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The Steampunk Trilogy

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  651 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Steampunk is the twisted offspring of science fiction and postmodernism, a sassy, unpredictable tongue-in-cheek style of which the incomparable Paul Di Filippo is master. The three short novels in The Steampunk Trilogy are all set in a very alternative nineteenth century, and feature a mixture of historical and imaginary figures. In "Victoria," a young and lissome Queen Vi ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 10th 1997 by Running Press (first published 1995)
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Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
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61st out of 716 books — 3,489 voters
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Community Reviews

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Dan 1.0
Victoria: Naturalist Cosmo Cowperthwait succeeds in creating a human-newt hybrid he names Victoria, after the Queen who she resembles. Unable to support her, Cosmo stashes her in a brothel. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria vanishes and the Prime Minister proposes they swap one Victoria with the other. Will anyone notice before they find the Queen and return her to the throne?

This story was a hoot! Steampunk lends itself to Python-esque humor so easily I'm surprised more people don't go for the humorous
Dear book;

Thank you for the fun filled day we spent together. Our time together was fun, but now we should go our separate ways. I liked you but not as kids used to say, liked you liked you. I don't want you to think it's anything you did wrong, you were just fine (oh please don't take that the wrong way, I can already see you stamping your little book feet and saying "Fine!, I'm Fine! I'll show you Fine you fucking half-stupid pretentious little shit!"), but you just weren't for me. We had some
I had some difficulties with this book. And that’s because two out of three stories bored me slowly to death. But let us start with the good one, the first one:


The soon-to-be-Queen disappears and while the search for her goes on a look alike takes her place. Luckily for the court, a scientist have created a look alike…the problem is that “Victoria” is a human-lizard hybrid with a ravenously sexual appetite that usually spends her days at a brothel.

This story was good, bizarre yes, but t
The Steampunk Trilogy is a macabre romp through history that never was enlivened by a giddy sense of humor. William Gibson compares it Max Ernst’s Un Semaine de Bonte which I think is appropriate as it is also a cut up of pulp adventure, penny dreadfuls, gaslight science fiction, with surreal imagery. Similar ground to Powers and Gibson/Sterling but the strongest resemblance is to Pynchon with a mix of technological speculation, serious augury, slapstick comedy, dialects, bizarre characters, par ...more
At last I've got hold of a copy - God bless you Santa Claus! Next on the list to read.. can't wait.

Read the first of the 3 stories and liked it a lot and am on the 2nd now - steampunk in an alternate Victorian/19th Century setting - good stuff although Mr. Di Felippo seems to have a penchant for sexual activity that is perhaps not quite necessary - we are not talking Jose Farmer's porno period but Di Felippo could easily have written excellent stories without quite as much sexual content - Jack
Three novels, all of which are apparently steampunk-y, though not in the way I think of steampunk (I could be thinking of it wrong). In the first Queen Victoria runs away and is temporarily replaced by a genetically engineered salamander-girl; in the second, a racist biologist is recruited to help a Dutch scientist and his African wife recover a much sought-after artifact; in the third, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman meet and do sex, kind of. Okay!

Each story was certainly interesting, but I d
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an e-copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

A strange read, not totally devoid of interest, but that didn't do much for me, probably in part because its title is definitely misleading when it comes to "steampunk" as a genre, and isn't representative of what it entails. It's more Victoriana with a dash of paranormal and alternate history, and references to existing personae (poets, scientists...) and literary works (not always exact—Nana isn't Balzac's work,
Primero, veamos qué significa el término STEAMPUNK: obras que se desarrollan durante la revolución industrial pero introduciendo tecnología alternativa, con un claro cariz aventurero. Cabe mencionar como autor destacado en este subgénero a Tim Powers.

Paul Di Filippo es un escritor poco conocido (y traducido) en España. Tengo constancia de un par de recopilaciones y algún relato en alguna antología de ciencia ficción. Y no sé el porqué, ya que sus historias son trepidantes y entretenidas, con un
Se vi aspettate aeronavi, tecnologie avanzatissime alimentate a vapore, protesi robotiche e quant'altro, questo libro non fa per voi.
Lo steampunk è un adorabile sottogenere che vede l'introduzione di una tecnologia avanzata in un contesto storico passato; un'ambientazione che si è arricchita di immagini e luoghi comuni grazie alla più recente narrativa occidentale, agli anime giapponesi e anche ai videogiochi.
Paul Di Filippo, che pure usa - per la prima volta - il termine inserendolo nel titolo
I thought I was so damn clever the first time I read Perdido Street Station. There I was, a young 18-year-old only months away from graduation, ready to seek my fortune in the world, and I’d just discovered steampunk. Eureka, all aboard!, airships ahoy and all that. Man, I was awesome. Steampunk was awesome. And now steampunk and I could be awesome together!

‘Cept, well, after devouring The Scar and Iron Council, I didn’t actually read any more steampunk for the next three or four years. No weird
The stories in this book was a big surprise for me. The remarkable precision in linguistic,history was a great read. The weird,science fictional and the humerous tone was very enjoyable read. The characters was very believable too. I didnt it expect the stories to be funny. The humour was subtle,come out of nowhere in stories that looked so serious.

Took me vividly to a very weird version of the 19th century.

Paul Di Flippo shows alot of promise with the writing in this book. I look forward to rea
Urthwild Darkness Beckons
This is actually a collection of three novellas, 'Victoria', 'Hottentots' and 'Walt and Emily'.

In 'Victoria', we find ourselves firstly in 1838 in the company of Cosmo Cowperthwait a hit and miss inventor, with few redeeming features. By his side at almost all times is his faithful manservant, Nails McGroaty, the only albeit dim light in a dull story.

In 'Hottentots', we have our main focus on Swiss scientist Louis Agassiz an odious virulently racist philandering little twerp, again with no redee
I read this book because I had heard somewhere that it originated the term "steampunk". Next time I guess I should also find out whether a book is any good before I try to read it. As a general analysis: the level of writing was not great, though the ideas were often mildly interesting. I got annoyed by the number of real historical figures DiFilippo tried to cram into every story, for no purpose related to plot whatsoever. I almost quit the book in the middle because it got so tedious. Details ...more
Thom Foolery
An interesting if not great book, The Steampunk Trilogy relates three unconnected tales about a quirky, early Victorian world where genetically engineered salamanders reign and where nuclear train engines and "ideoplasm"-powered transdimensional prairie schooners haunt the imagination. DeFilippo's success here is in the details---the fustian prose echoes that of the 19th century, as does the fiery libertine poetry, while the characters never quite lose a certain postmodern knowingness, a glint i ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
One-sentence summary: Three steampunk short stories: Queen Victoria disappears and is replaced by a newt-human hybrid; naturalist Agassiz is sucked into a bizarre plot involving the pickled remains of the Hottentot Venus; and Emily Dickinson meets Walt Whitman and has a Spiritualist experience.

Why did you get this book?: Brief steampunk lit obsession

Do you like the cover?: Yes.

Did you enjoy the book?: Sort of? On one level, yes, definitely -- the writing was great and the plotting lovely, and th
John Purvis
“Steampunk Trilogy” was published in 2014 and was written by Paul Di Filippo ( It is actually a collection of three stories - “Victoria”, “Hottentots” and “Walt and Emily”. Mr. Di Filippo has published other works.

I obtained this publication for free through for review.

Victoria - Set in 1838 London. the main character Cosmo Copperthwait combines a newt with cells from humans and grows what looks like a fully formed woman. As it turns out, t
Maria Grazia
Three steam-punk stories, kind of narrative hat lately is becoming very fashionable, of quite unevenly quality. The first, speaking of a young Queen Victoria who, fled from the royal palace to gain experience of the world before his coronation, and then to be bound for life to his public role, is temporarily replaced by a creature of amphibious nature, obtained through genetic manipulation, is a real jewel. The second, a strange story whose main character is a scientist creationist rather pig, s ...more
The Steampunk Trilogy, the first book apparently to use the genre nominator in its title, is much like the works of Paul Di Filippo I had read earlier. Often the whimsy far overpowers the invention, in fact, I would not call Di Filippo the most creative of writers but he has great skill in taking elements and mixing them into an entertaining soup.

In this particular work, Di Filippo mixes some of my favorite elements from steampunk; you have the 19th century with its idiosyncrasies, allusion bot
Matteo Pellegrini

Cos'è accaduto alla regina d'Inghilterra? E realmente lei la creatura dagli strani appetiti che da qualche tempo siede sul trono dell'Impero Britannico? Da dove vengono i mostri dell'abisso lovecraftiano che minacciano il Massachusetts? In quale curiosa epoca sono stati condotti i poeti amanti Walt Whitman ed Emily Dickinson? Tra i tanti sottogeneri del fantastico, della fantascienza e del fantasy, lo steampunk è uno dei più affascinanti, con i suoi scenari vittoriani, con le sue straordinarie t

Aug 12, 2008 Erik rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of steampunk and alternate history
Fantastic romp through alternate history. Will the nineteenth century bend or break to accommodate devastating anachronisms, nightmares from the deep, and parapsychological phantasmagoria? Di Filipo has a wonderful understanding of the literary voices of the early victorian period. This book was fun, funny, and educational (sort of).
The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul Di Filippo was published July 8, 2014 by Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy. It is as it says a trilogy of sort of steampunk short novels or novellas. If you like your steampunk really bizarre, then this might be the book for you. Unfortunately, it wasn't the book for me.

I did like the first novella in the book entitled, "Victoria." The second novella, "Hottentots," I found increasingly difficult to read. The main character is not at all sympathetic. He is racist
Zeb Kantrowitz
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery. Usually in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", or in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use. It may also be a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.
Steampunk perhaps most recognizable
Tim Hicks
I borrowed this book from and didn't finish it because the loan time ran out. OK, I let it run out while I read something else.

I finished the Queen Victoria story, and others' comments have it about right. Moderately interesting idea,
disappointing explanation and wrap-up. Meh.

But I was already getting the impression that the author phoned this one in to complete a contractual obligation, or something similar. Perhaps it was when I met the character surnamed Chuting-Payne. That's
What an exceedingly odd collection of stories. As there are three, and many have written specifics, I will stick to the review rather than plot lines. I didn't really care for these stories much. It's true, the unpredictable plot lines were somewhat amusing, but the characters behaved in quite a ridiculous manner. I didn't mind suspending my disbelief (a woman-newt hybrid designed for the sole purpose of using for "base lusts"?) but the stories weren't gripping as much as they were a can't-look- ...more
Pam Hooper
I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

These stories were quite thought-provoking. I really enjoyed the story about Victoria...a fascinating take on some pseudo-historical figures. The alternate history feel of the story allowed for some shortcuts in characterization that worked well. I also enjoyed the second story in the book. The main character is appallingly racists and offensive, but the action around him shows him for the fool he is and it all wo
Artur Coelho
May 01, 2015 Artur Coelho is currently reading it
Como é que um autor mais ligado aos fluídos e biologias encara a estética Steampunk?

Victoria: um reencontro com um conto alucinante onde o sensual resultado de uma experiência de cruzamento genético entre genes humanos e de salamandras é colocado no trono inglês enquanto a futura rainha Vitória decide aprender os factos da vida num bordel antes da coroação. Mete explosões nucleares com tecnologia proto-engenho a vapor, conspirações governamentais, duelos ao amanhecer e um cientista retirado do
Il genere "steampunk" prende le mosse da un mondo alternativo, in cui l'Impero Britannico ha proseguito la sua corsa verso l'egemonia del mondo conosciuto, in cui Charles Babbage ha, grazie ai suoi studi, dato vita a formidabili computer, in cui il carbone ha sostituito il petrolio nella catena economica.
Partendo da questi presupposti, Di Filippo reinventa le avventure di Jules Verne, creando letteralmente un nuovo filone della fantascienza, così come Gibson e Sterling inventarono il "cyberpunk"
Well, this book was what we call a 'mixed bag'. Aspects of it were very well produced, and a recommendation from William Gibson should not be ignored, but on the whole, it's like a new crazy kind of drug. Paul Di Filippo presents these absurd scenarios - sure, we've all heard of Queen Victoria, but what if... she's actually an amphibious lizard? We know the poetry of Walt Whitman, and we know the poetry of Emily Dickinson, but what if... they got together and had a tawdry affair in her hometown ...more
Cécile C.
This is a globally fine book, although I do believe it's a good thing steampunk has moved on since; the stories are fun, but have a somewhat gimicky feel in places. Your tastes may differ from mine here, but I also find that "vintage" sexism and racism get a bit old sometimes. In other words, endless depictions of victorian gentlemen going to brothels, or victorian scientists getting all worked up around black people, tend to bore me a little after a while. Yeah, yeah, it's "realistic" (in stori ...more
Mari Biella
A glance at the front cover of this book lets you know what you’re in for: a weird, wonderful and occasionally disturbing race through a fantastically alternative Victorian Age. The young Queen Victoria absconds from Buckingham Palace shortly before her Coronation, and is replaced by a human–newt hybrid; New England is threatened by a mythical sea creature, and can only be saved by a prejudiced Swiss scientist; and Emily Dickinson falls for Walt Whitman, and accompanies him on a strange voyage t ...more
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