Gears and Clockwork
June 17, 2012
As the age of vampires, werewolves, and zombies gradually begins to decline, one genre has begun to rise. Well, it really has been around since the 1980s when the term Steampunk was applied as a sub-genre of science fiction/fantasy.
You may be asking, "What exactly is steampunk anyway?" There are multitudes of definitions, but in a nutshell, it’s a genre that incorporates elements of science fiction in an alternate history setting. Most commonly, it’s set in the Victorian British era, but it could also be set in the American "Wild West," an alternate reality, or even in a post-apocalyptic future.
The most common elements of steampunk include anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations, as the Victorians could have invented them.
Here are some of my personal steampunk recommendations:
Android Karenina by Ben Winters – takes the classic Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina and gives it a sci-fi twist. This was my first steampunk novel I had read. It is published by the same people that did Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense by James Morrow – this is actually a collection of about 15-20 short stories written by modern authors.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I know this book has been mentioned in another blog, but I think it deserves a second mention.
The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (on order)
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke (on order)
Corsets & Clockwork: 13 steampunk romances by Lesley Livingston
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross (on order)
Steampunk is not just limited to literature. There is a whole culture based around art, fashion, design, and even music. The Library also has several books dedicated to creating Steampunk jewelry. I have made a few pieces and I found that the instructions were relatively easy to follow. Check out one of these great titles today:
1000 Steampunk Creations by Joey Marsocci – this book has, of course, 1000 beautiful photographs of everything that can be created into Steampunk: fashion, art, modern devices that have been remodeled to look vintage, etc. This is a must-have book if you want to visualize what exactly the genre is outside of literature.
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North Independence Branch