- Setting where steam and natural gas are the primary power source.
- The setting can be in the past, future or on another planet
- World with airships, gas lamps, gears, cogs, brass goggles, brass robots and even computers
- Characters are mad scientists, philosophers, adventurists, aviators, femme fatale, tinker, scholar and air pirates.
- Victorian feel
- Includes issues as obstacles: dirty-smelly streets, poverty, colonialism, child labor, etc.
- Incredible technology built out of Victorian epoch’s materials
- Can include paranormal elements, mystery, steamy romance, horror, etc.
- Include aether element, analog technology, automaton, clockwork, lots of steam engines, flying machines, rayguns, and time machine
- Alternate history
“The same way punk took back music, steampunk reclaims technology for the masses. It substitutes metal gears for silicon, pneumatic tubes for 3G and wi-fi. It maximizes what was miniaturized and makes visible what was hidden.”
-- (Lev Grossman. Time magazine.)
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
The Time Machine by HG Wells
League of Extraordinary Gentleman by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neil
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
The Ether Chronicles Series by Zoe Archer
Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Series by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
The Iron Seas Series by Meljean Brook
The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carrige
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
A Conspiracy of Alchemists (The Chronicles of Light and Shadows Series) by Liesel Schwarz
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross (YA)
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (YA)
Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear (YA)
Planesrunner and Be My Enemy by Ian McDonald (YA)
The Boneshaker, The Broken Lands, and The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford (YA)
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (YA)
"The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"
"The Golden Compass"
"City of Ember"
- Atomicpunk: Optimistic pre-digital period of 1945-1965. It includes the Atomic Age and Space Age, Communism underground cinema, Googie architecture, the Sputnik program, superhero fiction.
- Biopunk: Altering genetics and DNA and experiments on humans.
- Clockpunk: Epoch of Da Vinci’s inventions, mid to late middle ages.(Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett)
- Cyberpunk: Artificial intelligence and the cyber world.
- Dieselpunk: Aesthetics and technology between World War I and World War II.
- Decopunk: Time period the 1920’s to the 1950’s. Modernism.
- Elfpunk: Fairy tale creatures put in an urban setting.
- Nanopunk: Nanotechnology.
- Sandalpunk: Ancient worlds like Greece or Rome, but with advanced technology. Antikythera mechanism.
- Splatterpunk: Gory.
- Steampunk: Steam engines. Victorian.
- Stonepunk: Stone Age. (The Land that Time Forgot by Rice Borrough)
- Western Steampunk: Steampunk with Wild West aesthetic and setting.
Lazear, Suzanne. “Steampunk for Beginners.” December 28, 2009. <http://ageofsteam.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/steampunk-for-beginners/>
"Guide to writing Steampunk."
Steampunk inspired gadgets. Pinterest.
Steampunk characters. Pinterest.
Steampunk technology. Instructables.