Welcome to Part Two of The Quiddity of Speculation: Steampunk 101! Saturday, we talked about the makings of a Steampunk story. In this post, we’ll discuss a few fantastic Steampunk reads. It’s such a rapidly-growing subgenre that I’ve chosen to break this post into sections to give you a little taste of everything. As you read this post, please be aware that there are loads of Steampunk books out there—and more being published all the time—and please don’t let your reading be limited by my choices. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, tell me about it in the comments (below)!
One of my favorite aspects of the Steampunk subgenre is that it often features girls behaving badly, or rather, bucking the conventions set forth for them by society. Gail Carriger is one author who truly shines in this area. Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate Series (Orbit, 2009-2012) consists of five novels about Alexia Tarabotti, a half-Italian spinster born without a soul—all of which complicates her standing in London society. The first book, Soulless (2009), received an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association and was nominated for a Locus Award for best first novel. In a society where vampires and werewolves and are accepted as members of society, Alexia’s soulless state leaves supernatural beings unable to target her. But when a vampire attacks her and she kills him, she becomes suspected in a rash of vampire disappearances and embroiled in a fun, fast-paced mystery. The Parasol Protectorate is a fabulous, funny blend of supernatural, steampunk, and mystery.