Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Steampunk: a Blend of Action, Adventure, Science, and Magic

Steampunk is a type of science fiction/fantasy that often mixes the modern with the antique.  It originated in the 1980s and blends together a number of sub-genres such as: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, alternative history, and horror.  It's settings are usually Victorian-era Britain although some are set in the American Wild West or even a post-apocalyptic future.

While clockwork and steam-powered contraptions are a common steampunk theme, there may be others such as:  the pairing of hard science with magic or futuristic technology with mechanical machines.

So, try some of the following steampunk books--you'll be happy you checked them out.

Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

The paranormal town of Pemkowet is led by Daisy Johanssen, agent of Hel.   But as a nightmarish monster racks up victims, someone else files a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, the fate of the community will be at stake. 

The Shotgun Arcana by R. S. Belcher

Golgotha, Nevada. 1870. A haven for all including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many trials, but now an army of killers is converging on the town, and its people will be tested as never before.

Gideon Smith & the Brass Dragon by David Barnett

Nineteenth century London is where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world.  The pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen a fantastical weapon-a great brass dragon. Gideon and his intrepid band give chase through the lawless lands of free Texas where life is cheap and honor cheaper. 

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

Octavia, a young healer with incredible powers, is traveling to her first mission. Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue:  the steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers! The danger is only beginning and the conspiracy may reach to the crown itself.

The Return of the Discontinued Man by Mark Hodder

In 1860 London, a scientist conjures up Spring Heeled Jack, who is hunting Sir Richard Burton! Meanwhile, Burton is experiencing visions and now he must voyage through time into a twisted future ruled by a cruel intelligence.
The Executioner’s Heart by George Mann

Chief Inspector Bainbridge of Scotland Yard is called to a third, symbolic murder. Supernatural specialists Newbury and Hobbes conclude that the killings may be the work of the Executioner. Who will be her next target? 

Cold Copper by Devon Monk

In steam age America, lycanthrope Cedar Hunt and witch Mae Lindson set out on a mission. Taking refuge in Des Moines when a storm hits, they must stop the mayor’s plot to rule the world.

Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest

Ex-slave Gideon Bardsley is a brilliant inventor. To keep Gideon safe, Abraham Lincoln calls on Pinkerton "Belle" Boyd.  Can she keep the greedy warmongers from assassinating Gideon and extending the Civil War? 
The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

An accident places Archibald Clare, a mentath in the service of Britannia, in the care of sorceress Emma Bannon. He needs rest to repair his abilities, but someone is murdering women of a certain reputation and threatens to bring ruin to the Empire. 

Also, try some of these stand-alone novels and series number ones:

Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs by Daniel Abraham
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Half Made World by Felix Gilman
Mainspring by Jay Lake
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
The Buntline Special by Michael (Mike) Resnick
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

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