Oct 1 2009 11:00am

Steampunk Month on

If you’ve cleaned your goggles this morning, you may have noticed something a little different about Namely, there’s a shiny new logo and masthead at the top of this page. The fancy duds mark an exciting development for our little website: October 2009 is Steampunk Month on

I have a strong suspicion that this pronouncement has prompted some of our readers to sigh, “Steampunk! That’s so [1987/1990/2008]!” But there are just as certainly others who are saying, “Steampunk? What the heck is steampunk?” There’s no simple definition that works for everyone—at our staff meeting the other day, we wound up reverting to that old saw about pornography—but I usually start off with something along the lines of “a Victorian-influenced speculative fiction subgenre set in a world where steam power is still in common use; and the aesthetic derived thereof.” But for the full story, I strongly recommend you to Cherie Priest’s formidable “Steampunk FAQ.”

One thing that almost everyone can agree on is that steampunk is really damn cool. So cool, in fact, that a half-joking suggestion at a meeting several months ago has turned into one of the biggest events in’s history, incorporating nearly a dozen new bloggers, original fiction, scads of giveaways, and So. Much. More.

Here’s a list of just some of the things in store during Steampunk Month:


Here’s a running tab of what’s already been posted:

10/1: “Steampunk Month on” (this post) by Liz Gorinsky
10/1: “Interview with Steamcon Vice Chair Diana Vick” by Jason Henninger
10/1: “Has Anybody Seen the Bridge? George Mann’s The Affinity Bridge by Lou Anders
10/1: “How Stubby, the rocket, became the H.M.S. Stubbington by Irene Gallo
10/2: “Hello and Good Morning (Technically, Here in West Coast Time)” by Cherie Priest
10/2: “The Post-Modernity of Steampunk” by Jaymee Goh
10/3: “Saturday Morning Cartoons: The Steampunk Edition: ‘Jasper Morello,’ ‘The Aeronaut,’ and ‘The Gentleman’s Duel’” by Irene Gallo
10/5: “The world is not enough...but it is such a perfect place to start” by G. D. Falksen
10/5: “What’s the Soundtrack of Steampunk?” by Brian Slattery
10/6: STORY: “Zeppelin City” by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn, illustrated by Benjamin Carre
10/6: “The art of Leviathan, part 1: An interview with Scott Westerfeld” by Irene Gallo
10/6: “Steampunk as Subculture” by Jaymee Goh
10/6: “Announcing Discounts on the Store for Steampunk Month!” by Pablo Defendini
10/7: “Prescription: Zombies” by Cherie Priest
10/7: “Four Reasons to Watch League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Genevive Valentine
10/7: “Steampunk 101” by G. D. Falksen
10/8: “The Past (and Future) of Steampunk Music” by Joshua Pfeiffer
10/8: “Steampunk Gaming: Getting in the Mood” by David Pucik
10/9: “No Elitism Please, We’re Steampunk” by Jaymee Goh
10/11: “Steampunk Plot Bunnies for Adoption” by Jaymee Goh
10/12: “In An Alternate World, I Could be ‘Cosmic Goddess’” by Jaymee Goh
10/12: “The art of Leviathan, part two: Interview with Keith Thompson” by Irene Gallo
10/12: “All this stuff totally happened (except for how it didn’t)” by Cherie Priest
10/12: “A Few of My Favorite Things: Top Steampunk Media” by Joshua Pfeiffer
10/13: “Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan by Megan Messinger
10/13: “An Interview with James Ng” by Jaymee Goh
10/13: “Get Your Steam On: Steampunk Events the World Over” by Liz Gorinsky
10/13: “’s Steampunk Meetup” by Management Services
10/13: “Steampunk goes viral: Riese the Webseries” by John Ottinger III
10/13: “Steampunk has taken over Oxford” by Evelyn kriete
10/14: “The Steampunk Office” by G. D. Falksen
10/14: “Living the Vita Steampunk: Whisper Merlot” by Jaymee Goh
10/12: “How to steam up your old goth wardrobe” by Cherie Priest
10/15: “Lovelace and Babbage at the Museum of the History of Science” by Management Services
10/16: “An Ode to Lady Ada” by Jaymee Goh
10/16: “Gears Good Enough to Eat” by Megan Messinger
10/16: “The Revolution Will Not be Telegraphed: The Sociopolitical side of Steampunk” by Joshua Pfeiffer
10/19: “There is Totally Punk in Steampunk” by Jaymee Goh
10/19: “Cog Ex Machina” by Lou Anders
10/20: STORY: “The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday” by G. D. Falksen, illustrated by David Malki
10/20: “Wallpaper giveaway: Eric Freitas” by Irene Gallo
10/21: “Steampunk Needs a Shot of—Wait for It—Romance” by Heather Massey
10/21: “Catching Up With Steampunk Artist Dan Hillier” by Geoffrey H Goodwin
10/21: “Everybody Line Up!: Berít New York” by Jaymee Goh
10/22: “Wallpaper giveaway: Thom Tenery” by Irene Gallo
10/23: “ Announces the Steampunk Month Photo Contest!” by Liz Gorinsky
10/23: “Crafting the Continuum Bracelet: A DIY How-To” by Chrononaut Mercantile
10/23: “New Lit! About Sir Thomas Riley” by Jaymee Goh
10/25: “A New Car With Some Old-Fashioned Hardware” by Megan Messinger
10/26: “Steampunk Wardrobe Customizations for the Lazy, the Poor, or the Crafty” by Cherie Priest
10/26: “Speed Weed Comes Clean: Steampunk and NCIS: Los Angeles” by Jeff VanderMeer
10/26: “Experiments in Comics with Sydney Padua” by Jaymee Goh
10/26: “The Steampunk Bible Wants You!” by Pablo Defendini
10/27: “The Roundtable of DOO- I mean, of Race and Steampunk” by Jaymee Goh
10/27: “Wallpaper giveaway: Jon Foster and Boneshaker by Irene Gallo
10/28: “Gogglicious: A Steamcon Report” by Jason Henninger
10/28: “Steampunk Blogging, aka Tit-Tat” by G. D. Falksen
10/28: “The Steampunk Cold War, Part One: The Pax Europaea, or, ‘Tommy’s got my bank account, Ivan’s got the bomb’” by G. D. Falksen
10/28: “With this Steam-Powered Prosthetic Arm, I Could Be As Strong as...a Normal Person” by Jaymee Goh
10/28: “Can Dirigibles Slouch Along? Can They Saunter?” by Jeff VanderMeer and Ann VanderMeer
10/28: “The Brooklyn Indie Market goes Steampunk” by Genevive Valentine
10/28: “Bioshock: Social Sci-Fi in a Steampunk Veneer?” by David Pucik
10/29: “How to Convert an Ordinary Suit Coat into a Tail Coat” by Evelyn kriete
10/29: “It’s the Great Pumpkin, And It’s Going to Eat You” by Megan Messinger
10/29: “The Steampunk Cold War, Part Two: The Great Game, or ‘the British are still in Afghanistan’” by G. D. Falksen
10/29: “Making the Steampunk Month letterpress poster” by Irene Gallo
10/29: “Wallpaper giveaway: Gregory Manchess” by Irene Gallo
10/29: “A Moment for My DIY Peers” by Jaymee Goh
10/19: “Was Poe Steampunk?” by S. J. Chambers
10/30: “Wallpaper giveaway: H.M.S. Stubbington” by Irene Gallo
10/30: “The Steampunk Cold War, Part Three: The Dreadnought Arms Race, or ‘Kaiser Wilhelm gets a boat’” by G. D. Falksen
10/30: “Return to the Written Word” by Jaymee Goh
10/30: “An Interview with Scott Westerfeld on Barking Spiders, Steampunk, and All Things Leviathan by Joe Monti
10/31: “Steampunk anime: Steamboy” by Eugene Myers
10/31: “The Steampunk Cold War, Part Four: Alliances of Convenience, or ‘Autocracy is like democracy if you say it in Russian’” by G. D. Falksen
10/31: “Thanks To All At Once, and To Each One” by Management Services


10/1: “George Mann’s The Affinity Bridge Giveaway!” by Torie Atkinson
10/7: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Filigree Clockwork Ring” by Torie Atkinson
10/9: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker by Torie Atkinson
10/19: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Jeweled Windup Bird Ring” by Torie Atkinson
10/20: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: James Blaylock’s The Ebb Tide by Torie Atkinson
10/21: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Modded Book Locket Necklace” by Torie Atkinson
10/22: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Kage Baker’s The Women of Nell Gwynne’s by Torie Atkinson
10/23: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Chet Phillips’ Steampunk Monkey Cards” by Torie Atkinson
10/26: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Socks from Sock Dreams!” by Torie Atkinson
10/27: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: $40 Gift Certificate to Retroscope Fashions” by Torie Atkinson
10/27: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Stephen Hunt’s The Court of the Air and The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Torie Atkinson
10/28: “Steampunk Blogging: tit-tat for a giveaway!” by Torie Atkinson
10/28: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Antique Watchwork Swarovski Crystal Pendant” by Torie Atkinson
10/29: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Sweet Libertine Set of Eyeshadows” by Torie Atkinson
10/29: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Jay Lake’s Mainspring and Escapement by Torie Atkinson
10/30: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Steampunk Keyhole Plate Pendant” by Torie Atkinson
10/31: “Steampunk Month Giveaway: Jeweled Spider Brooch” by Torie Atkinson

Finally, lest you think we’ve just caught on to this whole steampunk craze, here are some highlights from’s existing steampunk coverage:

Happy Steampunk Month! Keep it brassy.

Liz Gorinsky is an editor at Tor Books. She is spending way too much time these days attempting to fine-tune her steampunk publisher costume before Steamcon.

Lesley Mitchell
2. dkscully

Would have missed the exhibition in Oxford if you'd not highlighted it.

This month should be lots of fun.
The Mad Htter
3. The Mad Htter
Sweet! Bring on the Steam!
April Vrugtman
5. dwndrgn
Sounds great! I love everything steampunk!

You should also feature photographer Kyle Kassidy as he is the foremost steampunk photographer (at least in my mind!). The wikipedia page on Steampunk features one of his photographs.
Liza .
6. aedifica
Fun! But I've had mixed feelings about steampunk ever since it was pointed out to me that in steampunk works there are usually no black people, no Native Americans for sure, and any Asians are "exotic foreigners." I mean, steampunk can be a lot of fun, and I enjoy the aesthetic in clothes, techtoys, etc... but I want my fiction to have a healthy mixture of people of all races, not ignore other races altogether. (It would be really cool if some of the upcoming blog posts and fiction here address that!)
Serge Mailloux
7. SergeBroom
Strictly speaking, was Sam Waterston's "QED" steampunk? It's set in 1912. My personnal cutoff point for steampunk is 1903's technological level, because that was the year of the Wright Brothers and also of the War of the Worlds, but I've made exceptions if it suited me.
Liz Gorinsky
8. TooMuchExposition
Thanks, all!

dwndrgn: I hadn't thought about asking Kyle (my brain is clearly addled by all of our preparation), but I love his work. I can't find a specific repository of his steampunk stuff, but all of it is gorgeous.

aedifica: That's an excellent point, and there's certainly a dearth of those perspectives in a lot of the work that's currently out there. But I think as we start to see more steampunk that's taken out of the "high Victorian" milieu it will be a lot easier to incorporate them: to use an example I'm exceptionally biased toward, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker has a fair number of PoC characters and (IMHO) treats them fairly well. And I'm also hopeful that your concerns will be reflected in our blogger pool: perhaps Cherie will talk a bit about her choices in this regard, and Jha'Meia has done some excellent writing in this arena. Ay-leen the Peacemaker's "'From the Wilds of America' – Analyzing the Idea of 'British Colonial America' in Steampunk" is also a must-read if you haven't seen it yet.
Jaymee Goh
9. Jha
aedifica: Ay-Leen will be embarking on a series soon featuring non-Eurocentric steampunk projects, too. (I hate to put pressure on her like this, but it'll be for the best of all! ;D)

Thanks for the introduction, TooMuchExposition!
Liza .
10. aedifica
TooMuchExposition and Jha: Oh, cool! I haven't read Boneshaker, I'll have to check it out. And I'll go read that link of Ay-Leen's.
The Mad Htter
11. GoblinRevolution
Hurray! More Steampunk = More Fun for me!

Can't wait for all the of the steampunk stuff to start hitting
Dave Thompson
12. DKT

If you like short fiction, check out Maurice Broaddus's "Pimp My Airship" over at

Kick ass African American steampunk.
Liz Gorinsky
13. TooMuchExposition
Serge: I haven't seen it, so I can't say, but some people seem to think so. I don't know if I'd apply a strict cut-off date--usually I consider the period, the tone, the language, the plotline, the clothes, and the gadgets, and if some subsection of them seem to feel right, then I'm happy to call it steampunk.
Jah: Sorry for using your alias instead of your name. I wasn't sure what you'd be blogging under. :)
DKT: I had no idea that that story existed. How cool!
The Mad Htter
14. Thomas Canty
In going through my Father's pilot's gear, I found these. Had my up-dated prescription put in them, now they're my new glasses.

As I never really leave the house, I can wear pretty much whatever I like, Steam Punk or otherwise. I also found his leather flight jacket and gunner's gloves. All set for the Winter . . . wardrobe wise, anyway.

Nice to see that Steam Punk continues.
The Mad Htter
15. Steve Foerster
Thomas Canty: Okay, those glasses are pretty damn cool.
Irene Gallo
16. Irene
Tom! Great to see you here....and those glasses are awesome. You should send a picture with them on. ;-)
Michael Below
18. ediFanoB
Awesome! Viva La Steampunk!
I read The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual. Today I finished Mainspring by Jay Lake. Now I wait for my copy of Boneshaker.

Cherie Priest's "Steampunk FAQ" is extraordinary. Definitely must read for all people interested in steampunk!
Michael Below
19. ediFanoB
MentatJack, your Steampunk TagShadow is worth to discover.
Interesting how many of the books I own but didn't read so far.
The Mad Htter
20. birdbrainbb
Yay steampunk!

Also, I agree with aedifica-- I'd love to see some more non-European steampunk stuff. I look forward to finding what's out there.
The Mad Htter
21. Scuttlemonkey
Any mention of a massive Steampunk event would be remiss without mention of Sean "Jake Von Slatt" Slattery. His continued work in support of the Steampunk movement and general tinkering continues to delight and amaze those familiar with him. His keynote at last years first (and so far, only) California Steampunk Convention was incredibly insightful and well worth a read if you haven't seen it already.

I hope this event continues the already considerable momentum that the Steampunk movement has gained and I wish Tor and others the best of luck in advancing Steampunk everywhere.
The Mad Htter
22. Ciar Cullen
I know what you mean. Recently finished (and hopefully can soon report on a sale of) a Steampunkish/gaslight romance w/Black characters. In romance, at least, this is a very hot button.
But to ease your dis-ease a bit, google the James Gang and check out how cool they are. They are among my go-to guys for inspiration.
Serge Mailloux
23. SergeBroom
TooMuchExposition @ 13...

"...I consider the period, the tone, the language, the plotline, the clothes, and the gadgets..."

I do keep the date in mind, or the date that the setting feels like, but the above matters too. That's hy, even though it's set in 1907, I consider Disney's 1973 movie "The Island at the Top of the World" to be steampunk. (By the way, it was scripted by one John Whedon, aka Joss's grandpapa.)
The Mad Htter
24. Isaac Doubek
Thank you tor, this is most assuredly the best birthday present ever. I tip my hat & goggles to you.

-Isaac a.k.a Dr.Goggs
The Mad Htter
25. PixelPusher
You should also check out the web comic "Girl Genius" by the good folks at Foglio Studio.
Michael Below
26. ediFanoB
I highly recommend Steampunkopedia, "the ultimate steampunk compendium".
Robert Nava
27. RobertNava
Steampunk really is freakin' cool. And, it seams that Disney may also be developing some type of game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic steampunk Disney theme park world. There's concept artwork floating around; Google "disney steampunk game," and you'll find it. My favorite image is a sketch of a corpsified mechanical Goofy.

Disney and steampunk; I've got chills of excitement running down my spine!
The Mad Htter
28. sue flash mod
Hey displaced Gents n Ladies,

Thanks for celebrating steampunk goodness and spreading the word!

Just in time for steampunk month, Steampunk Tales just released a brand new issue!
Liz Gorinsky
29. TooMuchExposition
Hey, everyone! Just wanted to thank you for continuing to post your links and references to your favorite bits of the steampunk world. I couldn't hope to cover all of the cool stuff out there in my puny intro post, and indeed I keep discovering MORE stuff that I'd like to try to include. But this is a great place to share links with other readers, and I bet our bloggers will pick up on some of these as the month goes on.
The Mad Htter
30. Ezzthetic
that old saw about pornography
Can't say I care much for the idea of pornography involving a saw.

It sounds really painful.
The Mad Htter
31. Tim Akers
Thanks for including Heart of Veridon on your list, Liz. I'm pointing everyone to the deal!
George Walker
32. georgewalker
Liz, thanks for posting the link to “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage” by Sydney Padua. The comic is great fun.

I have a story about Lovelace in this month's issue of I wish I had illustrations like Sydney's to go with it.
33. Andrew
Some really cool stuff's been posted already as part of Steampunk Month (thanks!), but I wish you'd mention the dates in the list of what's already been posted so far.
The Mad Htter
34. Jonathan Green, Author
Looking forward to steampunk month!

And remember, before George Mann's The Affinity Bridge, there was Pax Britannia!

To find out more go to:
The Mad Htter
35. Hendii
Better than steampunk? Freepunk! With zombies!

Grrr. This comment system, however, is annoying - keeps insisting that my name and all the usually unique variations thereof are already in use somewhere.
The Mad Htter
36. Cory Gross
"Disney and steampunk; I've got chills of excitement running down my spine!"

There's absolutely ZILCH that is Steampunk about the "Epic Mickey" project. However, Disney does have a great and longstanding love affair with Scientific Romances. "Treasure Planet", "Atlantis: The Lost Empire", "Island at the Top of the World", "The Saga of Windwagon Smith", "In Search of the Castaways", and of course, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Not to mention the themeparks: Tokyo Disneysea's Mysterious Island, Disneyland Paris' Discoveryland and passing through Primeval World by steam train.

Since people seem to be listing their favorites, I might as well... uh... as well...

So in addition to the Disney stuff mentioned above: "The Adventures of Mark Twain" film by Will Vinton, "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne" film by Karel Zeman, "The Vision of Escaflowne" aniem series, "Dinotopia: A Land Apart from Time" and "Dinotopia: The World Beneath" by James Gurney, "The Prestige" (film, haven't read the book yet), "Castle in the Sky" anime film by Hayao Miyazaki, "Read-or-Die" anime OVA, "Wild Wild West" (yes, the film, as a guilty pleasure), "La Mecanique du Coeur" album by Dionysos, "The Amazing Screw-On Head" comic and animation by Mike Mignola, "The Lone Ranger" cartoon (from the 60's), "Bang! Howdy" and "Bang! Heroes" online games, the "Sakura Taisen" franchise (mostly the first game, OVA and associated manga), "Simoun" anime series... Actually, I could easily keep going, so I'll stop there...
38. Andrew
Hey, thanks for adding the dates to the list! :)

BTW, is there any way we (registered users, that is) can be automatically notified by e-mail on the day a new contest is posted? That would be a really nice touch indeed.
Torie Atkinson
40. Torie
@ 38 Andrew

Alas, there is no way to do that, but from now until the end of the month there will be a giveaway pretty much every day, so keep checking back!
Robert Blake
41. Galdrin
I hope that all the Steampunk stuff, the recommendations, graphics, blogs, and everything is gong to be preserved somewhere. There's been a wealth of material from Tor during this "Steampunk" month and I'd sure like to know it is somewhere where I can go back and look at it later if need be.
Lon Bailey
42. lgwbailey
Last week's UK edition of the uber-serious Economist Magazine (17/10/09)has a steam-punk cover - showing Micorsoft, Google and Apple as steam punk airships slugging it out in cloud computing. I've got a copy of the cover - how do I share it? (sorry don't understand the bbCode bits)
Craig Bowser
43. reswob10
Just wondering if someone could provide a list of steampunk movies. The only one I could think of (and I shudder whenever I do) is Wild, Wild West with Will Smith and Kevin Kline.

Just saw Cory Gross' comment which has a nice list. Forgot about Treasure Planet. Love that movie.

The Dinotopia mini-series... not sure that quite qualifies as steampunk. Castle in the Sky, definitely. Possibly Howl's Moving Castle as well.

A blog post to get a good start would be nice....
The Mad Htter
44. Piechur
Do you want a list? Go drink at the well:

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