Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Steam Punk

Ok, so how best to describe steampunk as a genre? It's a subgenre of science fantasy and speculative fiction that typically takes place in a Victorian time period, most frequently set in England. It's frequently an "alternate history" where technology has progressed in a very different way (and often earlier) and most parts of the world still use steam power (hence steampunk). Sometimes, especially in more recent works, they include elements of fantasy and the supernatural, such as vampires (of course what doesn't include vampires right now?)

Some good examples of Steampunk in literature:

His Dark Materials Trilogy
Perdido Street Station
The Anubis Gates
The City of Ember

And in movies:
The City of Lost Children
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Howl's Moving Castle

This is a new literary genre for me although I've been familiar with steampunk movies for quite a while. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi Original Movies or miniseries (yes, I am) then you've most likely seen a steampunk movie once or twice. They're usually poorly done on a low budget but they are still (to me at least) fascinating. All this to say, I recently picked up one of the original steampunk books credited with starting the genre in the 1980s. It's called Infernal Devices and I'm kind of loving it. Don't expect to see me wearing Victorian dresses and goggles anytime soon, but I think I may be looking more closely at this genre over the next few months. I hope to finish and review Infernal Devices within the next few days!


  1. I've never heard of this genre before your post. Can't wait to hear your review!

  2. yipee for steampunk! you may be interested in my steampunk week event. come by for more books to add to your list...