The Crossroads of the Aether
Found two new Steampunk novels at Barnes & Noble yesterday. "The Doomsday Vault" by Steven Harper is a "novel of the Clockwork Empire" and the first of a series. Second, fromPhil and Kaja Foglio (The Girl Genius Graphic Novels) comes "Agatha H and the Airship City". Now the biggest question is which to read first.
Reading Agatha H and the Airship City, a friend let me borrow his copy on Kindle as well as the second novel, every time someone new shows up I have gone to their webcomic and read from where I left off up to the new arrival, new gadget, etc.
If you like Phil Foglio in Dragon magazine or even his drawings for the Myth series you will likely like Agatha H, the comic at least, :P, and the book has much the same feel to it.
While not as over the top madcap as Phil and Dixie comic strips (in Dragon magazine for like ...ever, lol) Agatha bears obvious humor and stylistic similarities, it is great fun so far (and the online comic is free to dip one's toes in if doubt lingers) and the steampunk is part of the story without overshadowing the story and the female lead, while a bit scatterbrained to start, shows good reason for it and overcomes it.
There is also a male lead, lol, and who is heroic, wicked or just mad is not always as obvious as one might think and I have high hopes for both the books and the comic.
Almost forgot lol ... http://girlgeniusonline.com/
Yes, the Priest novels are SP bibles (there are 4 now).
Dead Iron by Devon Monk
Girl in the Steel Corset
The Clockwork books by Cassandra Clare (rather girly)
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
I just ordered Boneshaker and The Somnambulist
Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten The Somnabulist! I loved Domino Men as well. Good call!
I really liked Boneshaker's sequel (well, there are 4 books), Dreadnaught much more than Boneshaker.
I'm putting these titles up -- for one, because no one else has, and for two, because while they are not specifically "steampunk" they are so steampunk it hurts. Either because they aren't punk enough or because they aren't exactly victorian, these fail. Please read them anyway, as they are the seeds that made me love steampunk.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis -- synopsis, time travellers from the future get trapped in high society Victorian England and must blend in -- hilarity and time-paradoxes ensue. I warn you -- this author is one of the best -- and does absolutely exhaustive research. She has won multiple awards for the Science/history in her science fiction, and is amazing to meet in person. Please read her books -- this isn't the only amazing book by this author, but is the most "period-specific" to steampunk. I cannot recommend her enough.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman -- why hasn't ANYone put this up yet? I love all of his books/movies/illustrated novels, but this one stands out as "steampunk-inspired" with a modern guy who is kidnapped into the London-below, which operates on a very fantastical-victorian premise. Dark and amazing, and a very fast read.
Emma by Kaoru Mori -- While this Manga isn't very 'steam-punk', it is exhaustively researched, and follows the life and choices of a rather independently-minded maid in Victorian England. The art is amazing, the attention to detail in everything from social standing, politics, architecture, health, and fashion is phenomenal and the plot is engaging. It is available for sale in America -- translated, of course, from the original Japanese.
Lackadaisy Cats by Tracy Butler -- This online comic is worth the read. YES it does take place during prohibition -- and is therefore not Victorian, but the deeply engaging characters and storyline -- the accurate portrayal of my own fair city (yay St. Louis!) at the beginning of this century, incredibly accurate detail in terms of cars, St. Louis architecture, fashion, and firearms make this worth the time it takes to glance over, at least, to all you skeptics out there who think it won't fly because its a "comic with all the characters being anthropomorphized cats." Did I mention that they are very funny cats? Please don't let this stop you. It's worth the look!
I'm sure there are other books that will come to me, but this is will do for now. Comments? Questions?
BuddhaAlex, I'm so glad you mentioned Emma, and I agree that there isn't much steampunk to it. The setting is so well realized that it is a complete pleasure to read. Also it's relatively self-contained being only eight volumes. For anyone who likes graphic novels or manga with concise plot-lines I highly recommend these books.
Just finished Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter, and am starting Morlock Night. I realy like his writing, but my favorite mad scientist type stories are still Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
I started reading that... it didn't really hold my attention, does it get better late in? (Not being pretentious, just asking)
Started reading which, Ms. Ericson? Morlock Night is not holding my attention either, if that is indeed the book to which you were referring. And it didn't come off as pretentious either. Some works are better at grabbing the readers attention, and every reader responds in their own way.