Just a few months ago, I found myself lamenting that Steam Punk was not considered a valid genre for novel publishing. I held on to a hope that this, the genre where I first cracked my teeth on Role-Playing Games and Anime, would make a move into literature, and that I might be a part of it.
Oh, little did I know.
Thing is, Steam Punk IS publishing. Take as a recent example Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, my new #1 book of the year. It’s an alternative history steampunk novel in which the French and British are called “Darwinists”, fabricating war machines out of genetically engineered animals. The Germans and Soviets, called “Clankers”, go to war with big, loud, armored walking machines.
This is a book for young adults, and so the two main protagonists are adolescents – one being the exiled son of the Austrian Archduke, the other a girl posing as a boy so she can join the British Air Force.
And how would a book taking place in an alternate 1920’s be complete without some black-and-white illustrations? Without a doubt, they add a lot to the experience, which makes me wonder why we gave up illustrations in the first place. They didn’t used to be a “kids-books-only” thing.
Because it is January, I can’t guarantee that Leviathan will stay at the top of the charts, but I will guarantee it as a fun read if you’re looking for some steampunk to enjoy.