Steampunk Lit discussion

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What's everyone reading that's good (or not)?

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Figured I'd make a spot where we could all write what we're reading. I know, for me, that seeing what other people are enjoying inspires my to read list.

One of the books I'm reading right now is The Hollow Earth by Rudy Rucker. It' his take on the hollow earth theme and is surprisingly very original. I am about halfway through it and it's great. It's set in the mid-1800's and is definitely very steampunkesque. I think most people who are into the genre would like it. It is not a new book so it could probably be bought cheap second hand. I got my copy from swaptree.com


message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments don't everyone answer at once, you guys are outta control!


message 3: by Leland (new)

Leland (lelandhw) I'm adding that book to my 'To-Read' shelf. Thanks for the suggestion. (and the resource for finding a copy of it.) :) I've only newly discovered Steampunk an a gentre, so I'm re-reading some H.G. Wells with new eyes. Currently I'm on 'The Time Machine'. I've also picked up a copy of William Gibson's 'The Difference Engine'.


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara I'm reading Larklight by Philip Reeve.
It's the first book of a children's series (or so I believe there will be more than two books- the second is out already)

It's basicaly victorian space travel.
I just started it today..but it's quite fun already!


message 5: by Leland (new)

Leland (lelandhw) Okay, so I finished The Difference Engine. I hated it. I really like the idea of an alternate Victorian England with an earlier computer age. Unfortunantly this book made very little sense at all. It was my first "Steampunk" novel, so I can't help but wonder if there is something I'm just not understanding. I'm now frozen with indecision about which "Steampunk" novel to pick up next. I absolutely don't want another dud.

Suggestions?


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Leslie wrote: "Okay, so I finished The Difference Engine. I hated it. I really like the idea of an alternate Victorian England with an earlier computer age. Unfortunantly this book made very little sense at all..."

I've never read The Difference Engine, but I've seen that it has always got very mixed reviews, so ur not the only one who didn't like it. Try The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt, one of my recent fav's or an all-time fav even though technicaly it's not really steampunk but it's always listed as it Perdido Street Station by Mieville.


message 7: by Mikki Crisostomo (last edited Jun 22, 2009 08:30AM) (new)

Mikki Crisostomo Anyone heard of Extraordinary Engines? Just picked it up at the bookstore (went wild with excitement to see anything steampunk at all and bought it without a moments thought to how I'd pay to get home), but I'm still in the middle of reading something else.

Looks good, though...


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments I haven't read it but it is one of the modern classics of steampunk. I have a copy, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Right now I'm reading a strange and wonderful book called Child of the River: Book 1 of the Confluence by Paul J McAuley. Surprised that it isn't more well known it's orginal and well-written. Also reading Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. God, I love Adams and wish he was around to create more excellent literature.


message 10: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) I'm reading Kingdom Beyond the Waves. As much as I enjoyed Court of the Air, I'm enjoying this one more. It's like Jules Verne writing a Doc Savage.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Dan wrote: "I'm reading Kingdom Beyond the Waves. As much as I enjoyed Court of the Air, I'm enjoying this one more. It's like Jules Verne writing a Doc Savage."

I loved those 2 books! The next one comes out in the uk on Sept. 3 and I'm pre-ordering it this Friday. I loved Kingdom Beyond the Waves even more than the first book too. Hunt's imagination is astounding and the world he creates- incredible! They are for sure one of my new favorites


message 12: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Hunt's world is great, a nice mix of steampunk, pulp, and fantasy. I'll definitely be getting the next one.

My to-read pile is pretty large. The next steampunk book I read will probably be Scar Night.



message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Dan wrote: "Hunt's world is great, a nice mix of steampunk, pulp, and fantasy. I'll definitely be getting the next one.

My to-read pile is pretty large. The next steampunk book I read will probably be ..."


I have Scar Night too in my to read pile. All the books in my to read pile on my profile I have at my house- plus way more that I haven't even marked to read. Probably close to 100- I'm so bad! I usually get rid of them after though on swaptree or paperbackswap unless they are classics or excellent.
I just started Affinity Bridge by Mann and I like it so far. Have u read it?


message 14: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) I also own my entire to-read pile. It's been hovering around 150 for a long time.

I've read Affinity Bridge and the sequel, the Osiris Ritual. Airships, automatons, slum zombies, and an opium addicted detective: what's not to like?


message 15: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) I just saw on Amazon that Stephen Hunt has Secrets of the Firesea coming out next year. Looks like Rise of the Iron Moon won't be the last one in the series.


message 16: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments What!?! Is that on the american amazon or uk? Nevermind, I'll find it. That is great, I was hoping there'd be more. Thanx for telling me!


message 17: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Scar Night is okay so far but the pace is on the slow side, especially considering I have Rise of the Iron Moon staring at me from my book case.


message 18: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Dan wrote: "Scar Night is okay so far but the pace is on the slow side, especially considering I have Rise of the Iron Moon staring at me from my book case."

I'm reading Rise of the Iron Moon right now. It's easily as good as the other two. I'm loving it and wishing it would never end.
Checked out the Firesea one, and can't wait to get it!


message 19: by Brian (new)

Brian (benhadtue) | 2 comments i just read a collection of short stories by adam roberts called "swiftly" i came about this author from the steampunk comp "extraordinary engines."

swiftly had only two stories that were in the steampunk genre, but they were good and hold promise for more short stories in that universe and/or a novel that encompasses the universe.

i think the book is still only in hardcover, it isnt worth buying new. but if you see it used pick it up or wait for the mass market pb!


message 20: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) Wow; my first post and it looks like I'm going to make myself unpopular. :( I just finished The Court of the Air and was not especially impressed (nor was my book group); I'm very sad to see my beloved The Difference Engine, my intro to steampunk many years ago, impresses nobody here. It does sound like there's a lot of agreement on China Mieville, who's my favorite sf/f author, in any case.

Has anyone started Cherie Priest's Boneshaker? It's near the top of my tbr pile and I'm very excited about it.


message 21: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Boneshaker is on my wish list but I'm trying to refrain from buying more books until after Christmas. It sounds good though.


message 22: by Brian (new)

Brian (benhadtue) | 2 comments i just saw boneshaker at the book store the other day. i was at a barnes and noble in baltimore, md. they had a steampunk endcap.

i picked it up and read some of it, and it looks like i would like it, but i cannot afford it yet. i will wait a bit until it is cheaper on amazon or soemthing.

but, i would like hear your review on it!


message 23: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) I thought Boneshaker was highly entertaining, and she used all the usual steampunk tropes very well. I posted a review if anyone is interested.


message 24: by Mikki Crisostomo (new)

Mikki Crisostomo What do you guys think about Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan? It might be a little off-putting to some because it's geared towards younger readers (it even has pictures! Which I rather liked), but without a doubt, it's a steampunk book, with a little bit of genetic engineering mixed in (really well, I think!). It's set during WWI, and, taking quite a few liberties with actual history, revolves around a fugitive heir and a living airship. Say what you like about Scott Westerfeld, the guy has imagination.


message 25: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 4 comments Nothing wrong with a good YA story specially when its steampunk.

It appeals to me. I will try it.


message 26: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (thecrowsayskaw) I just started Arcadia Snips and I'm liking it so far.


message 27: by Amanda (last edited Jan 02, 2010 05:04PM) (new)

Amanda | 25 comments 2 books i am so excited for that are coming out in 2010:

1. Secrets of the Fire Sea by Stephen Hunt- this is the fourth book from the loosely connected series that started with The Court of the Air. This guy packs more ideas in to one book than most authors have in a whole trilogy. All the books also have a literary device that i admire greatly in all the novels i read, which is having multiple story lines going at once. Some readers don't like this but i count it as an important part of an intricately well planned plot- most of the time, with exceptions of course. Also appreciate that there is no romancey crap going on. I realize a lot of people didn't like the first book in this series much, but i loved it and am kind of glad that i'm inclined to adore books that aren't as popular with the mainstream. After all, that is what led me to steampunk years ago to begin with, which is probably the case with many people here in how they came to discover this sub-genre and others.

2. Kraken by China Mieville- this comes out in May, i think. I've read his other work in entirety over a year ago except for his newest, The City and The City which i am currently reading (couldn't get it new, had to wait to get in on trade). Kraken i will not wait for however and will buy as soon as it becomes available. it looks like (and i'm hoping it's true) that he is getting back to more of his older writing style with this book. Not that i don't like The C & the C, because i do, but i just wish he'd back off a little with his personal political views. However, i love the guy and he can write whatever he wants and it will always be unique and quite ground-breaking.

Anyway, these are the books that i know of so far coming out this year that i can't wait for. What about u guys?


message 28: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) I know it's annoying to post about a book you're excited about and then have other people say they didn't like it -- and I am one of the ones who wasn't a big fan of The Court of the Air, so I'm guilty as charged -- but I should say my problem with it wasn't *at all* the multiple plot lines. I totally agree he had lots of ideas -- I felt like he didn't develop a number of them that much after bringing them in and that was a big part of my problem -- but I thought the book had a lot of potential and will certainly read at least #2. I looked on Amazon yet and it seems that #3 isn't out yet in the US, or am I wrong about that?

Mieville wrote The City and the City while his mom was dying because she was a big fan of police procedurals, so it's very definitely different than his usual. The Iron Council was by far the most politicized, I thought (I sympathize with his politics but there are times in that one when they did seem to slow things down); I'm due for a reread of Perdido Street Station and the Scar very soon, I think. Love the whole world he created, and my friend is teaching scenes from it in a steampunk class she's teaching next semester, which is intriguing me very much . . .


message 29: by Amanda (last edited Jan 03, 2010 01:48PM) (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Catherine wrote: "I know it's annoying to post about a book you're excited about and then have other people say they didn't like it -- and I am one of the ones who wasn't a big fan of The Court of the Air, so I'm gu...



I didn't think i ever said or insinuated that was your problem with the book. I was saying, however, that it was one of my favorite parts about the book. When i said a lot of people didn't like it, it had to do with the many reviews of readers that didn't like the novel that much and how many of those reviews said they thought there was too much going on.
Book 3- u mean The Rise of the Iron Moon? I don't know if it's out in the US, i got it months ago from amazonuk, but i'm pretty sure it must be by now, at least used from someone if they're not offering it new
Book 4- the Secrets of the Fire Sea comes out in the uk in Feb.
The Iron Council had extensive political ephemera but i thought it fit more with the plot in that case. i saw that as more politics to further the story and less inserting his own privately held ideals



message 30: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) Sorry; was just looking to discuss, not to insult or provoke.

Of course I don't think you were insinuating anything about my opinion, I was just offering another.

Apologies.


message 31: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments I was just looking to discuss books also, thought that's what this site was for- so people could state their opinion. It just seemed from ur previous post that u thought i was specifically attacking your reasoning, so i felt i had to defend myself. Anyway forget it- no worries
Have u read any Vandermeer? Have u read his new Finch book? I'm hoping to get it from the library next week, so i'm desperately trying to finish the second Ambergris book Shriek: An Afterwood. I'm liking this one much more than the 1st book A city of Saints and Madmen. This is more of one continuous story than a collection, although having read the collection it does give some good background on the city. If u haven't read him, u'd maybe like cause he is the closest i've found to Mieville's Bas-lag series


message 32: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) Oh, no, I did not think that at all! Sorry if it came across that way.

I read City of Saints and Madmen, also Veniss Underground; I think he's a really interesting writer but somehow I haven't been keeping up with him. Good to hear a good word about Shriek -- I saw it at a used bookstore recently and was very tempted; perhaps if it's there next time I will succumb.


message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments How did u like C of S & M? i liked it, but honestly found it somewhat tedious at times. that is why I had Shriek for over a year before i recently started it, but i'm really enjoying this one. i have Ven. Und. too but haven't read it. is that one a collection of stories or a single narrative? I would get it out and look but it's buried


message 34: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) I thought it was brilliant, conceptually, but there was something about the feeling of alienation it left me with that . . . I don't know. It's really effective when someone like Kafka makes you feel alienated from your own world, but it felt a bit like this world was created just to make the reader feel alienated. And I can see how it would drag at times, yes. Veniss Underground fascinated me while I read it, and I did love the imagery of the decaying city, but I actually had to think for awhile before I responded re. this, so I guess it didn't stay with me. I seem to remember it's a short novel and was published with some short stories set in the same world.

Thanks also for mentioning Finch; I just looked it up and that one looks quite interesting.


message 35: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments i felt about the same way about the C of S & M too. Have u read Viriconium by M John Harrison, kind of the same decaying city thing done way before all the other New Weird, Steampunk writers did it. One of my all-time fav's also. I loved Light by him too and am reading the sequel to it now called Nova Swing but don't think it's as good as light even though it won the Arthur C. Clarke Award


message 36: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) Viriconium is buried on my shelves somewhere; thanks for the reminder, I need to dig it out. Harrison's The Courses of the Heart is also very good.


message 37: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments i've never read that one, but it's on my wishlist on paperbackswap.com amd swaptree.com


message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina (fiddler42) Soulless is excellent. Dirigibles, goggles, paranormal romance, Queen Victoria and all. Even a homunculus simulacrum. Currently on p.252 but planning to finish it tonight.

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message 39: by Dan (new)

Dan (akagunslinger) Soulless was good and it appears I'm the only man to review it on Goodreads. Right now, I'm reading Boneshaker and eagerly awaiting Secrets of the Firesea.


message 40: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Dan wrote: "Soulless was good and it appears I'm the only man to review it on Goodreads. Right now, I'm reading Boneshaker and eagerly awaiting Secrets of the Firesea."

I ordered The Secrets of the Fire Sea from amazon.uk, should be here any day. Can not freakin wait!!!


message 41: by Catherine (last edited Feb 13, 2010 06:46AM) (new)

Catherine Siemann (catherinesiemann) Dan wrote: "Soulless was good and it appears I'm the only man to review it on Goodreads.

It was packaged more like a paranormal romance than like a steampunk novel, which presumably led to its initially having a largely female audience, but it's so much fun and the feeling I get from the steampunk comms is that because of all the great word of mouth, it's been crossing over. The sequel sounds like it's going to be steampunkier; really looking forward to that.


message 42: by Mohammed (last edited Feb 13, 2010 08:07AM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 4 comments Amanda wrote: "i felt about the same way about the C of S & M too. Have u read Viriconium by M John Harrison, kind of the same decaying city thing done way before all the other New Weird, Steampunk writers did i..."

I have wondered if i should read Viriconium first of that author. What kind of weird,urban SFF book is it ? Is it more SF or fantasy ?

I have a growing interest reading weird books or steampunkish.

He is pretty big writer,award winner that he shouldnt be hard to find in the library.




message 43: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Mohammed wrote: "Amanda wrote: "i felt about the same way about the C of S & M too. Have u read Viriconium by M John Harrison, kind of the same decaying city thing done way before all the other New Weird, Steampun..."

Yeah, i would read Viriconium first by him- it's a collection of stories and novellas set in a dying earth setting and it's the inspiration of so many modern authors, esp. in the new weird/steampunk genres as well as scifi/fanatsy. One of my all-time favorites- i think u'd probably like it.


message 44: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 4 comments It sounds good. The setting,kind of stories he write appeal to me alot. Hope his writing will be something for me.

Plus he has won awards for SF book. I need more modern SF authors. I cant enjoy only Richard Morgan and the others i read arent good enough for me.




message 45: by Jack (new)

Jack Havock (CaptainHavock) | 1 comments Well, Larklight by Philip Reeve is still my favorite Steampunk book ever. Reading the second (Starcross) right now, again.Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space


message 46: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (amandastock) I just finished The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers and it was awesome. Really great sci-fi from one of the original three steampunk authors.


message 47: by Mohammed (last edited Jun 07, 2010 12:43PM) (new)

Mohammed  Burhan Abdi Osman (mohammedaosman) | 4 comments Original three ? You mean Tim Powers and Jeter,Blaylock ? They are close i knew.

I thought Michael Moorcock's Warlord of Air series was earlier and a precursor for Steampunk?

A fun steampunk series that one after reading the first book.

Steampunk must be getting bigger it just got a big bookshelf of its own in the bookstore i go to. Court of Air,Steampunk Trilogy and many other books there. I was impressed and was close for an impulse buy of Court of Air.


message 48: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 25 comments Anubis Gates is excellent! I would agree with Mohammad though that there certainly are authors that came before them, but i understand what ur saying, they really get the cred for being the founders. There are some other older great ones too though. Like the trilogy Mohammed mentioned is also amazing.


message 49: by QuesterMark (new)

QuesterMark | 1 comments Amanda wrote: "Anubis Gates is excellent! I would agree with Mohammad though that there certainly are authors that came before them, but i understand what ur saying, they really get the cred for being the founde..."

I read that so long ago! I just thought of that as a Time Travel book; didn't occur to me to think of it as steampunkish... Maybe I'll read it again. I've got to read On Stranger Tides again to get ready for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie anyway.


message 50: by Lydia (new)

Lydia Storm | 2 comments I'm reading Soulless and love it! It's like if Mary Poppins were paranormal, or I suppose in this case preternatural in a paranormal steampunk world. So witty and great!


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