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 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 2:11 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've been looking into reading some fiction, perhaps adventure, detectives (besides Sherlock Holmes) or even "graphic novels" set in and around the 1880s-1910 era. I've read the classics like Jules Verne and some H.G. Wells, but was wanting to look into some writing that isn't so well known and perhaps written recently. You know, things like The Wild, Wild West TV series and the 1982 Sam Waterston series, Q.E.D.. Your suggestions are eagerly awaited...

EDIT: Isn't this stuff called "Steampunk"?

July 29 EDIT: Thread title changed to "Edwardian-Era Fiction."

 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 3:07 PM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)

I love "Steampunk"! Here's some recommendations:


"Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy" and "Morlock Night" by K. W. Jeter.

"A Nomad of the Time Streams", a trilogy by Michael Moorcock.

"The Difference Engine" by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

"The Light Ages" (actually more of a fantasy novel, but what the hell), by Ian McLeod.

While they're not really "Steampunk", I also especially recommend all of the better-known novels of both Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. If you only read one by each, try "Around the World in Eighty Days" (which works as both an adventure story AND as social commentary), and "The Invisible Man" (my favorite Wells novel, hand's down).

As far as movies go, definitely check out the Disney version of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea"and Ray Harryhausen's "Mysterious Island".

Special mention has to be given to Katsuhiro Otomo's wonderful anime film "Steamboy".

 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 4:44 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

WHAT? Someone else knows about Steampunk?!

 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 4:49 PM   
 By:   The Man-Eating Cow   (Member)


You might also try "Lord Tyger", "The Adventure of the Peerless Peer" and "The Other Log of Phileas Fogg" by Philip Jose Farmer.

 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 4:56 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Steampunk is great.

If you like Jeter, Jim Blaylock's done some good stuff. Tim Powers has done some *great* stuff -- of their little clique, I think Powers is the most awesome, even if his best work is outside the Steampunk genre.

If you don't mind fantasy settings rather than earthly victoriana, check out China Mieville's PERDIDO STREET STATION. Stephen Hunt's recent THE COURT OF THE AIR looks amusing but I haven't read it yet.

Then of course there's Paul Di Fillipo's STEAMPUNK TRILOGY. Not my favorite, but it's got the term right there in the title. . .

 Posted:   Jul 2, 2008 - 7:10 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

I cannot express in words how much I enjoyed this book, which also falls into the "steampunk" genre. It really blew me away, and I recommend that everyone that hasn't read it go order a copy immediately.

Here's the first two paragraphs of the plot summary, copied from wikipedia. I don't recommend reading more that the first two paragraphs because it gives too much of the story away. I'm masking the entry just in case you want to read it with a blank slate, without any expectations (as I originally did), but either way, READ IT!

In 1801 the British have risen to power in Egypt and suppress the worship of the old Egyptian gods. A cabal of magicians plan to drive the British out of Egypt by bringing the gods forward in time from an age when they were still powerful and unleashing them on London, thereby destroying the British Empire. In 1802, a failed attempt by the magicians to summon Anubis opens magical gates in a predictable pattern across time and space.

In 1983, ailing millionaire J. Cochran Darrow has discovered the gates and found that they make time travel possible. Darrow organizes a trip to the past for fellow millionaires to attend a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810. He hires Professor Brendan Doyle to attend and give expert commentary. One of the magicians, Doctor Romany, happens to spy the time travelers and kidnaps Doyle before he can return. Doyle manages to escape torture and flees back to London, now trapped in the 19th century...

 Posted:   Jul 3, 2008 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   Thread Assasin   (Member)

I love this board. I had never heard of "Steampunk" before today, although, from the description of what it is, I have probably read some. I'll check out "Gates" later on this summer on your recommendation, Josh.

 Posted:   Jul 3, 2008 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   Thread Assasin   (Member)

PS - Zelig: I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for but I read a novel a while back called "The Meaning of Night" by Michael Cox. It's set in the time period you specify, but it's more a psychological thriller, as such. Check it out at Amazon for more info and see if it's up your street. smile

 Posted:   Jul 4, 2008 - 10:30 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

And of course there's always TIME AND AGAIN, by Jack Finney, who also wrote the original novel of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. T&A is a marvelous look at New York in the 1880's, as experienced by a time traveller, and his resulting adventures with his own ancestors.

There's even a sequel, not as good, though interesting in its own right.

Or THE MUDLARK, a wonderful tale of a homeless boy who seeks out the reclusive Queen Victoria herself. It was made into a marvelous movie in 1950, with Irene Dunne as Victoria and Alec Guiiness as Disraeli. But it was originally a novel.

 Posted:   Jul 7, 2008 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Thanks for all the great replies!

I guess the whole "Steampunk" genre is something I've been interested in since I was a kid, when my friends and I were obsessed with Captain Nemo; Mysterious Island; The Wild, Wild West, and the short-lived TV show, Q.E.D. I'm amused by the idea of the "clunky technology" of 100+ years ago could be so much more advanced than the times in which it existed. It makes today's advances positively ho-hum!

 Posted:   Jul 29, 2008 - 7:14 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

After doing a bit more reading on the subject, a more appropriate title for this thread would be "Edwardian-Era Fiction." (Or, seeing how His Majesty looks, "Sebastian Cabot-Era Fiction"!)

I learned something today! And I was so determined to emerge from this day as ignorant as when I started it...wink

 Posted:   Jul 30, 2008 - 10:48 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

What about 'The Four Feathers' by A.E.W. Mason, or wotsizname's 'Riddle of the Sands'? There's lots of American stuff of that era of course.

Old Eddie VII was very libidinous. He had numerous nicknames, like 'Dirty Bertie' (his real pre-regnal name was Albert), 'Edward the Caresser' (a pun on 'Edward the Confessor' king from 1042-1066) and 'The Uncle of Europe' which was allegedly to do with more than just his European Royal connections and diplomatic skills.

 Posted:   Apr 23, 2010 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I've found that the stuff I've already read and watched (H.G. Wells, Wild, Wild West, Captain Nemo, etc.) is infinitely more interesting than the fabrications of what is called "Steampunk", which largely concerns itself with fashion, building eye goggles and designing one's laptop computer to resemble something from the 1890s. Actually, that isn't so bad as the snobbish elitism that Steampunk enthusiasts seem to have. The actual history of Victorian/Edwardian England as well as the goings on in the U.S. at that same time make for more engaging reading. I found a blog that hits the nail on the head as far as how I, myself perceive the period and the blogger is a fine writer who knows his stuff:

Yes, I see that "s-e-x-" is in the title, but it's not that kind of site. wink

I also enjoy his defense of Disney's "street cred" in terms of its relationship with Victorian/Edwardian imagery, and the immortal tagline, "Walt Disney was more Steampunk than you"!

 Posted:   Apr 23, 2010 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

I'd recommend the Richard Hannay books by John Buchan (although they may be just a tad outside your time frame). Also the Inspector Hanaud series by A. E. Mason may be too late to be considered Edwardian. Some of the Baroness Orczy novels and stories are fun.

 Posted:   Apr 24, 2010 - 2:18 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Or THE MUDLARK, a wonderful tale of a homeless boy who seeks out the reclusive Queen Victoria herself. It was made into a marvelous movie in 1950, with Irene Dunne as Victoria and Alec Guiiness as Disraeli. But it was originally a novel.

THE MUDLARK sounds fascinating!

 Posted:   Apr 24, 2010 - 6:51 AM   
 By:   Castile   (Member)

Hey, Jim!
Check out Andrew Martin's 'Jim Stringer' series on Amazon. The first two are THE NECROPOLIS RAILWAY and THE BLACKPOOL HIGHFLYER. Set around 1903, England. I have these two, but have yet to read them. Might be of interest to you, though. smile

PS. I wish TCM would show THE MUDLARK sometime. I haven't seen that since I was about ten.

 Posted:   Apr 25, 2010 - 2:26 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Looks like I'll be reading the first two trade paperbacks of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as my wife just got them for me as a "token" anniversary gift. big grin The film was a disappointment but the comics already look better than that.

 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 12:48 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Anyone have this book? It looks well presented.

Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions

A review (with pictures):

 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 3:15 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I ordered it anyway.

 Posted:   Oct 26, 2013 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

Interesting thread...

Steampunk is not my ideal counterculture, but every year I get to have fun with it during the annual Dragon*Con in Atlanta. It may have gotten stale over the years, but it's still a delight to see some of the more inventive costumes and artwork.

It's a real shame that steampunk still doesn't have any defining and classic films like its cousin cyberpunk. That counterculture/style has numerous masterpieces (like Blade Runner, Ghost in the Machine, and The Matrix) but the best the steampunkers have got is the Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes films (which I do enjoy).

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