What is Steampunk? by Jessica Zellers (NoveList Plus)
Steampunk is a genre of speculative fiction filled with throwback technologies (real or fantastic) such as airships, clocks with gears, and time machines. In contrast to cyberpunk, which features futuristic settings and high-tech innovations, Steampunk features historic settings and machines powered by steam. Victorian London is the quintessential setting, though some recent works have departed from the traditional backdrop of the Industrial Revolution to explore steampunk in the future and steampunk on different continents — or even on different planets. Stories may include elements of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and horror, and while most works have adventure and action aplenty, they also address societal and political concerns.
In a post-apocalyptic future, fifteen-year-old Deuce, a loyal Huntress, brings back meat while avoiding the Freaks outside her enclave, but when she is partnered with the mysterious outsider, Fade, she begins to see that the strict ways of the elders may be wrong– and dangerous.
Gauche Suede is on his last delivery before a big promotion. In the outskirts of Yodaka, the darkest area of Amberground, Gauche is surprised to find that the package is a young boy named Lag Seeing. Lag had been traumatized by his mother’s abduction and is due to be delivered to his aunt. In this remote area rife with Gaichuu, Lag and Gauche face a dangerous journey that inspires Lag to become a Letter Bee.
When she is cast out of Wonderland by her evil aunt Redd, young Alyss Heart finds herself living in Oxford as Alice Liddell and struggles to keep memories of her kingdom intact until she can return and claim her rightful throne.
In 1852, when seventeen-year-old Katharine is sent to her family’s estate to prove that her uncle is insane, she finds he is an inventor whose work creating ingenious clockwork figures supports hundreds of families, but strange occurences soon have her doubting her own sanity.
In an alternate England of 1851, spirited fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where, she is suprised to learn, lessons include not only the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also diversion, deceit, and espionage.
Finley, who has a beastly alter ego inside of her, joins Duke Griffin’s army of misfits to help stop the Machinist, the criminal behind a series of automaton crimes, from carrying out a plan to kill Queen Victoria during the Jubilee.
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
Features the Victorian era adventures of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, comprised of Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, the Invisible Man, Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray, Detective Thomas Sawyer, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
In 1888 New York City, sixteen-year-old governess Verity Newton agrees to become a spy, whatever the risk, after learning that the man for whom she has feelings sympathizes with rebels developing non-magical sources of power, via steam engines, in hopes of gaining freedom from British rule.
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.