I have always read science fiction so over the years that adds up to a lot of books. There have always been sub-genres to this very broad category. I have often been asked to explain the science fiction genre and its history to students.
The sub-genre that has taken off in the last few years is Steampunk. I have really enjoyed the novels in this branch of science fiction. A number of books that can be labelled as “Steampunk” have been around for a while the book that has brought Steampunk to a greater audience in our library is Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series.
The videos below offer a good explanation if you have not investigated Steampunk before.
A video made about machines from a Steampunk Museum exhibition (Oxford) highlighted the beautiful design and craftsmanship in them
We want to create a library display about Steampunk and try to show a lot more students the books that make up this genre. We approached one of our Visual arts teachers and we will have some Year 7 student work to display later this term as well as our own 2-dimensional images for wall displays and a large screen to put on videos and other digital images.
An interesting article “Steampunk: 20 core titles” to read available in the Library journal.com
Good Reads also has a number of links to Steampunk books and discussion. One is called “Best steam punk books” and here some have included the Monster Blood Tattoo series and Incarceron (Incarceron, #1) by Catherine Fisher
Steampunk fiction that we have in our library includes:
- Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
- Ichabod Hart and the lighthouse mystery by James Roy
- Worldshaker by Richard Harland
- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
- Laws of magic series by Michael Pryor
- Airborn series by Kenneth Oppel
- Mortal Engines (aka Hungry City Chronicles in US) series by Philip Reeve
- The hunchback assignments by Arthur Slade
Books that we decided cross over into the Steampunk genre include:
- Do androids dream of electric sheep (Bladerunner) by Philip K. Dick
- The league of extraordinary gentlemen. (Novella based on the movie) K.J. Anderson
- Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
- The Guild trilogy by Joshua Mowll
- Howl’s moving castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
Classic novels that pre-dated the term “Steampunk”:
Both of these are available on-line as e-books and audio books as well as still being in print.
There are many artists creating very interesting and wonderful works in the genre and many can be found on the sites below.
Keith Thompson (the illustrator for Westerfeld’s Leviathan series) is also well worth a look
Links to sites
- Links to sites on a post I wrote last year about Steampunk sites are here
- How to draw steampunk machines – “The purpose of this web page is not to teach you how to draw. I will not be going though the technique, perspective, color, line weight, software, or any of the stuff you can easily surf up. This page is to inform artists who want to draw steampunk machines but don’t quite understand how steam works. The focus is to add enough elements to your drawings, to make your steampunk machines more believable.’
- SteamPunk magazine – The magazine is a publication that is dedicated to promoting steampunk as a culture, more than a sub-category of fiction. It is a journal of fashion, music, misapplied technology and chaos as well as fiction. Back issues can be downloaded as PDFs.
- Steampunk Home – Sara Brumfield’s blog about steampunk design. Many ideas of steampunk furniture to decorate your home
- The Antipodean League of Temporal Voyagers - Australian Steampunk blog
- Antipodean Steampunk Adventures – Australian steampunk blog.
- The Steampunk librarian blog - Librarian blog specialising in all things Steampunk
- Brass Goggles - A blog that celebrates the lighter side of steampunk
- Steampod - For readers who enjoy podcasts. Appreciate Steampod where you can listen to audio stories and interviews.