 pm »

My mother the librarian has asked me to make a list of recommended reading for a book display at her library.  I thought this would be a great opportunity for people to list what they think are quintessential steampunk books, graphic novels, manga, etc.  

Here's what I have so far:

Jules Verne, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"
H.G. Wells, "The Time Machine"
Scott Westerfield, "Leviathan"
William Gibson, "The Difference Engine"
Ann Vandermeer, "Steampunk" + "Steampunk II"
Cherie Priest, "Boneshaker" + "Dreadnought"
Greg Broadmore, "Dr. Grordbort" books
Phil + Kaja Foglio, "Girl Genius"
Alan Moore, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"
Art Donovan, "The Art of Steampunk"
Selden Edwards, "The Little Book"
Justin Gray, "Jonah Hex"
Katsuhiro Otomo, "Steamboy"
Yatsuhiro Nightow, "Trigun"
Joe Benitez, "Lady Mechanika"
Gail Carriger, "Soulless"
James Gurney, "Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time" and "The World Beneath"
Philip Pullman, "The Golden Compass"

Is there anything else you think should be included on this list?  Anything that should be removed from the list?  Post your recommendations here Smiley
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 09:36:28 pm by LadyClankington » Logged

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LadyClankington
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 09:35:59 pm »

Oh lord, just realized I left out Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass".  Added.
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Major Willoughby Chase
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 09:43:23 pm »

Adding Changeless and Blameless to the Gail Carriger books...

Japanese Devilfish Girl - Robert Rankin
The Infinity Bridge - George Mann
The Osiris Ritual - George Mann
Ghosts of Manhattan - George Mann
Space Captain Smith - Toby Smith
God Emperor of Didcot - Toby Smith
Wrath of the Lemming Men - Toby Smith
The Bookman - Lavie Tidhar
The Court of the Air - Stephen Hunt
Kingdom Beyond the Waves - Stephen Hunt
The Rise of the Iron Moon - Stephen Hunt
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 09:45:04 pm »

Just looking at my shelves:-

China Meiville - Perdido Street Station;The Scar;Iron Council
Harry Harrison - A Transatlantic Tunnel Hurrah!
Mark Hodder- The Strange Affair of Springheeled Jack (Mr Hodder is on this Forum)

Toby Frost - Space Captain Smith; God Emperor of Didcot; Wrath Of The Lemming Men (Space Captain Toby is on this forum)
Tim Powers - The Anubis Gates; On Stranger Tides; The Stress of Her Regard
Michael Moorcock - Oswald Bastable
JW Jeter- Morlock Nights
Kim Newman - Anno Dracula
Ian Edgington/D'Israeli - Scarlet Traces; Leviathan; Stickleback


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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:56:23 pm »

Ah, I forgot an important set.

The Pax Britanica series published by Abbadon Books,
Gods of Manhattan - Al Ewing
The Ulysses Quicksilver omnibus vol 1 - Jonathan Green
Dark Side - Jonathan Green
Blood Royal - Jonathan Green
Human Nature - Jonathan Green
Evolution Expects - Jonathan Green
Leviathan Rising - Jonathan Green
El Sombra - Al Ewing
Unnatural History - Jonathan Green

There is currently a three book omnibus staring Ulysses Quicksilver, which comprises of Unnaturasl History, Leviathan Rising & Human Nature.

Pretty much everything on Abbadon is a good read, more information on their titles can be found here http://www.abaddonbooks.com/titles/, I particularly like The Devil's Plague - An alternative history in which Cromwell makes a pact with the Devil in order to raise an undead army of ancient evil in order to crush the royalists... zombies ensue.... however this is not Steampunk and I shall shush.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 09:59:06 pm by Major Willoughby Chase » Logged
Capt. Dirigible
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 10:34:50 pm »

Quote
Kim Newman - Anno Dracula

And it's WWI set sequel 'The Bloody Red Baron'
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 11:32:58 pm »

I hear Mainspring by Jay Lake is a great alternate world Steampunky book.

I would probably only include one book for each author; then it's not as overwhelming, and if someone enjoys that book, they can go on to find other books by that author.  I might also separate them by genre, for easy skimming: "classics" "graphic novels" "western" etc.  Not to further divide them, but to help people find thing they may be more likely to enjoy. 
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LadyClankington
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 11:41:30 pm »

I would probably only include one book for each author; then it's not as overwhelming, and if someone enjoys that book, they can go on to find other books by that author.  I might also separate them by genre, for easy skimming: "classics" "graphic novels" "western" etc.  Not to further divide them, but to help people find thing they may be more likely to enjoy. 

Good idea!
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Captain Lyerly
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 08:34:46 pm »

I would add one that is often overlooked, but seminal in its inspiration of H. Rider Haggard and others is key, I believe, to much of what followed.

A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James De Mille.

And, of course, She and King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard.



Cheers!


Chas.

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 10:38:35 am »

Is your mother considering getting music as well as books?
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bassspine
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 07:17:12 pm »

Harm's Way by Colin Greenland

I think it's the tale that lead me here...
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 10:29:18 pm »

Why so little love for Stephen Baxter on this forum? He wrote two steampunk books, The Time Ships and Anti-Ice. I would mainly recommend The Time Ships, though that one wouldn´t work well if you haven´t read The Time Machine by H. G. Wells.
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 11:52:18 pm »

This a childrens book actually, which may be why I've never heard it referred to on here. Inspired by Jules Verne and published in the 70's 'Moon Journey' by Jay Williams is definately worth a look if you can find it. It was criticised for being covertly political at the time of its release. The illustrations by Daniel Le Noury are fantastic.
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2011, 08:03:48 am »

Don't forget the sequel to King Solomon's Mines, Allan Quatermain.


S.M Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers, while not 'steampunk' falls under 'alternate history' and is more or less the Victorian era-while-it's-now-2100, technology freezes for a century or two thanks to a comet strike wiping out half of earth and the British Empire moves to India. Excellent book.
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pakled
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2011, 09:19:25 pm »

A bit tongue in cheek, but I finally found the entry for someone named 'Lupoff' (sp?) called 'Into the Aether'...it's a comedy of the 70s, but has elements...Wink
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Flightless Phoenix
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 08:54:08 pm »

The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan and The steel Tsar - Michael Moorcock

Also have you considered Titus Alone- Meryvn Peake. I'd call it proto-steampunk, but reading it without first reading Titus Groan and Gormenghast would be inadvisable, and as neither of those are in any way steampunk (although damned fine fiction that I would recommend to anyone) perhaps it will have to be left out.
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2011, 12:00:25 pm »

Here are two I've enjoyed

Michael Swanwick - "The Iron Dragon's Daughter"
James Blaylock
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Professor E.S. Wheatstone
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2011, 12:12:03 pm »

^ My apologies for the double post.  I am being an old duffer today.  Not only did I submit my post before I finished typing it but I was then completely unable how to find the "Edit" button!

Anyway, the completed post should read:

Michael Swanwick - "The Iron Dragon's Daughter"
James Blaylock  - "The Digging Leviathan"

Could a kind Mod tidy this up for me? Thanks
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Miles (a sailor)Martin
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2011, 02:00:18 pm »

S M Stirling's Draka stuff is dieselpunk with somebody worse that the Nazi Regime comes out on top, extreamly dark and nasty in the last two books. the short story collection set in the same universe called "Drakas" has several storys that are very Steampunk, and not so bad ,but definitly foreshadow what is to come. "The Chosen"  by d.drake and Stirling is also very steampunky to me.
                                                       Miles
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2011, 02:34:08 pm »

I am a huge H. G. Wells fan, so I would suggest both "The Invisible Man" and "The War of the Worlds".
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pakled
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2011, 06:17:22 pm »

Just came across a title - 'Queen Victoria; demon hunter' by a certain Moorat. Is nothing sacred?
Of course, it was in the same page as 'Jane Slayr', a bronte-saurus of some classic book.
Also found 2 books on Johannes Cabal - some sort of detective. May be steamy, may not...
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GCCC
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 03:18:42 am »

Hello, all;

I need some help with some lists I'm compiling, and followers of this thread, while focusing on anime, are surely qualified to offer advice.

I'm compiling lists of Steampunk literature by format (novels, e-publishing, graphic novels, etc.) I'm encountering a lot of manga being touted as Steampunk, but I'm a bit fuzzy on their bona fides. This becomes a relevant question for both novels and graphic novels, because quite a few manga have been published as what the Japanese refer to as "light novels" (what we call "young adult" novels). As I'm making no distinction between YA and non-YA books in the novels compilation, if they qualify, I'll need to include the relevant light novels.

I've no problem whatsoever including the Fullmetal Alchemist series, since it exists in what I consider to be a very steampunk world (and they treat the woo-woo stuff as science). I've tentatively included the Trigun series as I've read it described as a sort of Weird West tale (although with what little I've seen of the anime, I can see no traces of Steampunkery). The Legend of Korra, on the other hand, along with its parent series Avatar, have appeared on some Steampunk lists, and I can't see why--yet. Apart from one character, I'm not certain Samurai 7 belongs on the list, either. Read or Die and its sequel series Read or Dream also has, to my mind, questionable Steampunk credentials. (Note also, that I have already been scouring the board for intel, and many of these manga were mentioned in other threads on Textual.)

So, before I go about adding these manga and their light novel adaptations series to the list, I would really appreciate some feedback on whether or not any of these belong on a Steampunk list.

(To see the work-in-progress novels list, see:  http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,42449.0.html )

Thanking you in advance for your assistance, I remain,
GCCC
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RJBowman
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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 05:19:36 pm »

"The Huge Hunter Or, the Steam Man of the Prairies" by Edward S. Ellis, 1868
This is not great literature, but it is a quick read, and is one of the earliest American science fiction works. It also is often cited as the first "Edisonade"; a book about an inventor-adventurer, and it sets the pattern for similar books to follow in sending the hero on a journey in the American frontier aided by his own mechanical invention. The book was reprinted five times after it's 1868 debut, the last time in 1904. It is now available in e-texts if you are willing to read an entire novel on your computer screen, and thanks to digital printing has recently been available in cheap short print-run editions. Amazon is showing used paperbacks for five bucks and a Kindle edition for free.

And there is a little known book that I have mentioned elsewhere on this forum called "Elementary Basic, as chronicled by John H. Watson", which was a 1980's educational book that I strongly believe was the inspiration for "The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling".
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2014, 06:55:17 pm »

Thanks! The various Edisonades will be included in the list for "period" literature, and I'm saving Elementary Basic for the list of modern non-fiction works.
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The Corsair
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2014, 11:00:36 am »

I'd say the Mortal Engines quartet should be in there along with a few others

Mortal Engines (and sequels) - Phillip Reeve
The Technologists - Matthew Pearl

There's rumours of a new set of stories by one Roger E. Montrose set in a Steampunk world, so there's that to look out for when they're out
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