Steampunk Literature Every Fan Must Read – Part 3

Infernal Devices

Author: K.W. Jeter

George Dower’s father was a watchmaker and tinkerer of curious items, when he passed on, he left his shop to George, a man with very little talent or interest in watches or any other of these ‘infernal devices’ (it’s all beginning to add up!). However, it this is his inheritance and his father’s life so when someone attempts to steal an old item from the premises George finds himself tossed into the throws of a mystery filled with time travel, intrigue, adventure and sinister secrets like no other.

It’s worth noting that K.W. Jeter is actually credited with coining the term ‘steampunk’. This 1987 novel is one of the first of its genre and as such one of the most unique takes, both setting up and subverting all the tropes that would become the build of the genre. It’s filled to the brim with Victoriana and wonderful contraptions all of which play integral parts of the story. A great starting point for anyone looking to get into steampunk.

Iron West

Author: Doug TenNapel

Preston Struck is a good man though doesn’t have much in the way of competence, or as its so well put in the blurb “has a heart of fools gold”. When an army of robots, akin to the ‘Tin-Man’ of the ‘The Wizard of Oz’, take control of the railroads and threaten California he finds it’s up to him to do all he can to help release it from their mechanical clutches. With help from an elderly shaman and his ally, a sasquatch, Struck must do all he can to stop them and their giant demonic steam engine.

This graphic novel is as good a good vs evil tale as you’ve ever read and what more, Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel shows you how steampunk in the wild west go together like peanut butter and jelly. Though the premise may sound simple its jam packed with imagination and heart, as well as plenty of cool steampunk visuals of course.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Author: Jules Verne

I have no doubt that you will have heard of Jules Verne’s masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the story begins when a French biologist named Dr Aronnax sets out to hunt down a great sea monster, instead he finds a marvellous underwater ship called the Nautilus, built by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. Together the two travel the world exploring marvels below the sea, undergoing an otherworldly experience amongst the ruins of the lost city of Atlantis and together they even reach the South Pole where they plant a black flag.

Verne is considered to be one of the founders of the science fiction genre, at the time this submarine and its invention were stuff of the future. Now, though of course elements turned out to be true much of the science can easily fall into the steampunk genre. First Published in 1870, the themes of this book are universal and it is still a much loved classic today.