We were super pleased to be asked to write an article about Steampunk for the site and have opted to do some recommendations for both middle grade (9 – 12 years) and teen (and older) readers.
Our list is by no means exhaustive but shows there is a strong market for books of this genre for a young audience. The books below above are all superbly written and character driven novels; where the setting helps enrich the world but where the world isn’t everything.
Teen & Young Adult
Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Atom)
The Looking Glass Wars, Seeing Redd and Arch Enemy by Frank Beddor (Egmont Books)
Clockwork Angel, Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (Walker)Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (Bloomsbury)
Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (Hodder)
Airborne, Skybreaker and Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel (Faber and Faber)
Arcadia Snips and the Steampunk Consortium by Robert C. Rodgers (Steam Powered Press)
All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen (Tor)
Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances (Constable & Robinson)
Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Walker UK)
Kaimira by Monk & Nigel Ashland (Walker)
Airman by Eoin Colfer (Puffin)
Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling, Lamplighter and Factotum by DM Cornish (Corgi / Random House)
The Mortal Engines series, as well as Larklight, Mothstorm and Starcross by Philip Reeve (Scholastic)
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle, The Obsidian Dagger and The Doomsday Thief by Catherine Webb (Atom)
Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (Simon & Schuster)
More titles are due in 2012, including Tiffany Trent’s The Unnaturalists, which sounds fantastic:
"The City of New London is all Tesla’s fault. If his experiment had not broken the walls between London and Fairyland, New London would not be here at all, and Fairyland would not be in jeopardy. The tear in the fabric of space and time brought things from every era of London—Vauxhall Gardens, the Tower, Nonesuch House. With it also came the belief that Science would cure all ills. Soon, the descendants of Tesla learned how to turn magical energy into power, using a substance called myth. Just as Old London relied on coal and gas, New London relies on myth. It’s in everything from lanterns to sealing wax. It powers machines. It provides heat and light.
But all of this comes at great price.
In the Museum of Unnatural History, fifteen-year-old Vespa Nyx has spent the last two years since her expulsion from Seminary learning to identify, catalog, and mount rare sylphs. Even as the black desert of the Creeping Waste threatens New London, young Syrus Reed seeks Vespa at the behest of the mysterious Manticore. Whether they can learn to trust each other and work together in a race against time and greed is at the heart of this steampunk adventure."
Doesn’t it sound simply superb? We couldn’t be more excited. Long may writers continue creating Steampunk stories to enjoy and talk about. It is one of those sub-genres where it feels like literally anything can happen... and it usually does. All the writer has to do is ask: what if...
Liz - creator and instigator of My Favourite Books. Her tastes in reading material vary from picture books to YA to crime and fantasy novels for adults. She also has a penchant for literary fiction, but don't hold that against her. Find her online as @LizUK on Twitter.
Mark - Mark is an avid gamer who has a penchant for archery, fencing and medieval sword. Mark's reading is as eclectic as his taste in music - he enjoys fantasy, crime, science fiction (and is a Black Library devotee) and historical novels. Find Mark on Twitter as @Gergaroth.
Sarah - Sarah is My Favourite Books' YA guru. As an aspiring YA writer, Sarah has made it her goal to read every single YA book in existence and she loves the challenge. She knows more about vamps, witches and weres than your local priest. Find Sarah online as @esssjay on Twitter.