Science fiction and fantasy
The Steampunk Bible
by Jeff Vandermeer and S. J. Chambers
The international aspect of steampunk is dealt with in a section at the end, not even a whole chapter. This includes various ways the style tackles colonialism and mashes up with other cultures to create something new. That the whole of the non-western world's take on steampunk is tacked on in a few pages rather than included throughout is perhaps a sign that the steampunk scene didn't have much worldwide reach in 2011 when the book was published. It is dated in that respect. It might also be a sign that the authors are based in the USA.
There are some things included that aren't fully steampunk but only have vaguely Victorian influences, especially some of the music and films. Someone writing an updated version would no doubt find more than enough full-on steampunk to fill a similar number of pages.
The Steampunk Bible is beautifully illustrated in colour. It makes a useful reference to a niche genre, and may provide inspiration and a starting point for all kinds of creators who are interested in this subculture.
15th December 2015
If you like this, try:Infernal Devices by K. W. Jeter
George Dower gets to grip with the peculiar and terrible creations his late father left the world.
Soulless: The Manga: Volume One by Gail Carriger and Rem
Alexia is soulless, which means she stands between the supernatural world and the human one. A graphic novel.
Soulless: The Manga: Volume Two by Gail Carriger and Rem
Werewolves and other supernatural creatures are affected by a curse that stops them from using their powers. A graphic novel.
Review © Ros Jackson
Source: own copy
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