Author Topic: Steam punk research reading list  (Read 1858 times)

Miyabi

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Steam punk research reading list
« on: January 26, 2011, 01:07:20 AM »

So I've recently decided to pick up an old project of mine.  Reading through it I found quite a few good elements and some atrocious ones.  I realized I was very strong on the vampire mythos, but my world building sucked when I wrote it.  This lead me to decide I need to do a lot of steam punk reading to find what people have done.  So I can get some ideas on what to research specifically as well as make sure to not write something that has already been written.  (Yes, I said vampires and steam punk referring to the same project.)

I picked up a book by Cherie Priest today called Boneshaker.

My question to yous guys is, what books should I add to my list of books to read for well built steam punk worlds and cultures.
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Silk

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 01:12:48 AM »
A couple of steampunk stories have appeared at podcastle lately: Specifically, Daniel Abraham's "Balfour and Meriweather" and "To Follow The Waves" by Amal El-Mohtar. (Note that the latter feels a lot more like fantasy than steampunk to me, and it's also rated R for sexual content, though I didn't personally find it gratuitous or offensive.)

Boneshaker is probably a fairly good place to start. Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan seems to be held in fairly high regard, though I haven't read it myself.

I don't know steampunk all that well. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

Miyabi

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 01:20:46 AM »

Awesome!  Thanks!  This gives me a good base to start from. =]
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dhalagirl

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 05:37:31 AM »
I recently started compiling a steampunk reading list for work.  Besides Cherie Priest, I'd suggest Gail Carriger
Stephen Hunt and S.M. Peters.

Out of these, I've only read Carriger.  It's light on the steampunk, but the elements are there.  There's also a strong paranormal element. 

Silk

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 05:11:35 PM »
Yes, Carriger's very light on the steampunk. I've only read the first, so maybe there's a bit more steampunk in the later books. Fun stuff, though.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 05:21:44 PM »

So I've recently decided to pick up an old project of mine.  Reading through it I found quite a few good elements and some atrocious ones.  I realized I was very strong on the vampire mythos, but my world building sucked when I wrote it.  This lead me to decide I need to do a lot of steam punk reading to find what people have done.  So I can get some ideas on what to research specifically as well as make sure to not write something that has already been written.  (Yes, I said vampires and steam punk referring to the same project.)

I picked up a book by Cherie Priest today called Boneshaker.

My question to yous guys is, what books should I add to my list of books to read for well built steam punk worlds and cultures.


It depends on what kind of steampunk you want to write.  Boneshaker is one of the worst steampunk books I've ever read, because there isn't hardly any steampunk in it (most overrated Hugo nomination ever?  maybe).  Drop by my blog and read the review I wrote on it.

If you really want to read some good steampunk, and want to cover all your basis, Stephen Hunt is good, as is George Mann. Leviathan by Westerfeld focuses more on biological creations than steampunk, though the sequel Behemoth is better.  Whitechapel Gods is fantastic.  Carriger's work is OK, but it focuses more on the women's love-lives and their hats (and too much over-the-top wit in the dialogue).  You could read classics like HG Wells and Jules Verne.  Mike Resnick has a novel titled The Buntline Special that is steampunk western.  Scar Night by Campbell has a little steampunk in it.  Retribution Falls by Wooding has some as well.

However, the best of all of it might be Steampunk and Steampunk II edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer.  Not only are there good short stories in the anthologies, but also a ton of non-fiction essays about the sub-genre.  Completely awesome.  Steampunk is just a setting device.  You take any type of story--vampire, detective, epic quest, romance, horror, fantasy, mystery, western--and put a steampunk skin over it and adjust all your tech to match.  
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Sigyn

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 08:19:32 PM »
You could also try watching the movie Steam Boy.
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Miyabi

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 02:26:24 AM »

Bookstore Guy. . .  . . you are my hero.
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Miyabi

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2011, 02:03:23 AM »

@Bookstore Guy - I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book.  (I'm reading quite slowly because I've been really busy. lol.)  I decided to visit your blog to read your review on it.  I find much of it very true.  Maybe when I'm done with and think back to it I'll find the characters as boring as you describe.  For now I kind of like the mystery of them and want to know what happens to them, but your review discourages me I won't learn much more than I already know.

Overall I'm enjoying the book, but it seems more of a leper-colony book to me than a steam punk novel.  I have liked what steam punk elements have been talked about, but I wish there were more and they played a bigger part in the story.

EDIT -  I forgot to mention something I was going to mention.  In most steam punk I've seen it's all about just after the invention of steam punk technology and not too advanced.  I want to try and write maybe a few short stories in that premise, but the novel itself I want to take it beyond.  In way that asks, "What if steam kept going for a hundred years or two?" and "How would steam based technology evolve?"  The short stories I'll write will focus on the advancements made in different parts of that 100 years or so, so that I can have some form of basis for the way things happened.   Maybe I'll give up on this and write in a classic steam punk fashion.  I don't know.  I have a good basic storyline. (I think.)  I need a few more side plots than what I have to give more insight to what's going on for a reader.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 02:09:46 AM by Miyabi »
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Hero of Ages

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 08:13:15 AM »
You may want to try Mainspring, Escapement, and Pinion (all 3 are by Jay Lake).  I have read the 1st 2 (but not Pinion yet) and like them both.  They are set in the same world but don't have too many overlapping characters.  I don't go out of my way to read steam-punk, but this series seemed like you couldn't get any more steam-punkier (is that a word, oh well).
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Miyabi

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »

I shouldn't be allowed to buy books in a bookstore, because this is what happens:
Dreadnought  Cherie Priest  (The lady said this one was much better than the first.)
Scar Night Alan Campbell
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Leviathan Westerfeld
Behemoth Westerfeld.
----------------------
Grand total = $72.

EDIT:  Oh, and I bought a copy of The Time Machine, I hope to god I don't have to tell you who wrote that one, for my sister, because she has never read it.
オレは長超猿庁じゃ〜。

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2011, 04:46:40 PM »

I shouldn't be allowed to buy books in a bookstore, because this is what happens:
Dreadnought  Cherie Priest  (The lady said this one was much better than the first.)
Scar Night Alan Campbell
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Leviathan Westerfeld
Behemoth Westerfeld.
----------------------
Grand total = $72.

EDIT:  Oh, and I bought a copy of The Time Machine, I hope to god I don't have to tell you who wrote that one, for my sister, because she has never read it.


Yeah...this is why I got into the review business.  And also why I buy online.  You'd think as a "Bookstore Guy" I'd be all about supporting my local bookstores, but I refuse to buy any novel unless I can get at least 40% off the cover price.
Check out our blog, Elitist Book Reviews at:
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dhalagirl

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 05:30:05 AM »

I shouldn't be allowed to buy books in a bookstore, because this is what happens:
Dreadnought  Cherie Priest  (The lady said this one was much better than the first.)
Scar Night Alan Campbell
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Leviathan Westerfeld
Behemoth Westerfeld.
----------------------
Grand total = $72.

EDIT:  Oh, and I bought a copy of The Time Machine, I hope to god I don't have to tell you who wrote that one, for my sister, because she has never read it.


Yeah...this is why I got into the review business.  And also why I buy online.  You'd think as a "Bookstore Guy" I'd be all about supporting my local bookstores, but I refuse to buy any novel unless I can get at least 40% off the cover price.


This is why I work at a used bookstore.  I can read anything I want for free and anything I want to keep is 50% off or more. ;D

guessingo

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 02:15:35 PM »

I shouldn't be allowed to buy books in a bookstore, because this is what happens:
Dreadnought  Cherie Priest  (The lady said this one was much better than the first.)
Scar Night Alan Campbell
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Leviathan Westerfeld
Behemoth Westerfeld.
----------------------
Grand total = $72.

EDIT:  Oh, and I bought a copy of The Time Machine, I hope to god I don't have to tell you who wrote that one, for my sister, because she has never read it.



you could use your library card? I constantly have books and audio books checked out.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: Steam punk research reading list
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 04:25:44 PM »

I shouldn't be allowed to buy books in a bookstore, because this is what happens:
Dreadnought  Cherie Priest  (The lady said this one was much better than the first.)
Scar Night Alan Campbell
The Osiris Ritual George Mann
Leviathan Westerfeld
Behemoth Westerfeld.
----------------------
Grand total = $72.

EDIT:  Oh, and I bought a copy of The Time Machine, I hope to god I don't have to tell you who wrote that one, for my sister, because she has never read it.



you could use your library card? I constantly have books and audio books checked out.

But then you can't mark them up if you use them like research.  I love the library, but sometimes owning the book is way more effective.
Check out our blog, Elitist Book Reviews at:
http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/