Spirit of Optimism

Alternate history

Technology misplaced in time

Age of invention

    Mad scientist



Science fiction




Steampunk is a sub-genre and the newest literary child of science fiction. The term steampunk originated in the late 1980’s when K.W. Jeter, author of Morlock Night, wrote a letter to Locus, a science fiction magazine. In his letter, Jeter shows his desire to select an appropriate word to describe his writing and the stories of others which were set in alternate past, but contained fantastical and futuristic inventions. “Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term… Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like ‘steam-punks’, perhaps.”- K.W. Jeter. So whether you are new to the genre or consider yourself a member of the modern steampunk culture take a moment to peruse our collection of classic and contemporary titles.


For Juvenile/Young Adult Steampunkers:


Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (Link and Grant) eBook: Young adult authors Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray and Cory Doctorow are a few of the contributors to this steampunk short story anthology.


The Clockwork Angel, Infernal Devices Series, Book 1 (Cassandra Clare) Audiobook: London 1878: Sixteen year old Tessa Gray finds herself in a world of vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters while on a journey to find her lost brother. Awards:Children’s Choices Selection and Teen’s Top Ten.


Airborn: Matt Cruse Series, Book 1 (Kenneth Oppel) eBook: Oppel’s story of Matt Cruse and his wild adventures aboard a huge airship earned him literary recognition in 2005. Award: Printz Honor Award.


Fever Crumb, Predator Cities Series, Book 1 (Phillip Reeve) Audiobook. Fever Crumb is a beautiful orphan with a mysterious past and the only female apprentice in the Order of Engineers. Awards: Booklist Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels for Youth and Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults.


Magic Under Glass Series, Book 1 (Jaclyn Dolamore) eBook. While working in a run-down music hall, Nimira aged 17, is hired to sing accompaniment to an automaton that plays the piano. The clockwork man is actually a prince who has become trapped within the body of the automaton. Teens who enjoy steampunk romance should give this one a try.


Renee Lienhard is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive



One Response to “STEAMPUNK: Stories That Play With History (Part one)”

  1. James S.

    Other good options available through Overdrive are the Aether Chronicles series (currently two books) by Suzanne Lazear and the Steampunk Chronicles series (currently three books and two short stories) by Kady Cross. Both of these have been a hit with our teens.