Steampunk literature, fiction, and novels: From beginners to experts
Steampunk books for everyone
If you got to this point is because you are looking for the best steampunk books that can be found. And it is true that we will give you our most préciate selection of the finest steampunk literature.
If you are into steampunk novels for a long time, then you will find some titles quite familiar. But the truth is, steampunk boundaries are not clearly defined.
In the end, this means that despite the chance that you knew everything you’re gonna find here, it is probable that you find at least one steampunk book that wasn’t on your list.
Back to Basics
In the beginning, steampunk was introduced into fiction as a series of unique details that shared a common pattern. Steampunk founding fathers ( as you should know by now if you have gone through our other pages), were HG Wells and J Verne, or at least that is what we learned with time.
Though they did not intend to establish steampunk as of an independent nature, they achieved to arrange a similar pattern in their novels.
They share this capability of combining steam, coils, and gears to add up for fantastic machines, those that one might have found in an alternative world. Steampunk hot air balloons and submarines are the kind of devices that these authors created.
There were several authors that were inspired in this ideas and later developed additional steampunk machines.
Steampunk books for young adults: Why is this?
Steampunk books for young adults include certain elements that fictions intended for other people don’t.
Fantasy is a unique resource. It allows the perfect mixture of pirates and gear tech, of octopuses and submarines. That being said, steampunk fiction is, by definition, fantastic in nature. Fantasy enables the writer to enhance his capabilities and to expand the readers’ imagination.
I know that some of you might have got here through video game references, and others just because you thought that The call of Chuthlu might have some kind of relationship to steampunk. Either way, you are invited to take a glance at our selection of prime literature of the steampunk era.
Initiation: Our handpick steampunk books for beginners
We selected these books because we believe that is the most simple way to start with steampunk. Pick any of these, and you will find yourself embraced in knowledge after you’ve read them.
The Steampunk Bible
In The Steampunk Bible, the author will make you travel to 1980. From there, you will be able to peek through the inventions in art, fashion, and movies that were designed and created until today.
This is a great book to start with. Remember, you will find a reasonable development of the topics from the author’s perspective
The Steampunk Users Manual
Our second book is the sequel to The Steampunk Bible Series. In this piece of literature, you will find a ton of ideas for all of your steampunk DIY projects. Its paperback edition was crafted with a high-quality hardcover.
This book englobes a lot of illustrations, which are not only good to stimulate creativity, but also recreate in an accurate way many steampunk artifacts and works of art.
This is a good steampunk book for middle school. Its gonna be an easy and entertaining read.
Steampunk: The Art of Retrofuturism
And if we are talking about creativity, that is what you will find in Steampunk: The art of retrofuturism. 192 pages that resume the steampunk outburst of the 21st century. This book is filled with great ideas to create gears, gadgets, crafted goods, and DIY projects.
Many popular authors are named or helped to develop this book, such as Nakamura, Gomez, and Stengel. It’s a “must have” for beginners.
Steampunk by Gothic Dreams
Our fourth pick is mainly focused on steampunk fashion. In gothic dreams – Steampunk, you will find great cosplay productions and fascinating drawings. The paperback edition is also a high quality produced printing. For casual readers. Considered a steampunk art book as a whole.
Check our Steampunk Manuals Amazon Picks
The Steampunk Bible – https://amzn.to/2QKBUbn
The Steampunk Users Manual – https://amzn.to/2RKWnxQ
Steampunk, The Art of Retrofuturism – https://amzn.to/2EdE161
Steampunk by Gothic Dreams – https://amzn.to/2IPeCyn
The Founding Fathers of the Steampunk Adventure Books
We bring you four steampunk novels, each one created by the most influential writers on the steampunk culture.
These type of steampunk adventure books are for fans that have already some kind of steampunk knowledge and are involved with the steampunk culture.
Take note: These are often called the best steampunk books ever. So we believe they must have a place in any steampunk bookshelf.
We recommend you to start with the previous books if you are not even aware of what steampunk means. After you’re done with at least one steampunk book for beginners, then we suggest you go for one of these.
The Time Machine
H.G Wells book “The Time Machine” set us into a dystopian future in the Victorian era where humans have developed the ability of time travel. This tool allows them to access the future, thousands of years away from nowadays.
In this novel, there are several mentions to what later developed into the steampunk movement. Darwinism is a concept that floats around every chapter as one reads throughout its pages.
The Difference Engine
“The Difference Engine” by Gibson is a sci-fi thriller that explores the idea of cybernetic development by means of steam-powered technology. Based in the Victorian era, this novel features exciting riddles between characters that end up in a complex story.
Our recommendation is to read it twice in order to tie up loose ends.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Our MVP today is J Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”. In this fantastic piece of literature, you will be introduced to the mystic Captain Nemo and its submarine, the “Nautilus”.
Explore the amazing development of the author’s imagination toward technology and the complexity of human relationships. We chose this translation because it is defined as ” the best translation that can be found” by our reviewers.
Our fourth selection is “Infernal Devices” by KW Jeter. Founder of the term “steampunk”, KW Jeter’s book tells the story about a Clockwork engineer that gets involved in a series of adventures that include time travel, after a decision he makes.
This paperback edition is meant for true steampunk science-fiction fans.
Steampunk Fiction Pick Links
The Time Machine by HG Wells – https://amzn.to/2QJOyXZ
The Difference Engine by W Gibson and B Sterling – https://amzn.to/2PzrCLa
20.000 Leagues Under the Sea by J Verne – https://amzn.to/2RH36Jc
Infernal Devices by KW Jeter – https://amzn.to/2QJOFTp
Steampunk novels in 2018
Steampunk nowadays is a whole other story to tell. From online to paperback, peer-reviewed by thousands of readers, our collection includes the highest rated steampunk novels that are available today.
Walking Your Octopus
Produced by Brian Kesinger, “Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod” is an illustrated hardcover book that tells the story of Otto and Victoria (the steampunk octopus and its owner).
This graphic book is repleted of steampunk drawings that illustrate what Victoria has to do with her pet throughout life. This is a great book for a coffee table or to share with your kids.
Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare, is the third book of this steampunk based trilogy: Infernal devices. Inspired in KW Jetter’s original book, this novel focuses on character relationships rather than on proper steampunk themes.
Despite this, the plot has a unique twist and you will find that by the end, you’ve got some empathy with the main characters. A best seller that must not be missed.
“Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic”, by Armand Baltazar, is a sci-fi steampunk epic story that includes other fantastical elements in the plot.
This novel is stuffed with exceptional illustrations that bundle up every element of the steampunk movement into a fantastic piece of art. Captivating in its fiction, with beautifully executed drawings, this book is a must-have.
“Gutter Magic”, by Rich Douek is an exhilarating sci-fi urban adventure that places the main character in a futuristic NYC where dragons, goblins, and ghouls gather. The plot is well developed. This novel is an easy read, so you can consider it if you are starting to read steampunk literature.
Steampunk Novel links to Amazon
Walking your Octopus by Brian Kesinger – https://amzn.to/2EdH52b
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare – https://amzn.to/2QIj4Bz
Timeless by Armand Baltazar – https://amzn.to/2yye3Et
Gutter Magic by Rich Douek – https://amzn.to/2IQw5pZ
Steampunk Airship Books
The truth is, there are not many steampunk airship books out there. But, as far as we know, there is one steampunk author that has focused his writing on steampunk airships mainly. In fact, they play a critical role in their novels.
This author is Michael Moorcock. The novels are The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan, The Steel Tsar.
Also, there are other steampunk novels in which there are certain references to the steampunk dirigibles. These are Homunculus, by Jaime Blaylock and Infernal Devices, by KW Jeter. But, to tell you the truth, those are just mentioned in certain parts. There is no way they can be considered steampunk airship books.
The Warlord of the Air, The Land Leviathan and The Steel Tsar
In the warlord of the air, Michael Moorcock develops the character of Oswald Bastable, a post-Victorian soldier that has been transferred to India. The interesting part of this book is that this steampunk character adventures in an alternate universe, in a future where the WWI never happened.
This, in fact, is true in most steampunk scenarios, because there is a continuation of the post-Edwardian culture and aesthetics without certain WWI developments.
The Land Leviathan and The Steel Tsar are the sequels to The Warlord of The Air. Start with the first one and you will find a need to finish your steampunk trilogy.
You can find Michael Moorcock books on this link. https://amzn.to/2CFX2vG
Top steampunk audiobooks
The best steampunk audiobooks that we will recommend you are not far from what we already talked about. You can find them inaudible. Here we will leave you the links for you to have.
We believe that this is a great resource if you wanna hear your steampunk book while driving back home or at work.
Our best steampunk audiobooks list
The difference engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling – https://amzn.to/2yBD1U7
20000 leagues under the sea by Jules Verne – https://amzn.to/2SmS0tx
Infernal Devices by KW Jeter – https://amzn.to/2D4g5Rj
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare – https://amzn.to/2D5qEn6
The Time Machine by HG Wells – https://amzn.to/2Sj66Mn
Cautionary note: Steampunk Fiction and Hybrid Themes
Just a quick note: steampunk authors usually evoke retrofuturistic victorian eras, but you will find out worlds of any kind.
Some of this are Western-like, post-apocalyptic, or even Asian. Bear in mind that in Asian steampunk, some elements have been replaced by others, such as silk, bamboo, and feathers.
Being that said, take a look at our picks once again. Pick up one of our steampunk fictions and start the journey into your own steampunk epic!
If you liked our book selection, we invite you to take a look at our steampunk movies site. In there, you will find the most amazing translations of these fiction novels into the big screen.