The Outfits – The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)
- I think most girls become interested in steampunk because of the outfits. I mean, lets be honest, those dresses are beautiful and the little hats are adorable. But there are also some really awesome practical outfits, like leather flight suits with aviator goggles and a corset covered in weapons. Plus, the guys all dressed in top hats and suits (or chaps and cowboy hats, if that’s your preference) look pretty darn good on those covers.
The History – The Hanged Man (Her Majesty’s Psychic Service, #1)
- Steampunk authors do a crazy amount of research while building their world, and often they incorporate real historical events into their story. I am constantly fascinated by the way authors will reimagine events to create entirely plausible new histories. In these novels secret societies and illicit technology are often under the control of the Crown, which makes it just a little believable that Queen Victoria might have had a vampire lover, or Queen Elizabeth commanded a battalion of robot soldiers.
The Science – Heart of Brass (Clockwork Agents, #1)
- Although some steampunk tends to drift into the paranormal for their energy sources, I find it fascinating when the authors come up with possible applications for steam power that could actually work. I don’t know if any of it is truly plausible, but the fact that someone thought up how a steam powered mechanical arm could actually function amazes me. Also, discussions of genetics and Darwinian theory are often major plot points in these books. Many of the “monsters” that populate these books are mutated humans or animals.
- Even when the writers come up with something that probably could never work in the real world, I love all the tech the characters use. There are laser cannons and steam pistols, jet packs and mechanical pets. We know for a fact that many of the inventions that science fiction writers dreamed of in previous years have actually come close to being real, so I can only imagine that some day a steampunk author is going to think up something that will change the world. It’s just so much fun to imagine all these cool inventions.
The Romance – Her Sky Cowboy (The Glorious Victorious Darcys, #10
- A lot of steampunk is well… steamy. This genre seems to be dominated by female authors, and many of the plots have some type of romance aspect to them. It’s not always present, and not every lady is looking to swoon at every handsome rake who comes along, but it’s definitely a regular plot line for many of these books. I won’t deny that it’s part of the draw for me, because I love a fun love story with adventure and drama and swooniness… and dirigibles.
The Manners – Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)
- While I very much appreciate the era I live in now (hello, Netflix and health care!), there’s something nostalgic about the 1800’s. People were polite, there were societal rules that encouraged chivalry and decorum. I wouldn’t say I agree with ALL the rules, because of course, most of the women in steampunk books are actively breaking the rules regularly. Instead, I like the rules that have to do with simpler things, like dressing nicely when you are going out and treating others with respect even if you detest them.
The Paranormal/Fantasy Crossovers – Dragons & Dirigibles (Gaslight Chronicles, #7)
- Some of my favourite steampunk authors go further than just expanding on the steam technology that could have changed our world. They use the Victorian fascination with the occult to bring vampires and werewolves to life. Ghosts and monsters regularly make an appearance, and the world is often a darker and more dangerous place than our true history, but it makes for some really fun adventures. The argument for magic over science, or vise versa, often defines the struggles that the characters face.
The Feminism – Lady of Devices (Magnificent Devices, #1)
- I’m sure people who don’t read steampunk will be surprised to know that it is a very feminist genre. I know, the corsets are confusing. But most often the main characters are girls who feel oppressed by the strict societal expectation of their time, and they fight to be true to themselves by wearing pants, kicking butt, having adventures, and getting an education. These are girls who aren’t going to sit back and wait for the handsome prince to rescue them.
The Reimagined Classics – The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1)
- Sometimes authors will also rewrite or reinvent classic tales with a steampunk edge to them. The Stoker & Holmes series envisions Bram Stoker’s sister as a vampire hunter and Sherlock Holmes’ niece as a fledgling detective. It’s a lot of fun and makes for some really interesting crossover stories.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish