Best Steampunk Books

A subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of “the path not taken” of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality

Top Steampunk Books

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)
By Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

  • “For lovers of paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, steampunk or romance, this is a book that I can recommend.” – Blodeuedd
  • “It is a great start to a new series and I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate).” – Karissa Eckert
  • “Gail Carriger wrote a very witty, funny, sexy, well written novel.” – Marcella

Leviathan
By Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up.

  • “I absolutely loved Leviathan and I can’t wait to read the second book in this series.” – Andreea C.
  • “Well, I decided I just had to read this book.” – M. Bennett
  • “The plot moves the characters along and one gets to know the characters very well.” – Anonymous

Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books)
By Cherie Priest

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest.

  • “It’s too bad; the setting is intriguing and some of the secondary characters quite interesting, but the book doesn’t live up to its potential.” – J. Kline
  • “Nonetheless – I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good read.” – BookSwim Corporation
  • “Priest is an amazing writer and creating great characters and plot.” – Sarah Woodard

Perdido Street Station
By China Mieville

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia.

  • “The author certainly can write, images are vivid and lingering, and the characters are believable and well developed.” – Long time fan
  • “My impression was that part of the ending was the lesson that not all things are possible, but there just seemed to be too many loose ends for such a depressing book.” – thecrwth
  • “China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station is an incredible work of speculative fiction.” – Mad Professah

The Time Machine (Signet Classics)
By H.G. Wells

“I’ve had a most amazing time.

  • “H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” is one of the most respected pieces of Victorian science fiction, and deservedly so.” – Ian Fowler
  • “Very well written story.” – Gary L Laffoon
  • “The time machine takes an interesting look at human society in the distant future.” – Marie Martin

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
By Jules Verne

One of the great masters of science fiction, Jules Verne’s boundless imagination took his readers into the center of the Earth and to the far reaches of the galaxy years before such travels could actually be attempted.

  • “It is well written as all of Jules Verne’s books are.” – Danny Fleming
  • “It makes me want to pick up and keep reading the book, very preferable to just printing the downloadable version online.” – Anonymous
  • “I’ve read this book many times over the years and it was wonderful to be able to get it for free on my Kindle!” – Julesrn

The Difference Engine (Spectra special editions)
By William Gibson

1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines.

  • “The beginning of the book and the end are quite boring, with no character interesting the reader.” – Jedidiah Palosaari
  • “When I finished reading it, I just had to admit that I didn’t get the point.” – Angela MC
  • “This is a fascinating premise, but the book (despite its authors’ well-deserved reputations) doesn’t come through.” – Pishkado

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1
By Allan Moore

London, 1898.

  • “I saw the movie before I read the book.” – M
  • “It’s really brilliant how Moore develops these characters.” – John
  • “Perfect for any fan of Alan Moore or Graphic Novels in general.” – Z. Hebert

The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
By Meljean Brook

View our feature on Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke.

  • “You have two complex and amazing lead characters and an intriguing cast of secondary characters that are all part of the new world Brook has created.” – L. J. Engelke
  • “If you enjoy steampunk and/or alternate history mixed with romance, I recommend The Iron Duke.” – Linda Mclaughlin
  • “I did like her short story better, so maybe that’s why this one didn’t stick with me as much?” – Attack of the Book!

Airborn
By Kenneth Oppel

Sailing toward dawn, and I was perched atop the crow’s nest, being the ship’s eyes.

  • “The plot was tight, the characters were both likeable and well developed.” – Lizard Mom (and Clio too)
  • “Great job, Mr. Oppel.” – Kendall
  • “My son (who is 11 years old) and I absolutely loved and enjoyed this audio book.” – Busy Mom

Suggestions of the Best Steampunk Books

Do you have any book suggestions that you think those Steampunk Books would love or any feedback on the suggestions in this page? Please feel free to add a comment below.

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