If you’re looking to go deep into steampunk books but haven’t found a reasonable guide all over the Internet, then you’re on the right spot.
In this post, you’ll find three types of steampunk books you we’re not aware of until now.
You’ll find steampunk books for beginners, some classic stuff that must not be left unseen, and some peculiar titles as well.
Keep reading to find out more!
Steampunk literature is meant 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.
Overall, the truth is, steampunk boundaries are not clearly defined.
This means that, despite the chance that you know everything you’re gonna find here, there are chances you might find at least one steampunk book that wasn’t on your list before.
Some Steampunk Classic Authors
In the beginning, the steampunk term was coined as a subgenera for fiction because of a group of unique details that were shared between authors.
The steampunk founding fathers (as you should know by now if you have gone through our other posts), were HG Wells and J Verne. At least that is what we learned with time.
Though they did not intend to establish steampunk as an independent subgenre in itself, they were able to achieve a similar aesthetic pattern in their novels.
They shared this capability of combining steam, coils, and gears and turn them into fantastic machines, those that one might find 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.
Young adults and steampunk literature
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, all blended in a unique fashion to create a different kind of novel.
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.
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 steampunk 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. Take a look at the steampunk bible from this link here.
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. Find it here.
Steampunk: The Art of Retrofuturism
And if we are talking about creativity, that is what you will find in Steampunk: The art of retrofuturism.
Steampunk: The art of retrofutirism is a 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. Check it out!
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.
Steampunk Adventure Books and novels
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 Time Machine is a Must for Steampunk Lovers who wanna understand more about the beginning of the steampunk era. Find it here.
The Difference Engine
“The Difference Engine” by W Gibson and J Sterling 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.
You can find The Difference Engine on Amazon.
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.
J Verne’s novel cannot be left unseen if you’re expecting to dive deep into steampunk origins. It is, in fact, one of the most valuable literature treasures that steampunk has to offer.
Another must for steampunk fans.
We chose this translation because it is defined as ” the best translation that can be found” by our reviewers.
You can check it out here.
Our fourth selection is “Infernal Devices” by KW Jeter.
KW Jeter is traditionally known as the founder of the term “steampunk”, so this is another title that must have a place on anyone’s steampunk bookshelf.
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 series of decision that follow throughout the novel.
This paperback edition is meant for true steampunk science-fiction fans. You can take a look at it from this link.
Steampunk books in 2019
Steampunk nowadays literature is a whole other story to tell.
From online to paperback, peer-reviewed by thousands of readers, our collection includes the highest rated steampunk books that have been published in the latest years.
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. It is a great steampunk book to initiate your kids into the steampunk culture. An alternative to what nowadays literature has to offer.
You can check out Walking Your Octopus right here.
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. Fin Clockwork Princess here.
“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.
Timeless is an alternative steampunk book that focuses deeply on the development of steampunk illustrations as well as the plot.
You’ll find it interesting if you’re not as into reading as you’d thought of.
Check out this version of Timeless we found on Amazon here.
“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, and you’ll recognize this as soon as you start going through its pages.
This novel is an easy read, so you can consider it if you are starting to read steampunk literature.
The blend between realism and steampunk details that Gutter Magic has to offer is another alternative that can be found on nowadays steampunk literature.
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 right here.
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
This audiobook was developed by Brilliance in 2011 and still plays a key role in our steampunk radio.
Take a look at this steampunk audiobook here.
Infernal Devices by KW Jeter
If you are looking for this audiobook, a 9 hour flight into one of the deepest worlds of the steampunk culture awaits you.
Developed by Brilliance once again, expect a clear crisp English narration.
Check it out on this link.
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess is just a tiny piece of the Infernal Devices Saga by Cassandra Clare.
This audiobook consists of a 13 hour long track produced by Simon and Schuster in 2013.
Great quality as well!
Find it here.
The Time Machine by HG Wells
The time Machine is perhaps one of the shortest audiobooks you’ll find here.
In just a mere three hour track, you’ll be able to take a blink at the steampunk world proposed by HG Wells through the voice of John Banks.
Another recommendation for steampunk beginners.
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.
You’ll recognize that in hybrid steampunk themes there will be elements such as copper and tubes that have been replaced by others such as bamboo, silk and feather.
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.