Steampunk books do exist and they are something you definitely should be reading if you are interested in a unique symbiosis of steam technology and alternative reality. An interesting fact is that the highest number of authors live in Portland, Oregon. Probably because steampunk is more popular there than anywhere else. Anyway, now is our turn to present you 15 best steampunk books.

  1. Against the Day

against the day steampunk book cover

The book begins at 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago. There a group of balloonist will start with their adventures and additional stories. The author will tell their quests, adventures and sometimes even stories. Some locations are on the map, while others are still unknown.Against the Day is probably the best, the most interesting and the most complicated book of this genre. It is written by Thomas Pynchon back in 2006 and it is loaded with useful and appealing stories. The book has over 1.000 pages, and we already mentioned that it is complex content. This means that you should take your time and completely let yourself to the narrative sentences and the stories.

  1. Agatha H and the Airship City

Agatha-H-and-the-Voice-of-the-Castle-by-Phil-and-Kaja-Foglio best steampunk book

Here we have a book that was published in 2011. The story is set 16 years after Heterodyne Boys in the world where industrial revolution turned into a world war. Europe is led by accentors of an evil scientist, the terror is everywhere and living an ordinary life is almost impossible.

The main character in the book is Agatha, a student from Transylvania. She will be on a massive quest and have impressive goals in the just mentioned world. It may take some time to dive into the world, but once you are there, you won’t get out quickly.

  1. Boneshaker

boneshaker book cover photo steampunk style

Boneshaker is definitely the best choice if you like zombies. It was written by Cherie Priest in 2009 and it combines zombies with steampunk technology in the alternative reality.

The book will tell you a story about a scientists Leviticus Blue who is responsible for creating a massive machine capable of mining through the ice on Alaska. However, at the first test, it will disrupt the vein of gas in Seattle, which will turn most people into zombies. You can imagine what’s next.

  1. Frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley book cover

Frankenstein book was originally published in 1818 but was significantly edited back in 1831. The author, Mary Shelley had to make it more conservative, which means that the original copy is far more desirable and more interesting.

The book is one of the first science fiction creations in the world. We believe that it is a part of steampunk due to the fact it is located in Victorian England and it has plenty of elements of science fiction. All combined, this is an excellent steampunk book overall.

  1. Homunculus

Homunculus by James P Blaylock steampunk book

In the lack of a better word, this book is crazy. In it, a dirigible with a dead pilot will fly over London (in the Victorian era) for years. Royal society decides to discover the issue and the cause of the appearance. A man known as Shiloh has the main role and he believes that his father is in the aircraft.

During the beginning of the book, the aircraft will also be linked with aliens! Meanwhile, a scientist known as Dr. Ignacio Narbondo is trying to reanimate the mother of the main character. This is just the beginning of the book though.

  1. Lady of Devices

Lady of Devices shelley adina book cover

The book is written by Shelley Adina in 2011. It is interesting and loaded with details development that follows the actions of Claire, a rich woman from London. But, her father will gamble the entire estate and wealth, so soon she will end on the street!

From this moment, she decides to restore the wealth and becomes known as Lady of Devices in the London’s underworld. She is smart, capable and crazy about adventures.

  1. Leviathan

Scott Westerfeld Leviathan Trilogy steampunk

For those who love reading about steampunk and the alternative reality, this is the book for them. It is written by Scott Westerfeld in 2009 and it describes an alternative World War I.

If this doesn’t sound appealing, let’s just add that the world is a completely different place, extremely well-explained and now it is paired with monsters which were product of bioweapons and experiments.

  1. Mortal Engines

mortal engine philip reeve

As soon as you see the cover of the book, you will know that this is something special in the world of steampunk. It truly is. The author of the book is Philip Reeve who released the creation in 2001. The book is set in the post-apocalyptic world, where almost everything has been destroyed by nuclear weapons.

Humankind lives in massive, moving cities known as Traction Cities. They must ‘’consume’’ each another in order to survive. In addition, the world is loaded with volcanos, earthquakes and all possible natural disasters.

  1. Perdido Street Station

perdido street station book cover by china mieville

The book was published in 2000 by China Miéville. It will set you in the city known as New Crobuzon. The city is underground and it is hidden. But, there strange people, whores, spies and mixed characters live.

The city becomes more and more polluted and it is in fear from Parliament, which uses brutal militia by the way. The book is one of a kind and tells a story you won’t see anywhere else.

  1. Retribution Falls

retribution falls book written by chris wooding

The author is Chris Wooding and the book has been with us since 2009. Basically is based on air piracy with massive aircraft and machines. The main character is Ketty Jay. She is the navigator of the huge aircraft with countless secrets she has been concealing from other members of the crew. It all gets more interesting after an attack that fails.

Jay is now hunted and chased by bounty hunters and many other characters who want her for the local queen. Be prepared for strong scenes and to enter the world that is 100% original and inspired with steampunk. If you are looking for a new book to start reading, this may be the one.

  1. Soulless

gail carriger book soulless

Soulless is published by Gail Carriger in 2009 and it follows a woman under Alexia Tarabotti name. She is a person without a soul, literally, she has been attacked by a vampire and she killed him. Now, she is under investigation of a royal society and she can’t understand what is happening in London among high-end society.

Yes, the book actually involves vampires, weird situations and it is filled with dark moments. It is also paired with magic and secrets, which make it more desirable to read.

  1. Steampunk

steampunk by ann and jeff vandermeer

No, this book isn’t written in 2009, like many others. It was written in 2008 by Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. It is a completely different creature than any other book from the list. It basically helps you understand what steampunk is.

There are a lot of stories in the book that will help you understand the term and what it represents. All we can add is that some stories are more interesting than the others, but this will be your individual preference.

  1. The Alchemy of Stone

the alchemy stone

The book is published in 2008 and it is written by Ekaterina Sedia. The story is located in Ayona, a city and it follows an automatic creature with artificial intelligence which is used by an alchemist. But, the dispute between mechanics and alchemists will escalate and the creature will find himself in the middle. What it will do?

Other things we can add about the book include the secrets the creature will learn and the power it will get. And yes, her name is Mattie and his creator literally owns a key to her heart.

  1. The Anubis Gates

the anubis gates

Here we have one of older books of this kind. It is written in 1983 by Tim Powers and it follows the actions of several people or creatures if you prefer. They are a millionaire from the presence, a sorcerer from ancient Egypt, a werewolf, Lord Byron, Professor Brendan Doyle, a clown and a woman who is disguised as a boy.

The story is more fantasy and inspired by magic than you will actually believe. Anyway, it is loaded with impressive stories and the interactions of the characters. If you know that the characters are interesting, you can deduce that the book will be more than just interesting as well.

  1. The Diamond Age

the diamond age by neal stephenson steampunk book

The book came from 1995 by the author under Neal Stephenson name. It is set in an alternative reality in the 21st century Shanghai where nanotechnology is more than just present and it is involved in all aspects of the life. The book then adds an important device that literally controls the world’s fate.

That device will fall into the hands of Nell and she will have to determine what she will do with it. The device can reprogram every single person on the planet.


All of these books deserve your attention. They are loaded with interesting stories, even more, appealing characters and they are based on elements of steampunk. In other words, start reading a book from the list right now and enjoy.