A Steampunk reading list

This list has three inspirations. First, reading Alan Moore’s fantastic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. A lot of the books referenced might not necessarily be from the Steampunk genre in their own right but are part of the background reading needed to get the full range of references in the Victorian and Edwardian sections of that incredible series.

Second are those 19th-century authors who wrote science-fiction, horror, alternate history or speculative fiction – in some cases producing the first examples of these genres in the history of the novel.

And third come the contemporary authors who have written stories with a steampunk twist. So here is a list of books deriving from these three sources.

It is idiosyncratic, incomplete, contrarian, personal and non-canonical. It takes a very broad and inclusive view of its subject and includes some works that have a wider interest, such as writers from the early part of the Victorian period who attempted science fiction. Oh, if you were wondering what steampunk is all about, better read this.

Primary sources

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Professor James Moriarty)

  • A full bibliography of his extensive writings, listing the Sherlock Holmes canon as well as other works and further resources, can be found here.

Henry Rider Haggard (Allan Quartermain)

  • King Solomon’s Mines
  • Allan Quartermain
  • She
  • The People of the Mist
  • Ayesha: The Return of She
  • She and Allan
  • An extensive list of this author’s works is available at Project Gutenberg

William Hope Hodgson (Thomas Carnacki stories)

  • Carnacki the Ghost-finder (a collection of six collected short stories)
    • The Gateway of the Monster
    • The House Among the Laurels
    • The Whistling Room
    • The Horse of the Invisible
    • The Searcher of the End House
    • The Thing Invisible
  • The Haunted Jarvee
  • The Hog
  • The Find

Victor Hugo

  • Toilers of the Sea

Sax Rohmer/Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (Dr Fu Manchu)

  • The Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu and further titles – the full, extensive list can be found here

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

  • Frankenstein
  • The Last Man

Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr Henry Jekyll and Mr Edward Hyde)

  • Treasure Island
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • The Wrecker

Bram Stoker (Wilhelmina ‘Mina’ Murray Harker)

  • Dracula
  • The Lair of the White Worm
  • The Mystery of the Sea
  • The Jewel of Seven Stars
  • The Lady of the Shroud
  • Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories

Jules Verne (Captain Nemo/Nautilus)

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth
  • Around the World in Eighty Days
  • From the Earth to the Moon

HG Wells (‘Hawley’ Griffin, Professor Cavor, John Carter)

  • The Time Machine
  • The Island of Dr Moreau
  • The Invisible Man
  • The War of the Worlds
  • When The Sleeper Wakes
  • The First Men in the Moon

Contemporary Steampunk

Alan Moore

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Volume I
  • The Black Dossier
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Volume II
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Volume III: Century (yet to be fully published)
  • From Hell (Actually Victorian horror and magical realism rather than strict Steampunk – but the League narrative is apparently starting to intersect with it in volume III.)