Simultaneously a literary movement, ultra-hip subculture and burgeoning cottage industry, Steampunk is the most influential new genre to emerge from the late twentieth century. Spinning tales populated with clockwork Leviathans, cannon-shots to the moon and coal-fired robots, it charts alternative histories in which the British Empire never fell or where the atom remained unsplit.
Spectacularly illustrated and international in scope, this comprehensive history explores Steampunk’s many intricate expressions in fiction, cinema, television, comics and videogames, and traces its evolution into a truly global aesthetic, which has made its mark on art, architecture, fashion and even music.
From the classic scientific romances of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells and Mary Shelley, through the dystopian futurescapes of Cyberpunk, to the otherworldly imaginings of Hayao Miyazaki, Alan Moore and China Miéville, author Brian J. Robb sets the key works of Steampunk squarely under the lens of his brass monocle and ventures into a world where airships still rule the skies.
Brian J. Robb is a former editor of Star Wars Insider, Star Wars Magazine UK and Dreamwatch, the acclaimed entertainment magazine for fantasy and science fiction. He has also written books on Doctor Who, silent cinema and directors Wes Craven, James Cameron and Ridley Scott.
James P. Blaylock is one of the founding fathers of Steampunk and the author of a number of seminal novels of the genre, including The Digging Leviathan and Homunculus.
‘Robb’s book is a joy, an authoritative and beautifully illustrated artefact of the genre in its own right.’
'As comprehensive as its voluminous subtitle suggests... a lively exploration of a fascinating subject.'
'Failing to leave a single steampunk stone unturned, this illustrated history traces the genre's evolution from the works of HG Wells to Gail's Carriger's Alexia Tarabotti novels. Miles from being a coffee table decoration, it's a steampunk bible. This guide demands dedicated reading time in order to be enjoyed to its fullest extent.'
‘A lavishly designed and illustrated book about the origins and permutations of the literary subgenre famous for goggles, airships, and other trappings of a stylized Victorian era. Whether you’re a Steampunk fan interested in learning more of its history or are a newcomer looking for a way to find out what all the fuss is about, Steampunk is an enjoyable read.’
‘Gracious tips of the bowler to Steampunk's founding trio, Powers, Blaycock and Jeter, a decent bit on graphic novels, a nice tribute to Michael Moorcock, whose Nomad of the Time Streams trilogy is a much-loved genre wellspring, and some fun pictures, including one of a rather sad Steampunked Dalek with a brass funnel poking out of its rear (the indignity!). Also, Robb enthuses engagingly over several easy-to-overlook TV shows, such as the original Wild Wild West, CBC's Secret Adventures of Jules Verne and its sequel The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (both of which have jumped to the top of this reviewer's must-see list)’
‘As an introduction to the genre this book is highly recommended.’
'Authoritative and in-depth compendium of all things clockwork. It’s a well-researched and wordy volume, and one that sheds light on the mysterious and amorphous cultural phenomenon. An essential addition to any retro-futurist bookcase.’