Steampunk is coming to the Big Orange Book Festival! We are honored to have two of the founding originators of this fantastical genre, James Blaylock and Tim Powers, speaking about the history, influence and progression of this popular style. So gather up your top hat and reading goggles, jump into your personal steam-powered zeppelin and fly down here on the 21st and 22nd to enjoy with the rest of us. And for those of you who have somehow missed the wave of Steampunk influences in pop culture, here is a little rundown to get to you up-to-date.
What is Steampunk?
Steampunk is a literary genre that has spread all throughout pop culture including movies, clothing, music and design. It has influences of science and speculative fiction, horror, and fantasy, referencing authors like H.G Wells and Jules Verne. Often times the style and settings are filled with steam-powered machinery, anachronistic inventions, and diabolical weapons mixed with victorian era style. Storyline contain alternate histories, post apocalyptic universes and dystopian themes.
What is the history of Steampunk?
The term “steam-punk” was originally coined in the 1980s by K.W. Jeter who was trying to find a general way to describe the books coming from the Powers/Blaylock/Jeter camp. While influences and other seminal works came from the 60s and 70s it wasn’t until these three pioneers took the reigns that the genre really took off. Now the growth and influence is exponential.
What are some of the most celebrated Steampunk books?
- The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
- Homunculus by James P. Blaylock
- Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter
- The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
- The Warlord of the Air by Michael Moorcock
- The Scar by China Mieville
- The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
- The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
- The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul di Filippo
- Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
- The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia