Steampunk Nation

I recently joined a Steampunk reading challenge and it's all TVs fault, in particular Channel 62 in Kansas City (from my pre-cable days).  When I was a child, I would spend Sunday mornings, bemoaning the fact that Saturday was done & gone while watching reruns of 1960s TV shows on our remote-less, knobbed TV set. In particular, I'd watch The Wild Wild West, a western with a science fiction slant, set in a 19th century newly formed United States of America where steam trains and horses were the primary mode of transportation, and evil geniuses created weapons of mass destruction that oddly resembled large erector sets. 

Oh how I loved that show. It starred Robert Conrad as the charismatic West, and Ross Martin as his brainy, inventor sidekick Artemis Gordon.  This was my first introduction to the genre that would become known as Steampunk. Later, I would read Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and become enraptured with their fictional scientific machines that would allow you to pilot yourself into great and startling adventures.

Back then, though, it was all science-fiction & if you were caught reading it you were pigeon-holed into nerd-dom. Now, however, science fiction & fantasy have so many offshoots, collaborators, and supporters, that it is far more cool to be caught reading it. No longer relegated to just nerds and geeks, now we see the likes of jocks, studs, cheerleaders, business men, soccer moms, politicians, royalty, etc. all picking up what was once considered utterly uncool and, dare I say, wasteful. (after all, you could've been outside playing with your friends - getting some sun).

Over the past few years, the Steampunk genre as been (pardon the pun) gaining steam. And while some of it is highly collectible (Boilerplate, History's Mechanical Marvel by Paul Guinan & Anina Bennett), most is just fun to read.

Here are just a few authors & titles to get you started:

Paolo Bacigalupi
The Windup Girl

Alan Campbell 
Scar Night (Deepgate Codex, #1) 
Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex #2) 

Gail Carriger
Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1) 
Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, #2) 
Blameless (The Parasol Protectorate, #3)

Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)  

Jeanne DuPrau
The City of Ember (The Ember Series, #1)

Catherine Fisher 
Incarceron (Incarceron, #1) by 
Sapphique (Incarceron #2)

Phil Foglio, Kaja Foglio, Brian Snoddy
Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne & the Beetleburg Clank

William Gibson, Bruce Sterling
The Difference Engine

China MiĆ©ville 
Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag novel)  
The Scar (Bas-Lag novel) 
Iron Council 

Michael Moorcock
The Warlord of the Air (Oswald Bastable, #1)
The Steel Tsar (Oswald Bastable, #3) 
A Nomad of the Time Streams (Eternal Champion, #4) 
The Land Leviathan: A New Scientific Romance

Alan Moore
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Kenneth Oppel
Airborn (Matt Cruse, #1) 
Skybreaker (Matt Cruse, #2) 
Starclimber (Matt Cruse, #3)

Cherie Priest 
Boneshaker (The Clockwork Century, #1)
Clementine (The Clockwork Century, #2) 
Dreadnought (The Clockwork Century #3)

Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) 
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)
Once Upon a Time in the North

Philip Reeve 
Fever Crumb (The Hungry City Chronicles Prequel, #1)
Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)
Predator's Gold (The Hungry City Chronicles, #2) 
Infernal Devices (The Hungry City Chronicles, #3) 
A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles, #4)
Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space (Larklight, #1)
Starcross: An Intergalactic Adventure of Spies and Time Travel (Larklight, #2)
Mothstorm (Larklight, #3)

Arthur Slade
The Hunchback Assignments 
The Dark Deeps: The Hunchback Assignments 2  

Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, #3)

Jules Verne
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea 

H.G. Wells 
The Time Machine 

Scott Westerfeld
Leviathan (Leviathan, #1)  
Behemouth (Leviathan #2)

Chris Wooding
The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray 
Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay, #1) 

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