Steampunk reading recommendations


We already got quite a few recommendations so I decided to create a new subpage for the ones mentioned by challenge participants. This way we can always come back to one spot and check out what people suggested.

You will also find more suggestions on the Steampunk reviews page where participants linked us directly up to their reviews. 

Since I am not familiar with the genre (yet) I have no clue how to divide suggestions into possible topics or even sub-sub-genres (which might exist). So I will just list anthologies separate from the rest.


 The Shadow Conspiracy only available as e-book
 Extraordinary Engines Nick Gevers
 Steampunk edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer (with a sequel called "Steampunk  reloaded")

Everything else

The Windup girl Paolo Bacigalupi
Shipbreaker Paolo Bacigalupi
New Amsterdam Elizabeth Bear
Homunculus James Blaylock
Lord Kelvin’s Machine James Blaylock
The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives James Blaylock
The Ebb Tide James Blaylock
The Iron Duke Meljean Brook
Soulless Gail Carriger
Changeless Gail Carriger
Blameless Gail Carriger
The devil in chains (free e-book) Adam Christopher
Clockwork Angel Cassandra Clare
Cold Magic Kate Elliott
Incarceron Catherine Fisher
Sapphique Catherine Fisher
The Difference Engine William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
The strange affair of Spring Heeled Jack Mark Hodder
The Clockwork Man William Jablonsky
Infernal Devices K. W. Jeter
Zeppelins West Joe R. Lansdale
Flaming London Joe R. Lansdale
Steamed: A steampunk romance Katie MacAlister
The Affinity Bridge George Mann
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Perdido Street Station China Mieville
Nomad of the time streams series Michael Moorcock
Airborn series Kenneth Oppel
Clockwork Heart Dru Pagliasotti
Whitechapel Gods S. M. Peters von Roc
The Anubis Gates Tim Powers
Dreadnought Cherie Priest
The Boneshaker Cherie Priest
Clementine Cherie Priest
Larklight Philip Reeve
Mortal Engines series Philip Reeve
The Alchemy of stone Ekaterina Sedia
The Hunchback Assignments Arthur Slade
The Diamond Age Neal Stephenson
Thomas Riley Nick Valentino
Leviathan Scott Westerfeld
Behemoth Scott Westerfeld
Goliath Scott Westerfeld



Graphic novels 

 The League of extraordinary gentlemen  Alan Moore
 Grandville  Bryan Talbot



Some links

28 Comments Write a comment

  1. Haven’t read them but these are being promoted as steampunk romance:

    The Iron Duke by Meljean Brooks

    Cold Magic by Kate Elliott


  2. Hi, everyone!

    I discovered your site (and this challenge) through my writing partner, Philippa Ballantine. Currently, we are in edits for our own steampunk romp, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, slated for release in May from Harper Voyager (formerly Eos Books). We have soft launched the blog (, set our characters loose on Twitter ( and, once the edits are done and away, will be launching a podcast anthology called “From the Archives: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Anthology” featuring voices from the podosphere. More on that to come.

    We would love to not only contribute to your steampunk challenge but also offer ourselves as resources for you and your blog in writing steampunk, commentary on the genre, and any other questions you might have for us. Stay in touch and we hope to talk to you all soon!


    • Tee, thanks for stopping by and for offering your support. I am sure it will come in handy especially since a lot of us are fairly new to the genre.


    • Once the challenge is under way I will update the list and put it in some sort of alphabetical order and will at least add YA to the relevant books. Yes, that would be a good idea, since not everybody is interested in YA.


  3. You should probably include:

    James Blaylock: Homunculus, Lord Kelvin’s Machine, The Adventures of Langdon St. Ives (include the previous two, but also include 4 related short stories), and The Ebb Tide.

    K. W. Jeter (who coined the term Steampunk): Infernal Machines and Morlock Night

    Cherie Priest: Clementine (same universe and Boneshaker and Dreadnought)

    Joe R. Lansdale: Flaming London, Zeppelins West, Flaming Zeppelins


  4. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
    The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
    Warrior by Zoe Archer
    The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby
    Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne


  5. Not a suggestion for books, but for categorization.

    I split it into:
    Foundational- Works written before 1917
    Formative- Works written between 1972 and 2002
    Self-conscious- Works written by steampunks for steampunks 2000 > present

    I have a placeholder style ‘Steampulp’ – for 1918 – 1970, but haven’t found any takers yet.


  6. Thanks everybody. I am a bit busy right now, but I will add all recommendations to the list asap.

    Thanks, Jack, for the suggestions of how to categorize them…


  7. I’m wondering if you guys would consider the Bryant and May novels of Christopher Fowler, very steampunk in nature. After consideration, I think, in tone, they might qualify.

    Also the Thursday Next, literary detective, novels of Jasper Fforde. They take place in an alternate England where air travel is consigned to dirigibles. These are literary parodies where some of the characters can enter books and become part of the story (though they are cautioned not to) and the ‘real’ world is run by an all knowing, all powerful company. The books are filled with literary puns, anachronisms, make-believe creatures, a bit of time travel and this time out, the dodo is not extinct. Fun books.
    When I realized what ‘steampunk’ consists of, I immediately thought of Fforde’s books.


    • Yvette, maybe someone will help out here, I have no idea. I know none of the books you mentioned.
      However, I have seen the Fforde books and have the first one on my wishlist, simply because the concept sounds so nice and I have heard a lot of good things about them.


  8. It’s too late for me to do any more reading challenges for 2010, but I’m kind of hooked on all things steampunk lately! This is a wonderful resource; I’ve included it on my post of book recommendations by theme.


  9. I have a bit of a correction on your listing for the “Steampunk” title in your Anthologies section. That anthology is in fact edited by Ann AND Jeff Vandermeer. It’s pretty important to mention the pair of them. 🙂


    • Chriss, thank you for the correction. I changed it in the list above. I’ll also link to your reading list, I am sure it will be helpful.


  10. One title I haven’t seen yet is The Clockwork Man by William Jablonski. Such an incredible story that touches the heart. This is one of the few titles that I cannot recommend enough!


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