Josh's Reviews > Writing Steampunk!

Writing Steampunk! by Beth Daniels
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
164813
's review
Aug 04, 12

Read in August, 2012

Call me cranky, but if you're going to write a How To book, you need to have something original and interesting to add to the conversation. Also, since writing a How To book on any subject is akin to announcing this is something you do very well, the book needs to be free of typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors -- and any hint of an offensive over-familiarity with Queen Victoria (AKA "Vicky").

This book boils down to a list of tropes and motifs that any aspiring writer of steampunk has surely already zeroed on in the most cursory web-crawl.

2 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Writing Steampunk!.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by ttg (new)

ttg That's too bad. On the bright side, steampunk is such a nebulous term that it's easy to stretch the tropes and themes (which you probably can pick up in cursory web-crawl) and make up what you want.

If you're okay with YA, Scott Westerfeld wrote an excellent steampunk trilogy that starts with Leviathan. It's a wonderful AU adventure romance set at the beginning of WWI, but with airships and mechs and such. Westerfeld stretches the steampunk definition since he sets his book after the Victorian period. Really good reads with the extra bonus of illustrations.

Another good YA steampunk book is Larklight by Philip Reeve. This is Victorian period, but Victorian period *in space* with flying houses and space pirates and such. It's a lot of fun, and there is some really neat illustrations. It's mostly Boys Adventure with a developing romance with some of the side characters. (There are two sequels to follow with further adventures.)

Lastly, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker is probably one of the best known of the "new" steampunk books--an adventure set in an AU 1880's when the civil war hadn't ended yet. This one plays out in Seattle, and there are airships, and mechanical devices, and the extra bonus of zombies. It's overall pretty good and very readable, although I found it almost too cinematic at times.

It might be more fun to read some good examples of the genre than a not-satisfying guide. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a ton of Awesome Steampunk in general, and it feels like it's very much still a developing genre. (I think Ginn Hale has written some of the best examples in the m/m category.) Again, this means more room to stretch though and do what you want.


message 2: by Josh (new) - rated it 1 star

Josh ttg wrote: "That's too bad. On the bright side, steampunk is such a nebulous term that it's easy to stretch the tropes and themes (which you probably can pick up in cursory web-crawl) and make up what you want..."

Thank you for the suggestions. I've read all Ginn's stuff, but I've I've got Leviathan on my Kindle as well as Gail Carriger's Souless. Also something by Tee Morris which looks entertaining.

Yes, it's a promising genre. I'm looking forward to exploring.


back to top