The Sword and Laser discussion

Steampunk recommendations

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message 1: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 3 comments Hi all,

I'm not sure how much this falls under 'Sword' or 'Laser', but I am interested in reading some steampunk, and was hoping for some recommendations for a couple of good books to get started with.

My apologies if this has been asked before...and even more so for potentially asking the wrong sort of question in a sc-fi / fantasy group :-)

message 2: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 192 comments I love steampunk but find a lot of it, especially that from the Romance angle, with the dodgy covers put me off. My favourite's are:

Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, #1) by China Miéville The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne, #1) by Mark Hodder Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve & The Scar (New Crobuzon, #2) by China Miéville

message 3: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1556 comments You can argue about the order but they're all good books.

1. The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson
2. Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter
3. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
5. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
6. The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
7. The Scar by China Mieville
8. The Warlord of the Air by Michael Moorcock
9. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
10. The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia

message 4: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6252 comments Just watch Miyazaki anime like Castle in the Sky. There's no such thing as good Steampunk novels.

message 5: by Sky (new)

Sky Corbelli | 352 comments Check out anything by Lindsay Buroker, her steampunk is strong, plus the first books in her two current series (Flash Gold and The Emperor's Edge) are free.

I also made a little review for the Sword & Laser show about one of her books...

message 6: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments I rather enjoyed Retribution Falls.

message 7: by Marc (new)

Marc | 17 comments As mentioned in another thread Alan Campbell's Deepgate Codex starting with Scar Night

message 8: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments David(LA,CA) wrote: "I rather enjoyed Retribution Falls."

I second Retribution Falls and its two sequels, (each better than the book before IMO).

It's a great adventure series filled with air pirate-y, swashbuckling fun!

message 9: by Lorie (new)

Lorie (loriechristoffel) | 70 comments I loved Leviathan. Especially since the yummy Alan Cumming read it. :)

message 10: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 6252 comments Actually, I liked Leviathan. I think of that as 'diesel/bio-punk'. :) Beautiful drawings in the book too. It's YA though. I prefer the original cover.

message 11: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 3 comments Thanks all for the suggestions, I'll check some of these out.

Tamahome, I've been looking for some decent anime as thanks :-)

message 12: by Tamahome (last edited Sep 14, 2012 11:29AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6252 comments Oh yeah, Miyazaki's Nausicaa too, one of my favorites.

message 13: by Joe Informatico (last edited Sep 14, 2012 11:29AM) (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments I second everything on Pickle's and Warren's lists. Also, all of Moorcock's A Nomad of the Time Streams is great, not just Warlord of the Air.

Zeppelins West and The Steampunk Trilogy. The first Steampunk anthology has some good older stuff too.

Of the newer steampunk fiction, I've found a lot of it disappointing, but Cherie Priest's Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century books are great. I also second Lorie for the Leviathan trilogy. And Soulless is good if you like vampires, werewolves and Austenian comedy of manners with your steampunk (although my girlfriend did ragequit the series at the end of the second book).

message 14: by Tamahome (last edited Sep 14, 2012 11:39AM) (new)

Tamahome | 6252 comments Anyone ever read the original steampunk, like K. W. Jeter or James Blaylock? I know Angry Robot recently reprinted Infernal Devices.

message 15: by Joe Informatico (last edited Sep 14, 2012 11:51AM) (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments I've read Tim Powers, the last third of the fathers of steampunk. Interestingly, until this year, he'd never actually written a book set in the Victorian era. There was a Blaylock story in the Steampunk anthology, but I've never read a novel by him or Jeter because most of them were out of print until recently.

Moorcock's Nomad of the Time Streams books are about as proto-steampunk as you can get without counting Disney's film version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

message 16: by Anna-louise (new)

Anna-louise | 21 comments I'm new to steampunk and sliding into the genre quite nicely! i've read an indie author Jason G. AndersonGears of Wonderland which is a revisit to wonderland but its progressed into like a steampunk Victorian Britian a nice good introduction. I've just finsihed Stormdancer that has some good old Japanesey steampunk and has chainsaw Katana! ooohh yeah, how i love that book

message 17: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithatc) My fave -- Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series, starting with Boneshaker. Bucks the trend a bit by being set in America rather than England and is fresher for it in my opinion.

Also enjoyed The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, The Affinity Bridge, and Infernal Devices -- Infernal Devices having perhaps the least effective, most passive protagonist of all time.

message 18: by Derek (new)

Derek | 28 comments Newton's Cannon was OK, but not enough to make me read the sequel. You can't miss with His Dark Materials though

message 19: by Sara (new)

Sara (medusasmirror) | 44 comments I second the vote for The Affinity Bridge, I would add to that The Detective, and for a rather interesting take on the matter, Angelmaker, which is skirting the edges of steampunk in portions, but I think captures the aesthetic without the gears and goggles.

message 20: by Jessy (new)

Jessy (jessyanelfatheart) | 38 comments Lorie wrote: "I loved Leviathan. Especially since the yummy Alan Cumming read it. :)"

I also really liked Levuathan though I was not as big a fan of the sequal.

message 21: by Brett (new)

Brett McNew | 35 comments Boneshaker was a blast, and I quite enjoyed it. I would highly suggest it. If you get it in audiobook version, Wil Wheaton read part of it too.

Plus the cover is beautiful.

message 22: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 2266 comments I've also really liked Stephen Hunt's series beginning with The Court of the Air (although I think it didn't really hit its stride until the second book, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, which was a kind of steampunk version of an H. Rider Haggard lost civilization adventure).

message 23: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 264 comments Girl Genius. You can read the entire graphic series at

If you don't want to read the graphic version, they recently began novelizing it in Agatha H and the Airship City and Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess: A Girl Genius Novel

message 24: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 264 comments Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer have edited a number of collections that provide an excellent cross-sample to help you find authors and styles that work well for you.

Also, check out the Goodreads steampunk genre page

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