Best Steampunk Books


What is Steampunk? It’s a lot of things. It’s four Englishmen traveling across India in a huge, steam-powered mechanical elephant (Jules Verne, The Steam House, 1880). It’s fantastic airships, goggles on top hats, arcane gadgets, waistcoats and parasols. It’s Victorian England if the technologies of Victorian England never faded. It’s mechanical computers, spinning propellers, clanking machines made of gears, iron, and brass. It’s London lit by gaslights, mysterious villains, and mad scientists with diabolical powers. It’s fun! So, grab your aviator scarf, don a pair of long evening gloves, pocket that watch that turns back time, and come join us.

Authors and series mentioned in this article: Richard Due (Idiot Genius), Stefan Bachmann, Peter Bunzl (The Cogheart Adventures), Alan Gratz (The League of Seven), Patrick Samphire (Secrets of the Dragon Tomb), Marcus Alexander (Keeper of the Realms), Emma Trevayne, Joel N. Ross (The Fog Diver), Brian Selznick, Philip Reeve (Fever Crumb)

Best Steampunk Books



At the back of the shop in a tall chair sat the largest and oldest cat I’d ever seen. He’d been white once, maybe. His ears were tattered and a single snaggletooth protruded past his raggedy cheek.

The Typesetting of an Eye


As you slowly crack open the book, so do you creak open a door—only to find an eye staring back at you!

At time of launch, I had the worst time getting printed paperback copies of Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy from Amazon’s press. A lot of little changes happen during the final weeks of getting a book to press, and time was getting short. With only a few weeks to go, every time I’d submit a change, I’d get an email from Amazon’s press telling me I’d set my book for bleeds (a graphic that runs off the page), only my book had no bleeds. Which was not the case, so each time I’d refer them to page 142, the first page of The Eye in the Door, where there’s a very obvious bleed.

It got so bad that there was a moment when I began to fear I might have to cut the graphic in order to make the book launch. Something I was loath to do. It’s a fun little bit of typesetting, one where the eye, which is set within the inner margin of the page, slowly appears as you open to the first page of that chapter, mimicking the opening of the door—and revealing an eye staring back at you.

In the end, they’d always approve it, but I’d lose four to five precious days each time I made a change. And I desperately needed to have a lot of paperback copies for a bookstore signing I’d scheduled for the book’s launch. It was a real nail-biter but the books did get to me just in the nick of time.

Richard Due

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Signed paperback edition of Idiot Genius: Willa Snap and the Clockwerk Boy. Shipping included.

For an added personal inscription, Email me at and let me know who the book is for. (i.e. “for Emily” “for the Walton family” “for my Idiot brother” etc.) *This offer is currently only available to people in the US.