steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

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rowan
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steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by rowan » Fri Nov 3, 20:00 2017

I like steampunk and clockwork kind of books but so rarely are any of the ones I pick up any *good* (see, to whit, Arabella from Mars in the book thread). Does anyone have any suggestions? Not that my to-read shelf is empty by any means but I want to run a game that's steampunk-y and I'm looking for some inspiration.
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by rowan » Fri Nov 10, 12:48 2017

No oneeeee?

*sniffle*

I ordered some books by James Blaylock, KW Jeter, and Tim Powers so I'll review them when they come and I read them. I already like Tim Powers as an author (loved Declare, Last Call series, etc) so that review may be biased.
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by Nachos » Sun Nov 12, 8:01 2017

The only suggestion I have is parts of the Invisible Library series. But let me know if any of them are good! xxx
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by rowan » Wed Nov 22, 10:15 2017

All right I read The Digging Leviathan by Blaylock and it was ok but definitely not steampunk. It was kind of like... trying to be Lovecraftian but also Jules Verne-ish at the same time, but set in the 1950s or 60s. It was weird and I might have liked it all right except for a couple of things.
1) not steampunk and I was expecting steampunk and wanted steampunk. So this is an unfair criticism but it meant I didn't enjoy it as much as I might have otherwise.
2) the voice in it was weird. Like it ~wanted~ to be victorianish steampunky voice but it was set in the 1950s Los Angeles so really just didn't work.
3) the science was terrible. I am TOTALLY OK if the science is terrible pulpish science and this would totally not have bothered me in the least if this had been set 30-40 years earlier. If you're going to pulp fiction the science though you need to choose science that's cutting edge for the storyline though, not something that far behind you.

I believe this is the first novel by Blaylock along these lines, though. The next one is in fact set in the 1800s and so I will read it and hopefully it will be all right. I'm ok with it not being totally steampunk; I read that this set is close to the first in the genre, so that will be all right but. We'll see. More to come! [there are almost zero women in this novel; there are two but they are background characters]

:2houses: for not being what I expected in the least. Possibly :3houses: if I'd been in a more lovecraftian mood.


ETA: Ursula Vernon's Clockwork Boys is out for patreons and that's next on my list though because duh. (It's listed under T Kingfisher since it's not a kids book)
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by rowan » Tue Dec 19, 13:46 2017

I read Anubis Gates by Tim Powers and well I'm not quite done with it. It wasn't really steampunk, as there isn't any steam tech in it, but it is an interesting read that involves
time travel from the 80's to Victorian England
and so was very helpful in that sense. Also like many Tim Powers' novels it involves a bunch of supernatural stuff. It is I think his first book, or at least close to, and suffers from the didn't quite know how to write the story yet. But the characters were engaging and despite the story kind of jumping the shark in the latter half, I found it pretty decent.

Can you jump the shark in your first book? Hm. I'm a Tim Powers fan in general though, it was interesting to see him starting to develop some of the ideas you find in his later books.

Anyway. I also read Blaylock's second book, Homunculus, and that was definitely more steampunk-y. It was pretty pulpy which is fine by me, and I liked it. Anyway FYI Powers and Blaylock were college friends and you can see some ties between the two stories. My husband discovered that apparently they had the same editor who said look, this is ok to have
this same character in it
but you need to sort things out so it's consistent.

Anyway, I will probably read more Blaylock, but I also have one by KW Jeeter, who I guess was the third in that trio of writers. I also picked up another book called Vacation Guide to the Solar System today, which I thumbed through in the bookstore and thought looked might be fun. Looks like that one is supposed to be using real science to describe what tourists might see with some fantastical elements thrown in. I read a couple pages about Venus and decided it looked interesting enough. :)

Oh by the by, I did read Clockwork Boys and while it's not steampunk (I wasn't expecting it to be) I wonder if there won't be some stuff that could be useful in the sequel. WHICH ISN'T OUT YET ARG sorry.
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by Plotthickens » Tue Dec 19, 22:09 2017

Ummmmm, does Agatha Heterodyne count? It's a series of graphic novels, and both print and online, but a while lot of fun...!
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Re: steampunk / clockwork book suggestions

Post by rowan » Tue Dec 19, 22:41 2017

Oh absolutely but we have all of them. :) Just got the most recent in the mail. I read as they post online but I do love having them in hand too. :)
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