steampunk for all (yes, you!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 |
One comment I have heard consistently about steampunk is that readers don’t know where to ‘start.’  The genre has gained popularity quickly, and the trouble is that there’s no one book that spawned it all.  Rather, it has been a slow movement that is now having a moment in the sun (or gaslight, if you will).

steampunk week in september

With that in mind, today’s Steampunk Week in September post is about finding the perfect steampunk book for _______. (fill in the blank)  Keep in mind that some of these books are a little lighter than others on steampunk elements, my list leans heavily toward YA, and is meant to be fun and/or helpful only.  I am by no means an expert.  With that said, your additions and suggestions are welcome in the comments!

Steampunk books for…

airborn by kenneth oppel book cover
thoughtful readers: Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

fans of Sherlock Holmes (especially the recent Robert Downey, Jr. version): The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

museum enthusiasts: The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent

fans of Faerie: Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear

romance readers: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape

those who prefer the classics: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

love triangle lovers: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

boneshaker by cherie priest book cover
zombie enthusiasts: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

admirers of the short story form: Steampunk! edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant or Corsets & Clockwork edited by Trisha Telep for teens, Steampunk edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer for adults

middle grade readers: The Boneshaker by Kate Milford, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede

fans of westerns: The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

vampire addicts: Soulless by Gail Carriger, God Save the Queen by Kate Locke

leviathan by scott westerfeld book cover
adventure junkies: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

horror buffs: The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge, This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

graphic novel enthusiasts: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore, Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 1 by Gail Carriger and Rem

fans of fantasy: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott

Still stumped?  Check out the list that Kirkus put together of steampunk books for teens (with links to their reviews!), a Library Journal article focused on adult and ‘classic’ steampunk, and a post from Charlotte's Library about steampunk for kids.  And please, if you have any categories and suggestions, mention them in the comments!


Lisa (starmetal_oak) said...

Great list! I've heard of most of these, but it's great you directed them to people with specific interests. Airborn and The Unnaturalists (although I hate the cover) are ones that caught my attention!

fredamans said...

I have Boneshaker! I should read it very, very soon!

Liviania said...

I have so many of these on my TBR. I don't want to make suggestions since I'm not super well read in the genre.

M.A.D. said...

Oooh, forgot all about Boneshaker - love zombies so thanks for that reminder lol

Will also have to check out some of the other books you've mentioned <3

Tales of Whimsy said...

Airborn is good :) I listened to the audio and really liked it.

Unknown said...

A really good list. I think my next venture into steampunk will have to be Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. I've been putting off reading that one forever.

Charlotte said...

Hi Cecelia!

Great list!

And just for a bit of middle grade fun, here's a list of steampunk for kids I made, that links to another list at SLJ --

Nan said...

When I saw the title of your post on my bloglist I decided to come over and say, okay, convince me. What should I read? And then to find this post. Serendipity, methinks. Thanks. I'll try one. I promise. Just the word 'steampunk' makes me smile.

Nan said...

And I read Hugo C. THAT was steampunk?! ooh! great.

Tanya Patrice said...

I really liked Corsets & Clockwork - which is the only work I've read from your list. I usually don't actively seek out steampunk books, but have liked the few I've read.

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