Steampunk is alternate history. Steampunk is awesome gadgetry. Steampunk is corsets, cravats, top hats, goggles, and parasols. Steampunk is a variety of little elements that add up to a very unique reading experience. So, how to do you figure out if you might be a steampunk lover? Here are some questions you could ask to find out:
- Are you a fan of historical settings?
- Do you love when characters use cool gadgets?
- Are you fascinated by clothing from different eras?
- Do you find yourself dropping slang you’ve read into regular conversations?
For example, historical fiction fans may want to start with Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy which is an alternate history of World War I. Another classical alternate history is William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine, in which Ninteenth Century London is experiencing both the Industrial Revolution and the start of the computer age. These books celebrate both details from our past and the possibilities of what could have been if the world had evolved in different directions.
Fans of gadgetry might be more interested in books like Kady Cross’s The Girl in the Steel Corset, which features some really cool steam-powered bicycles and automatons. Arthur Slade’s The Hunchback Assignments series centers around a hunchback named Modo who happens to be able to shape-shift, but is surrounded by secret agents and villains that utilize the most amazing inventions. These books have the historical version of James Bond’s spy gadgets!
Fashion fans can rejoice in the world of corsets and cravats. Some authors go out of their way to revel in the historical details of the time period, especially in the fashions. Gail Carriger is a perfect example. Her Parasol Protectorate seriesfeatures a heroine who will not leave the house without a parasol, a best friend with the most odious taste in hats, and a Lordly vampire who exemplifies men’s avant garde fashion in Victorian London.