According to the amazing Wikipedia, Steampunk is “a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s and involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually the Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy”.
You know, like Tik-Tok from Return to Oz. Kind of.
But if you’ve been in the dark – or simply haven’t walked through the Young Adult section at any bookstore – steampunk is kind of everywhere. I’ve sort of stayed away from it – I blame the lure of vampires and faeries – until I finally decided to pick up this book at the library:
It takes place during an alternative Europe during World War I, where giant metal machines with legs walk around and shoot things at other giant metal walking machines.
You know, like AT-ATs from The Empire Stikes Back. Kind of.
It also involves a girl disguised as a boy so she can join the army and fly these gross-looking airships made out of rotting flesh and insects and stuff. Nice. I’m only on page 80, so there’s not a whole lot I can say about this book yet. But I can only imagine this whole steampunk thing would look amazing on film. Which is probably why I wasn’t surprised to find out that a contract is being written as we speak for the film rights to Leviathan.
So yay for Steampunk!
Some other examples of Steampunk in YA literature:
1. The Tinkerer’s Daughter by Jamie Sedgwick
2. The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
3. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (hey, I’ve read this!)
4. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
5. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore (okay, so it’s actually a graphic novel, but still readable, and definitely steampunk all the way).
For more Steampunk resources, Google it…or visit your local library. OR…if you’re one of the few brave, you’ll go to a Steampunk convention wearing something awesome. Trust me.
I DARE YOU.